Spotlight – Benny



When I was in California to visit Mazda and other fun car stuff, I had the good fortune and extreme pleasure of staying with Pete Royea, known as oldgrayleather on the forums. Pete and his family took us in (me and Sharka) like family. We were pampered, breakfasted, and shown around the California roads. It was fantastic.

So, before I do any more with this post, I want to say thank you. Staying in your home really made the trip. Thanks for twisting my arm, Pete.

And now onto the Spotlight.

Lego Blue

Lego Blue – click to view larger


Mark2 – click to view larger

RS Active

RS Active – click to view larger

Benny is Pete’s gorgeous Lego Blue 1989 Roadster. And, as you might guess, the car’s name is indeed inspired by the small Lego Movie character.

Pete added Benny to his fleet as a tribute and remembrance to his brother Dan. A Montego blue NA was Dan’s chosen ride. He passed a about a year after buying the Miata, and the car gave him a lot of joy in that last year. (I think, I’m trying to type this from memory and an email reference. sorry if I’m butchering it, Pete).

After Dan’s passing, Pete’s wife Jen suggested that he look for a Miata of his own. He found Benny. It was true love. He was smitten and hooked. The mods began.

I know that feel.

Pete now owns THREE NA Miatas.

I know that feel too.

Rossa 180 revlimiter Gauges

Rossa 180 revlimiter Gauges – click to view larger

Racing Mate

Racing Mate – click to view larger

And those seats.

And those seats! – click to view larger

That sill puts Sharka's to shame.

That sill puts Sharka’s to shame. – click to view larger

I’m not going to type out a mod list. That’s not my style. I’ll give my impressions of the various goods installed on Benny.

The seats are phenomenal. They’re Nakamae Type Rs (I think). I’d never had the pleasure of sitting in one before. And, while I still prefer my Lotus seats, these are as comfy as they are gorgeous. And I’m not gonna lie, they’re MUCH prettier than Sharka’s seats. Nakamae stuff is in a class by itself.

Benny has a set of my gauges, the Rossa 180s. They were reportedly the very first mod Pete ever did to a car. And that’s… hardcore. I mean, gauges are not that difficult to install, but they’re a bit involved and delicate. But the install came out flawlessly.

One more thing needs to be mentioned and highlighted – Benny is a daily driver and I gave Pete ZERO notice that I was taking pix of the car.

Benny and Sharka had just returned from a wash before these shots were snapped, but that’s all. No special care or staging was done. No interior cleaning. Nothing. This is just how Benny is.

As Instagram fans would say, #wokeuplikethis #flawless

1.6 power!

1.6 power!

Blackbird in the house.

Blackbird in the house.



The one thing I managed to not photograph was Benny’s Garage Vary tails. And that’s pretty funny since I spent HOURS behind them in traffic and on freeways. I borrowed this shot of Benny’s ass from Pete’s build thread on MR.

Funny thing about the GV tails – I never get to see them. I’m always driving the car, never getting to ride behind. As good as they look when parked, they look amazing in motion. The Miata totally transforms into something rare, expensive, vintage, and unrecognizable. (I had a lot of time to reflect on this while in LA traffic.)

To see more of Benny, learn more about the parts installed, and check out some awesome KINOD photos, hit Benny’s thread on MR. It’s worth the click.

Speaking of KINOD, I’ve got a post on that to write too…

And again, huge thanks Pete. Especially for letting me rip into Benny’s gauge cluster.

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  • Klaus says:

    A really nice car with a heart touching story behind. Those seats make me drool big time!

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