This past Friday, the 18th of June 2021, was the 15th anniversary of KINOD. I decided I really didn’t want to spend another jealous week drooling over pix as they slowly trickled into Instagram and wishing I could have been there. Nothing was holding me back from going, so I decided I would be there. I went to work getting Sharka all prepped.
Yeah, Sharka. Not the car pictured above, which is Mona.
I changed Sharka’s oil and brakes on all 4 wheels. I found some small issues and fixed them up. I discovered some nearly-corded rear rubber that I wasn’t aware of and changed wheels out. I washed and waxed.
And then my lovely wife told me about the heat wave going on in the Mojave. 120+ *F sustained heat. That’s no good for Sharka. His AC doesn’t work very well above 90 and I’m not sure if he’d be able to sustain freeway speeds for over four hours of that kind of heat.
So I prepped Mona the next day. Oil, fluids, wash and wax, and a new set of gauges.
Mona did the trip with no problems at all. From just east of Flagstaff all the way to the coast was above 115. I saw 124 for a few minutes and 122 sustained for a couple hours. Mona never blinked and the AC kept blowing cold. She was amazing.
I need to not be lazy and actually work on cooling modifications for Sharka later this summer. Solid permanent ducting and oil cooling is the next step for the little guy. But that’s not what this post is about.
I spent the weekend at Pete’s house along with our friend Willis. We had a fantastic time hanging out, driving around, and re-washing dirty Roadsters in prep for KINOD.
Getting to drool all over Willis’ white NA was a highlight, and cruising with them both had me missing Sharka hard. But missing Sharka was better than breaking down in the desert or not being at the event at all.
Willis has done amazing things with this NA. Kanspo side skirts. Various RS Aizawa components. Star Sharks in black. That Mazdaspeed hardtop. It’s incredible. A heavy hitter for sure.
If only Sharka could have been there…
Dinner time rolled around and we left for Mazda R&D in Irvine where the KINOD meet was being held. The lot could hold around 200 cars, but more than 400 were rumored to show up. That meant the organizers needed to show up early. I road coat tails and secured a spot for Mona.
I’ve been following this project a long while and seeing it in person was amazing. This is an ND hardtop made by an owner. Mazda never made an ND hardtop. Collin is fixing that. Check out cb3_fab on instagram for more info.
Early in the evening, Ashley was letting folks sit in her AZ-1 to see if they could fit. And then things started to get crowded and parking became an issue. She decided to show them how small Kei cars really are.
Getting to meet and chat with David Woolery was a personal highlight. I’ve known David for each of my 21 years in the Miata world. We’ve never been able to connect at an event till this one. Words fall short at my extreme pleasure in getting to finally meet David.
His Miata is truly incredible. David did all of the body work himself, learning and developing the skills as he went. The fast back barely resembles the original product and fits 800% better. The windows are all real glass, and all real one-off pieces. The doors are featherweight carbon fiber that somehow still sound satisfyingly solid to close. No detail is left unattended.
My camera could have loved on the car for hours, but there were many other distractions.
Yeah, as I said, there were many other distractions. I took far too few photos. Staying focused on one thing (like taking photos) for more than a few minutes was impossible.
And the crowd hadn’t even arrived yet. All of the above photos were taken an hour or more before the event even started.
Though we had the entire lot at Mazda R&D in Irvine, it was just not able to swallow the hundreds and hundreds of Miatas that kept coming. Many had to be turned away or park far off. It was incredible and overwhelming.
And speaking of overwhelming, I’m extremely thankful this was NOT my first KINOD event. Don’t get me wrong, KINOD15 was amazing! But getting to do a normal Friday night with them and a small fraction of this many cars was absolutely more enjoyable for me.
For anyone out there reading along, feeling jealous, and wishing to go to a KINOD meet – please do so! But do a regular Friday night before you do a big anniversary event. It’s much more chill and enjoyable.
I just wish Sharka could have made it for this.
Sharka WAS at the event! Kinda… I mean, 1/64 of the little guy was there. I brought a tiny Sharka along for the ride.
Thanks for the amazing event KINOD!!! Here’s to at least 15 more years.