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Miata - Miata is Always the Answer. Or it it?

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

Post Number One

My name is Robert Hess. I'm the founder of DVEN and the Rally4Vets program. I'm going to use this blog series to chronicle my racing and rallying adventures in support of our disabled veteran community while have #funwithcars, as the SCCA slogan says.

Fast driving came my way during my first Army tour in Germany in the late 1960's. I was a single, junior captain and the new Porsche 911s and the German autobahn with no speed limits beckoned. And did they.

My first 911 was a 1967 911L (German model) purchased from a German army chaplain. I soon found out he sold it because of problems with the value lifters and 6 months later I owned a gold 1969 911E with 500 kilometers on the odometer that I would give a lot to have kept!

But, let's jump forward to 2018, when I met Dean Case at the LA Auto Show. The year Mazda released the Cup Car racer. I didn't feel like popping for $60k to buy one and get into road racing, but Car Max had a nice 2010 NC Miata that I used for autocross and some SCCA track nights. That car now lives in Virginia with my daughter and represents DVEN/Rally4Vets on our East Coast awareness events. It looks a lot like the NA Miata on the cover.

Autocross was fun - and still is. My next step was SCCA track nights and then the SCCA national time trial series. We use the NA Miata on the track and, to that end, we made a few modifications:

  • Hard Dog roll bar

  • Feal 441 coilovers

  • Shock tower brace (I used the wrong one, but that's another story)

  • Racing Beat front control arm brace

  • Racing Beat sway bars front and rear

  • Cat-back RoadstrSport 3 exhaust

  • SuperPro full suspension bushing kit

  • Competition engine/differential mount

  • StopTech disks and pads

  • Falken Azensis that I like a lot.

The car drives really well on there track and it's the car we use with guests and celebrities. B2 (it's nickname - I'll share the story if someone asks) is running strong on the original engine and transmission - 234,291 miles and counts. Well done @Mazda!

I created the Top Dog Championships as a way for veterans and veteran-supporters to experience driving the track as part of the world's only inter-Service military motorsports competition. Just how sweet is that?

OK. Post #1 is complete. Going forward, this will be a collection of automotive-related events and information that interest me. I'm open to guest blogging!


picture of Rally4Vets founder Robert Hess
Rally4Vets founder Robert Hess


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