Stock.  Or at least SCCA Street.  This is a continual challenge for me, as fellow FT86’ers tease me with cool purchases and part installs.  In addition, the classification of the ND Miata into C-Street with the FR-S, makes this a less meaningful Solo car than it was for its first years of existence.  I have however, decided that I take great satisfaction from not being that guy who shows up for dinner with a GT wing and no back seat… especially when I can run in front of that guy on event day.

So for the near future, the car exists largely as Mr. Tada created it, and in my opinion he created it well.  Now 27 months into ownership, there is only one other car that I have ever owned for longer.  And while most of my car life relationships are love-hate, this one is all love.  The car is certainly the slowest car that I’ve owned in a very very long time, but it reminds me constantly of all the great things about those other cars, while steering clear of the common pitfalls.

I continue to dream of a car that will always clearly be a ハチロク: naturally aspirated, minimalistic and highly floggable.  For now I am just going to live with one that is a bit soft around the edges.

Specifications of the Machine

Qs Not That Exciting ZN6 FOOTWORK

  • Strano Parts Tubular Fr. Stabilizer Bar
  • Hotchkis 25mm Tubular Fr. Stabilizer Bar
  • Crash bolts #SU003-02818
  • Optional Sport Springs – PPO S2
  • Optional Sport Swaybars – PPO HR
  • Koni Yellow Dampers



  • ノーマル


  • Nameless Cam Plate (Garbage!)
  • EBC Yellow
  • ARP Extended Wheel Studs


  • 16 8J +35 Watanabe F8
  • 16 7J +48 Speedline Acropoli
  • 17 7J +47 Technocast Corsia
  • 17 8J +35 Racing Hart Superlative Dish
  • Motegi Tracklite 17 7J +45
  • Enkei RS-III 16 7J +51-10
  • Work Emotion CR-Kai 16 7J +44
  • Bridgestone RE-71R 225/45 17
  • Continental Extreme Contact DWS 06 225/50 16
  • Bridgestone RE-71R 225/50 16

As I hinted at a couple weeks ago when writing about Ryan’s old SW20, I’ve bought in completely to the street class mentality. Part of me was afraid to do this because it seems so incredibly boring. The car stays plain. Tuning options are limited. I don’t get to go fast. As I’ve known all along though… the right wheels […]

All In For C-Street

My car is cared for and loved, but it has not necessarily had an easy life.  With a little more than 13000km on it now, it seems to only ever emerge from the garage for track events.  To and from these events, it sees no more than 3500rpm as I challenge myself to improve my gearbox work by keeping the […]

Buying In Bulk

With pricing released and pre-orders open on the 2017 BRZ as of yesterday in the USA, I am asking myself more and more seriously, “Am I going to trade in my 2015 FRS for a new model?” In the USA, the top model BRZ limited increases in price by less than $400.  The performance package (only available on the Limited […]


Someone on FT86club started a steel appreciation thread, and since I didn’t realize that anyone else knew that grey/silver is the best colour for any car, I am excited to contribute this image. I have absolutely zero regrets. Blue in some lights. Grey in others. Plain and boring to many.  Clean and simple to those that matter.  If I ever […]


Maybe… The 2017 Model is getting closer, and I’m struggling with my car life direction.  Now two years and a mere 12000km into modern 86 life, and I have very few complaints with my car… but I always imagine that it could be better. A couple weeks ago I took the car out to our local “road course” for the […]

FS: 2015 Scion FRS

I’ve been working my ass off, and often finding myself in crowds that don’t give my lowly 200hp ZN6 any respect at all. It has been a bit of a downer. The end result is often that I find myself awake late at night with a bottle of blue, browsing for a Corvette, or a Porsche… or anything else that […]

A Works “Race” Car

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3 thoughts on “A Works “Race” Car

  • Nathan Bartley

    How much experience do you have driving the higher hp options out there? I am definitely in agreement that HP is more often than not, the holy grail of mediocre drivers… However, there is something to be said for a driving experience that doesn’t leave you, wanting, in any area.

    I want to be engaged and thrilled in every aspect of the drive, and part of that is the fun of stabbing the throttle down the straight, getting a nice push into the seat, and hearing a screaming exhaust note. A balanced chassis, great feedback, stable braking, instant throttle response, and enough power to make hitting the gas a measured skill rather than a consequence free stab. In my experience cars in 3000lb range, with about 300 hp seem to hit this balance just about perfectly. I have yet to drive a lotus, but imagine it only gets better as you shed the weight.

    Nothing kills the experience more than banging on the steering wheel down the straight screaming “COME ON YOU PIG!!!”

    While it is glorious to hang on tight while a 500hp 911 turbo rockets you down the road, it is definitely the definition of excessive.

    To me the answer has always been Cayman… here is to another 10 years of saving up 🙁

  • Robert

    You have no idea the lust I have for this car. These and the Gazoo Racing/TOM’S Spirit 86. All about that minimal, but effective mod life.

  • Q Osborne Post author

    Nathan your comment got stuck in my spam filter. Happy to see you here! I’ll agree with your numbers – 300hp, 3000lb, and I think it scales down pretty well. 200hp, 2000lbs? Hell yes.

    I don’t have the same experience with higher HP cars that I do with lightweights, and I do feel like more HP adds a whole new dimension to driving… but for me, I often find that power is a distraction from other aspects of driving, but when behind the wheel personally, and when talking with others about their driving experiences.