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Tuner Evo SoCal ’19 Spotlight: 1995 Mazda Miata M

Aaron Ngo’s Merlot Metallic, never-say-die, first-gen roadster (and its trailer)

Mar 1, 2019

Thieves suck, especially when you’re trying to build a project car. Aaron Ngo from Northern California knows this all too well; bitten by the modding bug around 2013, he started piecing together this Merlot Metallic 1995 Mazda Miata M-Edition that we gravitated to at Tuner Evo SoCal ’19. Limited to just 3,500 units, the M-Edition came with the unique exterior color, 15-in. BBS wheels, Nardi shift knob, Torsen LSD, and other perks from the factory. When his pride and joy got jacked in ‘16, he was at a San Jose show and his NA chassis roadster parked outside, at the time in a less advanced state of being modified – slammed, on a different set of Work Meister S1 rims and hardtop, and with minor interior mods.

Unbeknownst to Aaron, at the time Miata hardtop thefts were pretty common in the San Jose area. Assuming all was lost, he filed police reports and got out an IG post hoping someone would recognize the car and help him track it down. The next morning SJPD found the car, mostly intact but missing many of the parts that made it stand out, like the wheels, hardtop, a Nardi steering wheel, shift knob, and others.

2019 Mazda Miata
$32,345 Base Model (MSRP) 26/34 MPG Fuel Economy
Front.JPG Photo 2/12   |   Front

After making a morning post to update that the car was found, Aaron’s friends decided to create a GoFundMe, as well as sell t-shirts, to help replace parts that wouldn’t be replaced even with insurance. From the GoFundMe and the post, Ngo was able to source another hardtop to keep the car dry, because at the time it was parked outside in the RV-style access at his parents’ house.

Seeing how people contributed to the car after losing it made Aaron realize he shouldn’t just give up on his Mazda project. So he decided to rebuild it and come back harder than before. The car we saw at Tuner Evo is what the ’95 Miata has become since then, now with 100 percent more stanced trailer (at TE, the hitched flatbed was showing off the roadster’s hood, allowing everyone views of the engine bay in the process). Hooray for happy endings.

Hood trailer.JPG Photo 3/12   |   Hood Trailer

TUNER EVO SOCAL 2019 SPOTLIGHT
1995 MAZDA MIATA M-EDITION

OWNER:
Aaron Ngo
INSTAGRAM:
@Merlow.aaron

ENGINE:
Custom turbo kit self fabricated
- Manifold
- Intercooler plumbing
- Power steering relocation
Volvo turbo
Protégé valve cover
Garage Star valve cover bolt kit
HKS blow-off valve
Tial wastegate
Custom coolant reroute
Garage Star oil cap
Garage Star cooling panel
Garage Star wiper cowl
Garage Star brake master cylinder brace
Oil catch can
Mishimoto radiator w/ dual fans

ENGINE MANAGEMENT:
MegaSquirt MS2 PNP

FOOTWORK & CHASSIS:
Godspeed Mono RS coilover suspension

WHEELS & TIRES:
Work Meister S1 2pc, front: 15 x 9-in. et -25, rear: 15 x 10-in. et -38
Maxxis VR1 tires

EXTERIOR:
Hard top w/ security brackets
Rocket Bunny fender flares
Garage Star fender flare hardware kit
Big Country Labs wing w/ custom trunk seam mount
Custom functional low-profile LED headlights
Hood wastegate exit
Custom splitter
Custom diffuser
Garage Star side skirts
Garage Star tow hook front
Custom tow hitch w/7-pin RV style connector
Project Kics r40 lug nuts
StopTech Trophy billet big-brake kit

INTERIOR:
Garage Star seat rails
Memory Fab carbon seat
Sony head unit
Garage Star door panels
NRG shorty hub
Renown steering wheel
Wrapped gauge cover
Stainless climate control knobs
Rev limiter gauge faces

Bob Hernandez
749 Articles

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