Better Canyon Car? Sketchy R53 or [un]Beat Miata?

Which would you rather have for a canyon road? An R53 with a “unique” past and some upgrades, or a Miata which has done to the moon and back?

The FWD “Friend With [Title] Diabeetus” Mini

This Mini Cooper S started all bright eyed and bushy tailed as the rest, but after just two years and about 15k miles, it met what most people would consider (and they did) it’s end. It was brought back to life within a few months and went through 5 or 6 owners and auctions, a mileage inconsistency, and who knows what else before getting an upgraded supercharger pulley and what sounds like a good and proactive service:

new belt, cooler burning spark plugs, increased 330cc fuel injectors ( www.waymotorworks.com/02-06-cooper-s-r53/ ) and new air filter. While doing this, I replaced the oil pan gasket, oil dipstick o-ring, and the cam position o-ring (all prone to leak, so while it was oil less, decided to replace for peace of mind and to avoid oil leaks down the road. 

Advertisement

The [Obvious] Challenger Miata

“My friends say that I’m a thoughtful person.”

That’s what this Miata’s OkCupid profile would say. There aren’t too many miles on the odometer (actually shockingly few - 86k) and it’s clean, if not a bit boring. The BRG/tan interior combination is classy for it’s age and it’s about as unmolested as it gets in Miata-land.

Nature or Nurture?

So which would you have for your favorite road? The love to hate me and hate me to love me Mini Cooper S with a troubled youth and neck tattoo or the manicured hedge Miata? They’re both the same year, within $300 of each other, and California cars.

Share This Story