A 1999 Mazda Miata MX-5 is the latest car donated to The Piston Foundation to go up for a charity auction on ‘Bring a Trailer’, a digital auction platform.
The auction began two days ago on October 23, and ends on October 30. See things for yourself at bringatrailer.com. 100 percent of the proceeds, including the buyer’s fee, is set to go to The Piston Foundation scholarship program.
The two previously auctioned vehicles were a 1973 Datsun 240Z and a 1960 Willys Wagon. They were both sold for a total of $154,240, creating scholarships for 27 aspiring technicians.
The sale of the Miata will create several more scholarships for 2023 as it goes to an end.
Who donated the 1999 Mazda Miata MX-5?
Car owner and Piston Foundation Founders Club member Harvey Siegel, of Long Valley, New Jersey., donated his prized race car for this cause. “I am a big believer in chasing one’s dreams and, as such, I hope this contribution will help these kids pursue their car-fueled dreams the way I once did on the Bonneville Salt Flats,” he said.
Siegel is an accomplished racer, known for resurrecting VIRginia International Raceway and developing New Jersey Motorsports Park.
President of The Piston Foundation made the following acknowledgement:
“We are thrilled to have received this donation from Harvey Siegel. The provenance of this car can’t be duplicated. It’s a piece of land speed history.”
The car was built by Ryan Pilla of Car Doctor Garage in Water Mill, New York,. The car is top-notch and ready to keep racing, according to Siegel.
The Miata racer’s drivetrain, chassis and suspension had been modified to reach high speeds on the Salt Flats, with the naturally-aspirated Bonneville engine producing upwards of 290 horsepower, more than double the output of traditional Miata engines. The highly modified inline-four Bonneville engine was later replaced with a 1.8-liter powerplant as part of the the car’s conversion for Spec Miata competition.
Accordingly, Siegel’s goal was to set a land speed record on their rookie attempt, with Luke his son, in the driver’s seat. After an immense amount of engineering and preparation, the mission was accomplished.
The car, in fully-restored Spec Miata configuration, was tested at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, by NASCAR Xfinity Series racer Parker Kligerman, also a former Spec Miata Racer. He said he loves these Miatas, after driving it on the 1.5-mile race track and on LRP’s Autocross course.
The reason he gave was that they’re so nimble and light, and that’s what makes them one of the most popular race cars in the world, and especially in the U.S.
According to him, the buyer can either race it in Spec Miata or swap the engine and go for a new record at Bonneville.
He thanked The Piston Foundation and Lime Rock Park for supporting future automotive restoration technicians.
Furthermore, it is stated that the buyer will also receive the Bonneville engine, the aerodynamic wheel covers and other components used to set the “rookie” record. The Bonneville engine received fresh bearings, rings and gaskets in preparation for sale.
This car, the Miata, will be featured at MiataCon at Lime Rock Park on October 27-28, just as the auction ends.