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Mini Tec Visit

Date: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Time: 8:00 AM
Place: One of the 38 quadrillion Waffle Houses in the CSRA
Attending: David Adcock, Brian & Donna Bogardus, Don & Kay Boltz, Larry Garner, Karol & Dennis Mason, Trudy & Hal Scott, Tom Varallo and guest Jacques Fournier.

We had ten people and seven cars converge on the breakfast spot to partake in their morning vittles. After everyone settled their bills we gathered for the drivers meeting in the parking lot. It was here that we learned the Boltzes were not going to eat breakfast with us, but were supposed to be coming for the drive. Dennis dragged out a copy of the roster and Tom gave them a call to ask what their ETA was. They told him 8 minutes and he requested 7 because everyone was ready to get rolling.

Everyone wasn’t really ready though. At this point Larry decided to ride with David instead of both driving separate cars, so they drove across the street to drop Larry’s car off. Tom and Jacques thought that sounded cool too, but neither wanted to not drive nor wanted to decide by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock, so both drove themselves. Then Tom decided he needed some money, so he drove across the street to use the ATM in the Circle K. Not long after Tom returned, and 15 minutes after the call, the Boltzes arrived and the caravan departed.

Brian had 2 different routes planned, one more or less directly to Mini Tec, the other with a slight detour that allowed for a visit to “Georgia’s Stonehenge”, which one we took depended on how well we did on time getting to Elberton, GA. About half the group had never been the Guidestones and were interested in seeing them, so knowing that, we didn’t lollygag as much as usual at the two intermediate stops which allowed us to make the additional stop there. Most times when we have made a visit to the Georgia Guidestones we have the place to ourselves, but today the parking area and beyond was full. There were a couple of families in rental cars and a Boy Scout Troop also wandering the grounds reading the engravings on tall slabs of granite. After about 15 minutes of trying to read Sanskrit we had had our fill of mystical messages and high-tailed it the last 20 miles to the day’s real destination.

Thirteen years ago a sorcerer and his apprentice thought the 1500 lb. original Mini Cooper needed more than 60HP and figured out a way to put an 180HP VTEC motor in the front. A couple years ago they thought that maybe some of that Honda wizardry, in the form of the 250 HP V-6, would be a good fit for the Miata.

A half mile down a non-descript road in a non-descript small north Georgia town, horsepower magic happens. Norm and BJ welcomed our group with open arms. They had a couple of Miatas sitting there with the hoods up, revealing the goodness that is a more than twice the stock horsepower in a very nicely put together package. Right next to the NB Miata in the shop was a display of most of the components of the kit that will convert your Miata into a Super Fast Miata. And maybe even more importantly, they had cookies and soft drinks for us.

We spent the next hour or so wandering the shop and grounds looking at everything from rusty Mini body shells in the back to fiberglass Mini flip up front clips that accommodate the Honda VTEC motors. A full machine shop that fabricates the all the custom kit parts to Norm’s Miata bottom pan with a full welded roll cage and V-6 motor that is in the process of becoming a dune buggy/sand rail thing.

BJ offered up rides in their NA Miata with a 280HP Acura CLS motor. Dennis was the only one brave enough to take him up on it. Not brave in the sense that BJ was a bad driver, but more in the way of once you tasted that power you might have to open up your wallet for the several grand it will take to acquire it. After we had sucked them dry of stories of builds pasts and builds to come we asked for a lunch recommendation. Well, we were told, if you have to eat in Royston, the Bar H BBQ was the only place to do it and it was only about a mile away.

Not only to the guys at Mini Tec stand behind their engine conversion kits 100%, they also stand behind their restaurant recommendations too, we know, because as our group was finishing up our meal, who should walk in, but…

3 comments to Mini Tec Visit

  • Larry Garner

    Great write-up. I enjoyed being able to ride for a change and thanks to David, I really liked the way his car rode – you can tell it has upgrades. The trip was almost flawless, a good overcast so no sun to burn our heads, and just the right temp for going topless with a bit of heat at the feet; the only bad was a slight drizzle about the time we finished dining (does anyone have any decent bbq?) and for a few miles back toward home. Oh, and sometimes you should just trust the GPS.

    Thanks to Brian and Donna for making this one happen.

  • Anonymous

    Dennis, Jacques & I had a great time!
    Thanks Brian and Donna for setting this up!

    Our first time seeing Georgia Guidestones……

    Mini-Tec was fun and man are those engines beautiful. Jacques is definitely interested in upgrading – if he can afford it, someday.