Moss Miata
The MX-5 Miata of the Month from

March 2002

Paul Moisse

Congratulations to Paul Moisse on the selection of his Miata as our March Miata of the Month!

My Miata...and why it should be Miata of the month. Well...I think it is unique because I race it in the winter when most Miatae get raced in the summer. Yup, that's right...winter. And winter rallies to boot! These are 500km+ endurance events where the roads are snow covered and the bumps are mean. The rallies take place throughout the night in some of the more remote parts of central Ontario. My Miata and I have made a pretty good team, coming in 5th and 7th in class on two events, in a series dominated by 4wd cars.

I thouroughly enjoy this car, it always keeps a grin on my face. Except when the nose of the crankshaft snapped off 3 days before I was off to Europe for 3 weeks! Being a 1990 vintage, we all know of the crankshaft problem...well, mine suffered that fate, except in the form of the bolt snapping off in the crank itself. So, with a trip to Europe coming up in a month, I decided I had nothing to lose, so I welded a new crank pulley right to the crank. This worked great until the thing snapped. Doh! Oh well...wasn't meant to last forever anyways. So while in Europe, I sourced a motor from John Suchak in Florida and now the car runs like a dream. I plan on continuing to beat it up on winter rallies, and take it to the track and autocrosses in the summer. I'm totally hooked on this car, and hope to get a slightly newer one at some point to run strictly as a summer car, and this one for the winter...a Miata as a winter beater, who would've guessed it?

My rallying started in my 1984 VW Rabbit, which was unreliable at the best of times. After one rally I had had enough of it's whining, so I threw the odometer and snow tires onto the Miata, welded up a hasty light bar, and off we went to run the Frostbite Rally and the Ontario Winter Rally on the same weekend. Bone stock. The car was great! Once I became comfortable with the rear drive, we had a blast. We kissed a couple snowbanks, but otherwise had a clean weekend. We had one big moment, at around 3:30 the second morning. We were trying to make up some time on a long straight stretch, that was fairly flat. The road had some snow on it, but wasn't at all deep. We were doing about 105 km/h and the car suddenly snaps to the right and I'm staring at the trees going by, thinking that this isn't right at all. With a little flick of the wheel, foot still fairly in it, the car corrected itself as quickly as is stepped out and we continued unscathed.

This year, our assault on the Yokohama Subaru Winter Rally Series involves a new skid plate under the motor, more lights and some hardcore adjustable suspension. On the first rally this year, the car was soaking up car eating frost heaves like they weren't there. The improvements haven't stopped there. For the next two events, the car gets more spring rate all around, and a two spring setup on the front end to help with the small washboard bumps.
After we're done rallyinig for the season, the car gets lowered, summer tires and we're off to autocross!!! Talk about versatility...

All in all...big fun, next event is March 1-2-3 weekend in Kingston Ontario.

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