Track Dog Racing
The Miata of the Month from

September 2009

Erik Hansen and his 1993 LE

Congratulations to Erik on the selection of his restored 1993 LE Miata as the September Miata of the Month!

The 93 LE was a limited edition production car, with only 1500 sequence numbered made for sale in the United States. The car is now a sought after collector’s item. The 93 LE was supplied with commemorative books produced by Mazda, numbered key fob and a letter to the owner from Mazda North America.

A 93 LE is easily recognized with the combination Brilliant Black exterior with deep red leather interior. The model has nose air dam, trunk spoiler, and rear skirt spoiler. The 93 LE was shipped with “everything”; ABS, power mirrors, power windows, cruise control, air condition, leather interior and this model introduced the superlight BBS alloy wheels.

The 93 LE was a predecessor to the R-package (produced in 94-97) and was the first Miata produced with lowered suspension, Bilstein shocks, limited slip differential and modified suspension.

My 93 LE has the sequence number 541 of 1500 and was initially sold to a female real-estate manager in Florida. She had the car for six years and used to park the car with the roof down in all kind of weather. In 1999 the car was for sale and an importer from Norway bought it. Since then, six different owners have enjoyed the car in the western parts of the country. Last July, I found the car for sale, bought it and drove it home to Oslo in beautiful summer weather.

Leopold was in good ”original shape”. The car was relatively complete and with very few modifications. The odometer showed 145,000 miles. The suspension and many other areas were covered with rust, but luckily it was only on the surface. Some parts were missing, and some of them should be a challenge to recover; the tonneau (red) boot cover (red), floor mats (red with Miata logo), red seatbelts, set of books, MSSS cover, rear springs and some other parts. Due to wear, I also had to replace; steering wheel (leather), combination switch, shift knob (Nardi leather), MSSS unit, seat cover (red leather), carpets (red), Bilstein shocks, soft top and several service parts. It took quite some detective work and many hours on internet to find all the missing items.

I decided to dismantle the car totally. Clean, sandblast and powder coat the suspension parts, overhaul the engine and repaint the body. The interior was replaced and recreated to its original look. Some time and effort has been used to study the special suspension details on the 93 LE. Due to a design error, Leopold has got different bumpstops than the ones supplied from Mazda. The sport suspension makes the 93 LE one inch lower than the original NA. Bilstein shocks provided additional handling characteristics unique to this limited model. The factory bumpstops however were too long and the 93 LE used to “ride the bumpstops”. I have installed shorter bumpstops on Leopold to avoid this.

The factory stereo was the MSSS (Mazda Sensory Sound System) designed for the Miata by Pioneer. MSSS consist of 10 speakers including headrest speakers and ”thumpers” in the seatback. MSSS, also known as ”Silver stereo” controls the sound according to the speed and different modes depending on roof up/down. After tracking down four of them, I now have three functioning and good looking units!

A full tonneau was standard on the 93 LE. Mine was missing, but I got one as a gift from an unlucky LE owner in Florida. His car was destroyed in a car fire, but the tonneau was home in the garage. He happened to have a MSSS unit as well. This is one of several examples of good help I have got from Miata enthusiasts.

My aftermarket leather seats were worn out, so I had to replace them. Some years ago, a company in Canada produced some very nice seat covers for the 93 LE. An LE owner in Ohio bought a set, but never installed it, so I got an offer to buy it together with some brand new floor mats. I did not hesitate.

A German company, I. L. Motorsport, is one of the main suppliers of MX5/Miata parts in Europe. By some mysterious reason, they had factory new red carpets for sale even thought the MX5 has never been sold with red interior in Europe. So, the carpets in Leopold are new, the same are the Canadian made leather seats. A red canvas soft-top with glass window was installed, instead of the original top in black vinyl.

Despite the non original bumpstops and red soft-top, Leopold is as the car was when leaving the factory in 1993.

It took me about 500 hours to restore Leopold. The car is one of seven European 93 LE registered in Miata 1993 Limited Edition Registry.

Erik Hansen

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