James Barone Racing
The Miatas of the Month from

November 2011

Ron Mathews and his collection


Congratulations to Ron on the selection of his Miatas as the November Miatas of the Month!

It all started with a ride in a coworker’s car. The man had a 1996 Montego Blue Mazda Miata that he wanted to sell. He brought the car to work one day so Ron could look it over. Ron took it for a drive with the top down, and he was hooked! After just one ride, he had to have this car.

The year was 2000. Ron Mathews loved his new car. It was a 1996 Miata with 31,758 miles on it. He drove it everywhere, to work, to church, to the grocery store, even to the local hardware store. It was amazing how much you could do with that little sportscar! Then, he started racing the ’96 Miata at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) in Danville, Virginia, and at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia. He also took the Miata to The Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap in Tennessee.

It was at Deal’s Gap in 2008 where Ron saw his first 2005 MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata. This was the coolest car he had ever seen! It was like his ’96 Miata-only 4 times better. The 2005 MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata also had a turbo on it, and he loved speed!

In the fall of 2010, Ron began to search the internet for a 2005 Velocity Red Mica MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata. It had to be perfect-no accidents or dents. It had to be stock. It had to have low mileage, and the price had to be right. He searched for months. Then in May of 2011, one popped up in Alton, Illinois. After making hasty travel plans, Ron and I drove over 800 miles from York, Pennsylvania to Alton, IL, just outside of St Louis to check out this car. It was perfect and beautiful. There were 32,255 miles on the car. Ron had to have it.

May 14, 2011, Ron drove home the car of his dreams. Shortly after getting his 2005 MX-5 Miataspeed Miata back to PA, my three year old grandson, Kai, saw the car for the first time. His eyes got big, his mouth fell open, and he said, “Lightning McQueen!” For anyone that has not ever seen the movie, Cars, Lightning McQueen is the red car that is featured in the movie. Thus, Ron Mathews’ new purchase, his 2005 Velocity Red Mica MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata became known as Lightning.

Ron Mathews was a happy man.

A few weeks later, however, he began searching the internet for a 2005 Lava Orange Mica MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata. This car was rare, only 396 of them ever made. At this point, he was not sure that he liked the color, but he searched anyway. Then, in July of 2011, at Deal’s Gap in Tennessee, he got to see not one, not two, but five Lava Orange Mica MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miatas!

Ron loved the color. He was already sold on the car. His search intensified. He walked around all day, every day, saying “I want an orange one.” He checked the internet three times every day looking for the next dream car. He found it in early September.

On September 22, 2011, Ron flew to Austin, Texas to pick up his 2005 Lava Orange Mica MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata with 22, 800 miles on it. He drove it over 1,400 miles back to PA, stopping along the way at Deal’s Gap to try it out.

Ron says that this last car completes his collection, but I don’t know. He is already checking the internet for a 2005 Titanium Gray Mica MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata. I guess it is like he says,” Boost is addictive.” I guess having three Miatas makes him a collector. All I know is that he really needs to build a bigger garage!

- Judy Leckrone

Previous Miata of the Month Winners

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