May 2015 – August 2018

Quick description

A project car I bought to in order to test my intellectual capacity and self determination through countless hours of hard work, tough decision making and many modifications.

The Challenge

  • Tracking down a 90’s Mazda Miata, with low miles, that came with a hardtop, working a/c, leather seats and is in pristine condition.
  • Finding happy medium between quality and cheap enough parts for a high school student to invest in, in order for them not to deteriorate shortly after installing.
  • Not getting overwhelmed and being content with only knowing so much/understanding that it is okay to ask for help.
  • Locating educated automotive professionals that were willing to tune a 30-year-old Japanese vehicle.

My Approach

  • Researching the market and finding what type of quality comes at which price.
  • Taking my time, taking pictures to refer to later and keeping track where every nut and bolt came from.
  • Design, sketch, scrap and scrounge together pieces of technology and pieces of hose or wire to turn them into parts required for a high horsepower car.
  • Calling around and acquiring prices for the closest locations that tuned modified JDM vehicles.

First Iterations

  • When it came to putting together my first mockups of the car, I quickly became aware of how many hoops I was going to have to jump through in order to get the final designs that I wanted. Eventually, I let more than a few ‘over-the-top’ features go or else I knew I would’ve been way over my head.
  • Most of my designs like the fitment of psi and water temperature gauges in the HVAC vents, the placement of the air intake far from the engine for proper cool circulation into the turbo, the Megasquirt Plug n Play 3 DIY-tuner, and a set of glossy black rims for better fitment all made their way into the first version.

Second Iterations

After contemplation I decided to go through with some of my wackier designs because after all I wanted to be creative and customize my project exactly to what my heart desired.
I decided to ditch my old cassette radio and wire in a new “Dual” radio with multiple new features that welcomes me with a “Gilad” sign and made the car feel more like its mine.
I also had some extra pieces that came with one of the kits I had bought online, that had colorful bits of water hosing and intercooler piping that I decided to add in to brighten up my engine bay.
Lastly, because It wasn’t way out of my budget, I decided to order myself a stainless brushed shifter and glue a Jamaican coin on top for a uniquely-modernized monotone feel.

Final Solution

The way this all began was through quite a simple idea but still a very intricate design. I set out to find and build myself a project of choice with one of a kind features crafted to my perfection. I was determined to create a satisfaction that could only be replicated through this exact user experience. This car wasn’t only a project for me, it was a way of expression. From being the pickiest person on earth and only wanting the extreme best for my self and my build, to understanding what will work in the most ideal way without stressing myself or my bank account too hard, the process of this project really taught me a lot about myself and how to further my design executions in future projects.