|The Monthly Newsletter of the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association
Copyright 2007 - Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association - Sacramento, CA 95662
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By Robin George
I know most of you would rather be running all over the countryside making your wonderful vehicles squeal along with your
passengers. However, in December we have the awesome responsibility of electing officers for the year 2008 and continuing this
fine club. For your information, I am posting the sections of the bylaws that cover the elections of officers. The board shall
appoint a nominating committee shortly and I want you the members to think seriously about stepping forward. Do not be shy.
I used to be very shy about speaking before a mob…err group. However, someone has to do it. Might as well be you.
Article 5 Election of Officers
Section 5.01 NOMINATIONS BY COMMITTEE. Each year, the SAMOA Board shall appoint a nominating committee. The
nominating committee shall select qualified candidates, either by itself or in accordance with Section 6.02 for election to the
Board as Officers. The chair of the nominating committee shall make its report before notice of the voting meeting is sent out.
This report must be published no later than 2 months in advance of the election.
Section 5.02. NOMINATIONS FROM THE FLOOR. Names may be placed in nomination at any time up to the actual casting of
ballots at the annual business meeting.
Section 6.03 ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE OF OFFICERS. Officers shall be elected by written (including Absentees) ballot,
cast at the annual business meeting, to hold office during the following twelve (12) months. Each Officer shall hold office until
expiration of the term for which elected. The Officers shall be elected for a one (1) year term. No Officer may hold the same
office for more than two (2) consecutive twelve (12) month terms.
Article 10 Amendments
New bylaws may be adopted or these bylaws may be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the
entitled voting members present at any duly called business meeting of members. The application or effect of any bylaw may be
suspended or waived by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entitled voting members present at any duly called
meeting of members.
If you have anyone in mind let us know. We can always ask. However, I am sure you do not want just anyone to step forward.
We must keep this club moving forward and ever evolving by doing the things we like to do. I have some solutions in mind but
let us first see what happens. I will not bring this subject up again until November, I promise.
On a different subject Jeanne and I went on the Blackhawk run last weekend. It was an excellent run over some great Delta
roads. We even were able to take the Ryer Island Ferry. Check out the photo section of the web page for the pictures of the
trip. Next coming up is the Redwood trip. I am looking forward to this trip in three ways. First is the trip along highway 36 (4
hours of twisties on excellent road). Several groups representing various driving techniques will traverse the road but will stop
several times to catch their breaths and allow others to catch up (hint). Second is the camaraderie at the hotel as we run the
road over again in our minds with our mouths and a glass of wine. Third is nature’s fantastic display of the Redwoods. It is going
to be some gorgeous scenery and great photo ops. Do not miss this one.
By Mike DeLaurentis
Boys and Girls, it’s time to play SAMOA’s version of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”. In this version you get to nominate someone for
office. Sound like fun? Read on. As you know we hold annual elections in December and as usual most folks are reluctant to
throw their own hat in the ring even though they are qualified and interested. So you can do your favorite club a huge favor by
talking to a qualified and interested friend (actually this step is optional) and then nominate them for office.
What does it take to be a SAMOA officer? First of all you don’t even have to own a Miata. You need to have a few hours per
month to attend a board meeting and to do a little emailing, you have to enjoy the club and want to improve it for your fellow
SAMOANs. That’s about it. Pretty easy, eh?
So go ahead and nominate someone whom you think will do a good job and remember – advising them before hand is optional.
Blackhawk Museum Event
By Jeanne George
The trip began with people arriving at the Starbuck’s in West Sacramento. The weather was ideal and allowed for gathering
around a café table in the sun. By drivers meeting time of 8:20 about 10 people were together at the café table and more in
the parking lot. We joined the parking lot group and Jack Parker started the introductions and route instructions. There were
25 people in 14 Miatas and Ron in his Honda S2000. Included were new members on their first event, a man from the BAMA
club, a couple from the Delta Club, and two young children out with their Dads for a nice drive.
The group departed with Robin and me acting as Sweep Car. We headed out to travel the back roads through the Delta and
towards the Blackhawk Museum. We crossed Cache Slough by way of the Ryer Island ferry. The first group of ten Miatas drove
onto the ferry while the rest of us waited and watched the process. The second group of five arrived along with other vehicles.
A young lady from Cal Trans positioned the Miatas. Despite the strong wind and stronger current her husband at the helm did an
outstanding job of navigating a smooth departure and arrival. We headed down more great roads, crossed multiple bridges and
stopped at a Rio Vista McDonalds, much to the delight of the younger two.
After the break we were on our way traveling roads past vineyards, orchards, and many fabulous homes and landscaping, through
the woods, a short time on the nightmare called “freeway” and arrived in Danville. Then Jack gave instructions to park the
vehicles in front of the fountain. Miatas were parked helter skelter so Robin who is used to dealing with kids on his school bus,
treated the drivers in kid fashion and told them where to park around a large circle for display in front of the museum. Soon Ron
began helping direct them also. After making drivers get back in their cars and moving them, it was agreed it looked much
better and made for a great photo op. Pictures are posted on the website in the photo album.
The group headed to restaurants in the mall area that offered a variety of food options. Meanwhile I told Robin to park his Miata
in the center of the circle for photos. Afterwards I convinced Jack to do the same thing. Both Jack and I had bought new
cameras the day before this event and we used them. Robin, Jack and I headed for Mexican food; I was ready for a margarita.
At Jack’s appointed time the group arrived for a docent tour. The two docents had many stories to tell about the cars and also
included a guessing game. Little did they know that the car mentality of this group was above average which resulted in many
questions the docents weren’t able to answer. After the tour, the security staff unlocked the doors to the balcony and we
were treated to a view from above. Many pictures were taken of the Miatas in the circle below. Many people were wandering
around the area and looking at our cars. We saw a young man standing by the driver side and lean in, then moved to the next
Miata and did the same thing. Then I noticed his girlfriend was taking pictures of him and the Miatas.
The group split up and headed different ways home. About 9 of us followed Jack along the delta roads for an ice cream stop in
Walnut Grove. From there we all headed home. The conversations should leave Jack with no doubt that the group enjoyed this
event and his three trips to find good roads. The group thanks you Jack for organizing this event.
By Adi & Parvin Damania
On August 15 around 4:30 pm a UCD Primate Center worker, Roger Dale, was returning home on his 1995 Harley (to save on gas
vs his car said his wife of 22 years) from Davis to Woodland on Road #98. Miss Lisa Brown was returning from her job at Raley's in
Woodland to her home in Davis. Roger, 52, was riding behind an asphalt truck when he suddenly decided to over-take just as he
was entering Woodland. Nobody knows why, but he collided head on with the Corolla of Miss Brown. Roger died on the spot.
Miss Brown is at UCD med Center with over 20 fractures and may lose her leg. The traffic was diverted to a road that was just
graveled in the morning. Unfortunately I take my Miata to work on Wednesdays. Parvin and I go to and return from UCD on
County Road #98. We were returning home around 5:30 pm when we were sent on the diversion because of the accident and
got hit by a stone from a car going in the opposite direction. I had a bad feeling the second we were on the gravel road and my
first instinct was to turn back. But I was a bit low on gas. (I later found out when the needle is on "E" I still have 1.6 gallons left).
There was a sound like a rifle shot and I knew at once that we had been "hit". The Miata OEM (Made in Japan) windshield
developed a crack that got bigger and bigger by the time we reached home 10 minutes later. So next morning I called my
insurance lady and she arranged for Triumph Autoglass of Roseville to come and replace the windshield glass on "Blu Belle" at my
work place. I had a $95 deductible on the windshield and the total bill was $325. Now we have a "Made in China" (where else?)
tinted glass with a sun band on the top that matches the car color. We had had another stone hit on the same road around the
same spot last year but that was no bigger than a penny and was nicely repaired by Davis Autoglass. But not this time. The car
has been sitting in the garage since last week. We are too afraid to drive it in case we have another stone hit. Luckily the
previous owner has covered our headlights and parking lights with a plastic stick on protection, so they are safe. The Miata is a
low car and these country roads in Yolo county are notorious for stone hits. I wonder what are other club member's experiences
in this department?
By Mike DeLaurentis
When in Moab, UT earlier this year we met Dick Myers of the Miata Owners of Lass Vegas (MOOV) club. While talking about our
respective clubs and the roads we have available Dick admitted that the roads around Las Vegas weren't the greatest for sports
cars. He said when they want to do some fast cornering they go out to the interstate and drive around the clover leaf a few
A Series of Short Articles on Trouble Shooting
By Adi Damania
At the specific request of the SAMOA Newsletter editor, I have begun to write this series of short articles on trouble shooting in
case your Miata one day refuses to budge. That the Miata is so well-built that it needs no major repairs if maintained correctly, is a
moot point here.
They say only the horse knows where the pain lies, but it is the rider who insists on talking to the vet. The car driver (aka
motorist) in a parallel situation will sometimes jump straight from the symptom to the cause and then to the cure. Quite
unintentionally he can sometimes mislead the mechanic totally. A good mechanic, and there a few left, will listen politely to your
diagnosis, then methodically carry out a few tests himself. Let me give you an actual example: when the trunk of my Lexus would
not open by depressing the button below the driver’s arm-rest, I immediately thought it was a malfunctioning button or a
breakage of the connection between the button and the trunk release mechanism and told the mechanic so in so many words.
Actually, to my considerable embarrassment, it turned out to be a discretely placed switch in the glove compartment that a front
seat passenger (which in this case shall go nameless) had pushed to “off” position thus preventing the trunk from being opened
without the key. Cost of repair: no charge! And that was when I expected hundreds of $$$ in labor & parts!
To a wannabe mechanic who has absorbed the principles of ignition and fuel injection purely by heresy, hocus pocus and
unfocused discussion, and garage gossip, trouble shooting is purely a game a chance with the poor car owner putting up the
stake money. But to the mechanic who really knows what goes inside and around an engine, trouble-solving can lead to moments
of pure exhilaration and triumph.
There should be a method and sound logic behind any series of tests to be carried out on a car in search of the real cause of the
problem. This sometimes calls for a little self-discipline. Let me illustrate with a purely hypothetical example. Say you take your
Miata in on a Monday morning at 8:00AM complaining of starting problems. The mechanic found the gaps on the spark-plugs too
wide and the insulator noses on them badly fouled. The mechanic is very tempted to just change the set of 4 spark-plugs with
new NGKs and allow the owner fuming at the delay to go on his merry way. The very next day the owner rings in, fuming even
more strongly now, saying the car won’t start again! This time the mechanic discoveries that the fuel pump had a punctured
diaphragm, but it is too late to regain customer confidence. The outcome is that the mechanic is dubbed a bungler and his
garage a three ring circus. This then, is the reason for carrying out a full test procedure. OK, I will go into detail of the most
common problems encountered by that unfortunate Miata owner (not you, of course) whose little car has let him down just
before a major SAMOA event: Ron’s Thunder Hill races. So long from shady Woodland, till next time.
Match The Car With The Driver
By Ron Petrich
The Sporting Scene
By Jack Parker
The results from rounds 9 and 10 the SCCA Sacramento Valley Region are in and it was a great weekend for our club. We were
represented very well in autocross competition on August 18 and 19 at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.
H Stock is the story of the weekend. Round 9, August 18, saw the usual battle between the top contenders take on a new, or
returning if you will, look. Returning from wherever, in a new car, was a sometimes competitor this year and this certainly
changed things in the class. After the first run the 99 Subie as in the lead by by 8/10 of second over our own Rod Gonzales in his
Kia Rio. Run two saw Rod improving his first run but left him still back by only 4/10. The newcomer in his Escort came back with
a 47.583 to take the lead from the Subie and put Rod in third. On run three the Subie improved his time by 7/10 with Rod not
improving. Everyone improved their times on the fourth run with the Escort getting down to 47.056 for first, the Subie came
down to scratch time of 46.883 but one of those darn orange things jumped in front and gave its life for a one second penalty
and Rod tried valiantly by lowering his final run time by a second to 48.647 placing him third. A great seesaw battle took place all
On the Street Tire front, member Darry Huckabay was up against two very formidable machines in the form of a 90 Corvette and
a 97 993 Porsche. Both of these cars usually do very well in the Street Tire class. But on this day the battle was between the
diminutive 07 MX-5 and the Porsche. After the first run the Porsche had a lead of 7/10 of a second. On Darryl’s second run he
pulled off an indexed time of 36.834 to take the lead which the Porsche couldn’t counter. Neither the Porsche or the MX-5
could improve on their times so the standings remained the same. However, the fourth run saw Darryl hammering the Porsche
by dropping his time by yet another full second and the Porsche couldn’t stand the heat and ran his second slowest time giving
the win to Darryl.
In the Street Touring Sport 2 class, the competition decided that pouring cement or some other such home improvement
project would keep Andrew Melicharek home for the entire weekend and making it a fairly relaxed event for Jack Parker. Jack
took first both days in a relatively non competitive event. This circumstance gave the season points title to Jack. Enough said.
Sunday, August 19, saw some exciting racing in H Stock between the Subie and Rod’s Kia Cinco Sport Wagon. Yes Rod, it’s a
sport wagon. Rod wasted no time today. He took command of the event from the get go. On the first run Road opened a full
second lead on the Subie, 47.3 to 48.3. Not satisfied with the one second lead, Rod brought that time down to 46.3 and the
Subie answered with a 47.7, but still in second. Third runs saw Rod again lowering his class leading time by 4/10 and the Subie
came down a full second but still in second place with a 46.744. On the fourth run the Subaru came down 2/10 to 46.588 but it
was Rods third run of 46.181 that stood today as the top time. This result puts Rod just 10 points behind for the class
championship with 400 more points at stake on September 1 and 2. It will go down to the wire on the final two days of the
The Street Tire class saw the MX-5 of Darryl Huckaby again taking on Porsche. But this time two of these great cars came out to
play. A Cayman S joined the 993 from yesterday to take on the mighty MX-5. Run 1 saw Darryl pull off an indexed 36.4 and the
two Porsche doing 35.6 and 35.1. Darryl had a little work to do. On the second run the leading Porsche, the Caymen lowered
his time by 50/1000 of a second, the 993 lowered his time by 2/10 and unfortunately Darryl couldn’t improve.
Third run saw the Caymen again going lower by 7/10, the 993 not improving and Darryl dropping his time to 35.7 which was a
great improvement but kept him in third. Darryl’s final run was an indexed 35.641. The Caymen couldn’t improve but his top
time of 34.536 was too much for the rest of the field. The driver of this car has been class champion a few times and is very
good. Second went to the 993 with a time of 35.501, beating Darryl by 11/100 of a second. Darryl stands fourth in points and
looks like to be in trophy contention for the year.
Come cheer these drivers on September 1 and 2 in Stockton. The H Stock race is going to be fun to watch.
Treasure Trove News
By Jeanne George
WELCOME to new members joining in August:
Eric and Ann Vance
Ben and Ronnie Patterson
Memberships Expiring on September 1:
Counter, Margaret and Toby
Emelio, John and Merril
Memberships Renewed in August:
Fred and Farrah Sneathern
Jean and Mac Wright
Shelia and John Souza
SAMOA Club Picnic Celebrates 17 years of Fun
By Jeanne George
On Sunday, September 30, we will honor our Club’s Birthday with a catered BBQ lunch at the Windwalker Vineyard. The new
owners of Windwalker have graciously allowed us the use of their facilities. In addition to the wine tasting and delicious lunch, a
bocce ball tournament will be offered for those interested. Or you can buy a bottle of Windwalker wine and sit in the shade
while watching the activities. The winery is located at 7360 Perry Creek Road, in Somerset (530 620-4054).
Incahoots Restaurant from Plymouth will cater the event. The menu will be sliced tri-tip on a French roll, green salad, potato
salad, soda, water, and of course dessert.
The day will begin with an organized drive to the winery (to be led once again by Ron Petrich in the stealth S2000-bodied Miata –
it really is his old silver turbo under all that black paint - honest), or you can drive there on your own. The drive will depart from
the McDonald’s parking lot at Sunrise and White Rock in Rancho Cordova at 10:00 AM sharp. We will travel at a “comfortable for
all” pace over smooth twisties. The drive will take about 50 minutes. Lunch is planned for noon.
Last year, the “no shows” cost the Club. This year the BOO decided to set the price at $15 per person, which will be refunded
at registration on the day of the event. Each active membership qualifies for two ticket refunds.
RSVP for this event is required by September 20. Contact Jeanne George at email@example.com to place ticket orders or call
916 359-2627. Send checks payable to SAMOA and mail to 1864 Bridgecreek Dr., Sacramento, CA 95833. Checks must be
received by September 28th.
If you pay for tickets, but find yourself unable to attend, please notify me to cancel your attendance by September 28th for a
refund. No refund after the caterer is given the final headcount on September 28.
Kids Say The Darnest Things!
By Adi Damania
A southern man in a bible belt state was driving with his three young children in scorching heat in slow evening rush-hour traffic
when a shapely woman in the Miata convertible ahead of them stood up and waved to everyone. She was totally topless! As the
dad was reeling from the shock of the frontal nudity, he heard his 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Dad look! That lady isn't
wearing a seat belt!"
By Ron Petrich
Gundi Bechtold… Ray Chermak… Toby Counter… Adi Damania… Mike DeLaurentis… Helen Delaurentis… Deidre DeNuzzo… Elanora
Drake… Gerald Garner… Kenn LaFler… David Lask… Michael Sipe… Dan Spengler… Richard Steele… Jim Stewart… Vince Weis…
There may be many more, but I have only heard from ½ the club. IF you have not sent me your birthday, AND I find out what it
is, AND you show up at the next meeting, be prepared for a little surprise.
Amazingly Simple Home Remedies
By Jeanne George
1. When choking on an ice cube, simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove
2. Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold while you chop.
3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.
4. To treat high blood pressure: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins.
Remember to use a timer.
5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the
6 If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you will be afraid to cough.
7. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move
and does, use the duct tape.
8. When confused remember, everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES. NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR
FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS.
Driving With Headlights
Driving on Yolo county’s grid roads has made me acutely aware of the importance and safety of driving with your headlights on
even during daylight hours. This issue attains significance especially for low and relatively small sportscars such as the Miata. This
very morning, a truck that had just joined the Hwy 113 at Covell Blvd. in Davis drifted into the fast lane (or No. 1 lane) where
Parvin and I were in our 1999 Miata “Blu Belle” going at about 70 mph. Only a swerve to the left (sending the left wheels on to
the grass) and a long blast on the horn prevented the truck driver from coming any further to the left and hitting us.
These past two weeks (Aug. 15 to 30) has been extremely accident prone in Yolo county and in my experience at least a couple
of these might have been avoided if the vehicles involved had driven with their headlights on. A Chevy S-10 truck and a Toyota
Tercel collided head-on at 3 Pm Saturday on two-lane Yolo country road No. 22 in broad daylight. It seems the Tercel drifted off
in to the path of the Chevy. Both drivers (there were no passengers in either vehicle) were pronounced dead at the scene. Even
though the Tercel’s airbag deployed it killed the driver when the two vehicles collided head-on at the combined speed of over
100 mph as both of them were thought by the CHP to be traveling at 55 mph. Now think for a moment. The two drivers were
wearing set-belts and were not old men – one was 41 the other 34. What made them collide head-on a clear day on a road
almost devoid of any other traffic? If both had had their headlights on I am sure this accident could never have happened. Unless
of course the Tercel driver was reaching for the cell-phone that rang and which was in his pocket! Which brings me to the other
biggest hazard on the road – drivers using cell phones while driving with one ear engaged and also possibly one half of their brain.
But that is a topic for another day.
A UC Davis employee, riding a big 1995 Harley towards home in Woodland, was killed in a head-on collision with a Toyota Corolla
on Aug 15th at 4:30 Pm on county road No. 98 which we use daily to commute to work. The Corolla driver, a young woman
going home to Davis after work, is still in hospital in serious condition apparently for no fault of hers. Was the Corolla being driven
with headlights on? If it were, would not the Harley rider registered it quicker in his mind and desisted from overtaking the asphalt
truck? You be the judge.
And so my fellow Miata drivers, please drive with your head light on. The modern car dynamos all compensate generating amps.
for usage. That is, if your head-lights are on the dynamo will generate more electricity for other use to compensate. Hence it will
not affect you’re A/C cooling fan, or your 100 Watts stereo system. Only the life of your headlight bulb (probably a $3 item) may
be shortened a little. An infinitesimal small price to pay for safe driving.