Spotter’s Guide To The November 2018 Road&Track

This month’s issue of R&T serves as a perfect illustration of why I wanted to work for a car magazine when I was a teenager. Two tests, one West Coast and one East Coast, featuring two transcendent sporting automobiles and one pretty good one.

On page 30, I take the BMW M2 Competition and the Camaro SS 1LE to Thermal Club where we drive the original layout of what is now a three-ring circus. (The red-curbed track: not that bad. The blue-curbed track: bleccch. The green-curbed one: Might be on par with the original BeaveRun.)

Thirty-two pages later, you can ride with me as I spin the 2019 Miata around the original Watkins Glen street course. Does the new high-revving engine make the world’s best little sports car even better? (Yeah, it does.)

Also worth reading in this issue: an insightful piece by Sam Smith regarding Fernando Alonso, and an in-depth interview of Pirelli World Challenge’s head honcho, Stephane Ratel, by distinguished writer-racer Preston Lerner. Check it out!

16 Replies to “Spotter’s Guide To The November 2018 Road&Track”

  1. act

    Just finished it…great issue! I absolutely love my first Miata, a 2016 Club. But if that new engine is as fun to rev as you say, I may to have consider trading up. Or keep saving for the Ferrari 360…

  2. -Nate

    We stopped by the Home Despot to grab some hardware and SWMBO pointed at a primered first generation Miata with raised soft top and said ‘that’s cute, what kind of car is it ?’ .

    Not bad for a lady in her 70’s who doesn’t like to drive and can’t drive a stickshift .


    • Rick T.

      Speaking of older ladies, I was at the store and a lady who had to at least be in her late seventies got out of a (what was once) red Miata. I asked her about it and she said she bought it in the early 1990’s. I admire her spirit!

    • Carmine

      WTF is SWMBO? Don’t people just type out fucking words anymore? Does everyone need to write like a 13 year old with ADD on a Snaptwat?

      • Jack Baruth Post author

        It’s an allusion to an H. Rider Haggard book of 1896… so it predates most of today’s silliness!

          • -Nate

            ? Are acronyms really a bad thing ? .

            I see most under 40 Y.O. seem to use them a lot, I ASS-U-ME’D this was because it takes less time / effort in texting, I learned my acronyms from a teletype operator, one more stupid Old Man excuse, yes I know .


  3. -Nate

    In general, Women who’ve been around the block know what they want and take no bullshit .

    If you can handle that you’re golden .

    Many Men are flat out afraid of Women who don’t -need- a Man .


  4. Eric L.

    Can a 6’2″ driver with a 34″ inseam fit into the new Miatas comfortably enough to DD them? I was under the impression the physical packaging precluded 90%ers from experiencing the original Miatas’ thrills.

    • -Nate

      You can fit if the top is down .

      I imagine you’ll be looking over the windshield, @ 6′ even the header is right on my center of vision so I had to pass on my Son’s free supercharged Mita, the leg room (34″) was no problem at all .


    • ZG

      I’m 6’6″ with a 36″ inseam and I drive an ND. It’s not *that* bad even with the top up. Wouldn’t want to crash it, though…

      • Dirt Roads

        I’m as tall as you are ZG and I used to drive my Fiat 124 Spider (and a couple for a while) all over the place. I could bump my head sometimes on the cross bar of the convertible top but not too often. 🙂

        I don’t imagine the Miata is much worse than that. I have a tall friend who DDs one.

  5. hank chinaski

    Moti at Blackbird has been teasing a modified seat lower to eek out an inch or so and get some guys through the broomstick test. He’s warning that it will probably be expensive, since the lower is integrated with the mounting brackets.
    An alternative is a ‘meshectomy’, unhooking one end of one of the mesh ‘hammocks’ that make up the ND seat. You get almost an inch, but sit on the crossbars.

  6. James2

    Jack, just read your latest Avoidable Contact about the soon-to-be demise of the V8. It’s a pity that my last memories of the engine are from 40-odd years ago when Mom owned a blimp, er, a Ford Gran Torino whose backseat must have come from a World War II gun bunker –thin slits of visibility are all you’re going to get. I would have experienced Dad’s ’68 Ford Mustang (a 289, I think) except he totaled it before I was old enough to drive it, and he replaced it, effectively, with his work van.

    P.S. Tell Road & Track not to hide your articles when there’s nothing new to ‘publish’ and that their logo looks like it came from Nazi Germany.


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