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Old February 17th, 2018, 07:41 PM   #1
choneofakind
Where's my R6?!?!?!
 
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Life of the baby racecar

The ninjette is gone and has been for a bit. I got a Miata late last year that's completely stock, so I'm going to use this as my build thread of sorts.





First thing it got was factory cruise control. Base model has none. I don't like being a cramped pretzel on long trips. This was fun. I had to tear apart half the dash and replace/add a bunch of bits and bobs. Note to self; never buy a car without cruise control ever. Here's the fancy buttons I now have.


In my typical style, it's getting a headlight upgrade. Profile Design bi-LED projectors and Morimoto XB LED fog lights from The Retrofit Source. Of course, this being the base model, that means it never had fog lights. So... I got brackets to hold the lights and OE bezels to go in the bumper cover. I'll get to my fear of cutting the holes in the bumper cover later.

Here's where I am so far with the projectors and shrouds and painted reflectors. It's a much tighter space to work with than my Scion was when I retro'd that.


And since the only new OE fog bezels I could find were silver, I had to paint these with factory matching paint. Yes, this came out of a foo foo can! Not bad for a saturday afternoon. This is prep, primer, paint, and clear.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 07:25 AM   #2
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The Miata looks like the previous owner kept her very clean. Congratulations!
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Old February 18th, 2018, 08:11 AM   #3
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Nice. The Miatas are fun little cars and I thought about getting one myself, either that or a Porsche boxster. (which in general are nice priced on the used market)

There's a 1.1 mile long world class kart track by me that does autocross event and I'd love to give it a whirl.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 12:43 PM   #4
choneofakind
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Yeah, I'm the third owner I think. The previous owners were out west and the car has slowly made its way east to me. It's clean and has no rust. Only 44,000 miles on a 1999 car. It's a garage queen at the moment to avoid road salt.

Assuming I don't have huge life changes, I'm planning to keep this one a while, so I'm trying to keep it nice and clean.


Zaph, you can't go wrong with either of those! Porsche Boxters are also a hugely popular choice for people who want mid engine pure driving experience without a second mortgage to do it.
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Old February 19th, 2018, 08:06 AM   #5
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Old February 19th, 2018, 08:31 AM   #6
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Headlight hardware installed. Working on the fog lights and wiring. Pardon my messy AF garage.



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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:45 AM   #7
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Old February 21st, 2018, 07:54 PM   #8
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Sweet thread @allanoue pass the popcorn please
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Old March 11th, 2018, 05:38 AM   #9
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Lights are 100% done. Wiring and everything. It's a beautiful thing to be able to see, even though the headlights are 22.5" off the ground.

Low beams:


High beams:


Fog lights:



Little demo to see how it all works. I made my own fog light harness. 2 relays; 1 NO for dashboard switching, 1 NC for high beam interlock because there's really no good reason to run fogs and high beams on a road car. The demon eye marker lights shut off when the headlights come on.

Link to original page on YouTube.


For anyone who farts around with car headlighting, I learned that ground switched headlights are a thing. Instead of a common ground with a separate high for the low and high filament, there's a common hot with a separate ground for each filament.

Also, my high beam indicator on the dash is switched through the low filament similar to how blinking corner markers typically are wired to flash across an incandescent turn signal bulb. Problem solved with 30 ohms of resistor that's capable of dissipating 100W of heat. My car thinks there's a bulb there and my high beam indicator works!

Pro Tip: industrial strength adhesive backed velcro is amazing stuff for securing drivers/ballasts. 3M plastic hooks work really well for securing wiring loom.

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Old March 12th, 2018, 06:07 PM   #10
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Very cool. A Miata's high on my list of what I'm gonna get if I ever have to give up 2 wheels.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 05:10 AM   #11
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Don't wait; they're every bit as good as everyone says they are. Total sweethearts with tons of personality.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
Don't wait; they're every bit as good as everyone says they are. Total sweethearts with tons of personality.
But that mean they are fat!

Edit:
sorry

That means they are curvey
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Old March 13th, 2018, 03:06 PM   #13
choneofakind
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Originally Posted by allanoue View Post
But that mean they are fat!

Edit:
sorry

That means they are curvey


I mean she has some nice curves through the hood and fenders... but with the weight of most new cars on the road, I'm not sure I'd call a miata "fat" Listed curb weight is sub-2400 lbs.

But yes, personality in spades!
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Old March 13th, 2018, 03:46 PM   #14
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Stripped out Miata Spec cars are 2300-lbs and loads of fun!
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Old March 13th, 2018, 03:50 PM   #15
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Stripped out Miata Spec cars are 2300-lbs and loads of fun!
https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsp...es-in-america/
Don't kid yourself though... not cheap. A prepped modern generation turnkey car is in the neighborhood of $50,000.

I'll stick with my happy little street car and enjoy it as it is, thankyouverymuch I added some weight. Cruise control is a wonderful thing when you have to drive highway to get to fun roads. totally worth the few lbs that the actuator and switches add.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 02:15 PM   #16
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I made the trip back to OH and drove the silly thing south! I stand by my previous statement that cruise control is worth it. So worth it. Here's to hoping it doesn't get dinged before we get a house and get out of this silly apartment.

It got out on some twisty roads today. Weather was meh on the parkway. Racecar didn't care though. Racecar was still excited.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 06:57 PM   #17
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When I was at NCM raceway for a track day, the parking lot had autocross time trials set up with cones on a course. It was a full timed setup with sensors and a time result board. Pretty cool. There were quite a few cars there, but really only 2 different cars: Corvettes (expected at NCM) and Miatas. And surprisingly, the Miatas were just as fast on the course. All types were there, serious $$$ builds and cars right off the street. The Vettes would struggle not to spin out, but the Miatas darted around the course with ease. Was fun to watch between sessions.

If you're in Western NC, you should check it out and see how to get involved. NCM can't be more than a 5 hour drive for you. But even if not that, get a bunch of cones, find an empty parking lot and make your own race course.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 09:46 PM   #18
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Glad you had a good run with the racecar!
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 05:23 PM   #19
choneofakind
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There's a very active AutoX club that has events at the parking lot of the local fair grounds. Cones, timing, the works. A few coworkers partake. I'm thinking about also partaking.
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 09:13 PM   #20
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Couple buddies of mine are pretty big in the Miata world. Look up ChathamCNC. He's LS swapped with a custom cantilever front suspension. Also RetroModern USA for some pretty trick custom trim pieces.
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Old April 24th, 2018, 11:15 AM   #21
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I recognize the ChathamCNC name from some online reading I've done. Badass!
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Old May 19th, 2018, 06:27 AM   #22
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I've been learning something new while cruising around WNC in peak Miata-land and curvy scenic heaven.

People love these things!!!! You occasionally get the macho Mustang owner with a chip on his shoulder who still can't keep up, but by and large people love Miatae. There's tons of them out and about whenever the weather is nice people always want to wave when you drive by or talk to you when you stop for gas or a picture or whatever. And usually they have one at home, so they're interested in what year it is, what you've done to it, etc. and they're appreciative of what it is, not just "oh you must be a hairdresser".

...also there's totally a wrangler-esque wave. It's a thing.
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Old May 20th, 2018, 02:32 PM   #23
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Old May 21st, 2018, 02:44 AM   #24
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I had a prepped MX5, it was the boss on short tracks, and oh so fun on the street.

They don't have the torque to pull the skin off custard, but that's the point, you cannot rely on power to make up for poor skills or handling.

I keep thinking of getting another, maybe I will when I retire in a couple of years, pick up a nice series 3 NB and drop a little cash on it.

They don't need alot of money spent, some good tyres, coil overs and adjustable sway bars to tune the suspension to your driving style and away you go.

Make sure you grab a hard top for it, so much better in cold weather and the added security is a bonus.

Plus a "good" proper roll bar on the rear parcel shelf helps tighten up the whole chassis, even better if you get the added door bars.

I'm really jealous now.......I would sell my 15 WRX STI in a heartbeat, if the missus would let me that is, stupid 4 door grocery getting family car.

She did say I could get one if I sold my bike, that ain't happening though.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 04:03 AM   #25
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Eventually it will likely get dampers and sway bars and nice wheels/tires, but I don't think it will ever get a hard top. Part of the fun of owning a roadster is putting the top down every chance you get to enjoy the day.

Undecided on the roll bar. They are pretty close to your head in the event of an accident.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 04:31 AM   #26
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Eventually it will likely get dampers and sway bars and nice wheels/tires, but I don't think it will ever get a hard top. Part of the fun of owning a roadster is putting the top down every chance you get to enjoy the day.

Undecided on the roll bar. They are pretty close to your head in the event of an accident.
They stop your head from getting squashed if you roll, I saw a mx5 that clipped a gutter and ended up on its roof, the driver survived but was busted up bad with head injuries, Ive also seen one roll at the track, the driver was able to get out and help flip it back on its wheels.

I consider a good roll bar to be a required safety device, you might never use it, but if you do it will most likely save your life.

Google mx5 roll over.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 02:29 PM   #27
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Yes, I'm aware what a roll bar is supposed to do. I do more than just convert oxygen for a living

But even proper Miata roll bars (hard dog and boss frog) either barely meet or flat out don't meet sane clearances for use without a helmet. Ever see what a steel tube does to a bare human head? It's called blunt force trauma and it's just as bad as an acccident without the roll bar. And seriously, I've looked at measurements. For a roll bar to fit under the soft top, it barely barely barely is taller than your head, if at all. I have stock seats, remember. I'm not slammed onto the floor pan with aftermarket race seats that give extra helmet clearance.

I've thought about it. I really have. Long and hard. I see both sides and I'm still torn on it. This one likely won't get a roll bar for safety purposes. If it does, it will likely be for stiffness purposes. And there will likely be high impact foam on the bar as well. If it ever happens.
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Leathers are hottt. Buy some and wear them every time!!!
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Old May 21st, 2018, 03:09 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
Yes, I'm aware what a roll bar is supposed to do. I do more than just convert oxygen for a living

But even proper Miata roll bars (hard dog and boss frog) either barely meet or flat out don't meet sane clearances for use without a helmet. Ever see what a steel tube does to a bare human head? It's called blunt force trauma and it's just as bad as an acccident without the roll bar. And seriously, I've looked at measurements. For a roll bar to fit under the soft top, it barely barely barely is taller than your head, if at all. I have stock seats, remember. I'm not slammed onto the floor pan with aftermarket race seats that give extra helmet clearance.

I've thought about it. I really have. Long and hard. I see both sides and I'm still torn on it. This one likely won't get a roll bar for safety purposes. If it does, it will likely be for stiffness purposes. And there will likely be high impact foam on the bar as well. If it ever happens.
I seem to forget everyone isn't a short arse like me sometimes, I had Sparco Sprint 5 on rails for my drivers seat at the track and OEM for street, it did have padding, not that my head could ever hit it with the seat basically fully forward.

Enjoy your build.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 03:39 PM   #29
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I mean I'm only 5'10" myself, so I'm not a large person either, but roll bars aren't as black and white of an issue to say that they're a mandatory safety item for a vehicle that will only ever see 99% street usage.
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Old July 15th, 2018, 04:14 PM   #30
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A guy in McLaren drove up our dead end street today.
Never saw one in person before. Unique sound!
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Old July 16th, 2018, 11:44 AM   #31
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Nice! They are unique....
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Old August 9th, 2018, 05:44 PM   #32
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Just another good spot for a picture break on the BRP one night when I went for a cruise. Currently my desktop background at work



and she has a new place to park! Got the garage sorted out a little. Been working on it a little. Epoxy floor, work table, cabinets, LED shop lights, bikes stored up on the walls, etc. Stoked.
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Old August 9th, 2018, 06:16 PM   #33
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Old November 5th, 2018, 07:31 PM   #34
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Finally made a trip out to the dragon in the Miata!

I hit Fontana and 129 early to avoid the traffic and LEO, got some good laps in.


I also finally got a chance to experience the Cherohala Skyway. If you have ever driven the blue ridge parkway and been struck with the beauty of the mountains, you really need to make the trip to the skyway. It's like all the really sweet spots of the BRP, but condensed into a single road. You don't speed, you just cruise and soak it all it. Top down, sunshine, cool wind in your hair. Soak it all in.




After the skyway, I snaked my way north again on some less traveled roads, back to the top of 129, and then did some slower parade laps of the dragon and enjoyed watching traffic for a bit at a few pull offs. There was a nice officer on duty giving out performance awards and lots of traffic compared to the morning, but still a great drive.

I found the perfect calm state of mind and casual pace where I could feel every bit of the car work and talk and rotate but never lose speed or focus. It was a beautiful thing. It has this perfect playfulness that lets you paint lines on the road.





Another good day in the books.
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Old November 5th, 2018, 09:31 PM   #35
CaliGrrl
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Awesome!
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Old December 16th, 2018, 06:53 PM   #36
choneofakind
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Baby racecar got new wheels (Enkei RPF1's) and tires (Nitto NeoGen's) a couple weeks ago. I don't have any pictures that are worthwhile and I've only driven it a couple times since the new tires, but the result is fantastic! Turn in is a great thing!!


Also a new vehicle in the stable... picked up a Colorado ZR2 this weekend. I love how it drives and I'm looking forward to getting it dirty and tinkering a little. This thing has some muscle for a mid-size and the swanky shocks seal the deal during a test drive! no more slowing down for potholes.



and yes... that's snow. We got 12"+ last weekend. Monday was a snowday from work since we literally couldn't get out of the driveway.
__________________________________________________
My ninjette may have fallen off the ugly tree, but I think she's beautiful
Leathers are hottt. Buy some and wear them every time!!!
I am slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.
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Old February 4th, 2019, 08:58 PM   #37
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Name: Chris
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Did some good work this weekend. Moved the thermostat housing to the back of the head to even out temps through the block with a clever kit from 949 racing, also put in a massive overkill radiator so I never have to worry about temps. My old radiator had a brown/green color to the tanks and was a little questionable. This one is roughly twice as thick, is a side flow unit, and makes 3 passes before exiting; aka, hella cooling capacity. I may do a little ducting in the future, but for now I think I'm good. I'll run an OBD DAQ when I get the chance to cane on the car a little. Also a new timing belt, water pump, accessory belts, spark plugs, fresh FL22 Mazda coolant, and several new hoses in the cooling system.

The really cool thing is the reroute kit I used works with a completely stock car. I've retained all emissions hardware, including the EGR! No CEL from removing equipment from the car.



Also got a nice little axleback muffler that makes happy roadster noises to go along with the happy roadster smile. I'm hoping to get a GoPro and external mic set up soon so I can start taking video of some fun roads here with some decent audio to go with it. Since I sold the Scion, I've really missed having a car that makes quality exhaust noise. This one seems to do the trick without being offensive. It's a little boomy in the bass though, so I'm hoping it mellows after a few heat cycles. Boss lady is already a little displeased by the fact that I bought it in the first place.

The car is getting a roll bar soon, much to my displeasure, because some of the events I want to do require them. There's a newish time trial event with the SCCA I'd like to try out, along with knocking down some cones... I mean autocross... Oh well. I'm not thrilled, but I'm going to suck it up and do it. I'm not really loving the idea of seats and harnesses and a rollbar for a street vehicle, but I will give it a shot. I'm a skinny dude so it would be nice to have a seat that keeps me centered for a change.

Stock suspension and brakes while I learn to drive this thing! Likely next year I'll get some higher end dampers for the car. XIDA, Fox, Ohlins, something along those lines. I really want to put an emphasis on keeping ride quality while improving body control. Between the mountain bike and the truck, I'm very spoiled by suspension right now and I'm really wanting something for the Miata that can keep tires on the ground for rough stuff, control the body movement without stiff springs and sway bars, and not ruin my back on expansion joints from excessively harsh single rate damping. $$$$$$. Some day.



Know what's sad? My truck weighs 4800 lbs and is a full second quicker to 60...
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Old February 6th, 2019, 03:45 PM   #38
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Shameless pic whore since the weather was nice today.

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My ninjette may have fallen off the ugly tree, but I think she's beautiful
Leathers are hottt. Buy some and wear them every time!!!
I am slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.
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Old February 7th, 2019, 01:14 AM   #39
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Yeah- post pictures! I'm glad you had good weather to take out little car for a run.
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Old May 4th, 2019, 11:09 AM   #40
choneofakind
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Name: Chris
Location: Western NC
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I gave the car a nice alignment last weekend. It turned out well. The car is very neutral and turn-in feels good. I've also been playing with mic placement for a while. I think I got it right finally, but I want to try a little more wind baffling.

Link to original page on YouTube.


I have an SCCA track night coming up this week. Pretty stoked!

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My ninjette may have fallen off the ugly tree, but I think she's beautiful
Leathers are hottt. Buy some and wear them every time!!!
I am slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.

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