Sale of Record-Setting Miata to Benefit Piston Foundation

Proceeds from the upcoming sale of a 1999 Mazda Miata MX-5, which set a Bonneville Salt Flats G/GT class land speed record of 165.296 mph in 2011 and was raced in the SCCA Spec Miata class, will benefit the Piston Foundation.

The auction began on Oct. 23, and ends on Oct. 30, at, with 100 percent of the proceeds, including the buyer’s fee, going to The Piston Foundation scholarship program, the organization said.

Two previously sold vehicles – a 1973 Datsun 240Z and a 1960 Willys Wagon – sold for a total of $154,240, creating scholarships for 27 aspiring technicians. The sale of the Miata will create several more scholarships for 2023, according to foundation officials.

Car owner and Piston Foundation Founders Club member Harvey Siegel, of Long Valley, New Jersey., donated the car for the cause, the foundation said.

“I am a big believer in chasing one’s dreams and, as such, I hope this contribution will help these kids pursue their car-fueled dreams the way I once did on the Bonneville Salt Flats,” he said.

An accomplished racer, Siegel is known for resurrecting VIRginia International Raceway and developing New Jersey Motorsports Park.

“We are thrilled to have received this donation from Harvey Siegel,” said Jeff Mason, president of The Piston Foundation. “The provenance of this car can’t be duplicated. It’s a piece of land speed history.”

The car was built by Ryan Pilla of Car Doctor Garage in Water Mill, New York.

Named the 2160, the Miata racer’s drivetrain, chassis and suspension had been modified to reach high speeds on the Salt Flats, with the naturally-aspirated Bonneville engine producing upwards of 290 hp, more than double the output of traditional Miata engines, the builder said. The highly modified inline-four Bonneville engine was later replaced with a 1.8-liter powerplant as part of the the car’s conversion for Spec Miata competition.

Click here for the full listing.

Photo Courtesy of The Piston Foundation

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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