Big Black and Manly Miata: Marlon Mercado’s 1993 Mazda MX-5

Photography by Jerik Platon and THE aSTIG

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The “Black” part is easy to get. But a Miata that’s “Big” and “Manly”? If you haven’t seen Marlon Mercado’s Miata, then you’re missing half of your life. “Manly”, at least in my opinon, as this is probably the manliest Miata in the Philippines. And “Big”, well, if you’ve seen a stock Miata before, then just take one good look at this car and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s just bigger in all the good ways – looks, weight savings, and of course, power!!!

This car was too good to pass up for an awesome photography session. So read on to see more of the spectacular photography by myself and Car Photography Club member Jerik Platon, as well as to find out what Marlon has to say about his magnificent ride…




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I’ve asked Marlon to share the story behind his ride, and of course, what he’s put in it to make it the car it is today. Here’s his story:

Marlon: “Since the Roadster’s debut in the Philippines way back in 1996 I was fascinated by how the car made an impression on me when I first took a glance at it in a local dealership. I still remember how I first sat on the driver’s seat, held the shifter and how I wanted to drive that Roadster out of the dealership. But, I was then scouting for a sedan so I settled for a Mazda 323 (Sedan). As the years went by (along came the family), my needs grew from a simple demand for a mid-sized sedan to a full sized SUV (sports utility van). While I still have the 323 Sedan up until now (http://www.cardomain.com/ride/469098) (which has been my project car for more than ten years) and the SUV taking care of the occasional out of town trips of the family, I still long for that true roadster experience which I only read about. So when the opportunity came to shop for another project car, I definitely set my eyes on a Roadster. The Roadster has been with me since March of 2005. Although there were available Roadsters here as they were distributed locally, I settled for a Japanese import. The locally distributed (used) Roadster costs almost double (around the average of P450,000) that of the Japanese import (around P300,000 to P350,000). I figured the money saved on purchasing a locally distributed Miata would just be spent on modifications instead. So I chose the imported model as platform for my modifications.

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So the journey began. After five (5) years this is what it has transformed into. I may have a few other modifications in mind but basically this is what I had envisioned at the time I first got the Roadster. Pardon the list, but the following have been installed as of this writing:

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ENGINE
1600cc in-line four cylinder, 16 valve DOHC Turbocharged and Intercooled
T3 (45v3) roller bearing turbo
MegasquirtPNP Standalone Engine Management System
Aeromotive Fuel Pressure Regulator
(4) 460cc injectors
Mazdaspeed Hi Tension Wires
Mazdaspeed Front Upper Strut Bar
Mazdaspeed Low Temp Thermostat
Mazdaspeed Oil Cap
NGK BKR7E Spark Plugs
Walbro 190lph in-tank fuel pump
HKS TVVC Manual Boost Controller
HKS SSQV Blow-Off Valve
Mishimoto 52mm Race Radiotor
Mishimoto High Volume Slim Fans
VR4 front mount intercooler
K&N air filter
Thermaflex silicone hoses
Custom cold air intake
Custom 3” stainless mandrel bent exhaust
Custom 2” stainless steel mandrel bent intercooler pipes
Custom cowl cover
Polished Brake Master Cylinder Cap
Polished Charcoal Cannister Cap
Polished Clutch Master Cylinder Cap
Polished Headlight Motor Caps
Polished Headlight Motor Caps
Polished Valve Cover
Polished Windshield Washer Cap

8
DRIVETRAIN
Limited Slip Differential
Exedy Racing Tri-puck Clutch Disc (ZD11T)
Exedy Racing Pressure Plate (ZC04T)

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EXTERIOR
K92 black K0-2M body paint
Stage21 Carbon Fiber Hood
Stage21 Carbon Fiber Trunk
Stage21 Carbon Fiber Hardtop
YSSC Ductail in Carbon Fiber
Jetstream Air intake Headlight Cover in Carbon Fiber
Tuckin99 N2 Fender Flares
Brightning Front Bumper Duct
Brightning Tail Light Cover
Trap Lip Spoiler
Eagle High Intensity Discharge
Custom Front Foglamps

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INTERIOR
Mazdaspeed Steering Wheel
Mazdaspeed Shift knob
Mazdaspeed Race Pedals
Mazdaspeed Gauge Cluster
Bride Exas III bucket seats
Autometer Phantom Series A/F Gauge
Autometer Phantom Series Boost Gauge
Autometer Phantom Series Analog Clock
Autometer Phantom Series Water Temp Gauge
Autometer Phantom Series Oil Temp Gauge
Autometer Phantom Series Volt Gauge
Nakamae Quilting Mat Center Console Cover
Nakamae Quilting Mat Left and Right Side Step Cover
Nakamae Quilting Mat Lower Package Tray Cover
KG Works Type-S Starter
KG Works Chrome Door Opener
KG Works Map Lamp
KG Works Chrome Ventilation Slide Knobs
KG Works A/C Control Panel
KG Works Chrome A/C Control Surrounds
KG Works Chrome Vent Rings
KG Works Chrome Door Handle Cups
RS Products Classic Switch
Hard Dog M2 Roll Bar
Apex-I turbo timer, A/F, O2 and Voltmeter
Interior Crossbrace
Custom gauge mount
Custom leather wrapped Dashboard
Custom leather wrapped Instrument Cluster Cover
Custom leather wrapped Radio Bezel
Custom leather wrapped Center Console
Custom leather wrapped Door Inserts

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SUSPENSION & WHEELS
Work Equip01 15×7.5 -22 offset front wheels; 15×7.5 -12 offset deep dish rear wheel
Bridgestone B500 SI 205/50/15 Front & 205/55/15 Rear Tires
Tein Type Flex Adjustable Coilover
Cusco Pillowball Uppermount
Cusco Front Lower Tiebar
Cusco Rear Lower Tiebar
Beatrush Rear Upper Strutbar
Ultra Racing Rear Torsion Bar
Zee Polyurethane Front and Rear Anti-Roll Bar Bushing
Zee Polyurethane Front and Rear Anti-Roll Bar Drop Link Bushing
Flyin’ Miata Butterfly Sub-frame Brace

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EXHAUST
HKS Super Dragger 3” Turbo Muffler
Custom 3” stainless full exhaust
Custom 3” stainless flexi-muffler

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DYNO
205whp @ 6200rpm*
210lbft @ 4700rpm*
*without Megasquirt standalone ECU installed

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Modesty aside, the commendation and approval it garners now from enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike, rewards the hours of man-labor put into making this Roadster. While I have others to thank for like Leo of Speedworks Engineering – who did the tuning, Vince of Spool – who made the turbo transformation, mazdatech.org – my beloved mazda community, clubroadster.net – for the countless inspiration and of course my wife wife Mylene – who truly understands my passion. But if I may say, I consider this Roadster a truly unique piece in my own way.”
– Marlon Mercado

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Related Stuff:
– More Mazda Miatas here.
– See Other Customized Mazda vehicles here.

Want to MODIFY your RIDE? CONTACT US and Tell Us What You Need!

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2 Responses to Big Black and Manly Miata: Marlon Mercado’s 1993 Mazda MX-5

  1. Alex says:

    I WANT IT!
    Which rails did you use for your seats?

  2. Z says:

    saw this in person. looks like a small fat bug. Sorry pero di ubra sa miata body yung ganyan.

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