Sun Riders Miata Club of Tampa Bay History
Back in the summer of 1993, the inception of the Sun Riders Miata Club began.
While driving through Ybor City, Ken and Kim noticed a couple of red Miata's parked at Carmines Restaurant. Deciding to stop in to meet their owners, they found Nico and another couple, Mike and Paula discussing starting a Miata club. These 5 original members were the beginning of what is now the Sun Riders Miata Club of Tampa Bay.
Nico, "the founding father" was the first president and hosted the monthly meetings at his house. He also came up with the clubs name Sun Riders.
Kim, who was in sales and marketing, created the Sun Riders logo that is still in use today. She was also in charge of the club's newsletter at that time.
The first "organized" meeting held away from Nico's house was to launch the club's web site and welcome a special guest.
This meeting, with about 25 in attendance was held in a conference room at a hotel on Hillsboro Avenue in Tampa. The special guest was in town for a special event at a local Mazda dealer. The special guest was Tsutomu "Tom" Matano the chief executive designer and Director of Mazda North America. Tom and his design teams created the design of many vehicles including the Mazda MX-5 and Mazda RX-7, as well as the Miata "M-Coupe" concept car.
The middle years:
As the years went on, the club grew and by 2004 had reached over 100 members. Meetings were held at local Mazda dealers, garages, restaurants and occasionally at parks where members voted on club officers. The club sponsored monthly autocrosses and garage tech sessions where maintenance and upgrades were taught.
During this time, the clubs direction was split along the lines of social verses performance. Eventually, the autocross/performance members of the club created their own group and a mutual split of club members transpired.
As the years go on:
The club makes trips to the Tail of the Dragon and rides to car museums, dinner cruises, wineries, scenic locales, restaurants and sightseeing are common. Yearly picnics, holiday parties, toy runs and volunteering at car shows were added.
Weekend overnight trips to Savannah, St Augustine, Cape Canaveral, Homosassa Springs, Tri-Cities in Tennessee and Myrtle Beach are always well attended.
The club today:
The clubs membership is back to well over a hundred members with members from Sarasota to Inverness and east to Polk County. The clubs activities continue as they have in the past with the most varied membership and events in its history. The clubs website is our contact with the outside world with a variety of pages for members and non-members to explore. For members, the club uses a private Facebook page for internal communication. Dues have remained constant over the years and help fund the annual holiday party and club picnics. Club officers and staff are all volunteers. Yearly elections are held where anyone wanting to run for a position is welcome to.
The clubs mission continues to be to promote and share enthusiasm of Mazda Miata ownership.
Information compiled by Ken and Kim S, Woody and Dean