The Outlaw Roadster – Pete Royea’s 1990 Mazda Miata

Pop-pop! Pop! Whew. Pop-pop! Sounds of gun shots and a bullet howling and whistling past you. Thinking back, one can only be frightened and shaken up. This is how it went down when Nico and I were shooting (no pun intended) Pete Royea’s 1990 Miata. I did not know that one of the locations I scouted the day before was a restricted, federally protected yard. Like rapid fire, we jumped in to our cars and split ASAP. From there we drove a couple blocks away to an open parking lot and parked. Panting, shaken up, terrified, ruffled and horror-struck. And to keep the fellas calm, I joked and said, “You can’t have an Outlaw Roadster without guns and bullets”. I laugh about it now as I write this article, but I am glad nothing happened to any of us. Mental note: next time need to triple check the signs. Safety first. Always.

The definitions of an outlaw: 1.) a person who has broken the law, especially one who remains at large or is a fugitive. 2.) ban or make illegal. Now Pete is a good model citizen and does not break any laws nor is he a fugitive. And number two, he doesn’t do anything illegal. But when one looks at his Roadster whilst parked or flying past you, one might get that idea. His Miata exudes raw, rough, hardcore, aggressive and is down-right mean looking. First things that stick out in your face are the deep dished SSR Starsharks in 14×8.5, -8 offset all around, wrapped with Toyo R888’s, paired with Carbon Miata fender flares. Rocking a retro Barchetta Clubman GT front bumper, Garage Vary headlight lid, Zoom Engineering side markers, RS Active Type II headlights, Greasemonkey2000 hand-drilled wiper arms, M2-1028 side mirrors, Zoom Engineering fuel lid, and finished off with a Garage Vary rear finish panel with Porter Cab lights.

With the bite to back up its bark, Pete’s car has one of the first CARB approved Flyin’ Miata turbo kits. Pete drives his Roadster like a Rough Rider stampeding with the hell-bent-for-leather horse cavalry. Boost comes in quick and spent gases exit a Car Make Corn’s dual tip muffler. His engine bay is clean and cooling is addressed with a Flyin’ Miata radiator and fan, 949 Racing coolant reroute, Mazdaspeed radiator cap and Kinod Edition/Circuit Sports coolant overflow tank. And like a strong, wild stallion, suspension is handled by 949 Racing Xida coilovers, Racing Beat front sway bar, Supermiata rear sway bar and endlinks, and Carbing strut bars fore and aft.

The interior of his roadster is the pinnacle of retro Miata interiors. Saddle up in Nakamae Type R seats with the reins held in the form of a rare RS Watanabe Falcon steering wheel with a custom Revlimiter Horn Button. And laid before you, are custom DJR Tribute Revlimiter gauge faces dedicated to Pete’s late loving brother Dan, whom is no longer with us. On a side note, it was Pete’s brother who got him in to cars. If it wasn’t for Dan, perhaps this Outlaw Roadster might have never happened. Thank you Dan. The rider is enveloped with a ton of Nakamae interior pieces, KG Works, Joyfast, Nielex, AWD, RS Products, Retromodern, Zoom Engineering, and the list goes on and on. Have you ever seen any Miatas interior this extensive? Probably not and perhaps never will.

Although his roadster is perceived as an outlaw, Pete is not that dangerous. He is the most genuine and sweetest guy you will ever meet. Not only is he very passionate about Miatas, but also very welcoming and open-minded. I first met Pete back many moons ago at one of the Friday night, Kinod meets. Pete made me feel like I belonged right away, and even invited me to his beautiful home in Manhattan Beach for a summer barbeque, whom he shares with his lovely wife Jen (she also owns a gorgeous Sunburst Yellow Miata), their boys and their furry sidekick, Frodo. Oh, and his eldest is extremely lucky and gets to drive the BRG Miata also laced out with a bunch of jdm tid bits too (we will save that car for a future feature). I wish my dad hooked me up with a decked out Miata when I was in high school.

Now scroll down and check out the beautiful photos of Pete’s Miata!

Photographer: Nico N. @nico.mx5

Writer:  Kevin Truong

Owner’s name: Pete Royea

Instagram: @oldgrayleather

Location:  Manhattan Beach, CA

1990 Mazda Miata

Engine mods:

FM Stage 1 Carb approved Turbo kit

FM Cross Flow radiator and fan upgrade

949 Coolant reroute

Rokyu Rob Powder coated valve cover

Mazdaspeed Oil cap

Mazdaspeed Radiator cap

Carbing three point front strut bar

KINOD edition Circuit sports coolant overflow tank

IL Motorsports hood struts

Carbing rear strut bar

Car Make Corns dual exit exhaust

Cappuccino washer bottle

Transmission and Differential mods:

ACT HD clutch

SuperMiata Clutch line


Porsche Design x Momo steering wheel/ RS Watanabe Falcon steering wheel w custom RevLimiter horn button & surround

Daikei hub and polished cover

Nakamae Type R seats with side protectors

Nakamae door panels and pulls

Nakamae drink holder

Nakamae storage net

Nakamae window winders

KGWorks Door latches/ locks

Aerodramatics Door cups

Zoom center console

MiataRoadster short shift kit

Joyfast shift knob

Nielex handbrake lever and button

Nielex tombstone cover

Nielex hazard switch

Hayashi vents

AWD HVAC cover and trim ring

AWD 1013 gauge cluster w RevLimiter lenses

RevLimiter custom DJR Tribute gauges and HVAC panel

Zoom engineering Monaco mirror

RS Products needle caps

RS Products HVAC controls (with RM burled controller)

RS Products Vent rings

Retro Modern Ignition cover

Royal Clover Queen key

Retro Modern lighter plug

Zeromotive smoke ring

Retro Modern burled dimmer switch

Retro Modern Trip odometer reset cover

Sazaire glove box key hole cover

Zoom engineering starter button

Rev9 M2 pedal covers

Karo floor mats

Car Make Corns knee pad

Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit

DDM Works Radio surround/ blanking plate

Focal Performance 165AC speakers

Il Motorsports polished door sill covers with RevLimiter inserts

Blackbird Fabworx roll bar w custom Bethania cover (thanks Martha)

H3R Fire extinguisher and bracket


Barchetta Front bumper

OEM hardtop (non defrost), for now…

Beatrush side latches

Garage Star front tow hook

Garage Star plate relocator

RS Active Type II headlights with upgraded PIAA 960 lights

GV headlight lid

Zoom Engineering side lights

R front lip (by Rspeed)

Greasemonkey2000 hand drilled wiper arms

Retro Modern wiper cap inserts

M2 1028 side mirrors with wide blue upgrade

Carbon Miata Fender Flares and black stainless fasteners

Zoom Engineering Fuel lid

Car Make Corns radio antenna

GV Rear finish panel/ badge and Porter cab lights

Custom Corfito Mazda rear badge

KG Works rear spoiler (by Rspeed)

Zoom Engineering Rear bumper

Rokyu Rob rear tow hook

Starsharks re-barelled by Barrel Bros in Australia to 14×8.5 -8

949 Racing lugs

Toyo R888 225/50/14 rear, 205/55/14 front

Robbin’s soft top


949 Racing Xida Race Coilovers with Billet upper mounts

Downstar strut nuts

1.125” Racing Beat front sway bar

Rear Supermiata rear sway bar

SuperMiata End Links

Garage star door bushing


Erm… haven’t failed me yet?

Shoutouts/Credits/Sponsors:  This is where it gets crazy.  This Roadster tribe has had such a profoundly positive impact on my life the last years I can’t skimp on the credit though I’m sure I’m going to forget a ton of special people.

Mrs. R (Jennifer) for the inspiration in the first place and the support for all things Roadster.  My brother’s Dan & Steve for fueling my petrol addiction.  And Frodo, my most regular four legged co-pilot.

Adam (RevLimiter) – such a wonderful human being, an incredible story teller and source of endless inspiration.  Sharka will always be my muse.

The KINOD family for welcoming me with open arms and fueling my passion and knowledge.  The best way to spend a Friday night.  Garrett, JonB, Max and Jeremy in the early days, David’s Inge, Woolery & Morales, Pedro, Manny, Mike Gaite, Bill Wilner, Andrew, Rob, Vu and Vu, Regis (+ Missy + K), Dusty, Tommy, Sonny, Ham, the Jason’s, Rick, Alexxandria + Daniel, Cho’s & Trans’, Alex, Ashley, John K, Bench, Emmi, Eddie, Forest, Brennan, Domo, Dwayne, Nam, Gabele, Bodybag, Courtney + LJ, Antonio (our Italian foreign exchange student) and Brian for being key to starting this all despite never having owned a Miata.  And of course Kevin and Nico who I coerced to join us and who’s ambitions help fuel the fire.  Eli and Sam?  We’ll eventually make converts out of you yet.

The MazdaRoadster forum for its boundless knowledge and especially the east coast crew who welcomed me to Miatapalooza.  Rick, Randy, Agent O, Steven, the Sawyers’, Alex and Corey (the best friend I’ve made out of a spat over rare JDM parts).  I wish forum life hadn’t been taken over by social media but at least there’s some amazing history of Peter’s Blue Potato and Stoly’s Scrat!

The crews I finally got to meet and hang with thanks to MRLS – NorCal’s Willis Wong, Brian Szeto + Aaron. The PNW Cat Daddy’s and those that came from futher away Marlon and the Philippines crew and Marlon from north of the (wall) border.  And of course Tom Matano.  Such an inspiration – I feel honored to have enjoyed his company and stories on more than one occasion.

All the inspiration from over the pond with James and his amazing collection, Ry, Will, Alan, Tanya, Darryl, Chris,  Vaho and Cermivelli to the east and Harry, Peter and Gianni from a bit further south.

The Corns family, Tomio, Tomoyo, Ben-san and Kadin.  The crew from Thailand and especially Goff’s vision and design prowess.  Probably the best realization of a dream with unrivaled attention to detail.

The wonderful Joel and the RDB family – Nathan, the Spilker bros, et al.

To Alex and the Integrated Performance crew for always keeping me on the road with jobs too big or time consuming for me.  Makito and Louise for all the stunning paint and body work.

And finally the back issues of HyperRev and Road&Sters for the many hours of enjoyment and inspiration.

How did you get in to Miatas?

My wife encouraged me to buy a Miata as a tribute to my eldest brother after he lost his battle with cancer in 2014.  He was a key source of my lifelong passion for cars.  In Feb ‘89, he and I marveled at the MX5’s Chicago unveiling and knew it was a brilliant antidote to what his ‘78 Fiat Spider failed to deliver beyond the top down fun.  He finally got to enjoy that reality in Lola, the Montego blue which was his last car.  We’ve since added two more NA’s to our collection.  One for Mrs R (a mint 100% stock Sunburst with 43k miles) so I could start modifying the smurf and a 91 BRG that’s been another platform to have some fun.

How long have you owned the car?  I was searching for a bone stock, low mileage first year production (short Mariner and finally found one in early 2015 with 50k miles.  Nearing 90k so has certainly being seeing some use.

How long did it take you to build?  It’s gone through at least three distinct phases with a pretty big change up each of the last three years.

What is your intent with the car?  To love the hell out of it and to channel what I believe my brother would have appreciated most about a multi-purpose track/street car that has a painstaking attention to detail and love of what the Japanese aftermarket was doing in the early 90’s.

Is this your daily driver or weekend car?  It started out as a weekend car Jen and I would share.  That didn’t last long.  Last year my “daily” saw 2k miles and Benny covered 12k.

What are your future plans/goals with the car?  I keep saying it’s pretty much done but next up with be installing some of the pieces I’m currently picking up in Japan and some other parts coming down from Washington later in the summer.  There’s also some real maintenance work I should tackle like replacing all the bushings, probably upgrading from the stock diff and others.

Any special memories you’d like to share?  Teaching my eldest son to drive stick and see him become a massive convert, JCCS with Mike G and Willis. Countless early morning blasts to cars and coffees, Spirit road cruises come rain or shine, the annual pilgrimage to Laguna Seca and seeing the freeway littered with Miatas, tech days at Woolery’s, RevLimiter edition KINOD and our trip to the secret Mazda basement.  I could go on and on and on but this Roadster really has been an enabler for so many incredible memories and I expect will continue to for years and years to come.