Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association

Copyright 2021 • Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association

Club History

As researched by Jeanne George

In 1990, Jim Luis of the former Honey Mazda in Shingle Springs, CA wanted to host a gathering at his dealership to promote the new Mazda roadster. So he asked Jim Jordan, one of his local Mazda reps if he had some suggestions. They contacted Barbara Beach, of the Miata Club of America who said she was sure that people would be willing to travel to the Gold Country for a party. Plans got under way for a celebration and later announcements went out to the Miata community by way of the Miata Magazine. After seeing that announcement, several Sacramento Miata owners wanted to join a local Miata club. But there wasn’t one; so they contacted Barbara Beach who suggested that they start one up. Those Miata owners, Audrey Hall and Paul and Karen Kile decided to organize a local club.

September 1990, Honey Mazda picked up the tab for the Gold Rush Miata Fun Rally held at their dealership. The successful event drew 120 Miatas from all over the US. It was one of the first Mazda events of national scope. The activities included: Friday night dinner, Saturday a drive and BBQ dinner, and on Sunday a drive to Sear’s Point Raceway. Early in the morning 70 plus Miatas caravanned from the Shingle Springs dealership to the race track. Once there they lined up, reds, whites and blues to take laps around the track. Afterwards the various owners headed to their hometowns, while the Sacramento area people returned to Shingle Springs.

Audrey Hall was unable to attend the Gold Rush event, but Paul and Karen Kile set up a card table and signed up Miata owners interested in joining a club. After the event, they sent notice to the 25 people that signed up and invited them to a pot luck picnic meeting at Carmichael Park to be held mid-October.

On October 13, 1990 the first meeting of the Sacramento Miata Club (its temporary name) was held. Thirteen people showed up for this meeting and signed on as charter members. Of the original 13 attendees, only 2 are still with the club today: Skip Noyes and Dennis Swaney. At this first meeting, the items discussed were dues, meeting days, meeting locations, determining officer positions, and upcoming events.

November 1990, the first Official membership meeting was held at Rascal’s Pub in Rancho Cordova. The proposed name for the club was approved and became the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association: SAMOA was born.

Important dates in SAMOA history.

January 1991: 1st Officers
January 1991: 1st dues.
February 1991: 1st newsletter published
February 10, 1991: 1st Official SAMOA Outing to Zachary JOnes Restaurant in Diamond Springs
March 1991: 1st SAMOA attire was designed and went on sale (golf shirt $18, T-shirt $10)
June 1, 1991: official Miata Club of America charter was granted to SAMOA
June 22-23, 1991: 1st Overnight/weekend Outing...In those days they called their adventure an Outing

September 6, 1991: SAMOA becomes SAMOA, Inc.

October 1991: SAMOA’s membership is 61 Miatas

November newsletter: 1st MIATATUDES is published

September 18-20, 1992: Gold Rush 3

October 1992 newsletter: The President is begging for volunteers to serve as Officers.

October 17 -18, 1992: First Fort Bragg overnighter.

August 1993: David DeNuzzo is welcomed to the SAMOA group. He had just moved to Sacramento from Santa Ynez. [He later became known as The Crazy Red Italian and opened his own Miata repair shop in Sacramento

February 1994: It was announced that the Officers purchased a set of Radios “for keeping the participants together on Club runs”.
June 1994: David DeNuzzo and 2 other SAMOA Miata owners drove 6,000 miles in 18 days to Indianapolis and back. At that Indy 500 race track, they joined 250 Miatas to race and lap the oval. The group broke the Guinness record for “most cars of a single make and model in a caravan”.

September 23-25, 1994: The 5th Gold Rush spawned the largest collection of Miatas yet; 280 cars and 550 enthusiasts gathered at the Folsom Radisson Inn.

August 1995: It was reported that this year, there had been 11 official events which had been attended by 114 different people.

September 15-17, 1995: The 6th Gold Rush theme was Meet Me At The Movies. The location was moved to the Sheraton Hotel in Rancho Cordova and hosted 225 Miatas and 500 participants. A Four-day Mexican Cruise for 2 was the Grand Prize.

September 13-15, 1996: The 7th Gold Rush, MX Files, was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Rancho Cordova. Just over 150 Miatas and owners arrived from New Jersey, Canada, England, Australia, and points in between.

March 1997: Secretary meeting notes “Robin and Jeanne George were introduced at the beginning of the meeting as non-members...by the time festivities were over they had joined up...and they haven’t found the Miata they want yet!”

September 12-14, 1997: 8th Gold Rush was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Rancho Cordova with 160 Miatas and their owners.

September 18-20, 1998: 9th Gold Rush was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Rancho Cordova with a theme of Rock Around the Clock.

January 1999: Well we were elected! Robin is President and Jeanne took on Events.

February 1999: At the January meeting, Ron Petrich was introduced as a new member.

August 1999: new members Jack & Sally Parker and Larry and Barbara Penfield.


More information to be added as I read more about the club.