Import & Domestic Motor Sport is owned and operated by veteran technician Mike Martinez. Mike was a graduate of Lincoln Technical Institute and graduated at the top of his class, receiving a diploma in both Automotive and Diesel Technology. Mike went on to work at various independent and specialty shops, as well as, a few different auto dealer lines. A couple of Mike’s highlights are working as the head tech at Lake Shore Mazda, which was located in the Lakeview area, as well as, working at Midwest Motorsport, a BMW specialty shop located in Glenview that performed general repairs as well as, high performance and race car modifications.
Mike had the opportunity to go on the road and work as a technician on Mazda’s race team but declined due to personal reasons. Mike has a vast knowledge of Mazda’s Rotary Engine and was the specialist while he was at the Mazda dealership.
Mike began working on his own at the age of 28, and at that time was only servicing Mazda vehicles. As time went on, and people were very pleased with Mike’s work, they began to ask him to service their other vehicles. Mike began servicing all Japanese and European vehicles 2 years after starting his own shop. He later added domestics. And he still specializes in Mazda’s Rotary Engine!
The Mazda Club was founded in 1988 by Frank Ochal, who lives in Chicago, IL. The Mazda Club has both an e-magazine as well as a paper subscription. The Mazda Club offers everything from technical advice, to finding parts for your Mazda!
Import Motorsport has been personally servicing Frank’s Mazdas for over the past decade!
The Windy City Miata Club is a car club devoted soley to Mazdas Miata Roadster. When the first Miatas were being sold at Mazda dealerships in late 1989 and 1990, Mike was working as a Technician at what once was DesPlaines Mazda on Rand Road just South of Golf Road. The car was originally built in limited quantities because Mazda was not sure how many would sell! Mike can remember seeing them listed in the newspapers for $40,000 when they were first sold in 1990. People were buying them and trying to re-sell them for that much! People immediately fell in love with this recreation of the old British and English Roadsters of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The one thing that set the Mazda apart from the “other” cars was that the Miata did not break! It was a nimble, terrific handing car that never had any major mechanical issues, and was a blast to drive!
Mazda was able to enhance the ergonomics, style, and keep the pricing fair as the newer models came out and much of this successful improvement was due to Mazda really keeping an open ear to the people who loved and owned these little cream puffs!
It wasn’t long until companies like BMW began coming out with their own versions of the Roadster, but none were able to capture the total package that Mazda created with their little Miata, which in case you didn’t know, means “High Reward” in German! Mike became a member of the Windy City Miata Club back in 1996 when he began working on his own. He was actually working on an RX-7 race car, and it was winning many races. One day the owner of the RX-7 was at an event and the then President of the Miata Club, John Gobey, asked the owner of the RX-7 who works on his car. Mike’s name came up, and he soon received a call from John asking him to come to one of their meetings. It wasn’t long until Mike was working on Miatas every weekend!