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The Miata
(per Debbie "Mike's Mid-Life Crisis")

The Story

For many years I have wanted a Sports Car. A two door - two passenger, with a convertible top. Maybe I can blame by cousin Chuck - he always had a little Sports Car when I was growing up. (Should I count that 1963 Chevrolet Covair that I had when I was 16 as a Sports Car?)

 Unfortunately through the years we have never been able to afford the "third" car, or a "toy" car as it has been referred to. We did own one "toy" car - a 1965 VW Bug with a 1966 engine. Purchased in two pieces, body in not real good shape that was my plaything for a while. It got sold when we moved one time. We also owned a "third" car that Deb used for a short time as a commuter car. This got sold and the proceeds used to purchase some vacation property at the beach - but I digress, badly.

Since about August of 2002 I started to look into purchasing that Sports Car. I had an idea of purchasing a Triumph TR-7 or an MG-B. Both of which are not longer sold in the US (to my knowledge). I found that they were few and far between. The condition of the ones I did find ranged from fair with high miles to junk with high miles. Now I am not afraid of mechanical work or restoration, but I don't have the space or the money to purchase multiple vehicles to use as parts to restore a single vehicle.

One day my wife and I were driving down the block in our neighborhood when I pointed out a small Sports Car in a driveway. I told her that I liked the look of it and asked her what it was. (You have to understand that my wife knows more about car makes and models then I will ever know.) She said that it was a Mazda Miata.

I started doing a little research on the Miata as it looked really nice. I found that they seemed to hold their value well, they were affordable, and the parts were relatively easy to come by. Didn't give it much thought for a couple months - didn't really see it fitting into our plans at the time.

On Sunday November 10, 2002, Deb was reading the local paper, happened to look at the car ads and said that the local Mazda Dealer had a couple Miatas listed. I didn't think much about it until Tuesday. 

Having a little free time on my hands I did a search on the Mazda dealer's website and could not find a Miata listed. I then did a search on autotrader.com and found that the dealer did in fact have two Miatas listed. A 1996 Black Miata with 62K miles. Five speed manual transmission and a lot of options. It looked OK, but I was not impressed with the mileage or the color. I looked at the second one and immediately fell in love. A 1995, White with a tan soft-top, leather high-back bucket seats, automatic transmission, (not thrilled with that), AM/FM/Cassette/CD, power windows, air conditioning, cruise control, power steering, and only 34K miles. It was perfect. I decided that if I got a Miata that would be the color combination. It just looks sharp. I emailed the links to the two advertisements to Deb at work and just kind of forgot about it ("yeah, right" - Deb). 

I got home that night and when Deb got home she said that she wanted to go out for dinner. ("My favorite thing for dinner is reservations"- Deb). I asked if she had looked at the information I had sent her on the Miatas and she said that she had. I told her that I had checked on auto insurance and that it really would not be too expensive. She made the comment that we should go look at the cars. I told her that it did not matter to me ("yeah, right" - Deb) if we looked or not. Since she was driving, she headed for the dealership, Jim Mears Mazda. As we pulled into the lot, both the Miatas (black 96 & White 95) were parked side by side. The white one stood out and just sparkled. We got out and looked at the car, peering through the windows, Deb stated that it was very clean. A salesman came out and asked if I wanted to take it for a drive. I could not resist. It drove like a Sports Car. It had everything that I wanted (except the 5-speed maybe). It was clean, the interior and exterior, the trunk, the engine compartment were immaculate. I asked the salesman how much it would be and he asked if I was interested. I told him that depended on the price, the financing, all the important stuff. I also told him that I needed to talk to Deb and see what her thoughts were.

After giving Deb the option to leave the lot, we ended up inside and about an hour later were driving the Miata home. Needless to say, I am like a kid with a new toy - All the little things that I want to do to that car. Pretty much leave it stock, but there will have to be a shock tower brace, maybe a hard top, maybe a cold air induction system, and that neat windscreen, and, and, and....

The other significance to this purchase is that in 33 years of owning cars/trucks, my wife and I have had more than 18, and only two (three now) were not Chrysler products.

Couple of other pages will be added that show the car and what minor things that I have done to it - This will be increasing as time goes on. Maybe even some Autocross information. 

Go here to see more pictures of the Miata

Fog Light Installation    Auto Cross/Solo II

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