I recently brought readers up to date on my 1997 Miata. There was one interesting little side-story that I left out.
After my first piece on the Miata ran, I got an email from fellow CCer Jim Klein. Jim said that he had a black vinyl boot for the convertible top from his old Miata out in his garage. It had somehow not made it into the car when it was sold, and had been taking up space ever since. Jim offered it to me if I was interested, at least when he got time to get it out of his garage.
I was happy to accept his offer. Some time later, Jim emailed me again to confirm my address and out it went. I was happy to receive the big box, but the weather was miserable and it went into a corner of my garage until I could get to it on a nicer day.
Well, on a particularly nice day recently, I opened the box and got the boot out. For those who have never had a convertible, the boot is the cloth or vinyl covering that fastens down over the folded top to give it that nice finished look with the top down. They can be a bit of a pain, sometimes more than tripling the time it takes to put the top down or up, but the car does look nice when it is properly affixed. I was pretty religious about using the boot on my ’67 Galaxie 500 convertible those many years ago, and with as much time as the Miata spends with its top down, a nice boot would really dress it up.
But as I got the boot out of the storage bag and started to lay it over the folded top, I saw a problem: this boot is for some convertible, but not a 1990-97 Miata. The Miata boot fastens across the front with a series of metal snaps, and the back and sides slip a ridge into a groove set into the molding that covers the edge of the opening. This one? Not a snap in sight. Instead, the front has a vinyl piece that looks similar to the design that my 67 Ford used that stuck into a groove across the top of the back seat. But there is nothing on a Miata to attach to it.
The shape was wrong as well. The sides go too far forward, covering several inches of door on each side, and that is before it goes far enough forward to even pretend that the clips under the boot will somehow attach to the molding on the deck.
I let Jim know, and he is as mystified as I am, because it came with his car (though he never used it). Both of us asked the question: if not a Miata, just what does this thing fit? And that, dear readers, is where you come in.
You can see the pictures I took of the boot, and of the underside which shows the series of clips by which it attaches to the Mystery Car. Surely, one of you out there has owned a Camaro, Mustang, Sebring, LeBaron, P.T. Cruiser, Sunbird, Cavalier, or Super XGT9000, to which you carefully and lovingly attached the vinyl boot every time the top went down. That being the case, you can still experience in your mind each fastener and how it felt as the boot clipped into place. So, let’s see what the Curbside Commentariat has to say on this one. Do you have the solution to the mystery that has eluded two puzzled Miata owners?