When I began writing for CC, I was the almost perfect Yin to Paul Niedermeyer’s Yang. He hails originally from Europe, I am a native-born American. He has mostly lived on the coasts, while I am a lifelong midwesterner. He gravitated to sports cars that reward the engaged driver, while I was Mr. Luxury Land Yacht. But as time has gone on, Paul and I have come to appreciate the other’s point of view on things Automotive. After all, he seriously contemplated the possibility of owning a ’72 Ford LTD, and I have come to appreciate the appeal of the sports car.
Well, now I’ve gone and done it, and Curbside Classic is to blame. When we met in Auburn in October, one of the fellows who joined us was John Eipper, better known hereabouts as Sevair. John wowed us with his beautiful silver ’79 Seville and probably told us at the time that he also owned a Miata, but I don’t actually remember. What I do remember is that John contacted me when he had some business in Indianapolis, and hoped that we might get a chance to meet. Unfortunately, we were not able to make it happen, but his Miata came up in that conversation, including the nugget that it might come up for sale. I might or might not have said something to suggest that I could potentially be interested.
Fast forward to the first week of 2015. John sent me an email that contained the Craigslist link to the ad that was going up in the Detroit area. I followed the link, read of his long ownership (stewardship, even) of this car, saw the pictures, and took a gander at his reasonable price. It was then that I did something I have never, ever done – within ten minutes, I emailed him back telling him that he had made a sale. Props here to Mrs. JPC who happened to be at hand at the time, and who blessed the transaction as an early treat for our upcoming 25th wedding anniversary. (I am now starting to suspect that I had better come up with something pretty good for her, but that’s another matter.)
Actually, I have carried a bit of a Miata torch for quite a few years. When our fleet went from two to three a few years ago, a Miata was on my short list. As was a Town Car, as the Niedermeyerization process was not yet completed. So of course, I bought a 1996 Honda Odyssey. I say “of course” because the Oddy was what almost every one of my car purchases has been, namely the right car in the right place at the right time. My best cars have always found me instead of the other way around. Go looking for a car, and you have to sort through endless dreckmobiles or decent cars that are priced as though they are ’69 Chargers. But when a car stops you with a “hey you – yeah, you – commeer”, you would be wise to indeed ‘commeer’ and take a look.
As you know, I recently sold the famous Grand Marquis, and was happy to be back down to three cars. But with the ’93 Crown Vic having been sort of adopted by my middle son who may not be home this summer, we faced a summer with two cars and three people. In my experience, this often winds up with someone being inconvenienced and cranky. But not now. We have read of the long, carefully considered car searches of other contributors here at CC, not the least of which involved charts and tables. But not here. Red Miata? Boom – wrap it up, I’ll take it.
About that red – I am actually not a “red car guy”. But I have never refused the right car because of the color, which comes with what I have described as the “used car equipment package.” In other words, you get what you get. But maybe I can rethink this. John the seller pointed out the resale boost should I change my mind, and my son (also John) looked at me incredulously and said “Look at it – it’s supposed to be red. That’s just what one of these is! ” Good points, both.
What we have here is an eighteen year old Miata that John owned for almost fifteen of those years. 158,000 miles, and some significant things addressed in the last fifteen thousand (like a redone head and a new clutch). It is hard to tell how well a late model car has been cared for, but with an old one, it is simple. This car has been in a good home. Which I know, now that I have taken possession (or perhaps I should say custody.) Rear wheel drive, a stick shift and a top that folds down. And functional air conditioning that does not rely on R-12 refrigerant. This car checks all of the right boxes for a completely usable three-season car that can be a toy at the same time. Really, there is no reason I could not drive it in the winter too, but I would prefer to limit its salt intake for its future good health.
Yes, I know. It is neither a Mopar nor a Studebaker. Sorry if some of my formerly like-minded friends here are disappointed that I have joined the other team. Truthfully, had a 68 Newport or a 63 Lark in similar condition for similar money grabbed me by the lapels, I might have a different set of keys in my pocket right now. But one of those would have likely been much rougher for the price, and been significantly less safe as a daily driver. Sure, I might get flattened by a Suburban, but the driver of a 1960s car would not likely fare any better. I would prefer not to spend the next thirty years with a turn signal stalk in my arm.
So, here we are. As I write this, I have owned the car for twenty four hours, with the only wheel time being on a very snowy and slippery trip from northern Indiana to home, where it was immediately run through a wash to get the salt off (note to self, stash a towel for next time) and parked in the garage. Sorry, Honda Fit, but you are eight years old now, after all. But in that few hours behind the wheel, as this car and I began the process of getting to know one another, I think that we will make a good team. So thanks, CC and thanks, John. I guess I’m a sports car guy now. Soooo, all I need are driving gloves and one of those hats. But as I think about it, I have not been completely Niedermeyerized. When John mentioned that he might be ready to let go of his Corvair, I felt absolutely no emotion. None. So there is still some JPC left in here after all.
Congratulations JPC! I’ve never seen one with that eggcrate grille; is that aftermarket?
Yes, a bolt-in accessory. I did not notice it at first, but I kind of like it. Gives the car a bit of a Ninja Turtle vibe, no? 🙂
Dear Don: Yes, it’s an aftermarket piece from Moss. I liked the pseudo-Maserati look. But JPC says it better: Ninja Turtle.
It’s a nice piece of personalisation.
Its curvature reminds me of early Ferrari barchettas
Egg-crate grille, a sort of “power dome” hood, maybe even a carriage roof…. JPC, you haven’t completely abandoned your old ways.
Congratulations! As my mom always says, enjoy it in good health.
It’s not a bad idea to have a supplementary grille under the bumper, as otherwise the radiator is not protected at all from stones and other road debris
I prefer to have it both ways. I like sporty but also large and sturdy built. I like rear drive, large six cylinder engines tuned for torque, and cars proportioned a like a sportscar or at least sportier than a luxury car. I also like the large steel bumpers that were common in the mid 70s. I think the ideal car for me would be a 1979 Chevy Nova 2 door with sport suspension, stickshift, limited slip, bucket seats, and a large inline six motor. I wish the Nova had a shorter trunk.
I’m sure Mr. Cavanaugh considered your personal tastes before he made his purchase.
I’d like that Nova with the Vortec 4200 (the DOHC straight six they put in the Trailblazer)- 275 HP @ 6,000 RPM & 275 lb-ft @ 3,600 RPM.
It also uses all aluminum construction, keeping the weight down.
Jim, Jim, Jim, what are we going to do with you? That’s right – Congratulations!
From having experienced the fantastic condition of John’s Seville, it’s easy to see why you bought the Miata so quickly. Stewardship is very much the right word to describe John’s caretaking.
Enjoy your Miata. Something tells me that is already happening.
Oh, my. Color me jealous! Where my former convertible, manual transmission (but FWD, natch) ‘sports car’ left me somewhat cold (both literally and figuratively), this would be an awesome fair-weather car. I came *that close* to buying one new back in ’89, but insurance rates and an impending addition to our home (the kind that requires a car seat) put the kibosh on it.
Congrats on what sounds like a great find!
Outstanding! I’m betting 45% of CC readers, and probably well over 80% of CC readers in the 45+ demographic, have seriously wanted a Miata at one time or another. I’m among them. In some ways, it’s the perfect empty- or almost-empty-nest car for a guy — modern enough, fun enough, cheap enough.
And one of the very few models in which a stick shift is the norm instead of a needle in a haystack.
It may also be the single most common car of CC contributors. I believe that both Mike Butz and Dave Skinner are owners. Am I missing anyone?
Roger Carr has one also, I believe.
I *used* to have one! By the by, does anyone else in CC-land own a Solstice GXP? Far faster than the Miata, but clunkier too. The Miata is a scalpel; the Solstice a machete.
It seems like Syke has or had a Solstice.
As of the past month, “had”. But I’m not out of the sports car field, yet. Seriously looking for another 924/944 Porsche, but will happily consider a NA Miata. Let’s see what this summer does, once I finish sorting out the motorcycle population at Chez Syke.
While I won’t call a Solstice a machete, and was surprised that I like it better than the ’06 Miata I test drove at the same time, it’s definitely a somewhat cruder car.
In my mind, the car’s biggest failure was that it had the misfortune to follow a Porsche 924S in the garage. Other than the advantage of being a roadster, there was absolutely no comparison between the two.
Toying with doing a writeup about the two.
Indeed – this one.
Me too… I had a ’91 for 10 years. (Or more accurately, my wife had it for 5 years until #1 Son was born, but we couldn’t stand to part with it so I got to drive it for the next 5 years while she drove a Cherokee and then a Voyager.)
Far and away the most reliable car we ever had, as well as the most fun.
I had a 91. Now I have a Mr2 Spyder. When I was shopping for a sports car a while back I looked at a newer generation Miata but didn’t really care for it. I still love the first gens though and would love to have a green one with the tan leather interior.
Congratulations, and welcome to the club!
If you feel good about your purchase at this point, just wait for that first warm and sunny spring day when you can go topless. I’ve owned a 2002 Miata since new, and taking it out of hibernation each spring is always special. It’s -20 deg. C (-4 deg. F) here this morning, so I’ll have to wait a while…
After 13 years of ownership, this car still puts a smile on my face, and I still seek out winding, deserted country roads for the sheer pleasure of driving.
See, it’s that line right there: “Taking it out of hibernation each spring” — that explains why so many 20-year-old Miatas are available for just $5k with around 100k on the clock. Inexpensive, and not wrung out yet.
JPC topless? I’d rather not…
Oh wait, you mean his MIATA topless! Well, alrighty then. 😉
(Seriously, congrats on a great buy and props to Mrs. JPC for green lighting the deal! Have fun!)
Time to go autocrossing!
Dear Jim: What a beautiful car! Let me know if you ever want to sell it. Ha ha.
As a matter of fact, Miata’s American cousin and replacement (2008 Solstice GXP) is on deck for my freshman CC effort. All I have to do is actually write it up…
Here they are together, on the eve of Miata’s sad (for me) departure for Indiana.
Enjoy your new ride, Jim! SeVair GXP (John)
As a PS to the above, I just remembered that I brought the Miata home on a snowy January 6th (2000)–exactly fifteen years ago today! Therefore it’s very fitting that it gets its second (actually third) lease on life today on CC.
It was about 25 degrees that day in Detroit, but I was so excited that I drove the 30 miles to my house with the top down and the heat blasting. Fellow motorists gave me that “you’re crazy” look.
I did the same thing with my first car on February 28, 1977. The only difference was that once I got to my buddy’s house, the power top on the 67 Ford would not go back up. My mother was not happy.
I thought about it for about a half a minute on Sunday, but with rapidly dropping temps and high wind and falling snow and freeway speeds, the sensible 55 year old part of my brain overruled the urge. 🙂
I’ll admit it, ever since owning my MX-6 I’ve wanted a Miata. Specifically the early M-edition, and I have no good reasons as to why. But this:
I say “of course” because the Oddy was what almost every one of my car purchases has been, namely the right car in the right place at the right time. My best cars have always found me instead of the other way around.
..basically sums up exactly what my past few vehicles have been. My current one was exactly that in a story that needs to be told (hint to self: get off thy arse and continue the COAL), but probably my favorite vehicle I’ve owned to date.
That said, I’m off to look for M-edition Miata and MX-6’s….
Enjoy. I and everyone else I’m sure would appreciate a write up of a days drive in Brown County sometime this spring. Always enjoyed the back roads in that area, particularly around Nashville when I lived in Indiana. Metamora area is a close second.
“(I am now starting to suspect that I had better come up with something pretty good for her, but that’s another matter.)”
After 25 years, he is starting to catch on. 🙂
I’m jealous. I admit it. I’m gonna get myself a new toy… not sure what it’ll be yet.
Have fun, JPC! You made a very good choice there.
Ah, I was wondering what had replaced the Miata–a Solstice GXP sounds like a worthy follow-up!
If I was in the market for a small roadster, I think it’d be instructive to drive a Miata, a Solstice, and an S2000 as a back-to-back-to-back comparison. Three cars of similar size, with a similar mission, with different ways of getting it done. But this particular Miata, with this particular provenance–now that’s a slam dunk.
(I’ve actually attempted to get my wife to consider a Miata as a DD but it was summarily pronounced “too small”. Plus she doesn’t want a manual anyway. Alas…) Enjoy it JPC!
Great choice! I’ve been a very happy owner of a 1997 Miata for over 3 years now (a dream of mine since they arrived in the summer of 1989) and haven’t ever regretted it, despite the added cost of a third car and the storage hassle. You were very smart to have immediately washed the car after the salt…I indiscriminately drove mine in the rain (not even any snow) for the first year, until I was amazed at how quickly the rocker panels started to rust out… something for which these are notorious. I’ll go out on a limb and say that a late (i.e. ’96-’97) first-gen Miata provides the best mix of cheap, reliable fun available. I’m sure you will love it…
The rockers have been replaced on this car. Coming from Michigan, and John having said that he has driven the car in some snowy weather, I did not expect a California -quality body. But then I didn’t pay for one either. In the Midwest, you have to be prepared to deal with corrosion, but less is always better than more. For a northern car of its age and usage it is as good as a guy is likely to get without a big price premium.
Congratulations Jim! I hope you have many years of enjoyment with the Miata.
I’m one of those that’s never lusted (or even thought of) buying a Miata. That said, for the right price… 🙂
The Miata is remarkable in that it gets praise from both Epicureans (enthusiasts) & Stoics (Consumer Reports, giving it full marks).
Congratulations, Jim! Sounds like you’ve got a keeper there. If/when I make it out your way for a visit, you’ll have to take me for a drive. I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to set you up with a C-body Mopar though.
Wow, congratulations, very nice car, looks like John kept it up wonderfully (just like the Seville). I had one of these as well, also in red.
JPC – I sold mine about 6 or 7 years go but for some reason i still have (wrapped in plastic, the way I got it), the tonneau cover for the convertible top, if you are interested in it I can make sure it is in excellent condition and figure out a way to get it to you sooner or later. At this point it is just taking up space…
Either way, enjoy your new car, Miatas are one of the best smiles/dollar equation out there.
Congratulations, Jim. Great car; always wanted one.
I’m flattered about your choice of title, but I’m afraid your “Niedermeyerization” isn’t quite fully complete yet.There’s a few more things on the list; I’ll send them to you privately. 🙂
But buying a car so impulsively and quickly is a big one to have crossed off the list.
Enjoy your Miata!
When I accept Early Retirement from the Feds in 11 months, 2 weeks and 3 days (but who’s counting?), I won’t need my 2011 Camry as my 65 mile a day to/from work commute will be gone. The Camry is a quiet, smooth riding, no fuss/no muss commuter car, perfect for it’s role. But once work is history……
I’ve been seriously considering selling the Camry and replacing it with a Miata. It could be the perfect top down “yang” to my Lincoln Town Car’s “ying”, an enjoyable top down driver on the days when my mangled knee is in a good mood and when the oppressive heat & humidity here n New Orleans don’t require the TC’s powerful but quiet HVAC system.
Better test-fit one before you buy if you have a bum knee. It is not the easiest car to get in/out of. My joke to the Mrs. was that I had to get one while I still have the hips and knees to get in and out of it. 🙂 It is quite low, and those of us who are not in our 30s anymore need to work on the entry/exit method.
I have been driving my mother’s 06 Lacrosse while she has been convalescing from an illness. It is also a bitch to get in and out from (big steering wheel front, forward thrusted center pillar at back, high sill below and low roof above – it is like a hatch you have to get through. The difference is, once in the Miata, all of my gripes go completely away. In the Buick, they are just starting.
JPC: Funny you should say that. I had a painful left knee for about two years, and I believe it was from jumping out of the Miata onto one leg. I then embraced a new strategy: swivel both legs out of the car, and push yourself up and out with the steering wheel. The knee pain went away in a couple of weeks. It does give off a geriatric vibe to execute this move in public, but usually nobody is watching.
The fundamental problem is that the Miata is so low to the ground. With SUVs and “command seating” even in sedans these days, we Americans are just not used to scraping the ground.
I always used the “swing and drop” method to get in my Brit cars. Right leg into the footwell, left hand on windshield header, swing butt inward, drop. Getting out also involved grabbing the windshield header and pulling up. Been a while since i’ve used this technique; I suspect cracking sounds may occur these days.
Thank you JPC for getting to this car before me. I would have a hard time justifying a motorcycle, a regular cab pickup, and a Miata.
Congrats….envy…..there are worse vectors middle age crazy can take….envy….I have considered a ragtop as well….envy…..but lack of garage space eliminates anything that I don’t want to leave outside all year….envy….Holzer Ford has a really clean 91 Capri on the lot, with the optional hardtop, and I’ll go right past Holzer on my way to have Fritz serviced next week…envy….no place to put the Capri tho, don’t want to boot Fritz out of the garage….envy….
Does Mazda make the Miata in the same buttercup yellow color that my POS Fiat 124 convertible was?
…the same buttercup yellow color
ah…I remember that Fiat yellow well. A neighbor had a 128SL that color. Nope. Mazda has a yellow, but it’s brighter.
And hopefully less rust prone.
Hi Mark, fellow New Orleanian here. Mazda did offer a rather attractive orange.
I know a lady with a MazdaSpeed Miata that color that needs rescuing…she has talked about selling it. With the stiffened up suspension it must be murder on these streets.
For the price a used Miata costs, it is one of the most fun cars you can get. I think everybody should drive one for at least 1 hour. No fancy bells or whistles in the car. Just a driver’s car.
My first time driving one was back in 1999 when I was working at a Pontiac/GMC/Buick dealer and the service writer told me to drive a black 1997 Miata to warm it up so the tech that was the Maryland State inspector could inspect it before it went up for sale. I got in it and started driving. At the next red light I floored it and all of a sudden the convertible top retracted with a loud SHINK!!!. It seems that the person in the car before me did not latch the top down and the quick acceleration retracted it. It scared the crap out of me.
Make sure to get the fiberglass/plastic optional top as it makes the car so much more manageable in the colder weather.
Enjoy your car
Make sure to get the fiberglass/plastic optional top as it makes the car so much more manageable in the colder weather.
Fortunately, Mrs JPC is around to help get it on and off. Then it’s just a matter of installing a rack on the garage ceiling to hold the top. Don’t try standing it on end at the end of the garage as those tops tend to warp if not supported evenly.
Congratulations Jim and John on your new cars! Count me among the Miata fans, though I must confess I’ve never driven or even ridden in one. Still, the draw is there, though it is counteracted by snowy Michigan winters and only two seats. Having had the pleasure of meeting you both and seeing John’s Seville, I am confident the Miata has been well cared for and will continue to be. What a great story and happy ending 🙂
Actually, a Miata’s traction in the snow is surprisingly good, probably at least in part due to the 50-50 weight distribution. We regularly drove ours up to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear (in the San Bernardino Mountains east of LA), and the real limiting factor was ground clearance. If we got more than 4″ of snow, you did have to wait for the plow. For that matter, we road-tripped it up to Mammoth Mountain in the eastern Sierra too, with skis held vertically on a custom ski/bike rack we bought. The heater is easily capable of keeping the tiny cabin warm down to the 20s, though I don;t know about Michican winter temps. Fun times!
This was my experience as well. My first drive in the car was in very slick conditions, but it did quite well. I guess all of my years piloting Panthers and other big rwd cars in snow made me pretty much plug and play in this one.
Just enjoy. If the mopar or studebaker crowd have anything to say I expect it will be congratulatory along the lines of the comments above. Ever now and then one must do something others think is middle aged crazy. I think my family thought I was a little nuts to buy a 4runner instead of the uniform old guy Grand Marquis. I have been having a ball but recommend you not take the Miata off road with me.
I am sure that you will have better luck than I did with my foray into sports cars. That was a very troublesome 1964 MGB. The world of sports cars sure has changed.
Ever now and then one must do something others think is middle aged crazy.
Middle age crazy is real. 20 years of grind is enough to do it to almost anyone.
Ah yes, I recall that movie.
A.M. was as luscious as ever!
B.D. always plays a “slightly crazy” man well. (Anyone recall his performance in “Coming Home”?
At least his character didn’t purchase a Porsche 911 Targa with the “sportamatic” transmission……
B.D. always plays a “slightly crazy” man well.
He has that nervous, twitching thing going on. Remember him in “Silent Running” where he kills all the other crewmen, or “Black Sunday” where he turns the Goodyear blimp into the mother of frag grenades and flies it into the Superbowl?
Love the take he does when he realizes the 928 costs over 40 grand. Of course, these days you can drop that on a Mustang.
Your post is a fun read, perhaps it should also be subtitled “The Peter Eganization of JPC”.
Congratulations on your Miata, I wouldn’t mind having one, too. Many happy miles to you, Jim.
I’ve kinda wanted a Miata ever since they first came out. But I have wife problems with that too. An evil person she was acquainted with had a red one….
Congrats, JPC…looks like fun! Remind me again how tall you are. The very idea of shoehorning my 6’1 250 lb chassis in one of these gives me claustrophobia!
Yes, a person’s physical size is important here. I am a touch under 6′ and around 200. The car fits me perfectly. My son is 6’6″ and barely fit as a passenger. He could never drive one, certainly not for any distance.
That’s about what I figured. No way I could make it too far in one of those…
i’m 6ft and 185lb – fits like a glove but the seat is right back.
The wheel doesn’t adjust either
I could be 6′ and 185 if I stood up real straight (and lied just a touch) and knocked off the sweets and snacks. 🙂
All this talk of fitting in a car reminds me….
I actually drove a Miata once. How could I forget that? It was white and belonged to my godfather. It was at my sister’s college graduation party. I drove the Miata right after getting out of my grandparent’s Buick Roadmaster. Those were two of the most divergent automobile experiences one can imagine separated by about 3 minutes. How could I forget that?
I was at a new-car show back about the time that Miata would’ve been new. I squeezed into the drivers seat of the Miata on the show floor, but caused a bit of a scene getting back out. My knees got stuck behind the steering wheel and I had to crawl out. My egress probably would’ve been a lot easier if the top had been down.
I’m 6’3″ and weighted about 250 at the time. I come by my preference for large cars partly out of necessity. 🙂
I had one just like that for an entire summer. Same color.
A joy to drive, but at 6’3″ and 185, a royal kink in my joints too. I had to fold myself in half to fit in, especially when the top was up. With the top up, I felt like I was wearing a hood.
Very nice. I’ve come close to buying a Miata a couple times but they are just so darn expensive in Canada. One of these days. Enjoy yours.
Congratulations on your purchase. Last spring, my wife earned herself a nice bonus, and at almost the same time, a ’98 Z3 with 78,000 miles on it turned up at a local dealer. They met and she fell in love. Completely unnecessary but one of the best purchases we’ve (she’s) ever made. Nothing beats a roadster on a nice sunny day (and we have plenty of those)!
welcome to the best club in the world the CC MX-5 Club.
What a car!
And classic red (the official Mazda name) is a must, for me at least
I just learned today about the NA designation. I am sure I will pick up the lingo soon.
Not sure how I forgot about yours. I now count four contributors and several other commenters. I vote we give John Eipper honorary status despite his defection to that (very fast) Lutzian pretender. 🙂
+1 for John.
Therw are 18 houses on our village street, and 5 MX-5s of varying ages!
Is that a record?
Bob Lutz doesn’t live far from where I sit (he’s in Ann Arbor, I’m sitting in Adrian 35 miles away). According to a recent Road & Track “Go Lutz Yourself” column, he is especially proud of one of his pet vehicles: the Solstice GXP. I have two friends who are also friends with Mr. L. Through them I hope to meet him someday–in the Solstice.
Wait until you see the GXP’s vanity plate, which is coming soon in the mail…
Speaking of fitting in cars, has anyone tried on a Mazda 2? I rented one last year to climb Mt Washington in New Hampshire, and I couldn’t even fit my 5′ 11″ frame inside. I’d say the car maxes out at about 5′ 9″. It should be called the Mazda 2 Small.
Jim–That was the point I began to make on Sunday when we met, when I started talking about Mt Washington. That is a terrifying ascent, by the way, especially for a flatlander.
This was mine:
Very fun car, and extremely reliable, and cheap to fix if ever needed.
What will happen next? Will Syke buy a 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman, considered by many to be the über-brougham? Will Carmine buy an unapologetic sports car like a TVR? Will Bryce use “proper” punctuation when commenting (not that we don’t love him for who he is)? Will Paul buy a Brougham? Stay tuned for next week’s episode of “Curbside Classic”! Weeknights at 9 PM Eastern/7 PM Central.
Now here is a car I can be positive about, even though it is not vintage. I am actually considering a 2006 and up Miata to replace my worn out 2001 people moving appliance. My sister has one, and I absolutely love it, though at 6′ 240 I’m a tight fit. And getting in and out is like sitting down and getting up from the ground. But once in, it is pure magic. I have no need for a back seat. I just don’t know If I could deal with a car so small and low on a daily basis, or whether I should get another appliance. I do already have 3 fun cars.
How did you swing this purchase with the wife? Did you tell her it was this or a Harley? The car looks brand new in the pictures, and being a MX-5 Miata shouldn’t leave you stranded on the side of the road. I had one red car, and even though I didn’t drive it any worse (or better) then my other cars I was always getting tickets in it! And it was only a Rabbit. Though I was only around 26 or so, the cops generally seem to give us old guys a little more slack! Enjoy your car, sounds like you got a great deal. Have fun with that little beauty in the summer driving over windy, mountain roads. Top down, of course.
Our Miata fit my oldest two kids just fine…. (Maybe this is why #1Son insisted that his first car have a manual transmission…)
Congrats Jim. 🙂
My “Niedermeyerization” is not nearly as advanced as yours, but if I was to step out of my comfort zone, a Miata would not be out of the question.
Did someone say 96 Odyssey? Based on my 95 and 97, they seemed like the perfect vehicle. Reliable, spacious, comfortable, versatile, economical–thought I might never have anything else. But they’re getting old and hard to find, and also carry the baggage of van-dom, the rolling living rooms favored by some in this area. My wife may always have her 97, which is beginning to appear a bit cult-like (VW beetle, Volvo 240, etc.). Me, I’ve moved on and will continue to do so. ..
Excellent impulse buy JPC! I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Impulse buying, what fun!
-person pondering an impulse buy
A very nice transaction, I’m sure you won’t regret it JP.
I get a Miata hankering every once in a while, but you know, I’ve never driven one. Might have had a ride in one around 1994.
Maybe the next time we meet up I can catch a lift 🙂
Most hearty congratulations JPC! And your son’s correct, the MX5 / Miata is born to be red! I’ve always fancied one, perhaps with a rotary or V8 conversion though, to really stand out!
Absolutely ridiculous. Why spend perfectly good money on a two seat convertible when you could buy a nice used Cavalier for thousands less?
Congratulations Jim! Welcome to the club. Even though I’ve shelved my e-Miata plans I can’t part with mine, it’s just too sweet.
One of the really cool things about the Miata (besides the whole car in general) is that you can get them with a manual transmission AND cruise control. You can have fun shifting, and still take long distance trips in it without killing your right leg. I rack up about 30,000 miles a year in mostly highway mileage, I have pretty bad arthritis, fibromyalgia, and both knees are bad. Right now I do pretty good with a clutch, but I don’t know how much longer that will last. But I simply cannot drive very far at a steady speed without my right leg cramping up bad, without cruise control.
The Miata is also a bargain. You can get a nice used one for no more than a comparable (year/mileage/condition) Toyota Corolla. Insurance is not bad, and they get good gas mileage. I have no idea what living with one on a daily basis would be like, but I have had 2 other 2 seaters, an ’87 Fiero and a ’77 Corvette.
The Miata seems like the ideal “middle age crazy” car. Unlike a Porsche, it is inexpensive enough to but without using up your life savings and retirement
I daily drove a 1994 Miata in LA for about 3 years. No problems with it, just driving a stick more than 45 minutes in traffic isn’t fun.
I’ve always liked the early Mazda MX-5 Miata over the more recent versions.
A Miata is a near perfect affordable don’t-be-afraid-to-drive-it second car and it could be a perfect primary car in a different climate. (I’m in Cincinnati.) I bought a 37K mile 2003 in May and quickly converted it to a 47K mile car by driving to the west coast and back. It’s kinda like a traveling on a motorcycle except you don’t have to put your feet on hot pavement and rain isn’t nearly so troublesome.