Enthuza Car

The MX-5 Miata of the Month from

purdy1.jpg (19749 bytes)August 1999

Matt Purdy
West Frankfort, Illinois


Congratulations to Matt on the selection of his Miata, as our August
Miata of the Month!

purdy4.jpg (24390 bytes)Well, why not? I keep meaning to send in my experiences about my Miata and I keep putting it off 'until tomorrow'. Well, Tonight's the night! My name is Matt Purdy and I live in West Frankfort, IL. Located about 2.5 hours east of St. Louis, W.F. is a little farming town of around 8000 people. My Miata fever hit by surprise one day while visiting the St. Louis auto show, but more on that later.

The Midwest is Chevy country. It's also Dodge and Ford country as well, but foreign cars are sometimes looked down upon around here. When I turned 16 my Dad suggested a Mazda Miata. I said no way- "too small", "it's a girl's car", "not fast enough", "its just a big hunk of plastic"... and so on. My dad stayed silent and helped me buy my 'hot rod'- a 1987 Ford Ranger. I was going to hop it up so much... New paint, new V-6, new transmission,... you name it. But then it kept breaking down. A lot. I put that little truck through so much, little did I know that all the skills I was learning from it would help me in the future...

purdy3.jpg (20122 bytes)After about a year with the truck, my father and I went to the St. Louis international auto show. I wanted to see the Dodge Viper, and the new 1997 Chevrolet Corvette... the last thing on my mind was a 'Barbie car' Miata.

As my dad's luck would have it, he somehow led me over near the Mazda display. The M Roadster was there, and I wish now that I had paid more attention to it. Anyway, a stock 1997 Miata was on public display, and I decided to lay into dad about the 'wuss factor' of the little roadster. Standing over it, complaining about how it was too small, blah, blah, blah... My dad would only say "Why don't you sit in it" ? ... He keep bugging me to plop down in the Miata, that I was to the point that sitting in it for 5 seconds wouldn't be so bad, if he would leave me alone about it.

purdy2.jpg (19309 bytes)WHOA!!!!! I was hooked! To make a long story short, I fell in love with the car as soon as I fell in it. Over the next 2 years we looked and looked for a decent, clean Miata. When we thought we had found the perfect one, insurance was too high. Or the car had been abused. It seemed hopeless until July of 1997. A dealership in a nearby town traded for a classic red, 1992 Miata. At first, she looked pretty rough, for she hadn't been washed and had quite a bit of dirt on the paint.The dealership left her that way for about 2 months. In July, money was somewhat tight, so we just turned our heads and forgot about the 'abused Miata'. Meanwhile my truck had almost all new parts, except for the frame or body. Exhaust, suspension, starter, brakes, clutch (2x... wasn't installed correctly first time), and numerous other things went out, it seemed, like every other week. I soon had my hours cut at work, which put an even bigger strain on my finances. The car would have to wait.

purdy5.jpg (12028 bytes)Periodically I would swing by that 'special' dealership to look at the Miata. It was usually unlocked, so I was able to get acquainted with the interior quite well. I keep thinking, "what a tiny car"... But I knew I just had to have one someday. I kept saving and saving and saving... did I mention I deliver Meds. for a local Pharmacy in my town? My truck was my paycheck. Finally, on January 24, 1998, It became my down payment. Since that first day off the lot, I can truly say that I am having fun driving now. I am also able to make upgrades, which I am very pleased with. I still love muscle cars and the such; I just don't have enough money to keep one running. To my dad's credit: He never has said "I told you so", and to him all I can say is 1) I'm sorry for being so bull-headed, and 2) Thanks, dad.

I have fun driving around the So. Illinois countryside with my girlfriend, and I personally believe I have the best job in the world right now: I get paid to drive my car!!! It doesn't get any better than that!

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