The MX-5 Miata of the Month from

July 2004

Mary Farace

Congratulations to Mary on the selection of her Miata as the June Miata of the Month!

Mary has liked Miatas for a long time; they are just so darn cute. In the past few she has test driven several new models, liked them, but could never afford one. Last December she was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided that life was too short to wait and she wanted to start running in SCCA autocrosses on one condition-- in a WHITE MIATA!

We began looking at early Miatas, only some of them were not white but all of them were interesting. It started with the white 1990 model with BBS wheels that we came close to purchasing until the salesman let it slip that the car had recently been repossessed from a stripper who had stopped payment on the check and then hid the car is a stable with some horses. The car made some funny noises (maybe they were whinnies) but when we heard that tale Mary decided to pass.

Mary and I haunted the usual car search websites and one Saturday, we compiled a list of cars and went in search of the affordable, prefect Miata. We started with a black '96 with steel wheels. While the miles were reasonable the card had seen hard use as an urban assault vehicle. The husband of the really nice old, hippie couple who owned the car pointed at the hump in the hood and said "see that! You wrap a half a chicken in aluminum foil and drive up to the mountains and lunch will be done when you get there." I don't think the Colonel's secret herbs and spices included Castrol and STP.

We called the next two owners on our list and left messages and decided to go take a look at a car that was further away. Along the way we drove by a Mazda dealer and asked if they had any Miatas we could afford. "Nope," the nice saleslady said but Bob in Parts is trying to sell his '93." It's got a lot of miles," Bob told us (186,000 it turns out) "but the engine is all chrome and get this," he says excitedly, "It has teeth." Fresh from the mouth of "Ralph the Shark" there's stainless steel teeth chomping away in the front grill. The engine is a work of art, but when Mary tries to sit inside, the smell of tobacco smoke stops her in her tracks. "We can get somebody to de-stinkify it," says Bob.

Then we off to Golden Colorado to see a car whose price was a little high for a '93 and had more miles than we wanted (108,000) but it was white. When we drove onto the lot I was impressed. The car had some dings and dents but they were minor and the original paint gleamed. It was sporting 15-inch Kosei white alloy wheels and near-new Nitto High Performance tires. When I peeked in, the interior looked new but then I saw the Hard Dog Extreme roll bar and said to Mary, "this is your car." And so it was. On the front was a sticker lowering the price to below what we wanted to pay (it was the last day of the month) and a little over an hour later Mary was driving her Miata home.

Mary's doctor has cleared her to drive Solo 2 events, and she has a new Bieffe helmet and even a driving suit for when she can run track days and Solo Trails, when her chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments are finished later. She loves driving the Miata with its top down and the car has become a symbol that you need to take the time to enjoy life's "zoom-zoom" while you're still alive.

(submitted by Joe Farace)

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