The MX-5 Miata of the Month from

May 2006

J Thos Parker


Congratulations to J Thos on the selection of his 1990 Miata as our Miata of the Month!

In 1988, I posted a photo from one of the car magazines on the fridge and told my wife Lisa, "Here's your next car!" She laughed and said "That little thing!?" By spring '89 she was hooked; in May we placed our order for a red (of course!)Miata A pkg; only a $1,000 dealer prep fee!

With demand being what it was, we could have been waiting 'til October. Lucky for us, at the end of July the dealer called, saying one had arrived to our specs. The reserved buyer for that car had come in to pick it up and discovered his golf clubs wouldn't fit in the trunk. Did we want this one? Of course, the next day we had our Miata!

One month later, having just bought a two-seater, Lisa's doctor told us we were pregnant with our first child! OK, here came TWO additions to the family, after the Miata: new son Nigel, and an MPV mini-van. We kept Nigel, but the MPV went by the way-side after two years.

Six years later...Lisa, five months pregnant, with five-year old Nigel in the passenger seat of the Miata, stopped as the first in line at a red light at a four-lane intersection. Engrossed in animated conversation she made no notice of the light turning green, or of the Peterbilt that pulled up behind them. The Peterbilt driver, apparently also being distracted, saw the green light. Since he saw nothing ahead of him past that long hood, he hit the pedal. Nigel told me that evening: "That truck hit us once and knocked us out in the street...then it hit us again, and Mommy stopped in the middle of the intersection. Mommy got out and stomped back to that truck and yelled at that guy "Why are you hitting my car!" Happily, there were no injuries, only rear panel, taillights, and trunk-lid.

When our red '90 was only a year or two old, we opted for vanity personalized plates. Being a long-time fan of TABASCO hot sauce, we paid for rear plates that read "TABASCO". I photographed the tail-end of our red Miata with the TABASCO personalized plate, and sent a photo, along with a request for any promotional or advertising materials, to the Tabasco company. Weeks later, we recieved a response from Mr. Paul McIlhenny, vice-president and heir of the company. Quite obviously, they are as protective of their brand as is Disney or Coca-Cola! In his letter, Mr. McIlhenny wrote me "It is my understanding that the respective states do not issue license plates in the name of trademarked products. However, that is not your problem, it is ours..." Along with the letter, yet to framed for the garage alongside one of the plates, he also sent two Tabasco cookbooks, an embroderied jacket patch, and a booklet of the history of the McIlhinney family at New Iberia, Avery Island, Louisiana.

And now, after almost 18 years of ownership of a daily-driver Miata, we've founded a regional Miata driver's club, Squadron-Mx5. It's open to all enthusiasts but centered around the Miata. After two open-garage meets and a breakfast in the last six weeks, we already have a '93 M-Edition, a 2001, and a 2006 Classic Edition, our '90 and some interest from some MG/MGB and BMW owners. There are two spring tours already planned. All at can be viewed at squadron-mx5.net. Contact squadron-mx5@hotmail.com for tour or open-garage details!


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