BfloPete on the Miata forum
Congratulations to Peter on the selection of his Miata as the July Miata of the Month!
The Heart Attack Car
Like so many Miata owners it may have been love at first sight in 1990 but two small children, a third one five years later, work and all the other requirements of life made other modes of four-wheeled transportation the norm for our growing family.
If my dates are correct Easter Sunday fell on April 16th in 2006, and we were celebrating the holiday an hour drive east of Buffalo at my sister and brother-in-law’s house in the Rochester suburb of Penfield. For those of you not familiar with western New York weather, a 55-degree temperature that day was a sure sign of spring and a celebration of what we could only hope was the beginning of warmer days ahead.
Shortly after our arrival, one of their friends pulled up in a white Miata, just taken out of winter storage. During dinner conversation I mentioned my unrequited love of the Miata and as soon as dinner had concluded, Dee reached into her purse handed me the keys, $5 for gas and said, “Put the top down the car has a great heater.” My son and I jumped at the offer and off we went up and down hills, cruising around the curvy tree lined streets of Penfield and surrounding suburbs. We ended up at the gas station pumped in $5 worth (and added a little more as a thank you) and returned the car with smiles and new windblown hairstyles.
A year later my sister-in-law Judy called to tell me that Dee wanted to sell the car and was I interested. Of course I was but the same old reasons for the frivolity of a two seater remained and the offer was declined.
Without getting into the details it’s enough to say that I suffered a fairly massive heart attack following a day of downhill skiing in March 2008. After a 5 day hospital stay and six weeks recovery at home I cautiously approached my wife with a request. “You know how I’ve always wanted a Miata…?” Her reply, “Now would probably be a good time.” I drove a FSBO, one from a used car dealer and liked them but just couldn’t part with $7,000-$10,000 for what still had the not-exactly-practical issues attached. And then I remembered Dee.
I called my sister-in-law and two days later she returned the call. She had Dee’s phone number and a message that "yes she still had the car and yes she still wanted to sell…” I hung up on her and quickly call the number. Dee answered on the first ring with, “Wasn’t I just talking to Judy?” All I wanted to know was how many miles and how much money? 104,000 and 3,500 was the answer. “I’ll take it.”
Two days and two hours later we drove to Rochester and I was the proud owner of my “new” (used) 1995 White Miata. Since then the car has come to a grinding halt on a Thruway off ramp with a defunct clutch, I've replaced the shifter boots, upgraded interior lighting including a used Lumina lighted mirror, DRL’s, 3rd brake flasher, upgraded the OE radio to a CD/iPod compatible, headrest speakers, new tires, replaced the timing belt, LED lights, armrests and a beautiful red canvas top. Maybe you read my postings and “Projects for under $100” on Miata.net. Many came from that list.
As the car has no A/C it can get steamy at times but with cool mornings and evenings there are but a handful of days when I miss the button to push to cool things off. In the near future I would like to be able to do some long road trips, exploring many of the drives listed in Mazda MX-5 Enthusiast Owners Manual. I am partial to the look of the NA but expect to have to learn to love a newer body style. Susan and I have been married 35 years this June and having started life together at such a young, idealistic and poor age we have worked for everything that we hold dear. Was it worth the wait ? You bet it was!
Will you be next?