Congratulations to James on the selection of his Miata as the August Miata of the Month!
Back in 1989 I had a deposit on a new Miata. The dealership called when they got a few in and I went to pick out the one I wanted. It was then that the dealership informed me that it was marking up the price by $5000. I refused to pay it and left, resigned that I may never have what would be my favorite car of all time.
When I began dating my wife, her father, Bob Wolcott, had the same 1989 original red Miata that I had longed to have for so many years. When he began having issues with the short crank he decided to sell the car and get another Miata. He offered to sell the car to me. By then I was married to his daughter, but money was tight with a new kid on the way. Once again I missed out on having my Miata.
Bob wound up with a red 1996 Miata. Being retired, he seldom drove her. He knew how much I loved the car and would let me borrow it for a week or two here and there. But the car was his baby. He pampered her and took great care of her. I knew it wasn't easy for him to hand me the keys for a day, much less a week.
A couple years ago we found out that he had cancer. He battled and fought it as best he could but it took a huge toll on him. It was while he was sick that he asked me if I would take care of his car and that if I would he'd give it to me. It was truly a bitter-sweet moment.
While he had promised the car to me, he still needed it to get to his doctors, the store and more. So it had my name on it, so to speak, but it was still his. About eight months before he passed, a lady friend of his borrowed the car and crashed it. She did a lot of damage to the front end and the insurance company declared the car a total loss. With the car needing nearly $5000 in repairs, it appeared that once again I'd fall short of having my dream car.
No one knows for certain why, but my father-in-law bought her back from the insurance company and spent the money to have her fixed good as new. I now think it was because he promised the car to me and felt that he promised her to me and wanted me to have her.
When he passed I got the keys to her and drove her home. A friend of his wanted to buy the car from me for well more than she was worth, but I refused. My wife's aunt later told me that the reason he gave me the car was because he knew that I'd never part with her . Somewhere he gave a knowing smile when I turned down the offer to sell her.
She is now my pride and joy. I named her Ann Marie, the middle names of my two daughters. I think of my father-in-law as I drive around, roof down, wind blowing through my hair. For me, his spirit lives on in that car and I will forever keep it alive each time I turn the key.
Will you be next?