Moss Miata
The Miatas of the Month from

February 2010

Stephen Nuccio and his two-tone Miata
sailwithnuc74 on the Miata forum

Congratulations to Stephen on the selection of his unique Miata as the February Miata of the Month!

It all started, back in mid-1989. I was sixteen years young when the Miata came into the world. I remember my first encounter quite vividly. While sitting in front of the boob-tube watching some mindless show a commercial came on raving about a new red roadster by Mazda. Being an inexperienced car enthusiast, I didn’t think much of the Mazda Miata and wrote it off as a half-hearted attempt to mimic something small and British, but funnier looking. About five years later I finally had enough cash own my first two-seater.

The 1987 MR2 was my first standard transmission car; ironically though, it was owned by a Toyota mechanic who had just purchased a used NA in red. I remember him opening the garage door to show me his new toy, and I remember how overly-excited he seemed about his first Miata; I wasn’t feeling it at all. Not bothering to even glance a second time at his new ride, I drove away feeling great about mine. That MR2 stayed in my family for another twelve years and never owed us a dime.

Years went by and after finally finishing college and buying my first home something happened. Maybe it had something to do with getting old, maybe not. An uncontrollable desire to own a convertible sports car was manifesting itself in my mind. Since funds were limited, I did not have too many choices, seeing as I also wanted something reliable with good cosmetics, not too high in miles and reputable. This pretty much eliminated everything, since my budget was under 3k. After some searching it was clear and the Miata was it. The first Miata I drove was the first Miata I drove home. That was the summer of 2007.

It has been almost three years since and my perspective on automobile life has changed. These cars are in a word “amazing”. You cannot beat the value and the simplicity. Red was my last choice, so that’s what I ended up with: A clean, stock, red 1993 with under 100,000 miles, which included an OEM hardtop. Everything seemed to work well except the parking brake and the fact that the hardtop required the installation of the side striker plates and a wheel alignment / balance that took care of the unusual vibration that was most pronounced at around 62 MPH. The car really is a charm to work on compared to other small cars I have owned.

This summer I decided to do some functional mods, so I put in an OEM short shifter, stainless braided clutch line (what a difference these upgrades make) and Boss Frog single hoop roll-bar. Then in the end of the summer I was in my driveway washing the car with the garden hose when the paint started to lift off part off the trunk lid; So, my girlfriend and I brought the 3000psi washer out and blasted the car, taking most of the paint off the top of the car right down to the metal! Well, we took the car to my mechanic, who does not paint too often and he gave me a price I could manage, since I would do much of the prep work myself to keep labor costs down. In the end the job ended up costing more, seeing as he was in over his head. He did not realize etching was required before the prime, base and clear-coats.

It did not come out exactly how I was anticipating. It was supposed to look more yin-yang like. Like I said, my mechanic really has not done much painting. Still, I achieved, in part, what I was looking for- something different and unique. It looks like a black NA from the driver side rear and a white one on the passenger side front; and coming down the road in low light conditions it looks like half a car. I do not expect this color scheme will be the next fad, but who knows? My girlfriend wished I had gone with the solid metallic blue or dark green paint job. Well, “you only live once”, I say, and for heaven sakes, Miata’s are hot no matter what.

Stephen Nuccio

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