The first time you drove and bought a miata...

4361 Views 41 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  reversecaoboy
Remember that?

So after owning and wrenching on Hondas most of my teen and adult life, I sold my CRX, moved to Hawaii, got homesick, then moved back carless. This was 1999-2000, at the height (so I thought) of the Honda-ricer movement. While discussing with a good friend about possible daily-drivers, we both agreed, "F**K-it, it's time to go RWD". He suggested a miata because it was off the radar and gay, and at first i was hesitant but decided to do more research. After reading a few post on Mnet, I was convinced a miata was for me.

I finally found a pristine 91 Classic Red. I dragged my buddy out to test-drive it with $3200 in my back-pocket. All it took was the first corner. I swear, I nearly ran off the road because the steering was so sharp and acurate (compared to my CRX, which was no slouch), I was early-apexing every turn,haha. I was grinning ear to ear the whole way home. I've been hooked every since.
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Oh yeah I remember my first Miata drive.

... late 2000, i'm at an autocross school in Seattle. My friend Jason and I are whoring my Neon as I recall. Jason drove an automatic at the time, and was having fun with this "both feet in" thing... it just wasn't quite clicking.

He goes out for a run, blows a corner, and HAMMERS the brakes. I see a big-ass cloud of smoke and just think "oh no".

He comes back in with six inches of cord flapping off the front tires, we mock him mercilessly and then realize that my day (and pretty much my season, since that was my only set of race rubber) was over.

One of the NWAX people volunteered me her 1.6l Miata for the afternoon. One run. It was all over. It was everything I ever figured a Miata to be, and as much as I loved (and still do) my Neon, I knew I'd own a Miata... and soon. I started doing research. Came to the conclusion that I wanted a 94 A package, as it seemed to be the way to get the best bracing, real oilpressure gauge, good engine, OBD1, light weight, and inexpensive cost.

I went and test drove a 99 Sport at one point though, and it was entertaining in it's own way... but not enough to sway me into an (at the time) 17,000 dollar car payment. That was my first long-term Miata experience though. Three hours, a tank of gas, and 100+MPH later, i brought it back, further convinced that although I would definately have one, it wasn't going to be one with 17" wheels, either.

Within 6 mo, I had my first Miata. Thirty days and a totalled Bronco II later, I had my current one. Never looked back.
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The first time I drove a Miata was when I dove 3 of my good friends race cars in one day. I started off in a SSB 2nd gen. (not bad), then I got in a Spec Miata (pretty sweet), and then I got in to an E Prod. 2nd gen. (about 250hp N/A). That was a day to remember, lol.

That's wehn I relized I needed one as my street car. :mrgreen:
First time I drove one/mine was actually one week after I bought it, had to be towed off to have the clutch replaced. Even then the first drive was a cautious one. The first time I really drove it was at an evo school a couple months later, after I had some time to go over the car... that was a good day. I never really considered the fact that I had never driven one prior to purchasing one, I have just always wanted a Miata since the hit they market. It only took me 13 years - certainly worth the wait! 8)
Ahhh the memmories - I used to l o t h e Miatas and then starteed getting into british roadsters - and just happened to drive my first Miata back in 1994. It was a 1990 White and I just remember how tightly the dash wrapped around you - compared to my 1991 Pontiac Grand Prix. I searched and searched and found a cherry 1991 red that was pampered and came with all the Miata Club magazines - it was very cool. I just remember like you all said that feeling of oneness with the road - and now that I am a Miataholic, these cars are just so easy to maintain and to buy - it really is so simple.

I'll need to dig out pics of my 1st Miata - posted below


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I have pics somewhere too, Peter. The first time I met you was when I chased you through the Gap after meeting you, Barney and one other Atlantan up at the store.
im one of those who was impressed with the miata since the day it was born.

it was 16 years before i owned one, but even when i was 10 years old i already had plans to have one at some point in life.

fast forward 16 years...i had just wrecked my 97 civic w/ h22a swap that i had spent the last year building. after settling outside of insurance, and selling what was left of the civic, i only had about 1800 to spend on a new used car.

i figured id either go with a 90/91 civic si, or an NA miata.

first drove a miata when i test drove the one i have now, and i was impressed to say the least with its handling/responsiveness/true sports car feel...

i also get a kick out of the whole convertable element in the deal.

everyone (family/friends that aren't auto enthusiasts) loved to give me their two cents about how the car would be way too small/useless/etc. now, everybody that gets to drive the thing for 5 minutes ends up wanting to buy one for themselves.

at this point, i don't think i could ever go back to a glorified fwd econobucket as my fun car, and i think it would involve a pretty hefty price tag to even match what this car has to offer.

and even if i could afford a lotus or something, it wouldn't be as fun because in the miata, i can flog the hell out of it and its no big deal if i mess it up. a fender bender? replace another fender or bumper, and move on. mess up an engine? pick up another used one for several hundred bucks locally.

the miata is here to stay.
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I went for a test drive in September 1994, a Black and Tan 5 spd C Package.
I picked her up a week later after they got in the hard top I ordered.
12 years later, I still have her out in the garage...
When I was about 12 I went to my first (new) car show with my dad and I sat in a Miata. Although I didn't really know what it was I thought it was the coolest car there. When I was 16 I got a rusty toyota but I was still looking for a different car. I started looking at miatas and one turned up on a local miata club forum. The paint was peeling and the brakes were bad but it was in my price range. I went up to drive it and I loved it right when i sat down in it. I didn't drive it too much since the brakes were having trouble slowing the car down but I knew I wanted it. I bought it, did all the work myself, and I love driving it every day.
my first drive in a miata--1997. i didn't even have a driver's license yet. i took it out on joy rides when my folks weren't home -- it was my dad's car

here's a super old pic--1994 r pkg--later stolen from AMC 1000 on van ness :twisted: thieves!

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Great stories, looks like all it took was one drive.

NOW, how many felt awkward driving around with the top down at first? Sure, it felt great when you're ripping it up in the twisties or at the track, but how about driving in traffic? I admit it took a bit to get adjusted to driving in traffic knowing that EVERYONE is looking at you. And admit it, you ALWAYS look at the driver in a convertible when you're driving. It's like being on stage. I used to get so paranoid of what I'm doing ("Don't pick your nose or even look like you're picking your nose!"), ("****, I better turn down my radio, people might think I'm gay because I'm listening to Cold Play") I'm over it now, but it took some adjustment.

And anyone ever notice that when you're driving with the top down, cars never pull up beside you at a stoplight? They always stop half a car back. Which makes me kinda uneasy because i always feel like there's a black helicopter around. See if you notice it next time....or I'm just going nutz. :p
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rwd, 50:50 disturbution, 2400+/- lbs, 5spd, one test drive, one u-turn = Sold.

I know what you mean Exhondaman. I felt the same way feeling vulnerable with the top down and everyone's watching you. I use to turn down the volume at stop lights because I listen to funky japanese music. Now I have no shame.

People are probably envious when they see us in our convertible living the Roadster Life. I just feel for those who's stuck in an economical car not realizing the potential of a relationship between a machine and the open road.

As the S2000 people say...
"Whoever says your car is not practical have not experienced the thrill of life."
drove my 1st miata back in 02' when I was 14 or 15... learned how to drive manual transmission in an empty parking lot. Ended up doing alot of reading on roadsters, and just got hooked.. got my license and my uncle gave it to me as a gift.

Pic of the car back in 03'

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Back in High school I drove a modded Saturn SC2 which I thought was the shizz, because, well it was actually fairly quick and it was a sport compact that was not a honda. During my last few years at school I kept thinking how cool it would be to have a miata. All of a sudden People started hitting me. I my car was backed over, sideswiped, and rear-ended twice in three weeks. The second rearender totaled it. From all of the accidents, I had collected just over $6k in insurance checks. (car was worth <$3k at the time), so I took my new found cash and test drove a pristine miata with 40k on the clock. Soon as I pulled out of the lot I felt that the car was RWD. One Zip to redline and I was sold.

It has 145k now, and is awaiting a new engine, and soon it will be better than ever.
every1 here has such nice story. mine was sorta steered in that direction. i have to sell my honda which i worked on a long time and grew familiar with its handling and characteristics, but as a honda tech, i got hurt and had to pay stacking bills. needed a gas saver and hopefully owning my a 2nd dream rotary machine in the future. i knew i needed a cheap car, one with 50/50 w/d. thought, another 2nd gen rx-7-nah. but my curiosity of conv. scratched me...and my buddy onesimpleroadster let me drive his, from there, a miata would be the greatest 50/50 wt. balance car to own for all my 50/50 w/d car to own in the future...and so far, i'm just glad it handles,save gas,and able to meet many cool ppl who has fun with this car.
ACE: i was once like that, but noce with the top down, o man...i listen to music, and notice ppl watching me... ppl's eyes change when u catch them looking at u. girls smile at u...i smile back too. and its sometimes guys...what can u do? my parents live in hollywood...not far from w.hollywood! gay capitolusa, but its cool.
i'd never expected much on the 1st drive, but now, every drive with the top down makes me a bit happier.
In '89 or '90, my dad was having one of those early mid-life crisis things. He tried as hard as he could to get the boss to select Miatas as the fleet vehicles for the company. Sadly for him, the plan never panned out.
In '92, one of my buddies in high school had a mom who was crazy enough to let him drive her new, red Miata. In turn, my friend was stupid enough to let me drive. I had a blast taking the turns, enjoying a little fishtail action in our neighborhood...and accidentally trenching someone's side yard. Oops! I got to drive that li'l red sled a few times that year before graduation and loved every minute of it! It was a huge step up from the Hyundai Excel base I had at the time.
My uncle still has his '91 Crystal White, which I got to drive for a couple of summers when I worked for him. Nepotism really does have some perks. :)
Fast forward a bit... '04 rolls around. I'd had bad luck with my previous two Cavaliers in some form or another and had just finished the initial build of my sleeper wagon. In order to finish up the wagon details, however, I needed something else I could drive in the meantime. I looked at the Nissan egg (2000NX), Sentra SE-R, Protege and a few other things...then I remembered how much fun I'd had with other people's Miatae in the past.
I started lurking on local and national bulletin boards to learn what I could and, of course, watch the classifieds/for sale sections. One car came up locally that had been owned by a local enthusiast, then sold to someone who just wanted to kill some space in his garage apparently. He'd had the car only six months and was ready to unload it. With a fresh coat of Classic Red and a new ragtop, I had to check it out. One drive and I asked if he had the title with him.
What was supposed to be a fun beater has turned into a minor obsession for me.
I plan to have this 'vert or one much like it around for a very long time!
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had a crx and was looking for something rwd. i was way into mr2s (aw11) and corollas. i was gonna pick up a mr2 and ran into my friend. told him my plans and he said, hey you want to buy my miata instead. so i took it for a test drive and said hells yeah i want to buy it. so i bought it the following week. best thing i ever did. i still have my crx but its not as fun as the miata.
i grew up a car guy, and in college during the mid 90's i worked as a valet for gas money and (mostly) to get behind the wheel of cool cars. needless to say, i was hugely disappointed by the fact that most of the cars i'd thought of as cool up to that point were a huge disappointment behind the wheel.

the only cars i ever looked forward to driving were bmw's and porsche's - miatas weren't even on my radar. and then one day i was working a party and got to hussle a stock na around a little on the way to the parking deck. like the rest of you guys, i was sold on the car almost instantly - the driving position was just right, it made the right sounds, the shifter was perfection, and the balance and finesse were beyond any car i'd ever driven.

when my saturn was eventually totaled by an suv, i knew i could never go back to fwd - four bmw's and two miata's later, i'm even more of a believer today.
NOW, how many felt awkward driving around with the top down at first?
Funny you mention that... I tend to feel very conspicuous with the top down in traffic too. But a sense of guilt always overcomes me, "I am in a convertible, I should have the top down!" Also odd, I feel a little less conspicuous in the boxster (with the top down) weird :? . More overcome with feelings of "I hope they don't think I'm a rich snob" I guess (I'm hardly rich and I certainly don't think I'm a snob). :wink:
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