Yes this is just Another Miata Site, but not just any other Miata site.
This is primarily about my Mazda Miata’s and other project cars we work with.
I sold my 1996 Pontiac Formula Firebird, and had only a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier as my car and was looking for a fun car to replace the others. A good and very trusted friends had a Mazda Miata with 300k on it that often he drove to the track. He showed me the way of a small fun sports car that was inexpensive to work on and very reliable. A couple of months later I took my first test drive in a 1997 silver Miata 1.8l at a car dealer. I was hooked immediately. I had just one thought and I said it out loud, “I have to have one of these.“
Going fast in straight drag lines was a cool exhilarating thrill in the Firebird, but I still felt somewhat disconnected from the road, something was missing for me. I found it in the Miata. While not a powerhouse that sucks your into the back of the car on take-offs and heavy throttle accelerations, the grown up go-kart feel of the Miata more than makes up and exceeds expectations. I like both cars for completely different reasons.
I have decided to chronicle the journey lest I forget some of the continuing trials and tribulations of bringing this car back to the road from a life of sitting idle on a farm, on a budget.
I bought this car as the 3rd owner. The first owner had the car from 1994 until 1999 sometime. The second owner bought it in 1999 and had it until fall of 2009 when I purchased it.
I searched for a little more than a year to find a car that fit basic requirements. I wanted inexpensive, no power windows, no power steering, AC optional, 1.8 liter engine, 5 speed. Anything else was optional. Basically I wanted a raw little Miata sports car. I looked at tons of them at dealers, on Craig’s List, in the newspaper, pretty much everywhere. You name it I looked at it, test drove it and pondered about each and everyone.
I know nothing of the life this car led with the first owner except they put about 73k miles on it. I do know some about the second ownership. It was purchased for the wife of a retiring telecom worker. They had the car about 10 years and put about 10k miles on it. The wife drove it less and less over time so the car mostly sat on the farm. It was under a carport with top kept down primarily, so it was pretty filthy inside by the time I found it.
Sitting idle on a farm makes a car into a home for creatures. Field mice made their home in the trunk, in the passenger area, under the hood, and inside the air intake before the filter. Cats followed the mice and marked the car interior heavily. The car smelled foul if the windows were left up for any length of time especially if it was hot outside.
By the time I purchased the car for $2000 cash it only had 85k miles on it was running with all kinds of alert bells, engine codes and flat spots in the tires, the brakes were all but non-existent. With grace we got the car back to a friend’s house, who would help me immensely over time, He lived about 50 minutes from this farm.
I will detail on this site are the efforts thus far to bring this car back as a project car. Why you ask? I am a car lover but I am not a mechanic. I can change my oils and air filters etc., all the mundane stuff. I am an IT guy by trade but I want to be more of a car guy and this car seemed the perfect place to enhance my knowledge and skills. And boy has it been an adventure and learning experience so far.
Thanks for stopping by to share some of this and the other projects. Perhaps some of the things I have done here will help someone else struggling with similar issues and maybe you have some advice to help a guy learning to fix his car.