Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Project Acquisition - 1990 Mazda Miata

I can honestly say that until a certain person bought a $500 MX-5 and whacked the front windscreen off, I hadn't thought twice about owning one. To me, they seemed common and kinda wheezy and I'm more used to rare and wheezy I guess. It wasn't until today during lunch at the local spring and frame shop where I actually saw myself getting into one of these neo-classics. The common aspect would make finding parts on craigslist a breeze and how can you pass up a 2,100lb roadster with the reliability of a Protege? It's also easy to argue that the Miata is the Austin-Healey Sprite or MGB of the younger generation; a rite of passage into the world of sports car enthusiasm. Maybe now was the time. How it all happened below.
You see, I was a bit hungry just before meal time and I was settling up my bill for a 4" de-arching of the Roo Chaser's leaf springs in order to properly set it on its guts. Upon dropping the springs off, I got to joking with one of the mechanics, Jeff, about a Valiant that was for sale for $6,000. Citing that that number of monetary units was stratospherically out of my price range for an automobile, Jeff joked that that Miata could be had cheap. I laughed it off and left my springs there for bending.

After the hangover from the 4th of July weekend had nearly diffused, I dropped back in to get my leafs. Small talk was made for 5 seconds before Jeff asked if I came to get the car. Turns out I did but didn't know it yet. I couldn't refuse the price and couldn't bring myself to negotiate with a shop I liked so much. The trip back to the office was slowed only twice by minor breakdowns directly tied to left hand curves.

The car did come with some very unfortunate rock crawler seats and a questionable choice of BBS wheels. Lucky for everyone, included in the purchase were two nice seats and stock wheels. The wheels were promptly sold on craigslist and the seats will eventually find their way into the Roo Chaser. The other good news was that the car had a new battery, tune up, and top. Now I just have to remove the rip-off Sony X-Plode speakers and find a stock tape deck to be fully back in 1990 trim.

One of the major drawbacks (keep in mind that this is Charleston, SC in July) was that the car had no A/C. Well not until my buddy Jon spent 5 minutes tracing the A/C clutch actuator wire. Now mechanically, everything checked out aside from the pesky dying-while-turning-left. After 15 minutes of training the tank and cleaning the strainer over the trash can, the car was runs like a champion. Now that everything works I'm kind of wondering where I go next. Sell it and get something else? Track day car? Stock driver? We shall see.


3 comments:

  1. Nicely bought, I really do miss my Miata. It was a ton of fun and all the important pices (steering, shifter, brakes) were done right. It always felt well sorted.

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  2. Glad your still posting in 2016 man love the blog. Will keep checking back. About to attempt major rust repair on my 1972 corona, your rust repair post was super helpful. Im hoping to fiberglass the majority the floor pan and anything else i can away with

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad your still posting in 2016 man love the blog. Will keep checking back. About to attempt major rust repair on my 1972 corona, your rust repair post was super helpful. Im hoping to fiberglass the majority the floor pan and anything else i can away with

    ReplyDelete