This one is ours!
Here are the first shot's of our own Miata
and some more recent one's
Funny gets striped
Funny gets hurt
Funny gets a stablemate
Funny gets a sibling
The complete collection
...and the story behind this baby.We were thinking about buying a Miata since 1994. It was in 1994 when a friend bought a '72 Triumph Spitfire MK IV and we experienced the joys of a top down drive.
We began market research and thought about the different possibilities. We had numerous test-drives with a wide variety of convertibles listed below:
- Opel Astra Cabrio
- Renault 19 Cabrio
- Peugeot 306 Cabrio
- Mazda Miata
- Fiat Barchetta (was to be launched)
- Rover MGF (was to be launched)
- BMW Z3After comparing all these models, we understood that all of them had some up's and some down's.
- Opel is the best car - but the least convertible.
- Renault is good looking - but has bad seating and bad build quality.
- Peugeot has an outfit to die for - but a seating position you will die in.
- Mazda is pure fun to drive - but very egocentric, seating only two and no trunk.
- Fiat has a nice butt, beautiful interior - but drive it - it's a Punto.
- Rover is an engineering highlight - but had no test drive, no delivery.
- Z3 is very nice inside and out, but misrable build quality and handles like a pigWith this result, the effort to get the money to make the dream of an convertible come true was more or less none. But each time we went for a ride with the Spitfire, we knew that some day we will have to buy a convertible. And as in the meantime we had a another car ("Querido", a '90 VW Golf II GT Special), we were sure that this convertible will have to be a ... Miata!
In 1996 we got married. After 10 years of testing we parted for the real thing. This made us come closer to our unforgettable dream of a convertible due to all the presents and wishes.
I started reading the Miata mailing list everyday. 350 emails a day was something new to my life. I learned a lot about the car. The different options and the weak points to look out for. Reading the newspaper for used Miatas was a constant. And I started searching on the web. Something very unusual in Germany in 1996. Only a handful of magazine had begun putting their used car ads on webpages.
to be continued...
- The "To Do's"
Well, first when you're in your new car you're delighted and it's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.
But then you surf Miata.net. You meet people (and their cars) in Miata Clubs. And you discover... that you have to personalize this wonderful car, to make it even better for your personal taste.
So here comes the list:
- Stock sound is poor. I like the appearance of the original radio but if you turn it on this doesn't matter anymore.
So after 10 days with our 'baby' I bought a new Radio. It's a Sony XR-C 510 RDS. I choose this one, because it's the same we have in 'Querido' and I liked the idea of not having to learn to use a new one and as I always take the detachable front panel with me, I didn't want to sit in the car realizing I had the wrong one with me.
When it got installed (first time I didn't do it myself), I had them run the cable for a CD-changer and telephone antenna to the trunk and as there is a changer in 'Querido', I just take it out and switch it over to the other trunk. Then I rewired the headrest-speakers.
Big improvement over all. Radio is much better than stock. Tape is better. An CD sound... well you know.
Two things are to be done: new headrest-speakers (suggestions) and an amplifier that I already have.
- Stock horn is insulting. I learned to drive in Brazil, so sounding the horn frequently is a sign of good education. When I first used the Miata-horn I flushed and send out a pray for never need to use it again. The pray was heard by a friend of mine making a new horn a birthday present, 12 days after the Miata purchase. It's a Fiamm 'have to look it up' and it is LLOOUUDD. Now the other flush and send out a pray for never need to here it again.
- Stock interior lighting is poor. I tried to buy a lighted rearview mirror in Germany, but it seems it has not yet been invented here. So I looking forward on a US trip. Perhaps I'll fit the central tunnel lights too.
- Stock body rigidity is poor. At least when your top-down. As the '92 has the rear subframe brace I only need the front one. Any suggestion. And probably a strut-tower-brace. Any suggestion. And does the 94 + brace behind the seats make any difference?. Any suggestion.
- Stock wheels/tires are not bad, but wider tires not only make the car perform better but also make it look better. As the tires are still stock from '92 they might have dried(?) out a lot. So I'll go for 15 inch wheels with 195/50/15 tires. I didn't decide which wheel yet, but I'm between TSW Hockenheim or OZ Saturn Plus. For the tires ... well, any suggestion (please only tires you can buy in Germany).
- Stock rear-window has no protection. Brainstorm window-protector
- Stock tie-down-hooks look awful. Removal of tie-down-hooks.
- Stock license plate bracket seems too big for me. License frame with anything brilliant written on. Any suggestion.
- to be continued...
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