Reader Rant: Going Old!

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Here’s the latest reader rant – along with my reply!

Jason writes: Just a quick thanks.  I have been back and forth about what to do with my old car since it got hit by a deer (minor damage) and hasn’t run in a couple years since I parked it last.  It’s probably going to have to sit another 3 years until my truck is paid off, but it might just be worth keeping and fixing down the road. It’s a 1990 Miata  -14 years newer than your TA, but it still has all the flair of a classic car except with a basic computer and one airbag that can be removed.

The airbag doesn’t even work in it anymore.

I would replace the steering wheel with a classic look steering wheel like a classic British roadster.

It turns 30 next year and value should start ticking up over the rest of its years. I bought it when the price was low – $2,600.00  I did spend more on quality go fast/stop fast goodies, but there was never an expectation of return on aftermarket upgrades.  And as well, I don’t think I ever wanted to get rid of it anyways. It’s a great car.  It amazes me that at this point, how many people don’t know what a great car the first-gen Miatas are.

The only reason it isn’t running now is that I had to make a choice for reliable transportation.  I had to make a choice and I needed a vehicle that worked for living in the country. The Miata doesn’t tow, doesn’t have storage space; heck, doesn’t even fit my Doberman in it for a run to the vet. On top of it all, living in the country on a dirt road, the Miata is not a winter vehicle (which is why it sat idle long enough to fall into non-running condition). But with your prediction of where things are moving . . . Yeah, I’m going to hold onto it.  Once the truck is paid off, I will get it back running again. It is stored out of the elements now and I think it can hold on. And just the thought of driving it again reminds me of all the fun I had in the past with it.  Thank you for convincing me not to do something stupid like getting rid of it.  I’ll have to wait for it, but I will be happy to have my glorified go-kart back when I can afford to make it happen.

My reply: Glad I was able to be of service! And you’re right; first-gen Miatas are superb  cars. They are very hard to hurt, very easy to love – and will run reliably almost indefinitely.

Which makes them very much unlike anything that’s new!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Ew. That’s the first time I believe I’ve disagreed with Eric on a car. Well maybe not, but these cars are tin cans. This kid I know has bought two of them and is replacing just about everytihng on the damned thing. It’s not like the second one got beat to hell. It’s old. It’s also a small tin can. There is no way a tiny car like that can handle the 80 mph traffic of today with the large potholes and expansion joints on roads. Hell, the potholes will swallow that car. Above the Chevette, a Nissan Versa and some truly awful cars, I rank the Miata with them.

    • You are truly an uneducated fool. You rank a Miata with a Nissan. Yeah, you don’t know what you are talking about. You should listen to Eric. He isn’t steering you wrong.

      You have never driven a Miata. It’s obvious. You also didn’t listen to Jay Leno either. You compare a Miata with a Versa, what fool’s comparison. You scream “idiot” with your post.

      Put me down as a “gay hairdresser” in your opinion because I don’t care your opinion. Go shoot alligators or whatever it is you do in the swamp because you have never driven a fine automobile. You apparently do not know what it is like to corner a mountain curve with agility.

      I feel sorry for you. I truly do. Life must be miserable for you.

      • Morning, Jason!

        Swamp’s a good dude – known to me personally – but we all make mistakes and lots of people make the mistake of criticizing the Miata. Which, as you already know, is arguably the finest sports car ever made or at least one of the top five ever made. I’ve had the good fortune to drive dozens over the years, on the street and track. They are phenomenal in both environments, which is no easy trick. Another brilliant sports car – the Honda S2000 – was terrible on the street. Porsches are brilliant cars that few can afford. Old MGs, Alfas and Fiats have lots of character, which is good because it compensates for their lack of reliability. MR2s are cool but hard to work on and hard to find because they stopped making them.

        The Miata is also as or more reliable than a Corolla – the ultimate automotive appliance – while being never-ending fun to drive, which the Corolla never was.

        Add great gas and low cost to buy and own. The cherry on top is a service life of 15-20 years, easily – even if used as a weekend track car and an everyday commuter car at the same time.

        Five stars from me.

        • eric, I followed a guy on YT building a Miata V8 with an LS engine. He was buying specifically made parts for the conversion. Looked like it would be fun.

            • eric, the guy began it in a garage he’d obviously planned to do automotive work in. I’d say 500hp would be enough to get some thrills.

              This is a car for droolers, of which I’m not one…..yet. I figure when I start somebody should put me in the passenger seat and spend half an hour sending my spittle down my throat where it belongs.

              Damned if it don’t sound like fun. I came close, back before the big financial bust of taking a Vega station wagon(always liked the look) and using the specially made part by a guy down the road from me in Idalou. I wanted to tube frame it and stick a turbo SBC right behind the line of the drivers seat. Just enough room for a transmission and a short driveshaft(really short). It would be perfect to keep it some original color and since there’d be no need of a hood scoop, fill in the back windows like one of the old cheap panel wagons of old. Nothing going on here, just don’t look at the rear tires. It would be a secret up to the point my big mouthed cousin informed the entire world.

          • Hey Eight,

            I watched a bunch of those a couple of years ago. It’s called Project Thunderbolt. The conversion was very impressive. As I recall, he managed to keep the weight distribution almost the same as stock.

            This is an update episode where he talks about the car and shows it driving.


            This is his trip to cars and coffee. He mounts a camera to record the reactions of people when they notice the conversion.




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