We hate to break it to you, but winter is fast approaching. In fact, the subject of good “winter beaters” has been quite the buzz around the TTS offices of late, because Lord knows we don’t want to drive our decent cars in the bad weather amidst the snow, ice, and (ack!) salt. Instead, like any red-blooded car people, we prefer to add something to the stable that 1) won’t break the bank in terms of buy-in cost OR maintenance, and 2) will be something that we can respect ourselves for associating ourselves with. Or that we can at least rationalize. Now is the time to buy, however, while the weather is still good enough that folks are selling interesting cars but before the weather comes and all the good ones are either sold or parked until spring. The general guidelines are simple: less than three grand purchase price, and, well, something we could conceivably have fun with. That’s pretty much it. So in a quick scan around Craigslist here are some examples to provide you food for thought…..
Tag Archives: Mazda MX-5 Miata
It’s been a while since my last Garage Corner post, partly because I, myself, can’t even keep up with the recent changes. Actually, there’s really only been one major change, but it happened so quickly that I’m still not totally sure what I did, or whether I’m happy about it. This week’s trip to Germany and England didn’t help much either, because I seem to have developed a taste for a few cars of a very different breed from my latest acquisition: this Anthracite Grey on Palomino MBTex 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbodiesel.
When I was writing the ad to sell the Miata, the one negative that gnawed at me was the old, flat-spotted Dunlop tires. I knew they were old, because 1) I had the receipt, and 2) they were the same Dunlop D60 A2s that I bought for our 1994 Miata in early 1997. I don’t think they’ve made these tires for over 10 years. Regardless, they were old, hard, flat-spotted and in dire need of replacement. It was not a story I wanted to explain to potential buyers, and was a definite knock-down to a really terrific car. Now that I have decided to keep it, I decided it was high time to address the issue.
One of the reasons I tend to buy and sell cars so often is that I go through this seemingly never ending cycle:
1 – Find a really great car
2 – Vacillate for a week or so about whether to buy it
3 – Buy it
4 – Drive it for about five days straight
5 – Park it in the garage
6 – Drive it once or twice a weekend for about three months
7 – Decide to sell it because I’m just not using it
8 – List it for sale on eBay or Craigslist
9 – Take it out for a really good drive
10 – Remove the listing
11 – Drive it once or twice a weekend for another month
12 – List it for sale again
13 – Sell it
14 – Start the whole process again
The fact of the matter is: I don’t drive my
old stupid classic cars nearly enough, so I invariably lose interest and move along to the next one. A fact which came to mind as I passed through the garage this morning on the way to get into my Honda Commuting Appliance to go to work. So moved was I by the clean little sportscar sitting there in the garage begging for love, that I went back in the house, grabbed the keys, and hit the road in style!
In sum the TTS team has owned four Miatas, and while each has had a distinct personality of its own (believe it or not), they all had one failing in common: their horns. Miatas came from the factory with a weak little “meep-meep” horn that car barely be heard over the radio of any car, including the Miata whose horn it is. So despite the fact that there is still a cockpit brace sitting in my garage waiting to be installed, today’s Garage Corner is all about being heard – in the interest of both ego and safety.
First things first: this is shameless self-promotion. I own this car, for the time being. You see, I have an addiction to buying and selling cars. There should be a support group for this, but I fear it would turn into one big swap meet. In any case, my wandering eye has me contemplating something entirely different, which puts this little sweetheart of a car on the market. I love Miatas, and they remain some of the most automotive fun you can have for the low prices they command. This particular example is a nice, clean honest one that has not been thrashed, torn, ridden hard and put away wet, or been adorned with bits and baubles like body kits and wing spoilers. In fact, it looks pretty much the way it did when it rolled off the dealer’s lot 19 years ago. Find it here on eBay in Fairfax, VA with a buy it now price of just $4295.