I’ve been a part of the Miata community for a decade now and recently I had the opportunity to bring home a “new” Miata. But a Miata is a Miata, right? And I got another white with white hardtop model, so they even look really darn similar. So what am I doing?
While I’ve been around a LOT of Miatas I’ve only owned one for 10 years; my 1990 hardtop. I’m so familiar with it it’s like a family member. The previous owner removed the soft top and bolted the hard top on, which was perfect for my involvement with autocross and open track fun. Manual steering, window cranks, and door locks further tailored it more for hot laps than touring. Sound system? It only gets FM radio and has crappy door speakers. It’s a simple Miata. But track and autocross it I have, and it’s been a blast.
A “racer” Miata sure has been exhilarating but during this decade of ownership, a decade of age has gone by for me too. Manual steering really stinks for parallel parking. And the firm spring rates on the coil overs aren’t comfortable every day. Hitting my apex marks on my daily commute has (shockingly) become routine.
So my new breath of fresh air – literally – is putting the soft top down and taking a long cruise in the southern California sunshine. Having the wind in my hair really does blow any cobwebs out of my brain after a long day of meetings. The power steering and stock suspension aren’t soft; they are pliable. The 6-speed transmission and extra horsepower in the 2004 feels more mature somehow. Like the 1.6 in the 1990 is more rambunctious teenager.
It’s a 2004 LS with factory hardtop, 100K miles. It’s in pretty good shape and it’s completely stock. Of course that will change! Stick around because I’ll be updating our blog with my experiences and decisions with my “new” car. If you’re wondering, the 1990 will remain in the Knight household, even with 200K miles it’s just that good of a car.
Oops! Work day is over – gotta go drop the top and get some sunshine! Do you have any ideas for me for modifications? Leave a comment for me.