Okay, with some free time on a Sunday afternoon (and with Celeste out at a friend’s house), arrangements were made to check out the local Miata. The seller was located less than a mile away – a promising sign. All clean and tucked away in a sleepy Carlsbad neighborhood garage was a low-mileage base model ’91 Miata.
obviously *out* of the garage at this point
96,xxx miles, manual steering, no ABS, air conditioning or cruise control, crank windows and an aftermarket Sony removable cassette deck (remember those?). The paint and seats lightly faded, but mechanically everything seemed to be sound.
No oil or coolant leaks, fresh hoses, brakes and tires, a convertible top in good shape with a rear window that had been replaced a year prior.
And for the car geek in me, I was shown a thick envelope with original sales literature, the window sticker, manuals, receipts and the like.
The asking price was at the upper limit of my budget, but why not take it out for a spin. We hadn’t driven more than a quarter mile before Allison said “you’d be a fool not to buy this car”. I knew then-and-there that this car wouldn’t require much rationalizing or explaining on my part. Sold. We zipped around some of Carlsbad’s surface streets, briefly with the top up to help listen for any odd noises. Everything checked out – the suspension and steering was tight, the engine eager, transmission just about perfect and the brakes strong. Only a couple of minor creaks. Overall a very strong running and good-looking twenty year-old and affordable, fun car.
Being an airline mechanic, the owner truly seemed to care about his cars, had a neat garage and took pride in stating that he never let anyone else wrench on his rides. He had bought it from the original owner – a neighbor of his – last year, with the hopes that his daughters would drive it. However, they were not willing to learn how to drive a manual transmission, so he had to replace this car with one with an automatic.
Anyway, we came to a deal on the price with a promise on my end to return the next day with a cashier’s check. The ad was pulled from Craigslist by the time we returned home.To be continued...
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