The Mazda Miata MX-5 is a sports car lover's dream with 5 speed stickshift, 1.6L straight-4-cylinder front-mounted engine and rear wheel drive. For 10 years I drove a Mariner Blue 1990 1st generation model convertible. Miatas manufactured from 1989-2005 are literally in a class by themselves, highly sought after not just for their incredible longevity but also for closed track racing enthusiasts.

The retractable headlamps, discontinued in later models, were quite fun on the road if passing another Miata to perform the headlamp wink in solidarity and acknowledgment. Other people could say whatever they wanted; driving Miatas was transcendent. Cruising with the top down at night, listening to nothing... music or roadside sounds, wind, snow, leaves in my hair was the best.

After 200,000+ miles on the odometer, I reluctantly put a FOR SALE sign in the car. Immediately, a neighbor offered me $600; another offered $1000. The first guy explained he had 2 sons, one born severely disabled, the other normal. The 2nd son was turning 15 and had previously raced go-carts. The Dad promised his teenager the Miata to rebuild together so the son wouldn't get into trouble.

He explained Mazda Closed Course Racing which allows people of all income brackets to modify according to very strict specs then race Miatas. He is a landscaper so our deal was his crew and the son did 2 days work plus he paid me $600. I felt ecstatic about my Miata getting a 3rd life since my brother had given the car to me as therapy after breast cancer. Rewarding for all.


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