1994 Mazda Miata "C" Package, Laguna Blue

The Mazda Miata you see here was found after a long, difficult search. I had been looking for this specific car for about six months, and I finally found it in March of 2000.

I found the car on the internet, AutoTrader.Com I had been doing a daily search for 1994 Mazda Miatas, and wading through the thousands of listings, cross-country, looking for ones that specifically mentioned Blue, and then disregarding all the "Montego" blue ones that were part of the "M" series. I wouldn't even set a price limit on my search, because I wanted to find out exactly what the market price was for such a vehicle. I had found a couple in California, but they all had high milage, plus the fact that they had the "extra" emissions that I didn't want to deal with. I had found one in Colorado Springs, but it had high milage also, plus the seller wanted a VERY high price for it. I passed on this one too. I found on in Kentucky, but it was sold by the time I called the seller. Same went for the one that I found in Indiana.

I finally ran across one that was listed without a price or a selling location. The picture was blurry, but I could see that it had a hardtop and it was striped. I figured that I'd call so that I could get more information. I called the number listed and left a message on the answering machine. It answered as "X" auto sales, so I was pretty sure that I had a whole saler on my hands. I was just hoping that they didn't know what they had there on their lot. In about twenty minutes my phone rang, and a nice gentleman by the name of Ron was giving me the "low-down" on the car. It would seem that his business partner had purchased the car at auction to be his personal car. He had put the aluminum wheels and tires on it, put a spoiler on it, and had it striped. The stripes were vinyl and could be removed at any time. Shortly after having this work done to the car, a BMW "M"Roadster was at auction and having been bitten by the speedbug, his partner decided that he couldn't have two two-seaters. The Miata had to go. This is how the car came to be on Ron's lot. The car had 26,000 miles on it and had been garage kept its entire life. Asking price: $10,900.

I thanked Ron for the information and told him that I would call him back before the end of the day. I then immediately called my bank to attempt to secure the financing. Since this was a 1994 car, I would have to apply for an "exception" loan, and have to get the loan at the "exception" rate. (FINE, WHATEVER... Give me the damn money, I *WANT* this car!!) I would have to wait until the following day to find out whether or not they would be loaning me this money. YUCK!

I then called Ron back. I told him that I was interested in the car, but that I thought that the car was really only worth $9,500. I asked him if he could bring the asking price down to this. At this point, he told me that he didn't really care whether or not he sold the car, and honestly, he didn't want to. He told me that he couldn't come down to $9500, as he loved the car too much and would much rather drive it all summer long and sell it in the winter, than to come down in price. (Hard Sell.. this guy..) I told him that I would think about that price and call him the following day.

The next day, I called my bank and found out that I had been approved for the loan. I was elated. I then called Ron and we worked out the details. Oh, did I mention that this car was in Carthage, MO? Yeah, that was one of the details.

With my trusty Bronco, I drove out to MO to pick it up. It took me 20 hours to get there. I did all this driving on one day. I got a hotel room for the night and then picked up the U-Haul trailer the next day (Monday). I got the trailer, met Ron at the dealership, visually inspected the car, drove it around for about half an hour, then signed the papework and loaded up for the drive home.

The haul home was difficult. The first day was relatively easy. I pulled from Carthage, MO, to Lexington, KY. It took me almost 12 hours to make this pull. I stopped for the night just west of Lexington, and parked the rig in an adjacent lot. I then went to sleep for the night. My truck does not have a functional gas guage, nor does it have a trip odometer. Therefore, I must physically write down what milage I refuled at, and take on a full load of fuel each time. The truck has a fuel tank capacity of 32 gallons, and it gets 10 mpg at any speed under 70. Above that, the fuel milage decreases dramatically. I mention this, because as I was pulling out of Lexington the following morning, the truck coughed and died on the interstate. As I coasted to the side of the road, I knew that I was out of gas. As I waited for the Allstate Motor Club representative to arrive w/ some fuel, I contemplated what went wrong. I still do not know if I didn't take on a full load of fuel, or if someone had siphoned some out. It doesn't matter. I was parked on the side of the interstate. Once fuel was placed in the truck, it fired right up and I was on my way once again. Then came the tough part. I had to cross the mountains of West Virginia and Western Maryland. There were a number of second gear hills that I had to pull up. I was impressed at the truck's ability, as some of those hills were quite steep. Eventually I got to Virginia and I was on the home stretch. All was good. I arrived home around 7pm. In all, it took me 24 hours to make the return trip.

My initial intentions were to remove the stripes, as I thought that they looked cheesy on it. However, after veiwing the stripes non-stop in the rearview mirror while the car was on the trailer, they started to grow on me. Also, the number of "thumbs-up" that I received as I was pulling it indicated to me that the car stood out and was spectacular with them. I decided to keep them. I'm very happy that I did, as I feel that they lend individuality to the car.

I have not done anything to the car yet (other than to remove the door-pull handle so that I could shift and turn at the same time and remove the visors so that I could see traffic lights.) I have purchased factory 1994 alloy wheels for it so that I can remove the current aftermarket wheels that have an incorrect offset. I intend to modify the car as follows:

- Low Profile Headlights
- Rollbar
- (Return to)Factory Wheels w/ Toyo 205/50/15 tires
- Koni shocks
- Free Flowing Exhaust
- Dealer Alternative TURBO!

In all, I absolutely LOVE this car. I wish that I had gotten it sooner, as it is a complete blast to drive. It really turns heads wherever I go with it, and it handles like a dream. I believe that everyone should have a Miata once in thier lives. I intend to keep mine as long as I possibly can. Heck... I may even get another one to start racing with. (Keeping it factory so I don't get killed in competition).

Update: April 2001

I've installed a Hard-Dog Hard Core rollbar with a singal diagonal support. The installation went smoothly and once I had gotten over the initial "cutting/drilling the car" issues took a full day's work.

Most surprising is the noticible difference in the car's handling. The car rides MUCH more solidly now. The sad part is that I can really notice the shortcomings of the car's worn shocks. I will have to upgrade them when I get a chance. Headroom for me (6'2") isn't a real big problem as I have removed much of the foam from the drivers seat. It would take a very violent act for my head to contact the bar, and one can argue that a rollbar is only needed when the car is tumling, say... VIOLENTLY! For this reason, I have installed rollbar padding in hopes that should my head make contact with it, I will have at least a chance of not having my head split open.

Update: August 2001

Ok. I've comitted to the "dark side". I've installed a Flying Miata turbosystem.

The installation took a week, mostly b/c the temperature in the garage was well over 100F on the nights that I was working on it. The only "true" molestation of the vehicle is that the oilpan has to be drilled for the turbo oil return line. And the new injectors have to be hardwired in. Other than this, the car *should* be able to be returned to stock form pretty easily.

This WILL NOT happen on *my* watch, however!! Holy Moly, this car is fast. I have never before felt "torque steer" in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle before, but I do now! I feel each rear tire attempting (sometimes futilely) to grab traction. It is almost like the rear end wiggles a litte bit upon violent acceleration. First gear? Essentially worthless now. I find myself short-shifting into second so as to not pointlessly smoke the tires. I have the boost turned up to 15lbs., and when the turbo spools up (sounding like someone letting air out of a tire -- very loud!) the acceleration is phenomemal. All my friends that I have taken for rides so far just giggle when I accelerate. That's pretty much the feeling in a nutshell!

Like Miatas? I do! You may wanna check out the following Miata LINKS!
Dealer Alternative

Check out my other vehicles:
1985 Ford Bronco
1985 AMC Eagle Wagon
1994 Kawasaki zx6
1999 Ducati 748
1989 Honda HawkGT (NT650)
1983 Yamaha Seca400