I mention in my book that I’ve always loved to drive European Style Roadsters and was lucky enough to have owned a Alfa Romeo for a short period while I was in the Army. The roads and weather in Alaska were not well suited for such cars so I never even contemplated the purchase of a Roadster while I lived there. Actually, one of my co-workers did buy a Fiat Spider, and as predicted, almost never took it out of the garage.
When I first moved back to California, I needed something more practical then a Roadster, so I bought a Ford Explorer, then after getting married, I had family needs to consider. I did, however, always have a Miata listed on my Christmas list. This was sort of a joke.
I always started off my Christmas list with items that I had no possibility of getting such as an Airplane or a Miata. At the bottom of the lists where items like a package of razor blades, which I might expect to find in my Christmas stocking. Somewhere in the middle I listed those things that I might, conceivably, hope to get.
My wife, Lydia, did agree that one day it would be fun to own some sort of fun car. Most of our discussions were about old classics like a 56 Chev. Something to drive to car shows or on warm summer evenings to take to a drive In. In fact, as a little side story, when I was dating, one of the little tests to determine if whoever I was currently seeing could be in the running to be a future mate, I would take them to my favorite local 50’s drive In, Fat Freddie’s. I didn’t date that many gals, but all of them, but Lydia, wanted to go inside where it was more comfortable than eating out in the car where we were served by a Car Hop. Like me, Lydia loved the nostalgia and I think thats when we first talked about Classic Cars. One more reason why we were married three months later and are still very much in love after seventeen years of marriage.
Getting back to my original story, I remember thinking one time, that after paying off our current vehicle and the next purchase of a car for Lydia, that maybe then, I could swing a Roadster for myself.
When the time came for Lydia to pick out a new car for herself, she was interested in buying a late model, small pickup truck, so off we went on a shopping trip. We found many such vehicles on the used car lot of a local Chevrolet dealer and Lydia took several out on test drives. They just didn’t drive like what she expected and she soon began to talk herself out of buying one. That’s when she noticed a small white 95 Miata sitting over in the corner. She said: “Thats a cute little car.” After I informed her that it was a Miata she began to inquire from the salesman how much it cost, than began to work him down on the price. At this point, I was afraid to say anything. I couldn’t believe this was happening and didn’t want to seem over eager and jinks the whole thing. Anyway, we ended up driving the Miata home and Lydia thereafter said that it was my Valentine present.
We have had, and continue to enjoy our little Miata. For many years, it was my car for commuting to work in. It ended up with my custom license plate “H ONE” (My helicopters call sign), bigger custom wheels, wood gear shift and brake handles and black racing stripes. Lydia and I joined the local Miata Club and have driven the car on may runs where twenty to thirty Miata’s drive to some fun location over winding roads suitable for Roadsters.