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Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
1/9/18 5:16 p.m.

Had never been in one. Now I get it. Steering that's almost intuitive, shifter like a rifle bolt (had new bushings). Wow! 

Unfortunately, won't be buying it, can't spend the money. 

NickD
NickD UltraDork
1/9/18 5:18 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc :

I remember buying mine without even a test drive. It was winter and there was a ton of snow on the ground. Went back a month later to pick it up and had a nice 45 minute drive home and I had the same feeling. I got ten minutes into the drive and was like "Wow, now I get why these have such a following"

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
1/9/18 5:36 p.m.

I had an offer to trade my tdi for a 6 speed nb. Test drove it. Owned miatas ever since.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
1/9/18 5:39 p.m.

I bought a roller and built a SpecMiata, so the first time I ever drove one was at a race weekend. The next year I bought another one for street use.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
1/9/18 5:44 p.m.

Yeah, I kinda wish I hadn't done it right now. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
1/9/18 5:45 p.m.

Congrats on 'revelatory experience'! 

I'm curious how many Miata 'first drives' were also that person's first drive in any semi-modern sports car.  Sometimes i wonder if people are just discovering that they like sports cars that aren't overwhelmingly antique (and fragile, and designed for squishy tires, etc etc) or large/heavy enough to prompt question of whether it qualifies as a sports car. Even decades on the Miata is in such a small niche that even someone who decided they liked sports cars in general would likely end up at the Miata anyway. 

I spotted my old NA on cl recently. It had more interior, a top, rollbar, some kind of nasty paint/wrap, and an engine knock for twice what i paid. I still thought about it for a second. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/9/18 5:59 p.m.
DeadSkunk said:

I bought a roller and built a SpecMiata, so the first time I ever drove one was at a race weekend.

Now that is hoping for the best! laugh

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
1/9/18 7:13 p.m.

Let a friend from the local Brit club (he owns a Spitfire) co-drive my NB at an autocross a couple times. He's now on his third answer and keeps buying them fixing, driving for a while and then selling to buy another. He's had 2 NA's and currently has an NC. He blames me for the affliction. surprise devil

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
1/9/18 7:31 p.m.

I didn't really get that feeling when I drove my first miata. However, I was freshly off a 93 MR2. That made me a big mid engine fan. That led the a 2000 MR2. That was the best driving car I ever had. I miss it so.

kazoospec
kazoospec SuperDork
1/9/18 7:32 p.m.

I bought mine sort of "on faith".  When I picked it up, it was on oversized, dry rotted all seasons and blown shocks.  It was fun, but felt like a shop stool with a short leg.  Fairly soon thereafter, I put Konis and Star Specs on it and thought, "okay, now I get it."  The thing that keeps me coming back even though I'm really too tall for a Miata is the almost telepathic steering and the feeling of being "connected" with the road.  Everything else, including most "sports cars", feels bloated and numb by comparison.  

Opti
Opti HalfDork
1/9/18 8:04 p.m.

Mine is a huge turd, im still excited. It barely made the hour drive back from where i bought it and i barely fit in it and i still had a blast.

 

Im considering selling the vette to finance a really nice turbo build but for now im just going to get it running, and fix the small stuff befire i mod it too much and make sure i really like it.

 

First one i rode in was jackson racing supercharged 1.6 with some konis a roll bar and some 615s. It was slooooooow but so much fun.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
1/9/18 8:10 p.m.

I didn't really get that feeling when I drove my first miata. However, I was freshly off a 93 MR2.

That kinda speaks to what i was thinking about context.  

 

Everything else, including most "sports cars", feels bloated and numb by comparison.

My NA was mildly lightened (no top, no carpet, no ac, no power steering), had a catless long tube header, cone filter, was lowered, and was on BFG Sport Comp 2s. I liked it as a prospective race car and only traded it off because it was a crappy street car that would have been even slower if i put more weight back in it to make it weatherproof again. It was definitely fun to sling around, but it sucked to go straight in, and it wasn't even that uncomfortable.. it was just slow and loud (geared too short). I posted here about running dead even with a Camry Hybrid in a highway race. Mind you, this was back when Camry Hybrids were slow. Newer ones are quick. I've also been  in (and driven in a lower state of tune) a low-12-second miata and it's intensely, widly fun. I would certainly take it over a 12-second Camry Hybrid because at that point all of its compromises are  justified with a level of experience that makes it ok to write off nearly anything based in practicality. cheeky

I get the thing about other stuff feeling bloated by comparison. I think it's the same reason i have a hard time with stock miatas since my earliest modified cars were turbo dodges with more than double the torque. Prior experiences skew your perception. And since there are so few <2600lb modern sports cars to pick from in the Miata price bracket, it basically becomes a category of 1 for lack of choice. And since lack of choice drives your first experience straight into a Miata, it skews your perception of what else is good enough at the things the Miata is good at.

The most inoffensive way to interpret anything i've said is 'try other sports cars too, they may also be good'.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/9/18 9:03 p.m.

So, "they're not that great, you're all wrong, you just don't have the experience to know better" laugh

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
1/9/18 9:26 p.m.

Miati (sp?) are great. Any of y'all driven a Cayman S?

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
1/9/18 11:24 p.m.

Haven't driven any Porsches, not much point for my budget (although I'm seeing boxters for cheap).  The cost of ownership for the miata is the big factor. Reliability, consumables, parts, modifications, etc. 

This is an 03, lower trim level but with the factory limited slip. No rust, fair paint, drives okay. Driver's seat fabric is shot, passenger door won't unlock with the power lock (and only with difficulty by hand), the black plastic of the radiator end cap is getting the green tint so it will need replacing. It's been on the lot for a while, long enough for the battery to die. Priced at $4300 (actual price, this guy doesn't add any fees). I don't know what it's worth to him to see it gone, or what to offer if I go for it. 

I'm not worried about the seller. I've been using the same repair shop for almost 10 years, and this is where he has always suggested I go. It's a small lot with an assortment of interesting vehicles, several miatas (including an MSM), various BMWs, some minis, a subaru sport wagon, etc. 

Rodan
Rodan Reader
1/10/18 1:30 a.m.
yupididit said:

Any of y'all driven a Cayman S?

I drove a friend's Cayman GTS... it was spectacular.  He just bought a GT3, and I'm kinda looking forward to driving that as well... cheeky

Great as they are, the $$/smile ratio is on a whole different planet from Miatas.

Speaking of Miatas, if you get one, eventually you'll end up with two.  Be careful parking them near each other overnight... they're like rabbits.  Soon, you'll end up like me and friends will start calling you a hoarder...

 

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
1/10/18 4:21 a.m.

I bought the first one I drove.  It was a 97 with mismatched all seasons and original 110,000 mile shocks.  I thought it was simply amazing, only later discovering all the little problems.  That turned into a 3 year build up to legit autocross car when I realized that it was still a slow and uncomfortable street car so it got sold and now I'm working on a V8 Miata.  

They really are cool little cars and get attention everywhere you go.

Blaise
Blaise Reader
1/10/18 5:44 a.m.
yupididit said:

Miati (sp?) are great. Any of y'all driven a Cayman S?

Next level. WHOLE different level. I drove a 981 GTS. Christ. SO GOOD.

I drove my first miata in 2003 when I had a modified neon with Azenis, etc. I thought it had sharp handling. Drove a bone stock NB and was BLOWN AWAY at how good it was.

Years later, I randomly bought an NA (sunburst 92). It wasn't anywhere near as fun (less power, 14" all seasons, etc), but after a few weeks it stared to grow on me.

That was 2009. I've bought 4 more since, and many of my friends have as well.

penultimeta
penultimeta HalfDork
1/10/18 5:49 a.m.
Rodan said:
yupididit said:

Any of y'all driven a Cayman S?

I drove a friend's Cayman GTS... it was spectacular.  He just bought a GT3, and I'm kinda looking forward to driving that as well... cheeky

Great as they are, the $$/smile ratio is on a whole different planet from Miatas.

Speaking of Miatas, if you get one, eventually you'll end up with two.  Be careful parking them near each other overnight... they're like rabbits.  Soon, you'll end up like me and friends will start calling you a hoarder...

 

True true. While I don't own any answers yet, I really want to have one of every generation within the next couple years. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/10/18 8:00 a.m.

For those that say they’re uncomfortable - the ND has a suppleness that’s been missing from the factory suspensions (and a lot of the aftermarket ones). Makes for a great street car and they generate loads of cornering grip. With good suspension and tires, it’s like driving a 1990 all over again - foot to the floor all the time laugh If you’re basing all your impressions of Miatae on the NA/NB, you’re in for a treat. 

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
1/10/18 8:02 a.m.

In reply to Rodan :

Hopefully by this summer I'll have a Cayman sitting next to my NB cheeky

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
1/10/18 8:40 a.m.
NickD said:

In reply to Floating Doc :

I remember buying mine without even a test drive. It was winter and there was a ton of snow on the ground. Went back a month later to pick it up and had a nice 45 minute drive home and I had the same feeling. I got ten minutes into the drive and was like "Wow, now I get why these have such a following"

When I bought my first 3 series, I had the same enlightenment, I understood the first time I took a corner why people loved driving them.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/10/18 8:44 a.m.

I sometimes think I'm the only person who doesn't really like NA/NB cars on the road. I love to AX them, but I don't enjoy driving them around. I don't like the ergonomics and I don't like feeling the chassis wobble and flex on bumpy roads. 
For their price they are hard to beat, I'll grant you that, but when I compare them to a bunch of other cars (all of which cost more) I just don't like them. I'm happy that you guys like them, and take care of them, and AX them and let me drive them. You are the heroes I need. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
1/10/18 8:47 a.m.
Vigo said:

I'm curious how many Miata 'first drives' were also that person's first drive in any semi-modern sports car. 

I was a valet for a year and drove pretty much everything under the sun.  As a car guy it was disappointing to find that so many 'aspirational' cars were so boring... but a handful of cars really stood out.  The Miata was one.  Just sitting in the car, turning the key, and putting the car in gear is enough sensory information to let you know that this is was car designed for drivers, by people who care about driving.

rslifkin
rslifkin SuperDork
1/10/18 8:48 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

That's kinda the feeling I've had too.  I haven't driven a Miata newer than an NA.  They're enjoyable, but only really when you're driving them flat out.  So it's something I enjoy driving occasionally when someone offers me the keys, but not something I like enough to spend money on buying my own.  

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