Celebrating 25 years with the same Miata

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Mazda Miata project car
Dec 24, 2023 | SCCA, Miata, Falken

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When someone spilled the drink on the sales manager, we knew we had our deal.

Let’s back up a bit.

It’s December 24, 1998, and we’re visiting an Orlando Chevy dealer to check out a 1992 Mazda Miata advertised in the paper.

Yes, in print.

The car looked clean, the price seemed fair.

Then the salesman dropped the old “dealer fee” on us.



So we went inside to talk to the manager–who didn’t seem thrilled to see us that Christmas Eve.

And during the back and forth, someone spilled a drink on the manager.

Fine, take the car, he said, and stormed off.

And that is how we acquired our Miata.


Since then, it’s been a daily driver, an autocross car and, sadly, an ignored old friend as it sat in the corner of the garage for eight-plus years. You can read the updates back to the early days right here on the site.

Since emerging from the garage three years ago, though, the Miata has been busy: regular meet-ups with Orlando Roadsters plus lots of autocross with the SCCA as well as our local Martin Sports Car Club.

Mechanical issues over the last three years? Nothing really. It’s a Miata.

Its original paint might sport a few rock chips while the tag on the rear bears the word “Antique,” but it’s not going anywhere. It’s a keeper.

Do you also keep your cars or do you tend to cycle through them?

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DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
12/24/23 7:49 a.m.

Bravo for keeping it! I recently had the MINI I had been driving for 16 years written off in an accident. Six days later I had a replacement. The "new" MINI was built the same day as the wrecked one, but had 136,000 fewer miles on it. Why do that when there are plenty of newer choices? The first one was a lot of fun and I may as well continue the enjoyment. I'll keep a car I like until the tin-worm wins. I did sell my 2017 Challenge NB Miata to an interested kid and replaced it with a 2019 ND-RF, and while the RF is a very nice ride it's missing something the old Miata had. The old one was like my favourite leather jacket, scuffed, used, but perfectly serviceable. No need to unload a car just because. Keep your Miata until you're too old and stiff to get in and out of it. Enjoy!!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
12/24/23 8:26 a.m.

When I have a car that I like and that meets my needs I tend to hold on to it, I don't see any reason to change just for the sake of change.  I've owned my primary car (a 1986 BMW M535i) for 25 years now, I've had my 1961 Pontiac for over 30 years.

Mndsm MegaDork
12/24/23 9:17 a.m.

Bought my Mazdaspeed3 brand new with 13 miles on it January 19 2007. It's currently in my garage, broken- in Longwood FL. It's survived MN, Chicago, a flood, a divorce, deferred maitenence, lots of personal struggles, two attempts to kill me falling off a jack stand, but its still here. 

alfadriver MegaDork
12/24/23 9:51 a.m.

My top two are:

almost 28 years for our 73 GTV, which we got shortly after getting married

almost 25 years for the only car I have bought brand new (don't count leases since I don't own it) for my 99 Miata. Which has north of 200k miles commuting to work for almost 15 years. Still being "restored". 

This month marks 20 years that we have enjoyed the fabulous Boxster S. Just put another new set of Bridgestones on it. I drove the 944 S2 for over 20 years before it went to Javelin to become a YouTube star. 

Sharron's MG, her first new car, just turned 50, but it has been in indoor storage (display?) for a long time. There came a point where a Midget really didn't meet our transportation needs but we couldn't bear to get rid of it. It's about time I got to work getting it back on the road.

In 1998 my dad and I went out and found him a new F150 short bed. He turned it over to me in 2005 so he could get a different Ford, and I am still driving the F150 regularly as it reaches its 26th birthday.  


codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/24/23 11:06 a.m.

Longest I've owned a car is also my Miata.  I bought it brand new in July 1998, one of the first NBs.

I had a lot more hair back then!

Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
12/24/23 11:10 a.m.

I love these stories.  

12/24/23 2:04 p.m.

Bought our red base model Miata brand new June of 1992. She's a member of the family and we'll never let her go. 31 years and counting.

tomhargold New Reader
12/24/23 2:07 p.m.

Good discussion. I bought new and still have a '74 MGB, almost 50 years now. The car still has its original factory Harvest Gold paint, original interior and soft top. The B has just over 100,000 miles on it. The clutch has been renewed a couple of times, the top end has been redone twice and the bottom end once. There are a few stone chips as one might expect. This is a classic survivor car.  My everyday is a 1998 4Runner which I bought new over 25 years ago. It has 350,000kms and is basically bulletproof. With the state of new cars today I plan to keep my Toyota forever.  

map2050 New Reader
12/24/23 3:05 p.m.

My last new car was my '91 Miata, December 20, 1990. Still have it. Due to eldercare issues it is low mileage, but all the miles have been joyful ones. Drove Route 66 in 2013 with my youngest son after he graduated from college. It was a great experience. It has been autocrossed in its early years with the OE tires - a little off the pace with others running treadware 200 tires, but still fun.

My '91 Toyota Deluxe pickup, purchased from my uncle in 2000, is a keeper also. It was lowered by the dealer with some other accessories (hate the pop-up sunroof, leaker, but what are you going to do?) and it is very reliable.

'06 Volvo V70R in Sonic Blue purchased in November 2016 will stay with me even if it gets expensive down the road. Great for long drives and fast!

As a young family we bought a new '86 Dodge Caravan SE as child number three was on the way. Served us well and it was picked to represent the 1980's decade along with a DeLorean in the ACM LeMay Museum in Tacoma, WA in the exhibit "Cars Defined by an American Century" 2017-2018. Upon the closing of the exhibit it was donated to the LeMay Family Museum a few miles down the road in Parkland where it should still be. It served the family through numerous vacations, Christmas food drives and three college degrees for the kids.

Missing my '71 Capri 2000 that was a great autocross ride for several seasons before leaving the driveway in 1987. And the "family car" '70 Datsun 510 that we had for 16 years before the Caravan replaced it.

There were only three cars that stayed with us for less than five years through no fault of their own. Just better opportunities. So, yes, I keep them around for quite a few years!

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