In the winter, I leave for work well before the sun comes up. I always pass a used car lot next to the high school's football field and have gotten into the habit of checking the car stock as I go buy. It is much more difficult in the winter but there is no traffic on the road and I always make sure it is safe to glance at the lot.
One mid week dark and cold morning, I saw a red convertible in the very back corner of the lot. I could barely make it out with the other cars in front of it and the weeds in that part of the used car area.
I don't usually take that way home in the evening because the volume of traffic on that road is completely changed at that time. This time I was glad I did. I stopped in the lot and met Bob the salesman. We shook hands and I asked him to show me the red convertible he had tucked in the back of the lot. He agreed and as I followed him through the mass of older cars he told me the history of some of the cars as we walked.
The car I was interested in was a FIRST YEAR 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 convertible! The car was being partially restored by its previous owner who had given up his quest. I think what attracted me most was the way the car shown in the waning winter sun. The car had good rubber and the canvas top was in great shape.
I asked if I could take it for a test drive and I found the engine and gear box were in great shape for a car with well over 100,000 original miles one it.
I used own MG's and Triumphs. When I drove the Mazda the same feeling came back of the fun to drive these types of cars.
I asked and got permission to take the car to my mechanic for a once over. He reported the engine and drive train were in great shape and had been worked on. He also said the car was probably going to need new struts and control arms to tighten up the ride.
I brought the car back and started horse trading for a better price. The final price was fair and wouldn't break my bank account. (I had already figured the additional cost of the suspension items into my final cost).
I had the additional work done to upgrade the ride and safety of my new old car. In the third year I owned the car I contacted my insurance agent to discuss overall car insurance costs. When she saw pictures of the condition of the car and the low additional yearly mileage she suggested I begin a professional relationship with the best - Hagerty. I drive the car to shows with the condition "as is". I also take it for short drives on winding roads in the Fall.
The car enjoys a special part in my life and I have a reason to thank cold dark winter mornings for helping me find it.