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“Oh I’d hate a naturally aspirated 3.2L front mounted rear wheel drive layout with perfect 50:50 weight distribution and 333hp on tap.” – said NO ONE EVER.


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25 Years Ago – Summer 1990


By Barbara Beach

“What do you mean $18,000 in medical deductions?” he shrieked, as only an accountant can.
“I bought a Miata: I responded calmly, (as calm as one can while doing their taxes).
“A car is not a medical deduction” the accountant reprimanded.
“A Miata is” I argued. “In fact, I consider it THERAPY!”

It is possible that I may not win my case with the IRS, but anyone who owns a Miata can understand my point. As Will Rogers once said, “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man”. I concur, and contend that the outside of a Miata is good for the inside of anyone! It certainly has been good for me. I have made more new friends and had more freeway “love affairs” (you know…those stolen glances and passionate smiles) window to window. I never had this much fun in my Chevy Van. Never once did I get a marriage proposal while driving it, but in the Miata I have had several (I will, however, have to wait for my suitors to either graduate high school or get a driver’s license). But a proposal is a proposal!

I would only caution you not to make the Miata gods angry. There is a certain unwritten dress code that one must abide by when Miata motoring. My biggest mistake was to make one

of those early morning ‘sweat pants, hair in curlers’ run to the dry cleaners. Upon leaving the cleaners I was shocked to find two men sitting in my Miata. While this is not what I would normally consider a crisis, it is when I’m dressed for my Phillis Diller impression. A Miata owner must be dressed to meet people. After all, we do represent an alternate way of motoring and have certain responsibilities!!

Observing my self-imposed rule, I was far more successful in my encounter with a top-down 560SL: Dressed as if he just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren full page ad, the Benz driver looked over as I languished in my Calvin Kleins and offered to trade cars. Tomorrow, lunch? You bring your pink slip, I’ll bring mine…Oh I’m sorry! There seems to be little loyalty left these days!

I was in quite a panic when I questioned my best friend as to what I should wear on an upcoming date with a man I really wanted to impress. “Relax, Barbara”, my friend laughed, “Flash a smile and wear your Miata!” I did and it worked! This car is not just transportation, it is a dating device! I can just see the classifieds now…’OUTRAGEOUSLY FINE FEMALE WITH TWO MASTERS DEGREES, UNTOLD WEALTH, AND A RED MIATA IS LOOKING TO FIND A MAN OF SIMILAR QUALITIES. SEND PHOTO OF YOURSELF AND YOUR CAR…’
I think I have stumbled on to something here…high tech automotive seduction. This car should carry a warning: CAUTION: DRIVING A MIATA CAN CAUSE AN INFLATED EGO, UNABASHED FLIRTATION, AND IN SOME CASES SERIOUS PROPOSALS.

The Miata is by no means a ‘singles only’ car. I do hope that all of you married Miata owners enjoy the car for its original intended purposes; starry nights, top down cruising with your significant other. As for me and my Miata…well, we’re just going out to play.

Barbara Beach (and her Miata) play in Vista, California. Barbara profiles other Miata owners (and an occasional man in a 560SL) in each Miata magazine.

Copyright 1990, Miata Magazine. Reprinted without permission.

10 Years Ago – June 2005

Beaufort Drive-In Trip

Date: Saturday, June 11, 2005
Time: 8:00 AM
Place: SC Welcome Center
Attending: Bill & Bonnie Baugh, Brian & Donna Bogardus, John & Jackie Nicholls, and Rudy Wilmoth & Patti Letizia.

After a quick gas stop, our merry band of four cars headed south through North Augusta and then using SC125, to cut through the bomb plant.

In Allendale, we made a pit stop at Hardee’s to stretch our legs, use the facilities or get some breakfast. When we almost done eating Rudy noticed that it had started to rain. This generated a mad dash to the parking lot to raise tops.

We ended up keeping the tops up for the rest of the way down to Beaufort, because it rained on and off for the remainder of the morning. We were supposed to rendezvous at Ollie’s on Lady Island at 11:00AM. The Low Country gang was a few minutes early to get to the restaurant and our group was a few minutes late. Worked out well for us, as we just had to walk in and sit in the empty spots at the tables in the back they had saved for us. It took quite a while to get everyone their food, but this is typical of any place that tries to get 24 meals served at once. The food was nothing spectacular, but the view was nice and the conversation enjoyable. After lunch, John & Jackie went back home (they were along just for the drive and lunch,) Rudy, Patti, Bill & Bonnie headed into the historic downtown area to wander the shops and Brian & Donna joined most of the Low Country Club on a trip to Paris Island Recruit Depot to visit the Marine Corp museum there. From there the big group stopped in downtown too, mainly to visit a chocolate shop and get a free edible sand dollar, but to do a little wandering as well.

The whole group gathered in the motel’s breakfast nook to partake in a fabulous spread of vittles provided by the Low Country Club (quite a bit of it came from the trunk of Bunny McElwee.) The party started at 6pm with a scheduled end time at 7 o’clock for the departure to the movies. Seven came and went, but with all the good food and good conversation no one wanted to go. A little also had to do with the two decidedly non-adult movies that awaited at the drive-in. Finally about quarter to 8 we herded up the gang for the drive to the movies.

We parked in the nearly empty drive-in and donned our 3D glasses so we could get a stranger to take a picture of our strange group. Out came the folding chairs and more chitchat ensued. It also started to sprinkle so the tops went up and the umbrellas went up. The rain stopped and the movie started. The first movie didn’t even come up to my low expectations, but it did serve to make the lame second movie seem Oscar-worthy in comparison. Still, when the rain started again with about 15 minutes left to go in Madagascar, we didn’t hesitate to pack up and leave with nary a look back.

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