The car that we're calling the is a Craigslist find. Or maybe it was a dare. It's sometimes tough to tell the difference.
The nice lady from the insurance company had one simple question: "Does your new car have any anti-theft devices?"
"Oh, about all of them," I replied. "It has banged-up body panels, peeling paint, a cracked dash, an intermittent airbag warning light, and once-blue
sheepskin seat covers that look like sun-bleached Cookie Monster pelts. It also has 325,000 miles and a manual transmission."
I was about to explain why the radio turns off when the humidity creeps above 70 percent and how I'd read that it's an easy fix once you remove the center
console and procure a bit of 12-gauge wire, but she cut me off.
"I mean, does it have an alarm?"
This isn't the first time we've fallen for this car. Road & Track's first love affair with the Miata was back in 1989. Same year, same color:
Mariner Blue. The plucky little car took Dennis Simanaitis and Andy Bornhop on on their respective honeymoons before the test wrapped up. Simanaitis later
bought the car when Mazda finally decided to sell it. I think he .
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Some 25 years later, our new (old) car is going to serve a totally different purpose. Sure, it can expect plenty of road trips, but there's a bigger goal
in mind—we want to share our enthusiasm for sports cars, and there's no sports car more approachable than the Miata. 2014 marks the model's 25th
anniversary, so in order to kick that off, we'll share our new toy. We'll share it at track days and we'll share it around the office. We'll even drag our
non-stick shift-driving friends out to school parking lots on weekend mornings for a little Miata time. And when they graduate, well, they can put some
miles on the Miata, too.
All the while, we'll be covering ground, and when we can, we'll appropriately celebrate the Miata's big odometer roundings. There's already a big in-house
movement to take it to Pikes Peak at 400,000 miles. We've done the math—rolling the clock will take more than a year, probably many more. This will make
the Million-Mile Miata our longest-term test car ever. Frankly, I'm pleased by the idea.
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As nice as it is, the car is no cream puff. It's a driver. With 325,000 miles and 25 years under its belt, the Million-Mile Miata has averaged 13,000 miles
a year. We're only going to improve on that, and you'll be able to the whole way. Like any respectable 25-year-old, our Miata can be
found on Facebook. We'll also update the Road & Track site often.
As we weave our way across the country, we'll be stopping in to visit some of our friends. Our first stop might be in Colorado. The guys at
get what we're doing, or at least, they sympathize with us. If they have time, they've promised to bruise their knuckles alongside ours and lend us a lift,
so maybe we'll get a few shiny new parts to help the car rack up miles a little faster.
And then, of course, there's the next step. At some point, we'll move past the office. We'll start to share the car with more of our friends and then some
of their friends. Want to visit Grandma in Florida, but your clunker Cobra can't make it? Ask nicely, and you might con us out of the keys. But get
cracking—if you want your name on the list, it's already getting pretty long.
Follow all of the .