By: Jim and Peggy Sanders

My Miata journey begins like everyone's, almost. A very good and dear Cessna pilot friend from Arizona called with the news, his sister from Oceanside had passed away, could I help him ? Of course I would. A few days later, one sore back, and my garage full of dear Paulette's belongings and yes, her Miata in my front yard, with for sale sign attached. "Feel free to drive her if you like" were the marching orders from Larry as he left the state eastward for Arizona. Thought I, would be a shame to sell in the dirty, unwashed condition that she was in. For this Miata had spent every day since new, living on a beachfront in Oceanside watching the California sunsets each evening, and sadly needed some TLC. A good wash wouldn't hurt I thought..

 My friend could benefit from a higher sales price I'm sure. Days passed, I drove her to work a time or 2. Hey, it wouldn't hurt to get a couple new tires in fact, metal cords sliced my fingers as I probed them, as red as the paint. More days passed, no calls, no drop ins, see, in Temecula, used cars are not a hot item. No one wanted a little red Miata as I peddled her from dealer to dealer. A few weeks later, Larry called and ask if I was interested in buying her...? Me?, actually, she was beginning to grow on me....well, I guess a project wouldn't be too bad to have around. I do kind of like driving topless, Paulette did buy her new and all..... hold-on-let-me-ask-Peggy, and 2 minutes later I owned a Red Miata at a very good price.

 I didn't know it at the time but the adventure was about to begin! A lot of time has went into her, mostly in terms of easy stuff, detailing and interior repair. Tires replaced, 30k miles maintenance. She really didn't need much with 48k miles and all. Slowly she became a little better with every bottle of Mothers and turtle wax that I emptied. I have taken hundreds of pictures along the way, before and after shots, as repairs are made. My website has over 10,000 hits so far...amazing! if you're interested.

 The Red paint, the leather repaired, the rusty wipers cleaned and repainted, tires replaced, etc. Somewhere along the way, I ran into the SOCALM and SDMC websites and decided to check out a "run" I have never had so much fun in my entire life. Yes, the Miata is a dream to drive, but the clubs make all the difference. I wish I could give more time to support them. It is incredible, as to all the good friends that I have met since joining SDMC and SOCALM. I can tell you that we are very fortunate here in So. Cal, others do not have it as good. the roads, the weather, the activity levels of the clubs. It isn't like this anywhere else in the world!! For example, one day I met Howard at a tech day at Obi's, he had a JR supercharger attached to his Red, I being mildly interested, asked, and without knowing me at all, threw me the keys and said warm it up before hitting the boost...before I got back, I was completely hooked!! (Caution, there is no turning back once you see the dark side for yourself!) 

Wasn't long before I was talking to James Kim about a supercharger he had for sale. Another hold-on-let-me-ask-Peggy was uttered and guess it, the SC was in the trunk. I have many people to thank along the way for helping me out with this or that. It was Geoff selling me his style bar, and Bill with the turn signal air ducts for sale, although in Blue Mica, but at the right price, they were mine also. Steve Waid introduced me to Autocrossing, and acting as my instructor, made me spin out! Can you believe that?! Jeff, a former Miata owner, provided me the latest upgrade, a 62.5 dia. SC pulley for a few more pounds of boost .. WOW! is the difference!. There are many others, THANK YOU! I am very fortunate that the Miata came into my life, I have met many many wonderful people in SDMC and SOCALM. Have enjoyed thousands of miles, "stargazing" to "hangovers" to "Outdoor Movies" in Santee, cruising with strangers that feel very much like old friends, and really enjoy seeing the best come out in people on the email list as we all go about enjoying our hobby. 

I have tried to pass the Miata infection along whenever I can, Pegs brother aka I-Love-Mustangs-old-or-new, took a short ride on a twisty road with me one day...and you guessed it. he is a convert also and now owns a 91 Red! If you haven't noticed, the Miata experience is a lot more than just a car to most, and also to me. Thanks to Tom and Marna Wood, two of the most dedicated Miata club supporters I know, for asking me to write my story. Mostly I must thank Peggy for saying yes, and Larry for making it all possible.

Now for that new exhaust......Peg....?

Sincerely, Jim and Peggy