The Fork - 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test
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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda Miata: The Fork

March 05, 2012

1997 Mazda Miata: The Fork

I could have owned a Miata.

The 23 year old me was in the market for a new used car. And being 1998, and right in the middle of the import scene in Southern California, the Miata was naturally at the sharp end of my list, right behind a second generation RX-7. With a few minor exceptions, my Miata would have wound up looking remarkably similar to our long-term Miata. Fat tired, low and with a hard top, it would have driven me to work during the week and through turn six on the weekends - a true dual purpose ride.

But then something unexpected happened.

One of my then housemates bought some obnoxiously loud '94 Trans Am from an auction. It was stupid looking and I didn't want anything to do with it, but after he racked up three tickets in six months, he needed to sell it. Fast.

And I bought it.

Why did I buy it? Because it was the fastest and loudest car I could afford.

For the five years and 65k miles that I put into it, it changed the way I thought about not just sports cars, but driving in general. I wouldn't be who I am today if I didn't have that stupid car for five glorious years.

Could I still own our Miata? Of course, but I'm glad I passed it over for this anvil.

1997 Mazda Miata: The Fork

What car was your fork in the road?

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 135,something miles


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