What happened to the Miata?

My beautiful 2007 Copper Red Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT is Kaput!

2AM on a quiet summer night last August I heard a loud bang and another. I couldn’t fall asleep so I was reading some stuff online. The sound was confusing, I thought maybe my dog Max had fallen off the couch and knocked something over… but the second bang threw me for a loop. Did he get up and fall again? And how high up on the couch did he get to make such a racket. I went to the living room, then the kitchen and looking outside I see bright almost xenon-like headlights shining into my window where my car used to be parked. The Miata did not have bright Xenon lights, they were quite dull actually. Hey, where’s my Miata?

Seeing some steam rising over the headlights of the car my Marshaling training kicked in. I grabbed the phone and called 911 to get help while rushing out to assess the situation. As soon as I opened the door I see my Miata sitting across the lawn, some 30 feet away from where I parked it, now perpendicular to how it was. The van got moved too, at least 4 feet, but it obviously stopped the out of control Audi Q5 SUV from hitting my house. SUV door opened, I could see the driver in a daze and the voice of roadside assistance trying to talk to him coming through the car speakers. I obviously asked if the guy was OK? He didn’t really seem so. But he stumbled out of the car on his own, so I asked for his driver’s license to have some form of ID for the inevitable insurance claim… at work that was procedure “Accident 101” always exchange details and not rely on the police report. The guy did not have any ID on him claiming he was on this way to the DMV… at 2 o’clock in the morning. At that point the cops showed up and took over the situation, telling me to wait by my house… which is ironic, I was by my house, in my own driveway. I got to watch from a distance as a tow truck did more damage to my lawn than the accident did.

Well, long story short both cars were a total loss with the Miata taking the brunt of the damage. The van taking a frontal hit would have cost too much to repair with potential frame damage so the insurance company totalled them both. It took well over a month for all the paperwork dust to settle. In the process we ended up buying another Minivan rather quickly and I rented a car for about a week because I had a trip to Europe coming up and wouldn’t really need a rental during that period even though I was entitled to one.

While the insurance company paid out for both cars, the experience of this accident was miserable. Even though looking back it was a rather minor situation. Yes, both cars were a total loss, but no one in my family was hurt. So that was the best case scenario. Still it was a massive hardship and an inconvenience. I wouldn’t wish this process on my worst enemy. Moral of the story, best thing to do in an accident is to avoid one altogether!

The van we bought is a very similar Dodge Grand Caravan to the one we lost. Maybe slightly more spiffy with it’s beautiful red paint and larger 17 inch alloy wheels. It has many more miles and the transmission shifts kind of funny. So basically not as good as the one it replaced. But you never know how things will turn out when buying a used car. Things could go a million different ways.

This is especially evident with the Jeep Wrangler I bought to replace the Miata… it doesn’t even come close to what I had. The Miata was a gorgeous California car… no rust, no problems. I put over 60,000 miles on it over the course of almost 5 years I owned it, taking many Road Trips to Florida, Michigan, Ontario and beyond. It was a problem-free car. The damn Pennsylvania Jeep we couldn’t even start at the auction because the clowns working for Manheim destroyed the battery. It was a nightmare just getting it home with the truck going bananas the whole way. And as we started chipping away at the buildup of mud underneath it more and more things started going wrong. In all I’m already over $1,000 bux in on parts alone replacing all the broken bits. There’s still more gremlins to work out. It already has nearly 120k miles which is 4 times more than the Miata had when I bought it in 2014… and I grossly overpaid for the Jeep! To add insult to injury it snowed consistently every winter I owned the Miata, one time I even got to go offroading on the way home from work in a major snowstorm. Yet with the Wrangler the most we’ve gotten this winter so far is just a dusting.

I really miss my Miata. I hope one day soon I will buy a replacement most likely another NC though this time my goal is a yellow one. The only souvenirs I kept from the crashed car were the badges. It made sense especially for the “Roadster” badge considering I paid $30 bux for it to get shipped from Japan. I doubt I’d reuse it on my next car though as there’s an element of bad luck that comes with it. Then again the main reason I decided to by my Miata in the first place was a result of one crashing into my corner at Road Atlanta during my first Petit Le Mans… I remember the damage that Skip Barber car sustained but the driver jumped out unhurt. Looking at my accident above, if anyone had been sitting in the passenger seat when an SUV ran into the side of the car, I think they would have sustained some injuries. Accidents suck!