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Up All Night

The last movie featured New York and several different people yakking about driving several different cars and embodied that whole Big Apple esthetic. This one is the antithesis of that, LA, one guy, one car1 no talking just an exhaust note accompanied by soft techo soundtrack. So hit the full screen button and crank up the sound.

1. And what a car it is, a tuned 1991 Acrua NSX with over 230,000 miles on it.

Water Bugs

2016 Bug Splat 01

Date: Saturday, August 20, 2016
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Greg’s Gas Plus
Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Don & Kay Boltz, Terri & John Bozzarello, David & Noel Brock, Shirley & Mike Dyer, Defending Big Bug Champ Karol Mason, Don Nesbitt & Guest, Trudy & Hal Scott, Bob & Pat Tarrant, Annie & Ralf Wilms and Dave & Sue Woomer.

Before the drive at Greg’s there was plenty of chatter among the group and the rally leader had to be prompted by a look at Hal Scott’s smartypants phone’s display of the incoming rain to get everything underway. Everyone who participated would claim that they hit several very large bugs on the first 15 miles of the drive, but unfortunately the light rain through the middle third of the trip that washed them all off the noses of their cars. And the still clean cars at the end were because as everyone knows, bugs all go inside their little bug homes so as not to get wet and then they stay inside for several hours afterwards just in case.

For whatever the reason, there were more Miatas than there were insects splatted tonight, which made judging difficult. I only found 2 cars with actual bug remains and neither was very large, but by using my calibrated eyeballs, I determined that the larger of the two resided on the front bumper of the Boltz’s dark blue NC. Kay was really excited to be the winner until she saw the trophy… Because nobody had anything any where near the dot, the bottle of Bullseye BBQ was awarded to the Tarrants. A pair of insect repellent bracelets were given to the Nesbitts for having the most bugs and a packet of insect stickers was given to the Bozzarellos for having the fewest bugs.

I may have mixed up what those last two prizes were for and who won them, and for that I apologize, my ice cream was melting.

25 Years Ago – Summer 1991

If It Can’t Be Done on Wheels…

By Member Terry Carr, Memphis, Tennessee

I had been reading about the Miata since they were first offered for sale in this country. I knew I wanted one, but probably for many of different reasons than a lot of your readers who apparently have a long relationship with sports cars.

I grew up in the Fabulous Fifties – you know, sockhops, car dances, drive-in movies, and hamburger joints. We were a more mobile society back then. We felt that if you couldn’t do it on wheels, it probably wasn’t worth doing at all. It was about the time I fell in love with the 1955-56 Ford Thunderbird. I pressed my nose to many a showroom glass until the fog from my heavy breath obscured my view. The idea of a lift-off hardtop for a convertible was more than I could deal with at the time. I swore that one day I would own such a car.

Well, that was a long time ago and though I have owned many convertibles since I was sixteen, I never got my T-bird. A few months ago I finally sold my classic 1968 Pontiac Bonneville convertible complete with a 400 cubic inch engine equipped with tri-power (that’s 3-deuces or a six-pack to you younger folks). I bought that car new at the insistence of my bride. Kay and I stood in the empty second garage we had built to house my toys (the other, a classic mahogany planked inboard motorboat) and cried when that car left. We get attached to things. I know it’s silly, but that car had a lot of memories attached to it.

My wife informs me that afterwards, my lip stuck out a lot, I got moody and became somewhat disagreeable. You see, that was the first time I had ever been without a ragtop. It was terrible. And, since I had given up motorcycles some years before, I had no panacea.

That sets part of the stage. Now, for the other part of the story. As I said at the beginning of this article, I had been following the progress of the little car from the start. I must confess however that my initial preoccupation with the Miata was the lift-off hardtop. I find it interesting that a recent Miata Magazine article eluded to some initial discussion regarding whether to even produce a hardtop. I’m glad they did, as I am sure Mazda is now.

I have been dickering with car salesmen all my life. Heck, I can even remember when buying a car used to be fun. That’s how old I am. I know what a car costs the dealer. Consequently, I try not to pay too much over dealer invoice when I buy. When the Miata first came out, I went to a local dealership and made an offer on a 1990.

At the time, I think they were selling in Memphis for about $3,000 over the window sticker price. The salesmen rolled around the floor, giggled, guffawed, and generally cut up when I told them I’d pay a thousand dollars over dealer invoice for a new Miata. The sales manager even came out of his office to get a look at the “weirdo.” He said it would be a cold day in you-know-where before I would buy one at that price. I remarked that it probably would, remembering how few convertibles are sold in that kind of weather, and left.

Over the ensuing months, I made periodic stops at the dealership and kept hammering away at the sales price. You see, the secret to buying a car is to make sure that they want to sell it more than you want to buy it. If and when the pendulum swings the other way, you are a goner. Once I walked out of a showroom over a hundred dollar difference just to make a point. Steve, the young salesman whom I had thoroughly frustrated over the months and felt truly sorry for, followed me out into the parking lot exclaiming, “Mr. Carr, you know you want the car. It’s only a hundred dollars!”

I looked at the young man and said, “When you get to be fifty years old, you learn one valuable lesson if you’re lucky, which will extend your life and end most frustrations.”

“What’s that?”

“You can’t always have everything you want.”

It wasn’t enough that I wanted a particular price – there were other considerations. It must be RED, have limited slip differential, and have a hardtop. Everything else was negotiable. Well, almost everything. There was one other small detail. Demand was fairly great in Memphis, so dealers were driving in cars from outlying dealerships. I once test drove a Miata that had over 300 miles on the speedometer. When I buy a new car, I expect it to be new; NO MILES and as few people under the steering wheel as humanly possible. Yea, I know, weird — but my car had to have less than 12 miles on it.

The phone rang a few weeks before Thanksgiving, just a month after I sold my classic Pontiac convertible. They met my price and the car was being off-loaded in California. It arrived at the dealership about three weeks later (on a transport truck) and I took delivery with just nine miles showing on the speedometer. It was a “B” package, which suited me just fine. I would have lived without the air conditioner, but Kay couldn’t have.

To say I love my car would be a gross understatement. I have experienced none of the problems mentioned in your magazine columns. Of course, I still have less than 1,500 miles on it; the hardtop is still in place, and the cloth top has never been out of its boot. But, I have put it through its paces. I am impressed, to say the least. I have a hard boot coming from Rod Millen and have already installed mud guards and door sills. When I first got my Miata, I couldn’t wait to have one like everyone else’s. Now I want mine to be different from everyone else’s. As time and money permits, I will continue to add trinkets.

My last teenager leaves home in a few months. Then Kay and I will strike out for parts unknown, taking advantage of some of your travel tips in the magazine. Until we see you on the road, take care and drive safely. You can find my red 1991 Miata easily. The Tennessee license plate reads, “TC’S MX5.”

Terry Carr is a clinical counselor working at a state college in Memphis, Tennessee. His wife, Kay, is an elementary school teacher.

Summer 1991 photo

Copyright 1991, Miata Magazine. Reprinted without permission.

August 4th Meeting Minutes

When: August 4th, 2016

Where: Triangle Restaurant, Johnston, SC

Who: Mike and Shirley Dyer, Dennis and Karol Mason, Don and Cheri Nesbitt , Bob and Pat Tarrant, Tom Varallo, Ralf and Annie Wilms, and Dave and Sue Woomer.

We had the back half of the diner (where lunch is served) all to ourselves, our server was awesome and sweet, the food was good and the prices were good too! Thanks to Bob and Pat Tarrant for planning this dinner. We all ordered our food, shared some good conversation until our food was delivered, we ate, then Tom called the meeting to order.

Treasurer’s Report: Started at $1666.63. Income from Dues Payments: $10.00, Pin sales $10.00; with no expenditures, the balance comes to $1686.63.

Ongoing:

  • Tom has put together some business cards with our website, to give to people who own Miata’s that may be interested in joining. See Tom if you would like some.
  • See Dennis for name-tags
  • New club merchandise is available: Pins are $3 each; “Support Vehicle” car magnets $25 per pair, canvas tote/shopping bag $20 each. The 3” window stickers have come in and are available now.

Coffee mugs available from http://www.cafepress.com/+masters-miata+mugs

Communigraphics in North Augusta has our logo, for $8 you can have it embroidered on just about anything.

  • 2016 Christmas Party set for Dec 9th at Woodside Plantation Clubhouse. Thanks to Shirley Dyer and John and Kathy Omerod for setting this up.
  • Heads up! Dues for calendar year 2017 will be due on 1 Jan. Thank you for your support!

Club Business:

As to the voting we did over the last month;

  • Everyone was good with keeping the current officers until December.
  • Everything passed.
    • Changing the bylaws to change from a fiscal year to a calendar year (moving from May to Jan). (unanimous)
    • Current officers will continue until December when we will vote for new nominees. (unanimous)
    • Changing the bylaws to have officers nominated in November, elected in December, and take office in January. Terms will be 1 Jan – 31 Dec, each year. (This option won over electing new officers at the Aug meeting by about 2 to 1).
  • Thanks for your votes!

Tom would like to update the bylaws by the end of the year– to update the language, clarify some wording, and to define how voting is to take place and what is required for a winning vote. Brian Bogardus and Don Boltz have volunteered to help him update them. Tom would also appreciate help from 2 more people. You need not have a lot of experience in the club, 2-4 years would be good. If you would like to help in this effort, please contact Tom.

New Business/Upcoming calendar events:

  • This dinner meeting was also a planning meeting to plan future events.
  • Brian and Donna Borgardus are tentatively planning a drive to Deals Gap 4-6 November.
  • We are planning on doing Parade Laps at Road Atlanta 3-4 December, and maybe at Robling Roads Jan-Feb.

The following events are anticipated:

DATE LOCATION COORDINATORS
13 August We’ve been invited to go along with the Peach Tree Miata Club on their “Dead Drive”. This is a drive to Sonoya, GA where the AMC series “The Walking Dead” is filmed. Filming is currently happening so we might get a chance to see filming, meet some actors, etc. Sonoya is about 45 min SW of Atlanta or a 3 and a half to 4 hour drive from Aiken. Tom is planning to go – anyone else that would like to go, please contact Tom to arrange a place to meet.
13 August CHANGE!! Coffee and Cars, 8-11am at the Columbia County Exhibition Center, Grovetown, GA Usually held monthly on the first Saturday. This month it’s not, the 13th is correct…….See their facebook page for more information or their website.
20 August Bug Splat Brian and Donna Bogardus
1 September Dinner meeting – Bradley, in The Alley in Aiken John and Sue Ormerod
3 September Coffee and Cars Columbia County Exhibition
17 September Breakfast – TBD TBD
17-18 September Wanna Go Fast – Clayton GA (watch racing on a runway, fast, high end street cars) Website
1 October Coffee and Cars Columbia County Exhibition
6 October Dinner meeting – TBD Bob and Pat Tarrant (T)
15 October Breakfast – TBD Mike and Shirley Dyer
3 November Dinner meeting – TBD Don and Cheri Nesbit
19 November Breakfast – TBD Dave and Sue Woomer