Missing our white 2013 Mazda MX-5 Club ever since we sold it, we’ve been considering a suitable replacement for quite awhile. These small, lightweight roadsters are just so fun to drive, they have a way of getting under your skin, which is precisely why we’ve been casually looking for an early Miata ever since. The sharing of Craigslist ads for NA and NB Miatas became nearly a weekly occurrence over the summer until we finally found the perfect example right in our own backyard: a bright red 1990 Mazda Miata with a factory hardtop. This two-owner example appeared to be meticulously cared for over its 130k miles of use and was just recently traded into our Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda store for a new Mazda6.
In just a few calls, we secured it as the latest addition to the Morrie’s Heritage Car Connection fleet! We just had to figure out how to get it home from Chippewa Falls with all this snow and ice on the ground. Adam and I hatched a plan to make the 2-hour drive across the border to pick it up ourselves. To make the trip a bit more interesting, we grabbed the keys to another bright red convertible and took the 2009 Mercedes SL63 AMG. Unlike the Miata which has all but 115 hp to move its svelte 2,200 pounds around, the big Benz weighs almost twice as much and its big 6.2-liter V8 produces about four and a half times the power! While the Miata is great to toss around on back roads, the SL63 is the perfect grand tourer, happy to gobble up long stretches of highway, and as we found out, it even does OK in the snow and ice.
After the comfortable but otherwise uneventful drive out to Chippewa Falls, we pulled into the parking lot at Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda and had the sales staff pull the Miata around for us to get a better look at. We cleared all the snow and ice off the car to get a better look and were impressed that the Miata presented even better in person than it did in the photos we had been drooling over just a few days prior. After taking a few quick photos in front of the store, we hit the road to see what the car was like to drive on some of the back roads in the area and made a pit stop for Adam to grab some cheese curds at Yellowstone Cheese in Cadot, WI.
The hard-packed snow and ice on the roads made traction difficult for both of us, but the Mercedes was hard-pressed to put much distance on the Miata on our cruise back to the Twin Cities. The Miata is just so engaging and fun to drive, happy to dawdle along or be rung out on some narrow, winding back roads. Other than some missing creature comforts like heated seats, the Miata is no less comfortable to drive for long stretches either. With the hardtop in place, wind noise was surprisingly minimal and the interior was pretty cozy and quiet. The little 1.6-liter engine might not make much power but it sure does make the most of it, easily keeping up with the Mercedes at highway speeds.
After a thorough opportunity to bond with our newest addition, we got back to the MHCC warehouse and gave both cars a thorough wash to remove all of the salt and snow, they’ll spend the next few months hibernating until the rental season starts in the spring. Given the timing of this acquisition, “Rudolph” felt like an appropriate name for the car as it sits alongside “Moby”, “Mini Horse”, “El Fuego Pollo” and others. Hopefully, you’re as excited to get this beautiful Miata out for a drive as we are!