The MX-5 Miata of the Month from

November 2005

Eric Derr and Pepe

Eric's website

Congratulations to Eric on the selection of his 1993 Miata "Pepe" as the November Miata of the Month!

Sometimes it takes experience to realize what you really want. That is the case for events in life, as well as the case of me and my Miatas. My first one came to me in 1995, a Classic Red 1993 B package I named Tic Tac. After years of events, modifications and learning experiences I came to a realization: I want...no, I NEED an LE. Not that Tic Tac wasn't doing it for me, there was something about the LE that made me shiver with excitement. So, after owning my first Miata for 7 years, my quest began in Fall of 2002 for my personal "Holy Grail" of Miatas.

I had some criteria it needed to meet. You see, I told people I loved and wanted an LE. And for the most part their reactions weren't that great. Most of the time I got responses of, "Gee, why would you want one of those? They are so ugly", based on the fact they had only witnessed, as I had to that point, ones which were not taken care of very well and showed signs of neglect. However, I persevered and could imagine what a truly fine example would look like and continued my search from Fall 2002 over Winter and into Spring 2003. I was looking for a low mileage (under 20,000 miles), well kept and untouched LE. A hard search for certain since the numbers that were still in existence kept getting lower as time trickled on.

In Spring of 2003 I found what I was looking for on the Miata.net Classifieds - 19,000 miles on the odometer, well kept, and all original (except for a Borla muffler). The only caveat, it was over 650 miles away in Milwaukee, WI. I had flown to retrieve my old car from BRP after some work, but never have I flown to buy a car sight unseen and drive it home. This was a decision that would have been difficult to make under normal circumstances, but this was not a normal circumstance. This was my dream Miata! I chatted with the seller on the phone, received some pictures, was back on the phone again in less than 5 minutes, wired funds and was on a flight to Milwaukee within 2 days.

The airport parking garage was where I finally saw what I had been longing and searching for. I fell in love immediately...signing papers was not even on my mind; I just wanted to get in the car and go. Before we shook hands and parted, the seller told me a story that gave me a bit of a surprise...and a chuckle. He loved fun cars and knew, way back in 1993, that he wanted an LE. He searched through his automotive circles and found one that for some reason didn't have a home. So he flew from Milwaukee to the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania to pick it up and drive it home...and here I am, in Milwaukee from the Lehigh Valley to drive it back again. Six-hundred fifty miles and a long night and morning of driving found us back in Allentown, PA.

Now the LE that I named "Pepe" is part of my life. There is something special about driving around in this car. Not just because of it being a Miata, but being the Miata that I have always wanted. From mapping out new drives for the Lehigh Valley Miata Owners Club, finding new friends, leading groups on tours throughout my local area or heading out camping for the weekend...the car does it all, just as I knew it could.

Previous Miata of the Month Winners

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