Congratulations to Bill on the selection of Whoosh as the August Miatas of the Month!
Editor's note: Over the next few months, we're going to be featuring some of the cars that started your favorite Miata toy shops. Every Miata shop is run by Miata enthusiasts - and here's what they drive.
Back in 1989, I was running a business called The Dealer Alternative, working on Porsches, Audis and VWs and based in New Jersey. My garage at home was filled with things like modified Opels and a collection of race motorcycles.
One day, a Porsche customer showed up in a little white convertible and threw me the keys. As you can imagine, the car was a Miata and I had the predictible reaction to that first drive. Soon after, I picked one up for myself. Like most other Miatas on the road at the time, it was a red A-package. And like most other Miata owners on the road, I loved it.
Naturally, I couldn't leave the car alone. The power steering was the first to go. I put the first turbocharger on the car when it only had 1800 miles on the odometer, and this began over 20 years of constant modification and experimentation. Parts have been installed, parts have been removed, the engine's been rebuilt, almost every electrical system has been played with - and I started sharing the results with some of my customers. That little white Miata that started it all? It ended up with a turbo as well.
But it wasn't all horsepower and speed. My wife Teri and I became active in the Del Val Miata club and took part in a number of the tours. We attended Miata shows across North America and made friends from all over the world. For many of these events, we drove the Miata out to the show. Partly to show off the car, but also because it was more fun than driving anything else! We drove it to California, to Indianapolis, to Texas, to Toronto, to the Poconos - sometimes with the help of friends and sometimes just the two of us.
As our Miata business grew - 15 people so far! - and I sold the repair shop to move to Colorado and concentrate on Miata performance full-time, I kept playing with my little 1990. A number of other Miatas joined the fleet, some of them very exotic. But Whoosh has been a constant companion. It's been rejuvenated once or twice as it started to show the effects of being used for constant product testing, and now it's mostly just used as a fun play car instead of a development mule. And thanks to the introduction this little car gave us to the Miata world, many of our customers are also our friends.
Bill Cardell, Flyin' Miata
Will you be next?