Congratulations to Jake on the selection of Deuce as the March Miata of the Month!
The first car that I ever bought without any input from parents or friends was Deuce. I was 20 at the time and at my first duty station at Fort Meade, MD. I picked up Deuce for $7500, a full $2500 off the lot price since I had seen it on the internet advertised at the lower price. I remember my test drive as I screamed through the gears on a Maryland highway up to about 70. After that, there was no helping it. I took her home that night.
I quickly caught the bug after I saw several dozen other Miatas cruising around the Arundel Country, MD area, and found a local Miata club. I started ordering parts, and the only thing that has slowed me down since has been my continuous deployments. In 2008 I went to Iraq for awhile and Deuce sat at my girlfriend's house in Pennsylvania, being driven on the weekends during summer. That's been my only problem with the military. I own a convertible and have continuously deployed year after year since 2008 to the middle east for the spring and summer, and return to the east coast for a harsh top up winter!
In early 2009 I went to Diego Garcia, BIOT for a mission and wound up coming back a bit early for an emergency. After flying 12,000 miles in one day I hopped in Deuce and drove to PA. After dealing with the situation, the girlfriend and I went our separate ways, and it was just Deuce and I now.
At work the next week I get the call to go to Afghanistan, so I hopped in Deuce. It's been a pretty hard week. It's about 9:30 am on a Tuesday morning. The traffic heading towards 100 from Fort Meade is non-existent, just me and Deuce. I realize that since I bought Deuce over a year and a half ago I haven't even opened him up! At that, I drop down into 3rd and redline, then hit 4th and hit redline, and into 5th, I'm doing well over 100mph as I begin to slow down and get into the exit lane. The exhilaration is palpable as my hands are a bit clammy and there is a grin plastered on my face for the rest of my day.
3 days later I get pulled over on my way home from work. I felt something was fishy as I had been watching this cop tail me for a few miles. I hit the side, and he walks up, and says, "Sir, your registration is expired." I asked him how he knew this, and if he had been following me. He said yea, I followed you here. Because 3 days ago, you blew by me doing over 100mph and I couldn't catch you. So consider yourself very lucky, and you better be careful out there." Turns out my registration had expired when I went to Iraq and I never got notice of it. So I rectified that issue, and was thankful that the Miata gods smiled on me that day.
Afghanistan was exciting and I was able to save plenty of money which I promptly dumped into Deuce. Heck, I couldn't even wait to get home. I ordered it all from various Miata sites and had it shipped to my house to wait for me. I got back at the end of 2009 and took a taxi diretly from Dulles to the storage unit where my stuff was. Thanks to Miata.net advice, Deuce fired straight up as soon as I reconnected the battery and secured the various openings that were being vented. I drove to Pennsylvania and installed my new rims, and dozens of other upgrades as well as a new double din head unit - which would later be stolen, prompting me to install an alarm and power door locks.
About 3 months ago, Deuce and I were on the last leg of our 7 hour drive home from PA. After stopping at a rest stop to refuel and clean the windows, we high tailed it off down route 13 for the Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel, one of the longest bridges and tunnels in the United States.
Now Deuce is quite the whipersnapper, and is usually not fazed by anything that comes our way, from exploding tractor trailer tires to deep snow on Pennsylvania mountain roads. So it came as quite a surprise to me that Deuce is afraid of bridges! He got so scared that the second I shifted into first after paying the toll, he shat an alternator! So there we were 42 miles from home on a bridge with no pull offs or turn around points with a hairy situation on our hands.
Deuce and I have had a lot of time to bond during our long east coast drives from PA to FL, and back, or our many trips from MD to SC. We got along swimmingly. Some say that I spoil Deuce by buying him premium synthetics and changing them early, or waxing him twice a week in the summer. But I feel that the better I take care of Deuce the better he'll take care of me. So we were in quite the juxtaposition when he pulled this on me without even a squeal of warning. Just a steady illuminated battery indicator on my dash.
What could I do? I squared my jaw and gave Deuce the pep talking of his life, telling him all about that fresh box of 75W90 that was coming in the mail, and the K&N filter cleaner that was sitting in the garage. Telling him how proud I was to tell people that he was my car when they asked about him. The whole time I'm imagining us slowing to a stop in the middle of a dark tunnel with an 18 wheeler roaring my way with no juice left for the hazards. Or perhaps a raging acidic inferno in my trunk thats about to burn through my seat back at any moment.
Deuce got over it, and carried me nearly 50 miles home with no alternator that night without losing any electric power. I'm reminded of when a child is in danger and the parent gains super human strength and lifts a car off their child . That's why Deuce is the Miata of the Month.
- Jake Schrier
Will you be next?