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Eye Candy: 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata sport

It had only 7,800 kilometres on the odometer, stunningly low for a car on the road for nearly 10 years.

  • Eye Candy Car 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata Owner Jim McLean

My one-in-a-million Miata

The car: 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata sport

The owner: Jim Maclean, Toronto

The Story: I had long been a fan of the Mazda Miata, along with about a million other people who have bought them since Mazda launched the little two-seater in 1989.

A light, lithe and lively car that has drawn rave reviews for its design, handling, simplicity and reasonable price, my 2004 was in near-showroom condition when I bought it in May, 2013. It had only 7,800 kilometres on the odometer, stunningly low for a car on the road for nearly 10 years. The two previous owners must have treated it like a pet. Which is why I call it “Miapet,” and it’s a lot more fun than a “Chia Pet.”

Mine is the “sport” model, meaning it came without anti-lock (ABS) brakes or air conditioning but with a six-speed manual transmission instead of the standard five, along with 16” wheels and under hood bracing to enhance handling. This is the model some owners would take to the track, sometimes with further performance upgrades. The in-line 1.8 litre, four cylinder engine generates 142 horsepower. I have bought new tires and added a cold-air intake to increase performance slightly.

I’ve always been a Miata fan, only sometimes a convertible fan. So, I found a used, factory-issue hard top which extends the driving season and prevents a sunburned face and head in the better weather. It weighs about 23 kilograms and is almost as easy to secure as the soft top, clipping on with the same two latches at the top corners of the windshield. Meanwhile the soft top, which folds down behind the seats, is always available if the hard top is stowed in the garage.

Nothing beats the top-down feeling on a lovely summer day or evening though. My wife claims I am now a member of the ‘old guys in convertibles’ club.

Ownership records show the little beauty was originally purchased in Brantford. I was told the first owners, an older couple, only kept the car for a couple of months before realizing it was too small for their needs and they traded it in for a four-door sedan. The second owner garaged the car year around under a soft blue cover. He did not drive in the rain nor on gravel roads, and never in winter. As the third owner, I thank him.

Miapet now has about 24,000 kilometres on the odometer, and although it is mainly a three season car, I have been known to take it out on a dry day in winter for a run around the block.

Show us your candy: Got a cool custom or vintage car? Send us a picture of you and your family with your beauty, and tell us your story. And we like photos — the more the better — of the interior, trim, wheels, emblems, what you admire. Email wheels@thestar.ca and be sure to use “Eye Candy” in the subject line.
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Show us your candy: Got a cool custom or vintage car? Send us a picture of you and your family with your beauty, and tell us your story. And we like photos — the more the better — of the interior, trim, wheels, emblems, what you admire. Email wheels@thestar.ca and be sure to use “Eye Candy” in the subject line.

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