It's really hard to believe my odometer reads - as of this writing - 171,700 and that I've actually driven this car 100,000 miles in the relatively short time that I've owned it.

The purchase was precipitated by the demise of my first Miata, a 1995 M Edition in the beautiful Merlot color with BBS lace wheels. Driving down Towne Road on a warm Spring evening of May of 2006 was like many others I'd made on the way to Laura's brownstone in the Village of West Clay... until an unseen deer jumped in front of me at 55 MPH. While the damage still allowed the car to be driven, the insurance totaled it. After receiving a fair settlement, I purchased the car back knowing some other enthusiast would like the car for the parts. That person turned out to be another Indy Miata Club member, and those beautiful BBS wheels still live on in the Indy Miata family.

Scouring the classifieds, I found the perfect replacement for the '95 M - a one owner 1996 M Edition with a hardtop located in Augusta, Georgia with 71,622 miles on the odometer. A few phone calls and emails exchanged led to an impromptu weekend road trip. We left on a Friday night, arrived in Augusta Saturday afternoon, verified the car was everything the pictures and words declared, paid the owner and departed for Indy.

In the past 4 years of being my daily driver in whatever Mother Nature throws at us, I have bonded with this car like no other I've ever owned. Economics have necessitated how to research and perform repairs I never thought I'd be able to accomplish. But I have, and the experience and learning have made this car very special to me. I don't think I'll ever be able to part with it, but rather just keep replacing the things that wear out.

I have sold the '96M and am now putting miles on a 2001 Midnight Blue LS! Whether it was this very special '96 M, or some other, I don't think my garage will ever again be without a Miata or two.

tom lewis in his 1996 Miata.