I have chosen to only now both name, and reveal my latest money spending decision. The NA Tax is real.

I set out in search of finally purchasing a new car for daily driver duty, after having the HEMIWagon get brutally attacked by a Chevy Cobalt. Of all cars, it had to be a Cobalt. More about that in a separate post coming soon, because I am keeping my clean title, and having the HEMIWagon fixed, don’t think for a second I was going to let that monster go.

Project Rust Bucket is my 1991 Mazda Miata. It has an interesting history, more on that in a bit. The car has a wonderful 99,930 miles on the odometer, which makes this the lowest mileage car I have ever bought. It’s powered by the non-interference 1.6L engine, it has crank windows, manual steering, no AC and a 5 speed manual transmission. I finally have a manual again, it feels great.

The car comes from a string a previous owners that all had trouble registering it. Thanks to our leader of quirks and features himself, Doug DeMuro (you can read more about his quirks and features on Autotrader.com/oversteer), I was pointed in the right direction. The car came from Maine, which means that it has no physical title. Thats right, I bought a car with no title, oh how that went well. After doing some research, I made a bill of sale, which is what I needed to have the DMV do a title search and then give me a corrected title (yes, this thing also had an odometer discrepency). Yes, I did use actual money to buy this.

Now, let’s be honest, the NA Tax is a serious thing, but I did pay a fair and reasonable price given that it also wasnt running, and was in a bunch of pieces when I bought it. I have since replaced all of the bushings with a Prothane complete kit, the suspension with Koni STR.t struts and Tein springs, and tore apart the top end to be 100% sure it was timed correctly.

Advertisement

The electronics all work, the headlights go up, and the headlights go down. What more do I need? I drained the gas tank, popped the fuel lid off (after evicting a mouse nest), and bolted the seats down. Its almost ready for a maiden voyage, I am just down to running new brake lines, putting the rear calipers back on, and replacing the rear hubs because I broke five of the eight wheel studs in the back. Go me. Those rear axle nuts are on there real good. Ive tried many things, but I need this to get done so I can drive it. Not sure what my options are, but I am still trying.

Should you buy an NA? I think its almost too late. Theyre going up in value, demand is starting to rise, and they’re fun cars. I will certainly get to compare it to my SL600 Sport, another great roadster, and we’ll see how they compare in the coming weeks.

Project Rustbucket will be updated as I begin to make further progress, stay tuned for details!