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Cars (specifically convertibles)

Steve in Miami in 1963
Miami in 1963 and I'm already loving convertibles
1999 Mercedes 230 SLK
In my 1999 Mercedes 230 SLK in Balboa Park
1990 Mazda Miata
Sitting on the hood of my 1990 Mazda Miata.

I've been a fan of convertibles as long as I can remember. A top-down drive can do wonders to make you forget a bad day. Here's a list of the ones I've had.

Model When owned About it
1958 MG A College - approximately 1979-1980 The classic "Coke bottle" body, in canary yellow. I never had the removable windows, so it got cold even in Florida. Like most MGs it needed someone with more money, time and mechanical prowess than I could muster while in college. But I bought a wiring harness and re-wired it one weekend. When I sold it I bought my first motorcycle.
1967 Austin Healy Sprite College - approximately 1981-1982 My parents were so upset with me buying a motorcycle, that they pressured my brother to make an open-ended loan of his second car to me. This one was a few years too late to be the "bug eye" variety. Still, there was nothing like it on Daytona Beach during those college breaks.
1990 Mazda Miata 1997 to 2005 After years of practical vehicles (or no car at all for a time when I lived in Washington DC), the convertible bug bit me again. It was of course, "Give me a ticket" red. It does not count as the mid-life crisis car because I bought it before I turned 40.
The original Miata was like an MG with Japanese reliability - a little rough riding, but it would hug the road like nothing else. Shortly after we moved to San Francisco (and it was broken into twice) I realized that I was paying $250 per month to park a car worth about $2,500 in one of the few North American cities where you don't need a car. Practicality got the best of me again, and I sold it to a friend who gave it a loving home in Palm Springs for a few years. As of 2009, it is back in Denver.
1985 Mercedes 380 SL November 2006 to January 2007 Just before we left San Francisco, I bid on a car on eBay. Not just any car, but the SL series, which was one of my fantasy cars growing up. The fantasy was the 450, but the 380 was essentially the same car. Unfortunately this one needed LOTS more work than the ad indicated. After a few months of fixing one thing only to find three others that need fixing, I decided to get rid of it. This was also my first automatic transmission car since before I bought the MG A.
1999 Mercedes 230SLK January 2007 to November 2010 I said that I got this for about the cost of a new Japanse sub-compact, but that was before I took it in for the 150,000 mile maintenance and found lots of "better take care of it now before it becomes a major problem" issues. For more than three years, it remained a fun car to drive (although I would prefer a manual transmission), so much so that I kept it when I bought the Prius in 2009. There are some days in Southern California that just scream for a top down drive in a Mercedes, even if it is over 10 years old. Unfortunately, starting (literally) on my 50th birthday, way too many things started going wrong and I decided it was time bid farewell.

My current ride is a 2010 Toyota Prius. I had a 1978 GMC motorhome until late 2013.

This page, and all contents, are Copyright (C) 2007-2013 by Steve Heyl, San Diego, CA, USA.

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