On 11 August 1989, a teenaged me made her near-daily visit to Rick Case Mazda in Atlanta to see if the 1990 Mazda Miata she’d ordered more than a month before had made it to the lot.

The mighty TicTac was there, but the dealer said, “That’s not yours, Bonnie,” the same thing he said every visit. Of course, I had to keep showing up because people were walking in with tens of thousands in cash to try and buy one of the original 50-per-state red-white-and-blue Miatas out from under those of us who placed our orders and left deposits over July 4th weekend.

tictac paint job classic 1990 mazda miata original owner

I had saved up $5000 between bartending and a chip-in from my mom, and since I was still just a teenager, my daddy came along to co-sign that original loan (at 13.9% APR — Jeeze, 1980s, you were rough on us).

Mazda Miata turns 31 years old

When my dealer said this wasn’t mine, I knew he was wrong and that it was. I saw the guy who had ordered it… some old dude with silver hair, trading in a classic VW Bug convertible for this Mazda Miata. I *knew* a car lover like that was never going to be happy with a dealer’s trade-in offer. Sure enough, as the old dude drove off the lot in his VW Bug, the dealer rounded the corner with keys in his hand and said, “Okay, Bonnie. She’s yours.”

tictac happy 31 miata

Here we are 31 years later and she’s still mine. 😍 I love her so much and I always have. ❤️ She made the trip to Hollywood with me (twice) and has called the beach at Santa Monica her home for most of her life (but she had vanity plates when she called Athens and Atlanta her home).

1990 mazda miata original owner bonnie gillespie wuog dj kitty uga homecoming parade

She’s been in parades. She’s been in movies. 🎬 She’s been my baby for more than three decades. I knew on this day, 31 years ago, I would never get rid of my baby car. ✅ She still has my Gamma Sig sorority sticker and the 90.5fm radio sticker on those tiny vent windows. *swoon*

bonnie and tiffany gillespie washing the miata tictac 1989

I get offers on her regularly.
I love being a classic car original owner and yes it’s amazing not having had a car payment since 1995. 💵🤣💰

Vroom vroom, baby. Let’s take some curves. 🏆


Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.

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