The Tequila Sunrise Miata
at the California Auto Museum
Who would’ve thought that my car would be on display in a museum? Wonders will never cease.
Here’s how it happened. My local Miata club, Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association (SAMOA) got an invitation to display
nine Miatas in the California Auto Museum in Sacramento. They wanted classic, clean Miatas, the best examples of the car. Our
president asked for volunteers who could spare their Miatas for a whole month.
Nine of us volunteered. We got our cars shined up and looking their best, got together pictures and memorabilia to go with them,
and met up at the museum on Saturday, April 6th, to be… I can only think “inducted” into the Auto Museum.
I brought the “Tequila Sunrise”, my colorful, custom-painted (Year, model) Miata, freshly detailed by my favorite detailing guy, and
it looked fabulous. Jimmy and I drove two cars, his and the Miata, up to meet the others at the museum on Friday, April 6th. Yes, I
did say Friday, not Saturday. We got there on the wrong date, and we were a day early!
The museum people were very gracious and let Tequila Sunrise (aka “TQ”) spend the night with all those amazing cars in the Auto
Museum. There were muscle cars, micro cars like the Izetta, and all the classic cars from back in the day. I spent a few minutes
walking down memory lane looking at the British sports cars, and some very cool cars from the 60s and 70s.
The next day, Saturday the 6th, Jimmy and I drove up (again) to Sacramento to meet with the others from SAMOA. I was in
seventh heaven seeing some of the best and most unusual Miatas from our club, and talking to other club members. I know the
club members through the newsletter and some events, but we don’t get to attend very many meetings, since it is a 160 mile trip.
Everyone was excited, although some tried not to show it.
Robin, the SAMOA president, marshaled the cars in one by one, to be backed into their assigned spaces. When it was my turn,
since TQ was already there in the museum, I just had to back him in to the spot. I held my breath – imagine a fender bender, here!
- and just did it. I did fine, although backing up precisely is not my greatest talent. It helped that my spot was on the open end, and
that I went first!
What a cool place the California Auto Museum is. It’s huge, for one thing, and they’re moving into even bigger new quarters. I saw
cars I’d only seen pictures of, like the 5 or 6 different micro cars … and cars that I grew up with and remembered fondly, like the
MGA, the Austin Healy 3000 and even a DeLorean…. It is definitely a wondrous experience, and if you haven’t been there yet, you
should check out the museum.
Sadly, this will be one of my last experiences with the Tequila Sunrise. I’m going to have to sell him. As Miata owners, we’ve all
been through this painful decision. I have two Miatas and can no longer afford both -and I can’t drive both, can I?.
I would like to find a buyer who can take this car to the next level. It would be nice to see this car jazzed up in performance mods,
as I did with the cosmetics. I put the story of the Tequila Sunrise, along with picture, in my book, so it’s a tiny bit famous. Tom
Matano, the original Miata designer, signed the car (his signature is in the trunk) at Laguna Seca Miatas at Mazda Raceways in
2011, where I launched the Just Miatas book. And now TQ is in the California Auto Museum! Pretty special, huh?
Although it’s sad, I kind of look forward to showing TQ off and meeting other Miata people like me who buy and sell Miatas. Some
will come to look, some will come to buy, and all will think TQ is cool. It would be lovely if TQ could find a home in SAMOA, but
I’m sure he’ll be well taken care of wherever he goes.
How much am I asking for the Tequila Sunrise? That’s the hard part. I really don’t know. I’m “entertaining offers” over $6k.
Much depends on the person who wants the car and their plans for the Tequila Sunrise.
TQ will be leaving the Auto Museum early, on April 25th, so we can go to Miatas at Mazda Raceways in Laguna Seca for our last
time … or maybe, someone else will be driving TQ away.
by Terese Mac Davis