1992 Eunos Roadster: The Showpiece

One avenue of possible remedy for my first love's imminent rusty death was to simply transplant its bespoke drivetrain into a body in better condition. I had been looking primarily at USDM cars, but in December of 2018 a Craigslist posting caught my eye. The buyer wanted $8,000 for what was possibly the cleanest Eunos Roadster I'd ever seen stateside. This 1992 example was no base model either: it was the "V-Special" edition in British Racing Green with a beautiful tan leather interior. When the seller agreed to take $7,000 for it, I knew I had found my next bad decision.

For the uninitiated, in the early 1990s Mazda was experimenting with different marques for cars aimed at different market segments. Their sub-brand Eunos represented sports cars. What was sold in the US as the Mazda MX-5 Miata was known as the Eunos Roadster in Japan.

My friend Peter, who has been surprisingly nice enough to enable my bad financial decisions through his PPI services, drove up to Dallas to check the car out and came back with a clean bill of health save for a few small items.

Well, I bought it. Surprise.

Now, this was December. Driving a small, rare JDM car in potential winter weather and salty roads is a big no-no. I waited an agonizing 3 and a half months and flew down to work on and pick up the car on March 27, 2019 with my girlfriend Layna. After an all-nighter of wrenching and 4 days of spine-rattling driving, I returned to Connecticut with what was possibly the greatest 2-for-1 of all time, a JDM car and a fiancée.

The struggle for a title

Now, I had the car in my possession, but there was a critical problem. On March 1, Peter discovered that there was a VIN mis-match between the VIN plate on the car and firewall, and the VIN number on the Texas title - the last two digits were mistakenly switched.

To make matters worse, the seller had a cozy relationship with a JDM importer and reseller in Dallas, which I may or may not choose to eventually publicly name and shame here. As such, he had purchased the car from this importer but had never registered it in his name. He drove it around exclusively on temporary tags repeatedly issued by the dealership.