It was a good day to go for a drive. After a few days of heavy rain the weather was perfect for some top down driving… in Manhattan.
I finally found a Mazda RX-8 spare tire (a donut) that would fit into the trunk of my Miata for a somewhat reasonable price. I say somewhat because compared to the current eBay and Amazon listings of a brand new RX-8 spare tire kit at $399-$425 this was a steal. Even used ones on Car-part.com were listed at $125+ but the one I found was “only” $50 bux.
Of course it was about 46 miles away in Nassau County Long Island, very near to where I bought my car. So it wasn’t too far away, though looking at the mileage when I got back, I would have been just as smart to go to Philadelphia area or elsewhere in Pennsylvania and would have probably paid less in tolls (and spend less time in traffic) getting there.
But instead of paying the $15 toll on the George Washington Bridge, and another $15 round trip to cross either Triboro, White Stone or Throgs Neck… I decided to take a scenic route. A very scenic route through Northern Bergen County, up 9W to the Tappan Zee Bridge, through Westchester down the Saw Mill Parkway, to the Bronx River Parkway, across the Third Avenue bridge into Harlem, then the Queensboro bridge into Long Island City before finding my way onto the Long Island Expressway and finally Southern State to Meadowbrook State Parkway into Freeport, NY where Freeport Auto Wreckers were advertising this incredible RX-8 donut deal.
Of course the deal wasn’t all that great considering I paid $135 for a set of four OEM 16 inch alloys that are on the car right now. But it is what it is. I had an excellent road trip, and it was nice to see how the car handles on the softer 16’s through the bad roads of New York (they handled much much better than the 17’s in my opinion).
Freeport Auto Wreckers looked like a really neat place to visit. It was almost nostalgic. I used to frequent the local junk yard with my father growing up until the place closed. I’d always come home with all the cool badges I’d rip off cars like BMW’s, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguars, Fords, etc. We’d always go to get parts for the junky Fords we used to own… Mercury Sable, Ford Taurus, Ford Aerostar, etc.
Besides unique old school cars, Freeport also specialized in disused signs. They had a whole collection of classic signs of brands that no longer exist as corporations.
But I was there for business. And no matter how much I tried to negotiate my way to a better deal on the RX-8 spare tire, they wouldn’t budge. So $55 bux later, $50 for the wheel and $5 NY tax, I was the proud owner of a peace of mind on my next Road Trip:
The wheel has obviously been used on the 2004 Mazda RX-8 that it came from, there are some scrapes and scuffs. And the warning labels are peeling. But it will do in case of emergency.
The drive home was much quicker than the ride up taking the scenic route, the most roundabout way to go from New Jersey to Long Island, but on the way back I went through midtown Manhattan. Crossed the Queensboro bridge, and took 57th Street across town where I put the top down and realized the best way to sightsee NYC as a tourist is in a passenger seat of a convertible! Note to self for later when friends come to visit.
At home I gave the wheel a good washing, also pulled out my original 17’s OEM take offs and cleaned them up too:
Overall, I’m very happy with this purchase because now I don’t have to worry as much in case of a blowout. I will still keep the fix-a-flat kit that came with the car in the trunk, but now there’s a plan B too.
Soon I will mount the 17’s back on the car for the remainder of the summer and start shopping for winter tires to mount on the 16’s that are currently on it.
With two more road trips to Watkins Glen coming up, one of them this month and the other in August, I think I will have a much easier time at least not worrying as much what I’ll do in case I hit a pot hole big enough that will make the tire not-repairable on the side of the road. For $55 bux… $5 in tolls and $11 in fuel, this was a worthwhile purchase I think:
PS. Hopefully I never have to use it!