Congratulations to Hans on the selection of his
Miata, as our April
Miata of the Month!
Turn back the clock to 1989. I am 19 years old, just moved out of the house to become a student and my father is about to buy himself a new car. Since buying a car is a weekend affair and I came home most weekends, I naturally joined him on his quest for the perfect car. Our pilgrimage also leads us to the local Mazda dealer, to have a look at the then new 626. And there she was. Brand new, very red, and ooooh so pretty. The all new MX-5. This was the perfect car. Beauty in its purest form. This stylish shape, these popping headlights, these magnificent seats, chrome rings around the clocks and best of all, that 5 inch stick shift. This had to be dads new car.
Of course, dad comes up with practical things like moving the whole family in one go, rather than having to drive up and down three times, hauling a trailer, and all the things the MX-5 wasn't designed to do. He ends up buying .. a Ford.
In the months following, my girlfriend Eva and I occasionally see an MX-5 on the road, and to my surprise, Eva is just as crazy about it as I am. Whenever we see one, we stop to have a good look and follow this car until it is out of view. We vow to at least once driving one on our marrying day.
Turn the clock forward to 1992. Eva and I are still in college, and still not married. Still, we vow to drive an MX-5 on our marrying day. And maybe a bit sooner too. Marriage will not happen soon, and this little MX-5 seems to have only gotten better with the years. We still dream of that pretty little car, with these chrome rings around the clocks and this 5 inch stick shift.
I decide to surprise Eva and rent an MX-5. So I go out to a dealer who rents them, and I arrange for a day in his MX-5. I really cant afford to, and adding up all costs, it will set me back at least $250 for a single day. Ouch! That hurts. But it is all for the good cause.
Eva is less excited. Yes, she would also like very much to take the MX-5 out for a day, but not if it means eating dry bread for a month. Besides, the weather forecasts are for rain, rain and rain. She might be right. Darn, she IS right. What was I thinking? But how do I call this thing off? I even made a downpayment when I reserved the car. Hello, I want to back out of it I cant? Oh. think quickly but my license was suspended. Why, you say? Err for drink driving.
I cant believe I said this! I never drink a drop of alcohol when I am driving! I hate it when people do. I feel embarrassed. Well, at least I got the downpayment on the MX-5 rent back. Still, I would have liked driving one.
Turn the clock forward to spring 1998. Eva and I are still together, and still unmarried. Both finished our studies and both have a nice job. On a sunny day, we are sitting outside, looking through the ads in the Saturday paper. Lots of MX-5s for sale. No matter what, it has got to be a green one. Not too many green ones in the paper. Most of them are red. Too flashy, too Italian. The MX-5 is basically a Japanese made British sports car. And British sports cars are supposed to be green. They don't call it British Racing Green for nothing.
Wait, heres one. Price seems right too. What the heck, lets give them a call. Before we know it, we are in my car on our way to see if my 64 frame will fit in an MX-5. We arrive in The Hague, at a company that imports MX-5s and Miatas from Germany and California. There are two BRG colored MX-5s. Unfortunately, the one we came to see just wasn't it. The leather looked worn, the panels were dented and it looked crappy as a whole. A real pity that the other one has been sold. Or?? No, the sale had just been cancelled. A very nice 94 BRG MX-5. An 1.8 as well. Quite rare over here. Most are 90 hp 1.6's. It has also got alloy wheels. Doesn't get much better than this.
Just for the heck of it, can we take it for a test drive? BIG MISTAKE. When you test drive a pretty little green 1.8 MX-5 on a warm and sunny spring afternoon, you are hooked. We came back with a grin that only a car like that can give, and bought the car on the spot.
That summer, we packed lightly and took our new family member on a tour through France. Navigated every small road and mountain pass we came across and attracted the attention of everybody on every campground we stayed on. On the road, all but one Miata driver waved back at us when we met them and everybody seemed friendlier and more gentle than we ever experienced in our regular car. This is fun!
After a drive along the famous French Riviera, we ended up in classy Monaco. Believe it or not, but even in Monaco, the car was a crowd pleaser. People ignored flashy Ferraris and stylish Rolls Royces to look at this cute little green fun car. It could of course also have been the collection of 3000 km worth of road dust that had gathered on it, but we like to think that the car itself is what attracted all this attention.
Once home, adding to the fun of driving around in our MX-5 is the fact that our next door neighbours have fallen for the MX-5 as well. Like with us, all it took was one little test-drive for them to lose their heads and buy one too. We just aided the process a little by letting them make the test-drive in our car and then supplying them with copies of the Saturday paper. It took them the better part of half an hour to decide to buy one as well.
So now, if you happen to be in our neighborhood on a Saturday morning, watch out for two cute little Mazdas racing each other on their way to a leisurely MacBreakfast.
And if Eva and I ever decide to get married, we already have the perfect car to drive to city hall in.
Will you be next?