Our September MX-5 of the month is dedicated to the memory of Jörgen Carlsson.
Some years ago on a trip through the lovely Normandy in France, a group of enthusiastic Miata drivers came up with a really crazy idea: let’s take our little sportscars and drive all the way up north to and across the arctic cycle. Among those were Fia Persson and Jörgen Carlsson from Stockholm, Sweden. They both eagerly accepted the challenge and did what many thought could not be done - a trip for 40 Miatas to the polar circle and back. Keep in mind that this takes you to a latitude where in most region of the world, paved roads are not exactly abundant or may not even exist.
Fia and Jörgen spent over a year selecting and booking hotels, picking out scenic routes, negotiating good prices (rather difficult if you fully occupy the only available hotel for +100 miles for just one night) and even testdriving the whole trip one year in advance in nearly constant cold and drizzle. In the summer of 2001, it all became real. For many of the participants from all over the world, the “Miatas to the Midnight Sun” trip became one of the highlights of their Miata experience – if not THE highlight.
All of us experienced a 7 day trip with old and new friends, perfect organisation and many days with constant sunshine for 24 hours. But life is cruel and 5 years later, all of us are shocked and devastated as the sun has gone down forever for Jörgen. He died unexpectedly and quickly in the arms of his soulmate, friend and lover Fia.
What have we lost?
We first met Jörgen in the late 90's on a trip organized by Kitty and Michiel Werkman. It incorporated many of the great mountain roads of the Vosges and Alsace regions in France. Out on the roads, we found out that one of the many Miatas happily stayed in our rear view mirror even though we did our usual, somewhat brisk pace. With Jörgen at the helm and Fia navigating, Ninotchka, one of the rare Swedish Miatas, stayed on our heels rather effortlessly. That turned out to be the case for quite a few Miata trips. The four of us became notorious for being the last to start a day’s trip after a nice long breakfast and the first to enjoy an ice cold beer on the veranda of the day’s destination hotel.
There was no need for lots of talking to be in synch with Jörgen. But if you did some talking, there was lots to be learned from this rather quiet guy. He must have been a quick reader or much older than he looked, because he had read just about every book I could think of and then some. His knowledge of history and his witty nature made him a brilliant conversation partner. This all lead to many nights being way too short because it was just too good to call it a day, especially on those many occassions when Petra and Robin, our mutual friends from the Netherlands, were with us. In addition to shared Miata trips on roads through the French Alps that every Miata ought to be driven on (ever watched a mountain stage of the Tour de France?), we visited each other at our respective homes and became good friends despite living far apart. It is really amazing what these little cars can do.
Jörgen, the fast and gentle viking, will be in our hearts forever. Thank you for being with us for a while.
Werner & Petra Cassel
Will you be next?