Guardian Designs

The MX-5 Miatas of the Month from


November 2007

michael CASTALDO and the La Dolce Vita foundation

mcastaldo@nyc.rr.com
www.michealCASTALDO.com

Congratulations to michael on the selection of his Miata as the November Miata of the Month!






To the Italians, “La Dolce Vita” means “the Sweet Life.”

My 1993 black and tan Mazda Miata, purchased during the summer of 2006, turned out to be my ticket to the sweet life. My car at first was my passionate summer escape to nature for me and for members of my family. It soon became something more, something that helped others, and made me see what the sweet life is really all about. Read on.

Toward the end of the first summer I had the Miata, I took a few friends who were cancer survivors on a lovely, scenic ride in the country. After seeing how much joy they experienced riding in my customized Miata I had a moment of inspiration!

Using the Make-a-Wish Foundation as a guide, I founded the La Dolce Vita Foundation. I decided to offer the ultimate joy ride in my customized Miata to under-privileged children, teens or adults who suffer from light depression to bolster their spirits and to enrich their human experience.

The whole joy ride experience is videotaped using four bullet cams strategically placed on the Miata. If the person wants to be involved creatively they can help me edit a seven-minute film of the highlights of the trip. They end up with a DVD of the entire experience as a souvenir.

I have special relationships with various restaurants that provide a complimentary lunch/brunch at the end of each scenic ride.

My Miata has several dents, nicks and scratches (it’s called being Manhattanized) but I left them alone and did not give it a new paint job. I use the exterior of the car as an example to my joy ride passengers that just like the car’s surface we all have imperfections (warts, cuts, bruises etc) but life goes on and we make the best of every situation.

I custom-created a magnet of the vintage Mazda logo (inspired by the Ferrari side emblem) and at the end of the Joy Ride I ceremonially remove the badge and give it to my joy rider as a symbol of giving them a part of the car they just rode in, which I like to call my Mazda Miata La Dolce Vita edition.

I’m not claiming to cure depression with a single ride, but each person I help now has a DVD to remember their good experience and a large magnet to remind them that the world is a beautiful place if we can only stop and take a moment to take it all in.

To find out more about the good works we are doing, please visit the foundation’s website at www.LaDolceVitaFoundation.org/

I'm proud to say my Miata is featured on the cover and tray card of my new music CD release entitled “La Dolce Vita ‘NAmerica”, and is also seen in the new Miata book, "Find It, Fix It, Trick It".

 


Previous Miata of the Month Winners

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