I’m a big fan of Mr. Regular, so much so, that I invited him to drive my Supercharged G35 a while back. Granted, it wasn’t a regular car, but I figured he might enjoy it and the video might be cool.
Since I offered though, the G has started to do things old cars do… Break down. It’s still fast. It’s still Laden with technology like Nav, MPG Estimates, Power-adjustable seats, ass-warmers, and makes 325 hp (Dynomite Dynomometer) to the rear wheels courtesy of an otherwise stock VQ35DE with a Vortech Centrifugal Supercharger Kit, all piped through one of the greatest shifters (in my opinion) attached to a 6 speed manual.
I loved the car when I bought it. Fast, relatively pretty, and understated… But i bought it because the Miata I bought suffered a damn near fatal (for the car) issue.
I recently picked up my bone-stock, rust-repaired 1994 Miata from Planet Miata, who installed a new coil pack to fix a previous known issue, and a new engine to fix an underlying known overheating problem, which I had no idea was tied to the engine at all.
Now, it’s missing most of the interior. But it’s got a healthy engine, new tires, and a sealed soft top.
My old plastic rear window broke last winter because it was down and I didn’t unzip and fold it out while it was warm… Don’t make that mistake. Put the top up while the window was folded and it was below freezing out, and it cracked like glass.
I’ve only owned it for about a week, and I did the 300~ miles from Planet Miata to Central NY the day I picked up. Been driving it almost every day since as well. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve loved every time I got in it.
It’s small, it’s slow, it’s loud (due to it lacking about half the interior) the radio is missing, and it is a Miata…
But it’s the only car that’s ever come close to breaking me out of the abusive relationship I’ve been in with the S-Chassis for 8 years.
I owned a Nissan 240SX S14 (1996) for a long time. It’s my favorite car. I subjectively, have never driven a car I enjoyed more. That includes a short jaunt in a Ferrari F430, my Supercharged G35, my buddy’s Evo VIII and X, my other buddies various Subaru WRXs and STIs, and even his Z33. There was something undefinable about it. It was my first manual car, and it was my favorite.
But it cost me enough to buy a new Audi, it rattled, it kept me freezing and covered in grease for an over-the-winter bushing job, chasing vacuum lines, swapping everything out of it for a new shell when it started to rust and break, swapping a clutch my sister fried, 3 broken transmissions, and a broken VLSD…
It’s safe to say I was in an abusive relationship, but I kept coming back.
The Miata makes me question my love for the S-Chassis. It makes me question whether I want another one any time soon, it makes me want to be finally done with my S14… Because it’s so pure.
The last quarter of the video… From “You need to enjoy driving a Miata in its stock form,” on, is the truth. It really is hard to focus on the car when you drive it. It’s smooth riding, it doesn’t get upset when you grab it by the scruff of its neck, it’s just such a pure driving experience.
I love the Miata in Stock form. I just want to paint it, and make the interior whole. I want it to be as nice a place to sit and ride in, as it is to drive in for me, even with all its faults. The Miata really is something special.
Maybe if you spend all your time in 400+ hp sports cars, with tighter handling, with more speed through the turns, with a throaty growl accompanied by big power, the Miata will bore you.
Hell, I even think it’s slow.
But I love it regardless. The driving experience is reminiscent of my 240, but even more distilled. I don’t worry about where the car is on the road, about making it over speed bumps, about whether a cop will pull me over because the car is low and loud, and looks tuned…
I bought my 240 to be a project car, and it ended up being a money pit. I bought my Miata to drive, and while it cost me a fair chunk of change, it’s running. It’s driving. It’s doing what I want it to do, and it’s making me feel the drive.
If you ever have the chance to drive a stock Miata, take it. It’s not going to be fast, and you may listen to the likes of Chris from the /Drive network and hate it based on him. But get into the Miata with no preconceptions, with no pretension, and just go for a drive.
I certainly hope you’ll see what I do.