June 25, 2012
36 km – Still playing with the headlight button. Up, and down, uuuup, and dooooown…
39 km – I enter the highway and mosey up to speed. The car takes its sweet time making it to highway speeds, but once there has no issue maintaining them.
41 km – Miata’s indicated speed of 120 km/h equals a wailing 3,800 rpm in top gear (5th).
1990 Mazda Miata MX-5. Click image to enlarge
42 km – I realize the Miata’s indicated 120 km/h speed is actually 109 km/h according to my far more accurate portable GPS device.
43 km – I get brave and push the Miata to an actual 120 km/h according to my GPS device. The tachometer now indicates an engine-detonating 4,150 rpm. I decide that keeping the car below an actual 110 km/h is probably best.
59 km – After 20 km of highway driving I realize this car drives straight and true and is more solid mechanically than I gave it credit for; just maybe we shouldn’t try any high-speed passing maneuvers.
78 km – Now on city streets and am beginning to realize the engine and transmission are as loose as MC Hammer’s pants. They rock and roll in their cradles and are screaming for new mounts. But that is not going to happen, I’m too cheap.
81 km – It’s not just the engine and transmission that are loose. The car sounds like a bag of nails in a blender as you drive down the road. Metals bits and pieces are squeaking, banging and clanking as I go down the road.
83 km – I attempt to drown out the ‘mechanical noises’ with the stereo. It has a whopping two speakers. I am having trouble mastering the aftermarket deck and begin mashing buttons in an attempt to turn on the stereo. Michael Bolton begins pounding through the car singing something about a man and a woman and loving. I can’t figure out how to turn it off or change the channel, so I just remove the faceplate. Problem solved.
95 km – As I approach the end of my trip, I have concluded that this little roadster is slow, loud and rough, but a hell of a lot of fun. Every drive will prove to be an adventure; especially in the winter.
100 km – I stop the car and find the windows are magic. They defy gravity and are much easier to wind back up than wind down. I try to one arm the top back into place by grabbing the handle located behind my head to the right. I fail miserably and must turn around and use two hands. Now all I have to do is zip up the window and I am all set. The zipper is a bitch and I can’t get it to work. As of this writing, I am still in the car park fighting the rear-window zipper.