Why Every Guy Should Drive A Mazda Miata At Least Once
Learn to drive stick. Change your own spark plugs. Compete in a road rally. Use your turn signals sometimes.
If you’re into cars, you’ve probably got the bucket list; gearhead stuff you want to accomplish before life’s odometer gives out. Such lists will vary, because tastes vary: maybe you like tractor racing; maybe you dig vintage motorcycle sidecars; maybe you’re deep into the bosozoku scene and, if you are, that’s pretty weird.
But whatever your gearhead proclivities, chances are you’ve left one thing off of your list: “Drive a Mazda Miata.” Because as amazing as Mazda’s little roadster is, it doesn’t get much respect.
To be fair, some people get it. Journalists, weekend racers; dyed-in-the-wool fans all worship the Miata. Jalopnik, the Internet car bible, even coined the meme, “The Answer Is Always Miata,” because they understand the Miata, straight outta Hiroshima prefecture and in continuous production since 1989, is easily the finest machine humans have ever conceived.
But beyond that cult following; beyond the love from the grease-stained nerd brigade, the Miata is mostly ignored. Worse: it’s ridiculed.
You’ve heard the jokes. Mention you’re a guy who drives a Miata and the schoolyard razzing is immediate: inquiries about your hairdressing career, how many frilly sundresses you own, your predilection for fancy coffee drinks, with which Sex and the City character you most identify, etc. (I’ve been told I’m a real “Samantha” FYI.)
And when you do try to explain the Miata is, in fact, a damned fine sports car and not merely an automotive punchline, people tend to laugh in your face and walk away, or maybe give you a wedgie and then laugh in your face and walk away.
If we’re being honest, the ridicule is understandable. Compared to everything else on the road, the Miata is comically small and maybe a little too cute; a plucky gnat, fighting its way through a sea of ‘roided up cockroaches and, yeah, that would make a great Pixar movie.
The MIata weighs less than a Mini Cooper, makes less horsepower than a Honda Civic; has a dainty little convertible top that you operate with one hand, like a parasol, if you ever happen to operate a parasol.
So the Miata is puny and toy-like and it doesn’t really look like a serious car. But we’re dancing around the real issue: the Miata’s main problem is an image problem: the Miata is considered a “chick car.”
BOOM. Cue the sound of a thousand angry bloggers, hyperventilating with outrage into their empty Cheetos bags. Aaaaaand breathe.
Even being a car guy, I’m not sure I know what a chick car is supposed to be. Is it a car that women like buying? About 60% of new cars today are bought by women, so that doesn’t really narrow things down.
In the Miata’s case, maybe it’s just a car that’s affordable, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive and absurd, ridiculous, whoa-how-is-this-even-legal fun to drive.
Really, anyone who enjoys driving should want those things in a car. Lightweight? Good. Reliable? Gooder still. Fun to drive? Whoooa boy.
If those things define a chick car, then we are all chicks; all of us, pretty princesses with bows in our hair, or maybe UGG boots and yoga pants — I don’t know, I don’t know what “chicks” wear — I’m a bald guy in my thirties, so regardless I will look weird.
The point is such designations are dumb. The Miata isn’t a “chick car” any more than it’s a “dude car” — it’s just an epic car, because it drives how every car should, but doesn’t anymore, because cars have gotten too big and heavy; too complex, laden with so much safety, infotainment, and cupholder technology.
Driving a Miata, then, is the best kind of throwback; like going from hearing your favourite album on an iPhone to hearing it for the first time on vinyl, and leaving the lid off the record player. (Get it? because the Miata is a convertible. I feel like I nailed that analogy.)
If I sound like some newly-indoctrinated Miata super-fan, it’s because I did recently check “drive a Miata” off of my own bucket list and, in so doing, I saw the light — I finally understood what the nerds had been on about. The Miata was better than good; it was a goddamn revelation, and I was smitten; ready to meet Miata’s parents, hang out with its boring friends, visit farmer’s markets together, even adopt a small yappy dog with it, if that’s what Miata wanted for us. I had fallen hard.
Source by askmen