Jinba ittai

Jinba ittai: Horse and Rider (and Dog?) As One.

Kimi the Dachshund riding in the Miata
Text and photography by Bryce Womeldurf

When the original Mazda Miata was being designed, it was created with the idea of the “horse and rider being one” or “Jinba ittai” in Japanese, where the car was made around the premise that it would handle as though it were part of you. That idea has been pervaded up through the new 4th generation Miata, which will soon be offered in 2016. Last night, I decided to take a little joy ride in my NA Miata, as I often do in the evenings, but this time I decided to take my little dachshund, Kimi, with me to share in the top down experience (she’s named after our favorite F1 driver, Kimi Räikkönen). I moved her little doggy car seat from the Volkswagen to the Miata and strapped her in with her pink harness, and off we went. She was a little nervous at first, trying to figure out which way to face, but not long into the drive, she was perched up next to the door, trying to smell the air as we zoom zoomed through the back roads near home, sneezing as the wind went up her nose. I wonder, if we do this regularly, if she’ll learn the words “do you want to go for a drive, Kimi?”

[As a quick disclaimer, this photo was taken at low speeds while I had my eyes and attention on the road and with my hand on the wheel (which is why it’s a little blurry). I wanted to preserve the memory, so without looking at the screen, I took a few photos and this one came out well enough that I decided to share it. I was also very careful to have her strapped into her seat which straps to the passenger seat, so that she would be safe. If you’re going to take your dog with you, keep them safe.]

TODAY IS THE DAY: 2016 MAZDA MIATA LIVE REVEAL!

Text by Bryce Womeldurf, video by Mazda USA, images by Sethofdeath and Mazda

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for, the reveal of not only the 2016 Mazda Miata but also the new ND body style and all of the technical innovations that will come from that. The main things that I think Mazda has to get right for this to continue being the greatest selling sports car of all time include the preservation of Jinba Ittai (person [and] horse [as] one body) as getting the weight down, which has increased with every subsequent generation, keep it fun and keep it simple. They’ve had a great thing going for the past quarter century with this car. It’s had to have been tricky keeping cost balanced with performance while meeting customer’s expectations, new and old. But I’m sure Mazda is up to the task. (more…)

Big Meet For A Small Car: Miatapalooza 2013

Roadster at Miatapalooza
Re-published from Hooniverse, text and photography by Bryce Womeldurf

In the past, I’d been to what I thought of as large car meets. Forty or fifty Subarus? Sure! That’s enormous! But I recently learned that it really isn’t. I’d heard that the Miata community was large, but little did I know how big it really is until I recently attended this year’s Miatapalooza in Lakeland, Florida, a parking lot celebration of every generation of Mazda’s diminutive roadster. (more…)

Who Gets A Sunburn In January!?

View ArticleWho gets a sunburn in January? I do, that’s who. This morning we drove out to pick up our new (to us) Miata and I refused to be dissuaded from driving with the top down all the way home… for an hour and a half… on the interstate in low sixty degree weather. Here are some photos that my wife took along the way.

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Must Acquire Roadster

Miscellaneous thoughts… On my way back to work this afternoon, after meeting with the dryer repair guy, I actually encountered the rare Miata driver who is actually willing to punch it! I see so many Miatas all the time but never being driven to their potential. This dude was driving a stock white NA, hauling ass, and I followed, slicing through traffic. For that one minute, before we got stopped by the heavy afternoon traffic, I smiled.

Must acquire roadster.