Back in 2013, not long after acquiring my own little red ’95 Miata, I attended and reported on a local Miatapalooza event, held in nearby Lakeland, Florida. Since then, I’ve gotten to meet event organizer Randy George and many of the other friendly Florida-based Mazda Miata enthusiasts, while repairing and tinkering with my own Miata along the way. This past Saturday, Miatapalooza returned to the Tampa Bay area, taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida and I was not going to miss it.
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.]
Posted on Instagram by Bryce Womeldurf [“Goodbye #devilhoses. See you in another #20years. Well, see you next oil change. #Stayput #Miata #Miatalife #devilhose #NA #NA8 #jinbaittai #ivemendedsomething”]
Over the weekend, I worked through changing all of the coolant hoses in the Miata. I’m still buttoning up a few things. Tighten this, lubricate that. Stay tuned for a new post coming this week showing all of the work done.
Recently, I was a little annoyed to see a local dealership advertising that you could take a “virtual testdrive” of a new Camry. While I realize that someone may hopefully not just make a judgement on a major purchase, like buying a car, by just watching some videos, it kind of seemed a little insulting that it was being sold that way. This week, I ran across this new Mazda ad, which seems to hit it right on the mark that driving matters. Hit play and see if you can get through it without getting a little choked up.
— Bryce Womeldurf (@HoonArtBlog) May 28, 2015
In case you missed it on my Twitter feed this morning, I finally lifted the car up carefully this morning to get it up to the full lift height of my jack stands, so that I can finally start changing the coolant hoses tonight. The reason it needed to go so high, for one, was to make it easier to get underneath the car, and two, to more easily fit a bucket under there to catch the dirty coolant. Stay tuned as I’ll have a full wrap up of the work that’s been going on here very soon.
Video by Mazda Australia
This interesting “old versus new” comparison lap popped up on Mazda Australia’s Youtube page the other day, featuring a staged race between professional drivers in a 1990 Miata versus the new MX-5. I keep wondering how my 1995 or a 1994 model would compare, both having the slightly more powerful 1.8 liter engine, but with lower weight than the later NA or the NB. Or for that matter, how would an NB or NC favor against the ND. If only Best Motoring were still around, perhaps we’d know the answer.
Often when you attend a major race, such as the 12 Hours of Sebring, there is just as much to see off the track as there is on it. There were rare models cruising the grounds and parking areas of Sebring, devoted entirely to notable makes and models, such as Porsche, Corvette, Audi, and BMW. Each of them had their outstanding examples.