This is a 1991 Mazda MX-5. It consists of various shades of blue. It has taken some hits during the 21 years of existence on the blue planet of ours. It’s accumulated a little over 200 000 km:s on the clock by now. As you can see, it’s also registered in Germany. Right now, it’s travelling a comfortable twisty-road cruising speed across Finland, returning back to Germany via the Baltic States from way up north from Trondheim, Norway.
Sound like a damn fine road trip to you? It is.
The blue Beatermiata cost the owner, Beni, some 850 euros. That’s on the lower end of the MX-5 price spectrum in Europe; over here in Finland a reasonable-but-not-too-nice example is something to the tune of 4000 EUR. You can get a tidy-ish one for 2000-2500 in Germany, so that gives you a perspective of just how cheap a road-trip roadster this MX-5 is. It shows, but hey.
The two guys are doing the trip round the Nordic as the other of them, Jan, finished his studies in Tallinn, Estonia. For the heck of it, he travelled to Oslo, Norway, where Beni picked him up in the Miata. They continued north from there, passing fjords and driving up all the way to Trondheim – seeing their share of antlered fauna on the way – and then heading back south. They drove down through Sweden and yesterday crossed the border to Finland. A Finnish friend of mine met them in Oulu for a burger, and the three paid visit to my town some hours later.
By the way, that’s a manual BMW 325ix E30 Touring that’s accompanying the Miata south from here.
When Beni got the car, it was a uniform shade of blue but had its share of cosmetical issues. The passenger side had hugged a barrier so there was a deep cut on the sheetmetal; the other side just had plain old rust. Beni tidied up the bodywork with reasonable effort, but nothing too fancy. There’s no need; the main thing is that the mechanicals are strong and they really are. The engine pulls well and doesn’t use a drop of oil.
There’s still some upgrading to do as the bushings are shot, making the car more uncomfortable than preferred, but rear subframe work is in the cards.
The cabin has also been made a little more spartan than usual as the carpet’s gone. Beni says it was soaked wet, so the easiest thing to do was just to bin it. It doesn’t add up to the noise levels too much, either.
There’s a bit of rust on the sill, but like the man says: “Aren’t there a couple more holes right there straight from the factory? What harm would one more do?”
I’m digging the leather Momo wheel. Audio courtesy of a phone hook-up. Window switches hang casually,
The engine bay is tidier than the outside of the car. It’s under the hood that counts.
Misfits sticker seals the deal.
In addition to just doing a great round trip, there’s more. I know Beni from FinalGear, and the forum is doing a community thing together by mailing or delivering this scale model of a 2006 Dodge Viper around the world. The package (with postcards and autographs and souvenirs) is travelling from user to user, and the general idea is to photograph it at a location in your town, in your country, to post pics and send it on its way.
There’s also a progress-tracking Google map for the project; updates will be posted when the package’s done some more travelling.
I got the Viper in the mail from Bayern on Friday (thanks Alok!), snapped a few photos and gave it to these German guys to deliver to the south of Finland. Then, the Viper is either mailed back to Germany by the group of FinalGear Finns in the capital region, or then the Miata guys are continuing delivering it back to Germany while they drive through the Baltic states. Then it’s Belgium, Netherlands, Great Britain… The list goes on.
The little Viper originally started off the 1st of May, from the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart; it might tour the globe for a good time now as it’s planned to be mailed to USA FinalGearists later on. I was proud to be able to hold onto it for a little while. And no, I wasn’t the one who broke off the wing mirrors. It was like that when I got it. Honest.
So, as the guys continued their journey, with sleeping bags and camping gear crammed in the Miata, what gives them their strength to withstand the trip? Swedish cookies, as you can see.
[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]