Those that have known me for a long time, or know my car history, remember that I had an Honda S2000 a few years ago. It was a brilliant car that I owned during a very rough time in my life filled with loss, breakups, and the transition out of the first phase of growing up. That car met a horrible death not long after I moved to Austin, and even though the 944 I had after that taught me a lot, I never loved it as deeply as the Honda.
I loved what I experienced with the S2000. The open road and the open sky with a friend by my side. When I decided to move on from the Porsche and try something new, I thought about all of the great times I had with the Honda. This led to my decision to try a Miata on for size. This isn’t a breakdown of the car I bought and it’s not a full introduction, but please, let’s be a bit haughty and emotional together.
There is no way to mince what made the S2000 dear to me; it was a car that got me through the roughest patch in my life with its style, comfort, and speed. I graduated high school in that car, had my heart broken, repaired, broken, and confused all together. When I lost my friend Doug it was that car that helped me drive the several hundred miles all over the Texas coast to see friends, and provide support for one another. And when that car died I felt like that part of my life was gone. Never to come back to. While the music I listened to then still has the power to remind me of that time, I’ve never felt the attachment to a car or place that strongly.
When I first decided to move on from the Porsche back to a convertible I wasn’t sure if I was really that type of person, or if I was just chasing a feeling that I couldn’t get back. All the way through the process of buying the car I wondered if I was making a mistake. Sure it was much newer than the 944, but would it feel special? At the end of the test drive I knew I was making at least a smarter choice by not keeping the porker. The drive home was nothing special, and it wasn’t until I took the top off and went to the hill country that I truly come back alive.
When you live around Austin there are roads you have to deal with, and roads that you go out of your way to find. Austin is in the Hill Country of Texas, so as you leave town west towards the country you start getting to some properly amazing roads. And it was on these roads did I began to fall in sync with the Mazda. The steering feel is phenomenal. The engine is spirited but not too exotic, nor too powerful. It was the kick in the ass that I needed to take pleasure in driving every day again. Showing it corners and twisty roads was too much fun to ignore, and the amount of miles I put on the car in the back roads quickly hit triple digits.
But what of the feeling that I was chasing? Could I really ever beat the feelings I had when I owned the Honda? I honestly didn’t know for sure until the other night. We are young only this once in our life, and the older I get the more I worry that the feeling of youth is something that leaves us forever. I have come to realize that is not the truth. That unbridled joy of being young, happy, in love, and free is something that we can chase down and harness. The other night I found that feeling in a way that blindsided me and took my breath away. As I drove down an empty MoPac Expressway with the top down, The Shins playing, and a friend in the passenger seat I had an epiphany. I was one with everything that was going on in that moment. I was driving through a place a love, looking at the city I love off in the distance, driving a car that’s joyful, playful, and quick, with someone I adore next to me. And the car I was driving was taking me to the person I love for even more good times. With the stars as my roof, the chill of the wind on my skin I felt the most alive I have in a very long time.
We get tangled up in a lot of angst in this hobby, either arguing about quarter mile times or horsepower. The dower notes of cheating emission tests and losses, or even just putting down your fellow hobbyist. But we are all getting further along in our time on this planet, and I feel that we have one of the easiest keys to youth available to us. So I urge you, find some music you love, find somebody you love, and go out and drive. Rebel against the dying of the night. Do not go quietly. Go have fun.
Waxing Poetic About This Enthusiasm of Mine; My New Miata
Very cool. Hope you got a good deal on it.Loading…
Thank you for the reminder about living life as opposed to just getting through every day. I’m quite a bit older than you (just a few months away from the big six-oh), but I can attest that the feeling that you are in exactly the right place, with the right people, doing the right things, can be had at just about any age. We get so caught up in persuing the means to have a good life that we sometimes forget to actially LIVE that life.
I have personally dealt with huge losses over the last year. I’m busily working on reinventing myself in the wake of those losses. Reading this made me realize that I’m ready to come out of my cocoon and start living again.
Thanks for the reminder.Loading…
If only everybody realized driving is about what this piece hits on, the (automotive) world would be a better place.Loading…
“We get tangled up in a lot of angst in this hobby, either arguing about quarter mile times or horsepower.” I wouldn’t have expected this from a former 944 owner.
Iif you do get tangled up in arguing (about whatsoever), you’re doing it wrong, but who am I to argue.Loading…