I lost my convertible car virginity this summer in the passenger seat of a Porsche 911 Targa S via, of all things, a Twitter dare. And it was spectacularly memorable for the near 10 hours it lasted.
When I found out I was getting a week with the new MX-5 hard top convertible all to myself, you can imagine my excitement. Now before you say “Is he really comparing a Porsche to a Mazda?” hang on a second—I’m simply mentioning both in the same breath because they’re both convertibles. That’s all.
Mazda’s Miata/MX-5 cult following is a clear testament to how much owners love these cars and how Mazda made a splash in the world of sports cars. Finding a way to offer a fun-to-drive sports car coupled with a price tag that was quite affordable for the masses and making it look great was a formula that was well executed for the past 25 years. It’s all about the experience and feel of driving a sports car and not having a six-figure price tag attached. Don’t believe me? Google “Mazda Miata car clubs” to see just how attached owners are to these cars.
I was riddled with the anticipation of doing something new (driving a convertible car for a week). There’s the immediate mentality (for me anyway) of “I’m going to have the top down 60 percent of the time, every time.” I couldn’t help but picture myself in a car commercial in early autumn, maneuvering a winding rural road in sixth gear with the music turned up loud, as the wind filters through my hair and deflects around a pair of aviator glasses.
Aside from the aforementioned, it’s the change that I was anticipating most. I’d been driving roofed cars my entire life and even owning cars with a retractable sunroof for over nearly a decade, it’s not the same as having the roof disappear into itself.
There’s something to be said for change, speaking quite honestly. “Converting” seems to be an appropriate word, even if it was for a week. While change can be something that invokes fear and uncertainty in some, for me, it’s refreshing. It’s experiencing something that you’ve always wanted and realizing that it truly envelops you. It’s realizing that by changing your perception and mentality of, for example, a math problem: 2X + 6Y + L – 2 =? That you’re finally able to understand and solve for “L.”
Unsurprisingly, the moment I sat in the MX-5, the roof came down, the aviator sunglasses came on and AC/DC’s Back in Black was cranked up.
With 167 horses jammed into this small yet mighty “Brilliant Black” machine, I savoured every moment.
Having such a light car coupled with a fair amount of power generated enough wind in a short amount of time to keep my hair moving just enough all the time. The MX-5’s stance is low, sporty and beckons you to at least picture yourself in the driver seat, with the top down of course.
There’s not much deviation from the traditional MX-5/Miata body style and for some, it’s somewhat easy to recognize the iconic Mazda offering, now entering its 25th year.
The other big change when driving the MX-5 was training myself to realize that there was only room for a single passenger and a very limited amount of trunk space. Again, change shines through and after the first day, I adjusted.
I made it a point to find several great rural routes to really get a feel and appreciation for the car and make the most of my week. FYI: Northern Milton has some beautiful roads and the switchbacks at Rattlesnake Point was one of my favourites. Definitely recommended for anyone who wants a changed perspective on driving.
While the seven days with the car seemed to merge into one really long day, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the MX-5 as my first true convertible love.
Because while my first time was in a Porsche, it’s the Mazda MX-5 that captured my heart.
And that, my friends, is something that WON’T change.