Congratulations to Tarun Tejpal on the selection of
his Miata, as our
Miata of the Month!
It's July 1992, 3PM in the afternoon, and I am on the second week of a business trip to the West Coast. My next stop is San Diego, CA. During the trip so far, I had been stuck with renting nothing but boring hum drum Chevy Corsicas and Ford Escorts at each city that I had visited. At the Hertz rental office in San Diego, I picked up the keys to yet another .. oh no! A Ford Tempo! So there I was, tired and unenthusiastic, dragging my suitcase and my laptop for another uneventful week of meetings when a car caught my eye on the lot. Yes, you guessed it, a glimmering red hot Mazda Miata. I stopped and stood in silence. I started thinking .. what if .. how will I get reimbursed for the business expense of a Mazda Miata rental?? What will my boss say? And I started hearing my boss' voice echoing in my head saying "OK, Tarun, did I send you to San Diego for a vacation or to work?".
Trying to drown out the echoing voice of my boss, I kept on thinking, contemplating and struggling .... and then it happened. A moment of clarity, a moment where I said "To hell with it! I am going to rent a Miata for a week and extend my trip into the weekend!". MIATA ATTACK! I was just bitten by the Miata bug, and this was just the beginning. Little did I suspect how this car was going to change me and affect my life! Oh yeah, more moments of zany and impulsive behavior were to follow in the coming years. Back in my hometown of Boston, I was driving a 1986 Toyota Corolla 16V GTS. I have always been a rev happy, curve hugging car freak and the Miata was something that I always wanted to drive.
Fifteen minutes later after haggling with the rental agent, I had the keys to the same red Miata that caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks. Finally, I was driving a Mazda Miata for the first time in sunny San Diego in the middle of July heading into beautiful La Jolla, California! The rest of the week went like this: 8AM to 4 PM was work and 5 PM to 11 PM was MIATA driving madness up and down the west coast and the mountains! I will never forget that first week that I drove in a car that made you feel free .... free from the corporate rat race that we get sucked into.
Back in Boston, I started to rent Miatas for the weekend and I enjoyed some really fun times and fantastic drives into Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and all over Massachusetts. Finally, that was it. I just had to have a Miata full time! In 1994 I leased a black "A" package which I bought out at the end of the lease term. Besides the weekend jaunts all over New England, I have had an absolute blast driving to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and three trips to Key West, Florida!
On the way back from Florida, I make sure I drive the entire Blue Ridge parkway through the Carolina's and Virginia. This is an awesome road for the Miata! My most memorable drive was on my last trip through the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a warm night, the mountains were awash in moonlight, there was no traffic and I was cruising along listening to the tunes of Santana (Jingo). Running low on gas, I had to take Route 60 off the Parkway into Lexington, Virginia. This road was newly paved and it twisted and turned down the mountain like a roller coaster. I was in heaven! The car screamed down the road like a bat out of hell as I negotiated each curve of the road as fast as the car would go without losing toooo much grip. Ahhhh! Absolutely unforgettable!
My next really long trip that I am planning on: Boston - Chicago - Yellowstone Park - Seattle - San Diego - New Orleans - Key West - Boston. A trip to Alaska is on the agenda as well. Sounds crazy but it's one of those things in life that I just have to do now. What did I say earlier ... zany, impulsive behavior or what? And this car just makes you want to do these type of crazy and free spirited adventurous things that give life to your soul. I love driving this car anywhere, anytime and anyplace. This car just rejuvenates you! After a hard day at work, the moment that I look forward to the most is when I dive the car into the "S" type highway exit ramp, accelerating in 2nd gear up to 7000 RPM then quickly shifting into 3rd gear and slinging into the highway at 80+ MPH like a rocket, instantly leaving behind the stresses of the day in the dust. This car is instant stress relief therapy on wheels, ready for you whenever you need it! Hakunaaaaaa Miiiaaatahhhaaa!!
My teenage niece, Renita, just loves going out with me for drives. She says she likes the car with the lights on at night because it looks something like the Batmobile ... black, fast, loud and menacing! Besides performing all the regularly recommended maintenance diligently, I have made the following modifications to the car: Yokohama A509 tires,timing adjusted to16.5° BTDC, MM Marketing Door Sill protectors, portable CD Player, clearwater speakers (in the doors & headrests), MM Marketing's rear window protector, protective grill short flexible antenna & padded arm rest and Keith Tanner's Wind blocker (a must have!).
My next set of modifications will include Illumina shocks, Sway bars, CRI Air Horns, PIAA Super White H4 replacement light bulbs and a K&N Air Filter. Thanks to Lester Seal, Technical Wizard of the local Miata club, members of the Mass Miata Club, the Miata.net archives, the Miata magazine and all the people that I have contacted through Miata.net over the past couple of years, I have been able to enjoy maintaining, modifying and driving the car the way I want it hopefully forever!
Oh, and my boss never questioned me on the Miata rental in San Diego! Yess!!!
Will you be next?