I’ve been wanting to do this for ages but no one I know is interested. I want to talk about my recent road trip. So, I’ll introduce myself to the MX5 Owners Club by talking about it. I spent two and a half thousand of my hard earned pounds on a very early NC 1.8 base model in January. I picked it up and drove it almost immediately to Greece, starting out on the 31st. I arrived in Greece around 10th February. En route, it was taking it easy, stopping in nice places. I haven’t driven a soft top since I use to borrow my friend’s Austin Healey Sprite to take a girlfriend out, back in 1986 when I was young and the weather was cold. Wife and I, thirty very odd years latter, trundled off via the Portsmouth-Caen Ferry, in the middle of winter, cosy as a posy, unlike me and girlfriend in a the Austin Healey during the cold spell at the beginning of 1987. This year it poured with rain in France, it snowed in Italy. In the mountains, with the heater on and the roof down, we drove in bright sunshine with snow laying deep round and about. We stopped in cafes in little villages and drank coffee with old men huddled around wood burning stoves. I worked all summer in Greece, taking the Mazda up to the mountains again on my days off. Hat on, roof down, quiet switchback roads where 30 mph felt very fast. In September, me and my dog Jes drove back to the UK. This time we got the ferry from Patras to Venice, arriving there about five in the morning. I got to London before midnight the same day, roof up through the Italian busy autostradas, through Milan and the Monto Bianca tunnel, but then, as it became warm again and quiet, so it was roof down all the way through France. Such a pleasure, feeling a million dollars for small change, the value of crumbs from a millionaire’s table; no scuttle shake, slightly whippy tail, a nasal purr, a drive train whir; the car felt old and I felt young. Loving it. Now, at home in the Mazda, just a trip to the supermarket reminds me of mountains and Mediterranean sunshine; queuing for the ferry, luggage strapped to the boot. The golden age of motoring doesn’t have to have faded. I’m not sure if I’m up for a track day but I think I’d like to take on some other driving challenges.
Ok, did I miss a bit ‘me and my dog Jes drove back to the UK’, apart from the very talented ‘driving’ dog what happened to the wife?
Wife flew back from Italy en route. Work in Greece is solitary, one man and his… Dog got promoted from floor to seat on return journey (no photos). Manned tolls are funny in a right hand drive MX5 with dog in the passenger seat.