This may not surprise you, but in Oregon, in May, it rains. As it turns out, rain and the Mazda Miata don’t always mix. Sure, if you’re eighty and have a pillow for a right foot, you might not find yourself sliding around. If, however, you’re anything like me, you will find a shocking number of opportunities to be sideways in your Miata. Now, I’m not one to drive recklessly, but with its short wheelbase and planted rear-end, the Miata just wants to put its tail out. After shopping around on youtube, I found this track-day footage that illustrates my point.
Don’t be fooled by the highly modified nature of this particular car, even stock, the Miata is a handful.
Earlier in the week my buddy Ryan and I set about breathing life back into the Classic Red paint of my 1993 Mazda Miata. The car had essentially had one owner, who took fantastic care of it, but Ryan thought the paint could be refreshed. I admit that I was skeptical, especially when Ryan opened a can of Turtlewax Polishing Wax and brought out a random orbital buffer, but a few passes across the hood and he quickly changed my mind. With the help of his son, we set to work on the car.
Polishing wax is a compromise between rubbing compound and normal car wax. It has a fine amount of texture, but not enough to cut into the paint. The polishing wax is applied using the buffer, then removed by hand. It was incredible to see the amount of oxidized paint (and old wax) that the buffer cut through. A layer of Zymol, which is a well regarded wax, followed.
The master at work…
The end result is amazing, the paint shines like it’s new and now has a solid base layer of polishing wax along with Zymol.
The next project will be to tackle the plastic bumper covers, which have lost some luster. For now the little car lives happily under its cover. Happy Friday!
Lazarus, our $2000 budget track build has been getting his fair share of track time lately. Our last outing at PIR with Porsche and BMW club revealed Laz’s true potential as lap times dipped into mid-pack Spec Miata range.
Depending on your monthly income, the 2014 Maserati Ghibli, which just debuted at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, may be right up your alley. Pricing for the brand-new sedan hasn’t been confirmed but expect it to cost about what a BMW 5 Series does. Performance figures are reasonably impressive, the Ghibli will be powered by a V6 and a variant will include all-wheel drive. Catch all the details here, from Autoblog.com.
I thought I’d follow up on my brief review of the Tesla Model S by saying that it’s remarkable, given the hoops that Telsa has jumped through, that the company sells cars at all. Just today there was an article in Autoblog outlining Tesla’s struggle to showcase its cars outside of the normal dealership format. Essentially car dealers are protesting Telsa’s attempt to use Apple-inspired storefronts to attract customers. As if it weren’t difficult enough to mass produce the incredible sports sedan, Tesla has to fight simply for a venue from which to sell the dang car. In many ways it makes sense then, that Elon Musk defends Tesla the way that he does. The combination of pessimism and ill-will that hound Telsa’s efforts could very well have brought the company down were it not for Mr. Musk’s unflinching belief in his product. The Model S is a very cool car and hopefully, as it gains more exposure, Mr. Musk won’t have to spend quite so much time defending it. ~Richard
The Tesla Model S is the quickest car you will ever drive. Forget your uncle’s Cadillac STS-V because the Model S will leave it quaking, and your neighbors Ariel Atom? it will politely excuse itself from any table that the Telsa is at. Behind the wheel of the Model S you almost immediately forget that you’re sitting in a four-door sedan that weighs 4600 pounds, can seat 7 people and is battery powered.
I spent about 20 minutes driving the Tesla Model S 85 kWh Performance and I can’t emphasize this enough: whatever you may have heard about the incredible acceleration of electric cars, it was greatly under exaggerated. From any angle of the throttle pedal, the single motor was able to rocket the Model S with alarming ease; and because there was virtually no lag, the car responded instantly to changes in input. I’d like to tell you that I was able to get a sense of what the rest of the Tesla was like, but unfortunately I was a bit distracted.
In the weeks that have followed my test drive I’ve been vacillating between being completely sold the on the Tesla, which is a remarkable car, and being uncertain of what the sedan is actually like to own. My first impression of the Model S was that it had some incredible technology and that it was very quick, but since then I’ve been wondering what those two things amount to from an ownership perspective. Our world is becoming increasingly concerned by “distracted” drivers and believe me, that 17 inch touch-screen in the Tesla can be a major distraction. I also wonder if the quickness of the Telsa is quickly lost when, as the car’s owner, you begin litigiously monitoring the battery meter, so as to not run out of charge. The throttle pedal is an energy eater and I can’t imagine that many long journeys would be made in the Model S if you drove the way I did.
But enough of the humdrum, the Tesla Model S is fantastic: comfortable, great looking, fun to drive, made in America, and totally unique. What Tesla has done, by mass producing such an enticing car, is show us what electric vehicles (and small companies) are capable of. If there’s a Tesla store in your area go and request a test drive. I guarantee you’ll have a grin on your face and warm feelings in your heart.