It was just after one of those steamy mid-summer downpours when La Contessa noticed something following her. A magnificent 2012 red Mazda Miata MX5 SV, raindrops still glistening on its black retractable hardtop roof, dogging my every step. It practically sat up and begged me to take it home. How could I resist?
It was exciting just to behold - this most current model of the classic Mazda roadster promised to be even more fun than its predecessors. The exterior was all hard muscular bulges, a far cry from its coyly rounded jellybean origins. Inside, the cockpit and leather seats were surprisingly roomy, and welcomed my tush like an old friend. I loved the sand coloured stitching on the black leather – it perfectly complemented my blonde colouring.
As I fondled the six-speed gearshift, I thought back to my days in Devon, England and dear Cousin Pip (yes, as in Great Expectations). She was the one who taught this pup all about the stick shift, as we streaked along the twisty British cliffside roads in a racing green MGB. The joy of the wind in our fur, as we peeled up the slopes and down into the valleys, and then finally, always, triumphantly, to the beach … our natural habitat in those heady summer days.
Before speeding off to the beach, we slipped down the top on the MX5. A cinch! One flip of a lever here, a push of a button there, and the sky was unfurled above. Away we went, rowing happily through the six gears, revelling in the engine's throaty snarl - almost as gorgeous as my own. It was intoxicating to drive, like a good roll in the hot sand. Like an eager puppy, the roadster leapt forward and around curves, responding to the slightest whisper of a command.
And oh how it made us want to misbehave, redlining at the traffic light, nipping in and around clumsy sedans, speeding into turns, just because - we could. With the wind blasting through our furry nape, snug in our cockpit, the spirited roadster took us further and faster into an exuberant ride - without even leaving the confines of the stuffy old GTA.
Finally, we arrived at our beach destination, and I took a few moments to explore the MX5's crevices and crannies - space was at a premium, and I wanted to know where to hide my stashables. Well! A good sized bin behind the seats provided enough room for a travelling bag of dog food, as well as holding the gas cap release. Treats to the Mazda engineers who dreamed up the hiding cup holders in the centre console! But the trunk, alas, was barely big enough for my overnight satchel.
Then again, who needs practicality? Like myself, the MX5 is designed for sport and show. You can keep your clunky wagons and trucks, when it's time to snake down the road in pure fun and exhilaration, this spunky little machine easily takes best of show ... just like me.