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Old 7th January 2017, 05:18
Munky Munky is offline
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Default Pointless thread -about a pointless hobby?

I'm a member of my local Euro car club here in MN USA where pretty much any car is welcomed as long as you have gas (petrol) in your veins and oil on your hands.

I copied this from there as I thought it was a cute post and had some element of truth to it...

Cars are dumb and here's why

I don't know what about cars draws me in so much. I can't get away from them. When I go on vacation I spend more time looking at what the locals are driving than I do looking at what the locals are doing. I plan my weekends around projects and maintaining a small fleet that is half of what it used to be.

I spend the hottest hours of the day cleaning wheels in the driveway, wheels I don't even need. My girlfriend asked me what they were for, my answer was idiotic once said out loud; they are wheels that I use when I go to the track.

I dont race my cars. I spend exactly 1 day a year driving quickly around a closed course getting passed by 911s, Vipers and Mini Cooper’s with mountain bike attachments on their roofs. I have an entire set of wheels and tires for my 3rd car, a set of wheels that spend 364 days a year sitting on the shelf I built specifically for them so for 1 day a year I can drive nearly 100mph around a 2.5mile loop while wearing a helmet and a smile.

That same girlfriend asked me if we could buy a Kayak this summer and I told her we had no space, money or time for a Kayak. I did say that if she rented a Kayak at least 3 times this summer and at the end decided she still wanted one that we could maybe make some space and buy a used one if we could get it off craigslist for a good deal. But only then can she justify a small, human powered boat in my garage.

My 3rd car has 3 sets of wheels. This car has had 7K miles put on it in over the last 3.5 years. Of those 7K miles 3k have been driven on 2 bigs trips around the midwest when I first bought it. So in reality I have put 4k miles on a car in 3 years and my girlfriend can't have a hobby boat because I don't have the place to store it.

My 2nd car has 2 sets of wheels but only one set has tires mounted. You never know when good deal will pop up!
My daily has 2 sets of wheels and a 3rd on the way. To be fair one set is for the winter and one set is for the summer, tires for the season and safety, while the possible 3rd set is just a good deal on some sweet wheels that I will need to make a self and space for. They may or may not have good tires on them so I will need to budget space and money for the possible new set of tires for the 3rd set of wheels to go on 1 of my 3 cars. But we cannot have a Kayak, that would be irresponsible of us.

This is not a piece about wheels and tires. This isn't really a piece about having too many cars. What this was meant to be about is a car. A special, older, car that I happen to be very fond of. There are actually millions of them and they are all alike, it is a joke and a punchline, and while it may not be the end all answer to everyone’s hopes and dreams it can be pretty special to some. I am a member of that unfortunate group.

Im sure if the budget were there I would have a similar attachment to an air-cooled 911 or a Turbo powered Datsun, perhaps even an old Mustang, but for now my life is full of a 25 year old redhead with a narrow body and big eyes who goes around town topless and shouts at the neighbors.

The stupid car I have chosen to love and keep is a Classic Red 1990 Maita. I'll pause here for high fives, cheering and major thumbs up. Not only did my Mother laugh when I told her I bought it but she also made some crude jokes at my expense to her siblings. Har Har.

Yes, it is a tiny car. No, I don't worry about getting hit by a semi in traffic. Yes, my GIRLFRIEND thinks its adorable. Actually yes, you can take it for a test drive, here are the keys.

The Miata is far from perfect. Everyone on the internet will jump up your ass about how for $5k you could have had a xxxxxxx and done a 13sec 1/4mile pass or you could have bough a pfffcccbbttahh and gotten a million times the handling from stock. What the Miata gives you is a tiny taste of what it used to be like to drive, like when you were 16 and just got your license. Like the first time you ever went WOT and hit 100mph. The Miata gives you a little glimpse at how good cars could really be if they just focused a bit more on the driver and a little less on the epa/polar bears/family of 4/crash safety. An old Miata is like the car the Car Guys from the past saw the future of autos, something everyone could own and have a blast doing it for little money and space.

The kInd of car you could learn to drive stick on, learn to autocross in and then learn how to run a canyon road properly with zero modifications. Much like the DSM triplets of yore giving kids a taste of boost for the first time, the Miata gives drivers the taste of driving dynamics for the first time all while getting smashed in the face by bugs and sunshine and wind.

But is it fast!?

Hell no. Speed is not the forte of the Miata. Many have spent real amounts of money making this slow car fast and they, Im sure, feel that it is totally justified. I look at the possible $3-5K as a 200% investment in a car that was designed to be light a minimal, not speedy and complex. Taking a 90hp $2K car and making it a $7K 180hp car can be one hell of a good time but for that amount of investment you could have any number of faster and more powerful things that started their lives much higher up the food chain. A Porsche 944 comes to mind.

So you leave it slow. You don't put any magical touch of power into it but you must do something. There has to be a way to spend a little money have make it better. Mazda MUST HAVE left something on the table for you. She needs a tuck and perhaps some collagen. What she needs is more noise. Much more noise.

Buy an exhaust they say. Make you're go-cart more cart-y and go-y-er. Then you need to make her more nimble so the fun twisty roads you dream about at night can be a little more twisted. So you buy some springs. Oh, and you need a limited slip differential. Plus sticky, wide tires. Add a sway bar or two. Now drill some holes in the bumper for a sweet lip that can sit 2 inches above the ground to prevent that speed sapping air from going under the car causing lift. Now you're ready for the big time, now you've got it ready to party. Now you're gonna smash it, big time.

You’ve ruined your Miata. The echo you get off the buildings from your shinyoversized tail pipe isn't that of a pleasant rev-matched downshift and now that the top is down you can hear the ill fitted mounts knocking. The wide and sticky tires have made the steering heavy and the sway bars have made it twitch and bounce over the ruts in the road. The new super tight suspension makes your girlfriend upset on normal ass roads and your new lip scrapes the ground everywhere you go. You have to explain to non-car people why your car is so low and how is it that over bumps while at speed it makes some type of grinding noise with the tires and body. You have to tell them its just how the car is now, it's better in every way. And they wont really know until they feel it on the track. Until they've hit the limit over an apex. Thats where you'll show them your improvements, you'll show them all.

But you won't. Not because you don't want to, but in this future glamour world were you have access to a track and a place for your new car-loving Miata inspired friends to sleep but because all those magical events take place on days that are also Weddings or birthdays or some Holiday and you just can't get the time off work. So you tell yourself, and your fake JDM girlfriend, that there will be another chance, baby. There will be one more time to hit the apex.

There sits your creation, collecting dust and tree sap. Its been in the same parking place for going on a month. Sitting in traffic sucks because it needs to be rev’ed out. The heat of the summer sun makes the top down driving a huge sunburnt pain and the AC robs so much of the power that it might as well be a parachute out the back. The new suspension is a nightmare on city streets because it was designed for the silk smooth track and the exhaust doesn't give as many horses as it dose noise. Now there is snow and ice and cold out there and gosh darn it, youdon't have a 4th set of wheels with the appropriate tires. Oh, and the heater sucks tremendously.

But you love her. And thats what matters. All those other Miatas, the one who have the skinny stock wheels and the soft pedestrian suspension, those Miatas are sad in the world and you can see it in their eyes, their adorable popped up little eyes.

So now you've owned it. You've taken in one of those rare pieces of automotive history that will help define to a new generation how not all the good things need to be a million hp and run a 335 rear tire. Now its put away for yet another season of snow and danger you can reflect back on all the good times you had and track miles you could have run. If only next season would come sooner because that's when you still won't make any of those big changes and still won't mess with what Mazda intended and you will drive carefree mile after mile with the top down and show the world your love of a 25 year old Japanese girl.
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Old 7th January 2017, 08:35
DaveP DaveP is offline
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Interesting view which will resonate with many people.

We must temper it against all hobbies though.

Definition of a hobby :
Escaping the drudge of real life for hours on end. Spending hard earned cash you struggle to justify to yourself let alone the family. But most importantly it is doing stuff you want to do for yourself.

I find other past-times like stamp collecting, golf or fishing much more pointless

All of this is easy for me to say from my armchair view of course!


Last edited by DaveP; 7th January 2017 at 08:45.. Reason: Missed a bit
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Old 8th January 2017, 10:49
Tigga Tigga is offline
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Thanks for posting.

I enjoyed the read.

There will always be something faster / cooler / more expensive / more desirable etc but if you love what you have .....that's all that matters.
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Old 13th January 2017, 05:06
Munky Munky is offline
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I feel that way about my Atom.
There are faster cars, there are certainly more comfortable and warmer cars, but I know I would never be able to replace it here in the US so it will be with me, until I'm so old, I can't climb in it any more!
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