“Well, I understand your occasional need to haul spare parts to the track, but really, the Miata’s trunk is surprisingly big, and you can always buy a trailer,” says the obnoxious, often leathery Miata owner, as a pre-cancerous mole ever-so-slowly engulfs a small chunk of his forearm.
Normally, this would be the point at which I remind Obnoxious Miata Owner that jokes are like timing belts—they have finite mileage. Install them improperly or run them for too long, and they’ll pop. Land flat. Quit working.
But no! Too many Miata folks are dead-on serious whenever they’ve told me I should buy one of their stupid little turd-cars, despite the fact that this two-seat convertible is not what I want. They aren’t going to actually listen, and they tend to get really defensive when you point out that fixed roofs are neat, because Miata is their God.
I used to be merely indifferent to the Miata. It was a car that existed, but didn’t meet my needs. For years, it wasn’t a good enough looking car to elicit any feelings of desire, either.
However, years of putting up with the Obnoxious Miata Owner on the Internet, at the track, in enthusiast groups and elsewhere have driven that indifference to full on hatred.
For a convertible, the Miata is a fine enough car. Look past the early cars’ suppository-like styling and underneath the goofy rounded plastic is a competent driver often held as a benchmark for how a car should handle and how a manual transmission should feel by half-decent autojournos who still give a crap about those things.
Shoot, I learned how to drive a manual on a menagerie of cars that included several friends’ track Miatas. I’ve previously considered buying one, because cheap manual beaters are neat. I even still have the “Miata is always the answer” shirt from when the joke was still funny.
The joke is no longer funny; it has since mutated into a bizarre orthodoxy, almost cult-like in its refusal to accept other possibilities.
Miata drivers are among some of the most unreasonable, defensive and obnoxious jamokes on the Internet. Some of you are actually serious when you suggest for the ninety-billionth time that I ditch my good car that works (or worse: my awesome racecar) for an open-top nightmare I’ll be infinitely less pleased with.
This is why I hate the Miata.
Let me get the obvious reason why Miatas suck out of the way: some of us don’t want to get cancer by the time we’re 40! Shocker!
I am naturally the color of someone who really shouldn’t go outside. I still burn in the shade. I also have long hair, and hate having to tie it up.
Why on earth would I ever buy a stupid convertible where the only thing preventing me from burning to a crisp and/or ingesting large quantities of my own hair (unless I pay extra!) is a stupid folding soft top with crap for visibility?
The entire point of a convertible is the awesome view out of an open top, but opening said top on a regular basis in the daytime would certainly give my skin the texture of a rotisserie chicken. Also, cancer. Probably cancer.
A two-seat convertible will always be somewhat of a luxury item, even if you’re too wrapped up in your own tone-deaf self-importance to understand what I just said.
Even if you buy the bolt-on hardtop, or get a newer MX-5 equipped with a power retractable hardtop, it still remains a convertible. There are points of failure that you don’t get in a permanently-attached fixed roof. Hardtops have to be purchased separately, and as they have external points of attachment, they can all too easily be plucked off if someone really wants yours.
I know it’s a rare occurrence to have your soft top ripped open, your detachable roof stolen, or your PRHT motor fail, but I simply don’t want to have that extra worry when there are plenty of cars that aren’t convertibles to choose from.
I also realize that my road car doesn’t drive in a bubble. Sometimes it ventures into less gentrified territory, or it goes across the country, because why not? I am a single woman, therefore, I often travel alone. Convertibles are fine and feel safe when you know the territory. Out of that familiar bubble, not so much.
“Buy a hardtop” or “just keep the obnoxious, floppy roof up all the time” aren’t solutions grounded in reality. Those are signs of Stockholm Syndrome, but with cars. “Get a small trailer if you need to haul extra stuff” isn’t an acceptable answer, either. Nor is “if you’re worried about break-ins, just move somewhere else with a private garage.” That all translates to “spend extra money to fix a problem that a different car wouldn’t have” in Sane-People-ese.
Miatas, like all convertibles, are a privilege. Accept it, folks.
And please, check your privilege before opening your wind-chapped lips.
There is one place where I can appreciate a convertible: on a race track. My burn-prone face is much more comfortable inside a helmet. I would never personally buy a Miata for track duty, though, because “which red one is yours?” is a question I don’t enjoy answering.
Miatas are everywhere if you go to a road course. With the Miata, Mazda made a good, cheap platform for racing and track use. They’ve since multiplied like tribbles, if tribbles looked like boring bars of soap instead of adorable puffballs.
The all-Miata series generally have large, competitive fields, and there’s extensive support for racing Miatas from Mazda, other Miata racers and the aftermarket. Some of the best amateur racers in the nation can be found racing stupid poop convertibles at the pointy end of Spec Miata. Those are all good things and I won’t try to argue otherwise. Hey, whatever gets you on track and encourages you to become a better driver.
However, there is a certain reputation that precedes the Miata, should you unload one at the track. The “Crash Piñata” nickname for Spec Miata didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. It’s an aggressive field that makes NASCAR look chill. Miatas are cheap, and reckless jabronis everywhere—even in mixed fields with non-Miatas in them—all too often drive them as if they’re disposable.
Of course, that’s a problem Miata fanboys share with Toyota Camry owners. When so many people have the same car, the probability that some of those owners will be morons increases exponentially.
Personally, I do not want to be mistaken for a moron, or anyone else, for that matter. Like it or not, the Miata is as track day basic as it gets, and no amount of rationalization with “but mine’s modded” or “I added stripes” can atone for that fact.
We celebrate it when people choose to daily drive a road car that’s unique and interesting. Why is it so different at the track? Whenever I mention that I want a non-Miata track car, I get an incredible amount of push-back from Miata owners who are convinced that any other beater is a financial misstep on par with the Brexit vote.
The Miata is the easy choice. The boring one. If that’s you, own it: you have the Camry of the race track, and that’s okay, because you’re at the race track. What’s not okay is the insinuation that I chose wrong by choosing another car that I enjoy. Let me fly my weirdo flag and run my 944 in peace, please.
On its own, separate from all the incessant noise made by obnoxious owners, the Miata would probably be okay. I probably wouldn’t think about it much, as I don’t like convertibles.
But I certainly think of it now, along with all of the usual hyper-defensive rationalizations that will now flood my inbox in response, and you know what?
I hate Miatas.
The Miata is dead. You killed it.
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