If your dream is of driving to the limit on a twisting road course, there is no car closer to that ideal than an original Mazda Miata, caged on sticky tires. And if your dream is of driving on a road course, there is no environment more hospitable to it than in the midst of Manhattan.
I used to keep a car in Manhattan. I ran rallycross events on the weekend, went ripping around on country roads outside of town. It was, in ethos, not so far away from a Miata. (In physical form, it was a long way from it: tall, floppy, almost always broken.)
What I gleaned from it is that it is hard as hell to actually get your ass out of the city limits—I had it easy, with my parking spot only a few blocks from the Triborough Bridge—and that there are little moments you get, fractions of a second maybe, when you can led your right foot fall to the floor merging onto the FDR, or seeing green lights all the way down Park Avenue. These are fleeting glimpses that become dreams in and of themselves, and these dream visions are powerful, powerful enough to get somebody to keep their caged Miata with race-grade bucket seats on the edge of Alphabet City. This isn’t even the only track-prepped Miata I’ve seen in Manhattan, either.
You have to work hard to keep a car like this in the city, looking for places to get off the street to make repairs big and small, dodging potholes, fighting for parking. But look at this Miata. Doesn’t it seem worth it?