Wednesday, May 17, 2006

YUMM...the Darling from another angle. LOVERLY, ey Guv'? :-) Posted by Picasa

And it grows stronger...in every way

3900 kms on the odo and 43 days into my NC ownership. I absolutely ADORE this car. It's like sweet, sweeeet DRUGS, even. Drew it today in the rain and was yet again amazed how solid it feels - yet still very nimble, very light. You can feel that this is one agile car; not that it wanders on the road or feels skittish (it doesn't) but it is obvious that it is not the least bit sluggish.

Drove it on the track (sort of) for the first time last Saturday. Mainly in a slalom course but also for a few laps around an improvised track at a former airfield outside of Strängnäs here in Sweden. Amazingly fun. Feels as nimble as my old car but with a noticably firmer suspension and, subsequently less body roll as well. Steering even sharper and the grip is much improved.

Another nice thing about being one of the first with a new MX-5 here in Sweden is the amount of nice things people say about it. It is certainly not one of the reasons for why I got it but it is nice nonetheless. :-)

Two of my club colleagues got a test drive in it at the track; they both liked it a lot. And only today when I went to buy a couple of new shirts, the store owner complimented me on the car as soon as I set foot in the store. He also asked about the price etc - who knows, maybe an MX-5-owner-in-waiting? If so, he may be in for a disappointment - it turns out that it's not just me who is enamored with the new MX-5; all 136 in the allottments for April, June and July have been sold so for anyone ordering one now, they have to wait for delivery until the Fall. Gooooo Mazda! :-D

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Back in...grey!

14 days...and counting.

Home again after a nice 800 km drive to and from my parents who live down south in Sweden. Learned another nice feature of my new MX-5: on highways, it's actually COMFORTABLE! It simply feels like a regular, much bigger car. Sweet! Also, it is possible to drive it even a bit faster than my old '91 on my favorite stretch of the road southwards. And the old car certainly was not sluggish to start with... :-)

Two not-so-nice things that the trip brought:

- The car is now grey-on-grey again. It looks like I hadn't washed it at all, let alone restored it to pristine condition just ONE week ago. Swedish spring roads......

- Those Swedish spring roads also contributed something else: the first two paint chips. One small chip right next to the windscreen on the windscreen frame and a scratch-like chip on the driver's door (plus one or two tiny ones that just penetrated the clearcoat). Double ...of course, paint chips are unavoidable on a car that you use at all, it would just have been nice having been able to drive the car a *little* more than 1600 kms before the first one.

All in all though: even though I'm now back in debt a bit (130 kSEK) and even though the first monthly payment notice arrived today and even though the six-month trial insurance turned out to be 960 SEK instead of the 720 SEK the salesman promised, I still *love* this car. Don't regret it ONE bit, no Siree!

Also: people STARE. Not everyone, but those who do really GAWK at the car. It's kinda nice being among the first 20 or so to drive an NC in Sweden. :-)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Washed (up)

Just home from the car wash. The Grey Darling had already (after just one week and 860 kms!) acquired crud from the road along the sides...I need those mud flaps - BAD! I had planned on just a simple wash (new car, shouldn't need anymore than that, right?) but I had to apply cleaner to basically the entire lower half of the car. Obviously, that meant that I had to dry it first (with a good ol' chamois cloth of course - OLD SKOOL! :-)) and while I had the car dried and polished it also needed a nice wax coating.

The car wash place was out of Sonax Liquid Wax (my favorite, SO easy to apply) so I went for the Turtle Wax EXTREME Car Wax instead. It was in more of a yoghurt kind of liquid, so a bit more difficult to both apply and polish. Did half the front hood, then realized that I had some Sonax left since I last waxed my old car. Turned out it was JUST enough to wax the rest of the car. So now half of the front hood is Sonax, half Turtle Wax EXTREME. It'll be interesting to see the result.

After the wax on/wax off (Karate Kid, anyone?) I vacuumed the interior, quite a bit of sand and fine gravel had gathered there in just one week (I HATE WINTER). To do a proper job I took out the textile carpets that came with the car. Turned out they were about 2 mm thick (OK, 5 mm) and in the carpet on the drivers side the rug was already severely worn where I had rested my heels against it. After 860 kms! What's up with that?! Now I understand why the textile carpets was so cheap (SEK 595) in the accessories list, at least compared to some of the more ridiculously priced stuff - Mazda expects to sell them by the dozen to all NC owners (that would be about a year's supply, one pair for each month). Maybe we NC owners could get a volume discount?

Gathered all my stuff, paid my bill and went out into the sunlight. MAN is Galaxy Grey a pretty color! Just AWESOME!

Almost perfect

Missing one crucial detail to make the picture perfect. E-mailed the supplier today to try to speed things up a bit. Problem hopefully solved soon.

Also need (NEED) mud flaps, especially in this weather the car gets SO dirty. One problem though: Mazda's creative pricing.

Started by checking www.mx5parts.co.uk, they normally have decent prices. Turns out they want SEK 2400 for four mud flaps!

Figured I'd give Mazda Sweden a chance so I checked with my local dealer. SEK 2260 for four UNPAINTED mud flaps! So around SEK 3000 painted...no thanks!

Finally settled on Mazda South in Austin, TX. SEK 1250 ($162.50) for all four, including free shipping within the US. With people coming and going to our subsidiary in USA all the time, finding a courier to get them here won't be too difficult. Also ordered some other stuff while I was at it anyway, including door protectors painted in the body color. Had chromed ones on my old car and they worked great protecting the door from dings and dents.

Only problem: Mazda can apparently not keep up with the demand for mudflaps for the new car. Mazda South has had them on backorder since February with the delivery date being constantly pushed back. Current date is April 17...let's see if it holds. Excellent customer service, BTW, got a personal mail back with a confirmation and some information about the situation. So I can totally recommend Mazda South (and no, I'm not being paid or anything :-))

I Love My MX-5

I Love My MX-5

One problem now: baby is all dirty after six days of driving around in Swedish early April weather. So on Tuesday, he's getting a nice sponge bath. Loverly! :-)

Monday, April 10, 2006

My new darling...isn't he (yes, he is a HE) a BEAUT?! Daddy is SO proud. :-) Posted by Picasa

NC +6 days

Picked up my new MX-5 last Tuesday. So far I've put about 845 kms on the odo and MAN what a blast to do so! As much as I loved my previous '91 NA, this one is EVEN better. Just driving 2,5 km to work feels like a reward! And that sweet, sweeeet smell of new car...intoxicating!