Miatas At Myrtle Beach III: The Preview

by Alan J. Claffie

Last year we dared to see exactly what happens when a group of like-minded Miata owners get together at the tail end of a long winter. It was the second "Miatas at Myrtle Beach" and, while we had a pretty good idea of what to expect, we wound up leaving tired, sunburned, and ready to do it all over again in a year's time.

We're down to less than a month to go before departing for the 2009 edition, with just one small change from last year's adventure. This time, we're doubling the number of cars that we're taking.

There was no question in my mind that my '99 was going to make the trip. Not only is it the most comfortable, quietest car in the fleet, but since one of the key events at Myrtle Beach is Saturday morning's car show, it's the car that is best to be subject to judging by a jury of our peers.

But Kate is enthusiastic about her Mazdaspeed MX-5. At the event last year there were no Black Mica MSMs and she'd like to have a one-of-a-kind car at MAMB, so she's going to take that. Which means there'll be a dozen of them awaiting our arrival.

Just being there will be an event in itself with plenty of socializing to go around, but in addition to the car show will be a full day of fun driving events at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Friday, then Saturday afternoon's "Miata scramble". Details on this last event are sketchy but it's being billed as a must-participate thing and I don't see why we shouldn't show up.

The biggest advantage to having two cars going to MAMB? It increases the ability to haul luggage exponentially. Not only are there now two trunks to fill - and both trunks are more usable than the one in the '96 that went last year - but there are also empty passenger seats! Now we've got the ability to bring chairs, coolers, electronics, and clothes.

Getting back to the car show, we've got one relatively easy job and one that's not so good.

The '99 has always been a sharp car. It lived in a garage before we had it, and after a brief stint serving as Kate's daily driver, it returned to garage queen status. It's managed to stay pretty clean in the year we've had it, and now it's even cleaner after being treated to a fresh coat of wax. Even better, there's not much to do under the hood. I've spent maybe a collective hour under there spiffying things up (I can hear my dad groaning from 500 miles away) and I doubt I'll do much more there. I've never been much of a clean interior person and that trend shouldn't change, with the only task being a few quality minutes with a vacuum cleaner and some wiping the top layer of dust off the dash. Would you believe, the trunk will also be judged and we'll have to vacuum the crud out of that before filling it with luggage and filthifying it back up again. We have the RPF1 wheels off the car right now so it'll be easy to get those clean front and back before putting them back on for the trip. We can only hope that the new pads installed on the back wheels aren't as dust-producing as the ones that came out.

Kate's MSM is a different story. It lives outside, getting rained on and that leaves it in pretty rough shape dirt-wise, what with it being black. When it's clean, it's spectacular. It's just not all that clean all that often. With the '99 pretty much as spiffied up as it's going to be, the bulk of the next few weeks' attention will focus on the other car. It'll get washed, waxed, buffed, rained on, washed again, snowed on, washed again, and then we'll be ready to tackle the interior, under the hood, and in the trunk. It won't be perfect, but it'll be better than average.

All this preparation means that we'll encounter rain on the way to Myrtle Beach. Count on it.

More later.

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