Archive | 10:20 PM

Modern Vintage

26 Mar

One of the nice parts of the car hobby is how each car has its own culture. What’s cool to one car may be the antithesis if cool to another. JDM is (or was) a big trend for awhile. Stanced and flushed cars have been the latest flavor du jour in the Japanese realm, though Euro guys have done it for decades. What I don’t necessarily like about these trends is that, well, they become trendy. It often involves a super low set of springs or coilovers, some aggressive wheels and tires and you get honorary membership. Parts are cool and all but I really enjoy a car that’s been thought about, a car that’s the result of taking what you’ve got and making it your own, vs. bolting on parts to make it look like 20 other cars out there.

In the Miata world, an interesting trend is to go retro with the car. The Miata is coming on 25 years old amazingly enough. But it’s the modern embodiment of the classic sports car. The car GI’s bought when they returned from WWII. Small, light, agile, simple. The Austin Healy of the modern era. Despite the Miata’s relatively modern upbringing, there are lots of guys spending nights and weekends going back in time with their Roadster. Yes it has power windows, but guys machine old school looking switches. Sure it has a/c but guys making aluminum trim panels. Guys out there fabbing parts, or adopting a look from the past and adopting it to the present. And because the car is modern, it’s a unique platform that lets you combine older and newer school flavors.

Often times the cars I see have parts, but not character. They have a bunch of power, but no soul. I find lots of cars out there now have long mod lists but no cohesiveness. Cars that lack vision. Taste is always subjective, and a Miata may not be your idea of cool but you gotta admire a guy who isn’t afraid to try something new and build for himself what may not necessarily be buyable in a box.