Last weekend over 700 MX5 owners drove their polished and gleaming cars to the MX5 Owners Club Spring Rally in Kent. The South East Area Group organised a superb weekend which was terrific fun and raised over £1000 for charity. Drivers came from all over the UK and from the continent to show off their cherished MX5s and make new friends. You can read the full report and see lots more photos on the club website by clicking on the logo:
In the early 1990s the Japanese toy manufacturer Toshima produced this delightful MX5 replica child’s pedal car. They were a massive hit in Japan and some were exported to the USA where they have become extremely sought after but very rare. When available new in Japan they cost about 30000 yen (£25) but they have been out of production for well over 10 years now. Every year at the huge Karuizawa Roadster Meeting (1000 Roadsters) they usually have a small section coned off for little children to race them, and the parents can watch. An MX5 Roadster pedal car race for the kids, what fun!
The car is, of course, pedal driven, with a battery to illuminate the pop-up headlights which are operated by a foot pedal. My earliest happy memories as a child are of having fun in a pedal car and my sons had a terrific time in their cars when they were little. I think that the 20th anniversary of the MX5 would be the ideal time for Mazda to commission a commemorative kiddie car like this. It would sell like hot cakes to MX5 owners with young children or grandchildren worldwide and the MX5 pedal car would be a great publicity medium for the real thing. What do you think?
2011 marks the 20th anniversary of Mazda’s victory in the world’s most demanding endurance race, the Le Mans 24 hours. In 1991 Mazda became the first and only Japanese car manufacturer to win the race – completing 362 laps at an average speed of 127.62mph. To celebrate this anniversary Mazda will demonstrate the winning rotary engined Mazda 787B on the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans on Saturday, June 11, before the 2011 race begins.
Since 1991, the car has been on display at the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima. In preparation for the demonstration at Le Mans, Mazda has carefully restored the 787B back to driving condition for the first time since its post-race overhaul in 1991. The work was carried out by current Mazda employees who participated in the company’s original Le Mans Challenge Project.
Great footage hot from the track of the testing session with the newly restored historic Mazda 787B, 700hp rotary engined race car.
Loyal readers of the blog may remember I was recently given a Sony handycam so I could take more exciting pictures of my beloved MX5, and I set out with much enthusiasm but very little skill. I quickly ran into two problems when using the camera, firstly I found it very difficult to hold it steady and operate the controls at the same time; secondly the screen was hard to see in bright sunlight. These problems are common to almost all handycams and result in many people giving up within a short time of purchasing their camera.
The handling problem can be solved completely by purchasing the beautifully made and ergonomically superb Sony AVT 1 shooting grip, a combined pistol grip and mini-tripod with controls to operate the record, zoom and still functions of the camera. This invaluable accessory revolutionised my ability to use the handycam and my videos improved enormously. You can get one from Sony UK.
The screen visibility issue can also be easily overcome with a gadget used by professional cameramen the world over, the Hoodman folding screen shade; a very simple solution which completely eliminates glare. The shade is held in place by Velcro straps and folds flat when not in use. Hoodman products are made in the USA and can be hard to get hold of but try Cameragrip, by clicking on the Hoodman logo:
Making movies is very much harder than basic point and shoot still photography. Give yourself a chance, invest in accessories which will allow you to concentrate on filming those great days out in your MX5. Have fun!