Jinba Ittai, or “Horse and rider as one” was the design philosophy behind the  MK 3.5 version of the Mazda MX5 sports car, and it has particular significance for me as I have rheumatoid arthritis. It is ten years since I felt at one with anything as this disease has reduced me from running 4 miles a day, to barely being able to walk. I had reached the point of total desperation despite all the efforts of a dedicated medical team, I was finding it increasingly difficult to drive and was effectively housebound. Then, one Friday night, our Mazda dealer advertised an MX5 with the new automatic 6 speed paddle shift transmission in our local paper. Could I even get into it? Should I really be getting a mobility scooter? Was this the silliest idea I had ever had?

The Decision

The next day was warm and sunny and the MX5 sat outside the showroom with the roof down; I was instantly smitten. I could get in and out easily and it was so painless to drive. I needed independent advice so I sent a photo (above) of the car to my son in London with the simple question,”Should I buy this car?” The reply arrived instantly, “Of course you should!” Two weeks later we drove it home.

The  Reality

Before I bought the MX5 I rarely went out, I was gradually becoming more and more housebound because of the problems of driving with a manual gearbox. This little car is an absolute delight, I actually feel physically better for driving it. It has heated seats and a powerful climate control system and I can drive 20 miles with the roof down in freezing temperatures and be as warm as toast.  The 6 speed automatic transmission is very responsive and the car is blisteringly fast, with tremendous handling. Jeremy Clarkson, in his road test of the MX5, gave it 5 out of 5 stars, but he said he only gave it 5 stars because he couldn’t give it 14!

I now love driving and try to get out every day and enjoy the beautiful countryside of the North Yorkshire Moors where I live, and with the roof down of course. I am still ill, rheumatoid arthritis has no cure, but my quality of life has improved immeasurably and now I spend much time with a silly grin on my face!

The Blog

So this is a blog about the MX5, places to go and things to do with the roof down in North Yorkshire and how the world appears to an old man in a fast car, I hope you enjoy it.

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