MX-5 to Monterey: A 3,000 Mile Journey Begins

MX-5 to Monterey: A 3,000 Mile Journey Begins

At AutoGuide we love road trips. Any chance there is to drive somewhere instead of walk/fly/boat, we take it.

I may be the guiltiest party here. Aside from my yearly adventures with the charity organization Rally North America, I’ll take any opportunity to get behind the wheel and drive.

So, when I got an invitation to attend the world debut of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 in Monterey, California, an evil plan started to form in my head. What if I drove the current generation MX-5 to Monterey to see the unveiling of the new 2016 model? Not only would this be a home coming of sorts for the car, but the weekend following the debut is an event called Miatas at Mazda Raceway, in which MX-5 owners from all over the world are coming for a three-day Miata love-in. Aside from activities on and off the track, there will be a world record attempt on Friday featuring roughly 1,600 Miatas in attendance.

Main Map

3,000 Miles? No Problem!

I rang up Mazda immediately and laid out my scheme. I was hoping to borrow a 2014 MX-5 to drive out to Monterey. Oh, and did I mention I live on the east coast and the drive would be a 3,000 mile jaunt? 2014-Mazda-MX-5-02For some manufacturers, the idea of driving a tiny roadster to Monterey may border on lunacy. Mazda, however, responded with a “Hell Ya!” (Ok, I may have paraphrased that.)

I’ve already hit the road, leaving Toronto, Canada today on my way to Harrisburgh, PA to pick-up my co-driver for the adventure, Tony Intrieri, Operations Manager of Rally North America.

You can follow the adventure in real-time on twitter, @AutoGuide, or send us a message; we’ll have a lot of time to answer your tweets during the long drive west. As well, we will also be updating our adventure daily, live on using storify like we did during the Under $30,000 Performance Car Shootout and the Mazda Adventure Rally.

While in Monterey, I will also get the chance to drive heritage models of the Miata, partake in the Skip Barber racing school and participate in the MX-5 world record attempt.

DAY 1 Update: Harrisburg, PA to Ames, IA

  • smartacus

    Aw Mike, you lucky guy you are going to love the trip!

    My cross-country trip was I-80 the whole way, coast2coast in my E30 M3 after i got my Honorable Discharge stationed at Presidio Of Monterey.

    The whole trip was over in 64hours; food, fuel, sleep, tolls, ticket, tire change, aaand time zone change all in there.

    My favorite state was…Nevada: at one point Buck40 for over an hour, foot2floor, just watching the gas gauge tick down and dashed lines strobing by.

    *aah it refreshes the brain like one big clearing of the sinuses 🙂

  • Mark

    Now that is a cool job, you get to drive your favorite car across a great country to your see the launch of the next version of your favorite. In the UK we call that “cushy”. I would navigate by Dunkin Donut stops (I say that because here in Cali we do not have Dunkin and so I get my fix when I travel out of State).

    Hope you get the Club Sport and that you get time to get off the freeways and do some twisty roads. Apart from the ND, that Mazda event looks cool with a world record attempt (most MX-5’s in one place) and track time (though I that is fully booked up, but you are press!) all occurring near PCH 1, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel. Highly recommend driving your MX-5 down the 1 to Big Sur and back, great scenery and loads of twisty corners. Carmel Valley River Road is also a great drive, though the road is a little rough in places.

    Is Mazda allowing any test drives of the ND or is this purely a product unveiling?

  • Mike Schlee

    It’s purely a product reveal.