A few weekends ago, I took my “8” to a Southern Indiana car show in my home town. I point out the area because you must understand that when I was growing up there, the closest “foreign” car dealership was 60 miles away. With the exception of a Toyota dealership that “slipped” into town that’s still the case. Additionally, there is a major Toyota production plant within 40 mile now. So I’m sure Toyota isn’t exactly foreign anymore.
Anyway, I really didn’t expect much interest. The main reason I went was because I attended last year and met this group of guys there that were pretty cool. I was hoping to catch up with them and managed to do so. Oh and I did get to drive down by myself on the windy roads of Southern Indiana. Win, win!
Meeting up with the group of guys, I really didn’t pay too much attention to the show. I took a brief walk around to see that was all there. From memory, there were 3 Japanese manufacture automobiles there. My guess is that there were about 200 cars. The other two were “riced up” (just using that for descriptive purposes – no negative connotation implied) Honda’s. one was a Civic and one was an S2000. Like I said not much interest down there … so I thought.
I displayed my car with everything open. I had to pull a fuse to shut down the trunk light. Which of course does no good with the spare kit! I worked it to get ready. I talked with an older guy that mentioned had a Mazda 626 forever. Said it was a great car. Knew a little about the “8”. Then shortly after that I talked with a younger guy that was in town for a wedding and from North Carolina. He knew the “8” pretty well and had a Miata thinking of moving to an “8”. He asked me about the custom bumper packages which I realized was the Mazda Speed one. I described how it was different. I felt pretty strange when later I realized I had on a t-shirt that had a blue Mazda Speed. But then again, I don’t typically direct guys to leek at my chest … such as it is …
I finally broke away and sat down with the group I wanted to chat with. We were far enough away that no one knew I was the owner, but I could still see it. And what I saw was pretty interesting. There was nearly a constant line of people looking into the car. My guess is most of the reason was that it was a new car most had not seen. Kind of like a dealer vehicle being left open by accident. But there was a Scion down the path not in the show but there from the Toyota dealer that no one was looking at.
I also noticed one of the guys in the group had broken away and was sitting behind his truck which was next to my “8”. I noticed he was mostly looking at my “8”. I went over to see what he was doing. He just smiled and said have a seat. It wasn’t long before I realize the view one had from this location of the girls bending to look in the car especially with the short skirts on a hot day. I was appalled. After 20 minutes of staring, I just left in anger.
I’m pretty sure most were looking in to see the dials. A lot of folks at show are always curious about how far up the spedo goes. Like that matters. Of course in our cars, you can’t see the spedo when it’s not running. Probably accounted for the five to ten seconds bending over looking in the car.
When the judges came by, one of them asked if he could sit in my car. I thought that was a somewhat strange request. He explained that he had considered an “8” but had bought a Mini and just wanted to sit in it. I would assume, it was a car he really couldn’t consider living in a German community! I told him he could if he didn’t mind getting the “shinny” cleaner on his clothes. Would certainly save me from getting it on mine! I told him that would be fine, but he would have to wait until after they were through looking at the interior. He tried to get the guy judging interiors to get it done quickly so he could get in. They also mentioned the “hugging” commercial along with several other positive comments while they were making their notes. Except for one guy … that looked like the Car Judge **** … but like I said, there are different views down there on Japanese vehicles.
Anyway, the judging was broken out in numerous classes. This year they gave top 40 to a grouping of the classes and top 50 to another grouping of the classes. I was in the 40 group and did receive a ribbon. My guess was that there were probably 80 in my group. But I didn’t manage to get an individual trophy. They gave a Fast and Furious trophy to the Civic. Then they gave the Best Modern Vehicle 1990 – 2004 to a 2004 Cobra. That was the award I had won last year and thought I might have a chance at this year. But I did see the supercharged Cobra. It was very nice. It had the paint shifing paint which I believe was not an option on the 2004 as it had been previously. So that meant a custom paint job. Plus it had purple colored seat inserts (like a red “8”) that looked pretty cool with the green to purple paint shift. So hopefully was next in line, but who knows.
Just thought I would share my experience.