What is Motoring? Part One
To some, motoring is a concept associated with the Mini, after all they ran a big campaign claiming to be the epitome of “motoring” spirit. However, the concept of motoring is not something that any company, group or person can lay exclusive claim to. Motoring is all about a state of mind, an everyday experience that may be mundane to others but thrills the true motorist to the core. There was an old thread revived on this topic in the S2000 Vintage Owners forum and, as I read through it, I found that all the feelings and thrills I experience every time I drive my car have been described in words. From that thread, we found two posts worthy of sharing with you and so we present the first part of Motoring authored by ralper of the S2000 Registry fame. So without further ado, click through and read the article and let us know if this ties with your experience in your S2000.
When we think of sports cars we think of performance, we think of pushing the car to its limits (or ours), we think of twisties, high speed driving, horse power and the like. That is one part, and a very important part, of the sports car experience.
Some of us think of the maintenance, working on the car. We get involved with it out of a love of doing it. It is not a chore but rather a fun hobby. Many of us would never lift the hood on the family Accord, but know of every part of the engine, chassis and body of our sports car. That is another, important part of the sports car experience.
Motoring is another part of the sports car experience. It is the part that many of us engage in and enjoy, but very few of us recognize or acknowledge. Motoring is quite simply the Sunday drive to nowhere. It is the slow speed cruise down the country road done with no particular destination in mind. It is enjoying the drive simply for the sake of the drive. It is seeing what there is to see without having gone out to see it. It is when getting there is more fun than being there except that there is where ever you happen to wind up.
Motoring must be done in an open, two seat sports car. It is not the same in any other type of vehicle. Anything bigger is too big and lacks the intimacy and coziness of a small two seater. More seats has the same effect. A hard top is too confining, too protective and shelters you from the environment. A hard top passes through the environment, a convertible allows the driver and passenger to be part of the environment. The car must be responsive, it must move with you and be an extension of you so that you feel a part of the adventure. A sports car is the only proper vehicle for this and our S2000 is perfect.
My first motoring adventures came in the late 70s. My wife and I would get into my TD, bundled up against the cold, and head out. It was a scene from “Love Story”. She was Jenny and I was Oliver (yes I know his was a 1948 MG-TC and mine was a 1952 MG-TD, but so what?). Sometimes we’d stop at a restaurant to warm up, sometimes we wouldn’t. Always we’d get home frozen and happy just to have spent a leisurely afternoon, just the two of us, motoring. Sometimes we’d go motoring in Spring or Summer, but the drives that I remember best are the ones in the Fall and early Winter.
After we sold the TD we continued our motoring adventures in my Fiat X-1/9, but they weren’t the same. The X-1/9 had a targa top, and it had a solid rear window. We never felt a part of the environment in that car. The X-1/9 wasn’t a very good car, and we never had the warm feeling for it that we had for the TD.
After the Fiat, we bought an Accord and started a family. There never seemed to be time for motoring, and anyway, the cars were all wrong.
A year and two months ago I bought my S2000. It is a pure bred sports car and I’ve driven it hard. I tinker with it, I raise the hood every chance that I get. I’ve also rediscovered motoring. Sometimes I go with my wife, and now sometimes with my nine year old son, Adam. We just get into the car and go out for a drive. Sometimes we even pretend that we have a purpose and a destination. Usually we don’t. We just want to go motoring at our own pace, in our own time with our little S as our magic carpet. I think we are as thrilled with our motoring drives as much as by our adventures in the twisties.
Anyway, that is what motoring is all about. You don’t need to drive your sports car hard and fast to enjoy it. You just need to drive it. Our S2000 is the perfect car, at least it is for me.
How about you?
Based on an original write-up by ralper.
Image courtesy of American Honda.
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