Celebrating 30 Years of the MX-5 Miata begins with celebrating our fans and their stories. We asked owners and enthusiasts from around the country to submit their MX-5 stories to celebrate the debut of the 30th Anniversary MX-5 Miata at the Chicago Auto Show.
Nearly 8 years ago, Carol Piersol’s Multiple Sclerosis progressed to the point where she could no longer engage in the activities she and her husband Brian once enjoyed doing together.
“My wife rarely asks for anything,” Brian Piersol explained. “But one day a friend had come to our house with their MX-5 Miata and took us out for a drive. My wife loved it so much that when she came back, she said ‘I think I’d like to have a MX-5.’”
Brian set out in pursuit of the perfect MX-5 for the two of them. Completely unaware of how popular the car is, and how many clubs there were in the U.S., Brian and Carol joined a MX-5 Club and began participating in local drives and events.
Four years later, Brian purchased a newer MX-5--a Copper Red 2011--to celebrate his retirement and continue fulfilling Carol’s wish. The two decided to take their MX-5 on a adventure of a lifetime: a 2-month, 22-state road trip.
“Even though she’s unable to walk, we wanted to take a road trip,” Brian said. “It made the packing a bit tricky because her scooter sits perfectly in the trunk and doesn’t leave much more space. We added a stainless steel luggage rack to the trunk for our suitcases and chair for her mobility seat.”
After months of planning and researching the most incredible roads in the U.S., Brian connected all the pinned locations to form a route that would nearly circumvent the country. Brian’s precise planning kept drives to 3-4 hours, accounting for Carol’s inability to travel long distances and need to get up and stretch regularly. As a result, it made for an incredibly relaxing pace and allowed them to discover sights they’d otherwise zoom by.
From May 12, 2017 to July 5, 2017, Brian and Carol embarked upon their once-in-a-lifetime journey that took them to over 35 cities stretching from Pennsylvania to California. Among the many highlights of the trip were driving with the top down in a snow storm up Pike’s Peak and cruising along the Avenue of the Giants, a world-famous scenic route through the redwoods in Northern California.
Not only did the trip allow them to connect with family along the way, including Brian’s daughter in L.A., the trip also provided Brian and Carol with an opportunity to meet other Miata enthusiasts while attending an event hosted by the Utah Miata Club. The couple initially got connected to the Utah Miata Club when its president attended a four-day event, Buggies and Bridges, hosted by the couple’s local Pennsylvania Miata club.
“People in the Miata Clubs are constantly talking about this trip and how much they wished they could do something like that,” Carol said.
Carol serves as the events chairwoman for their local Miata club, which they describes as “just an enjoyable bunch of people that all have one common denominator – they love the car. They love the MX-5.”
Dreaming of future trips, Brian would someday love to take the car out on the Atlantic Coast Highway in Norway. But before that, he plans on taking Carol on a trip to Europe in April, to visit Amsterdam, his mother’s home city, and then embark on a cruise. During his planning, Brian was once again able to experience the unique power of the Miata as a “door opener” to new people and experiences.
Within just a few days of contacting different Miata clubs in Europe, Brian received word that clubs in both Amsterdam and Copenhagen would meet the couple at the port of their cruise ship and host them for the day.
“It's like a family. It's really like a family,” Brian explained. “They don't even know you and within two days this guy says, ‘Oh, yeah, give me the date. We'll pick you up and we'll take you here and we'll take you there to lunch.’ It's just cool.”