There’s no love stronger than that of man and machine.
Back in September 2012, I was in the need of a new car. My 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP was on it’s last legs and I needed a reliable car to get me to places I want to go.
Here was my shortlist in 2012:
At the very moment I sat down in the Mazda3, I instantly fell in love. Like head-over-heels. The test drive made it even worse. The handling was superior to the rest, the next closest was the Volkswagen Golf. Plus, how can you say no to such a happy face like on the Mazda3? You can’t.
Good-bye problem-ridden Grand Prix GTP, hello new Mazda3! When you love something, you either use it a lot, or you don’t use it at all to try and preserve it. In my personal opinion, vehicles are meant to be driven. They’re meant to be enjoyed by their owners and other drivers as well. It’s nice that historically significant vehicles are being preserved to be enjoyed by future generations, but somebody already is doing that job. Enjoy your vehicle. Love it like it’s your child; because much like a child, your vehicle is an investment.
Working in the service department, I’m always baffled that these old vehicles come in and are absolute piles of crap. Then the guest is baffled that their vehicle needs all this work. My response in my head is usually “Well, honey, if you actually took care of your vehicle, it wouldn’t need all this work now.”
Mazda’s factory recommended maintenance schedule is every 4 months or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first for the Severe driving schedule. Every 5k miles, I’m coming back in and getting my vehicle serviced as per the maintenance schedule. Would you look at that?! I’m at 200,000 miles without even a hint of a problem.
Not even a week after taking delivery of my beautiful new Mazda3, she sustained damage. Long story short, my best friend had his birthday party at a local Buffalo Wild Wings. I decided to be the nice guy and pick him up at the front door and go home. He was already running out towards my car. I then stopped and unlocked my doors and he dived onto my hood. Then another friend dived on top of him, so at one point, I had two people on my hood.
Luckily that dent was able to be pushed out. Still the same hood today, but you just can’t tell the difference, so I just leave it.
Over the following months and years, I’ve taken this vehicle further than any previous vehicle I have ever had. Long-distance road trips to the south, east and west coasts, road trips to Canada, and everywhere else in between.
In the 5 years and 200,000 miles of ownership, Blackberry and I have seen 31 states and counting. The miles upon miles of driving, the Mazda3 just eats them up! The SkyActiv Technology in the Mazda3’s are absolutely fantastic. Good performance with even better fuel economy. The latest trip from Minnesota to California averaging close to 40mpg the whole way. It makes traveling cross-country a very affordable way to travel and explore.
Words cannot convey how unbelievably comfortable and easy it is to drive the BL Mazda3. Not once did me or any of my passengers came out of the Mazda feeling pain or fatigue.
You don’t need fancy driving aids like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blindspot warning, rear cross-traffic alert or any of that jazz. You’re the driver, you’re in control. You should know your boundaries and limits. As an automotive enthusiast, I take great pride in knowing that my driving skill is above the average consumer.
This 2012 Mazda3 iTouring hatchback is just as basic as new cars come nowadays. With a 2.0L SkyActiv Inline 4, a SkyActiv-MT 6 speed manual transmission and manually-adjusted seats, can you say “weight savings, brah?”
As we both grow up and our lives change, so do our priorities and futures. As I begin my transition to becoming a location-independent freelancer, Blackberry and I will continue our travels and shenanigans with each other. Unfortunately, past September 2020, our paths will take a turn as I move to Thailand. Blackberry will stay here Stateside.
This totally reminds me of the ending of the Fast and Furious 7 ending where Paul Walker and Vin Diesel take a drive and Paul splits as he continues on his journey up in Heaven without the rest of us.
A tearjerker for me as I write this because the attachment to Blackberry. The unwavering love and commitment to this piece of aluminum, rubber, plastic and steel. Some people would call me crazy; us car enthusiasts, however, we know and understand this feeling of letting a car you love go to a new owner, to continue on a new life without you.
Until then, we will continue on and create more memories.
Happy 200,000th mile Anniversary, Blackberry. Papa love you very much!
The things you do out of love. Crazy, I tell ya!