Long before ‘social’ became a word associated with the digital realm and posting of pictures of your children, your tea, your self (delete as
appropriate) it had a much more tangible use – the physical meeting of people to chat, laugh and generally not make up a name and abuse anyone.
The everlasting appeal this presented came to mind in an Aldi car park recently. I was returning to the MX-5 and a man parked next to me said he used to have an older model, “with the pop-up lights” (the MK 1). While he reminisced, a Mk 3 MX-5 drove by and the driver gave me a nod. As I drove out, he stopped me to ask about it – what it was like to drive, how the roof came down, etc.
While contemplating the meeting of three strangers over a common interest in a car, I wondered whether such passion was still being harnessed and fostered ‘offline’. A Google search revealed listings for six standalone owners’ clubs, some regional, and a number of others linked to associated bodies – a museum, insurance company and magazines. Assuming the clubs meet physically as well as virtually, there looks to be a vibrant scene around this little car.
Do dealers play their part in encouraging them – do they open their doors to current and former owners? Or has ‘socialising’ fallen under the remit of digital teams? If you’re a Mazda dealer who opens your doors to MX-5 clubs and owners, let me know at email@example.com.