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Roll Out


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A few weeks ago, I discussed the Fiat 124 Spyder and its relationship to the Mazda Miata. I was just on a walk with my neighbor, and we were discussing that post and how we would both love to own a 124 or a Miata just to soup up and race on weekends. As fun as that would be, I still have this fear of convertibles that goes back to my college days.

I was in a college fraternity of about fifty members, and there were three Johns and three Davids, and all of the Johns and Davids were car guys. You can imagine how hectic things got when they were all in the same place at the same time, so they all had nicknames, and one of my best friends was Davy Jones. He even went so far as to grow his hair out like the singer of the Monkees, and it went over well with the ladies.

Davy Jones was a big Jeep guy, and he swore up and down that his Jeep was the toughest, not because of the lift kit and horsepower mods, but because of the sturdiness of his roll cage. Everyone has heard a horror story about someone flipping a Jeep, and the way Davy Jones drove, you’d think it would be him.

David Myers, on the other hand, was a sports car guy, and he had a little tricked-out ‘96 Miata with all of the bells and whistles from Good Win and Flyin’ Miata. The only thing that he didn’t have was a roll bar, but he always argued that the Miata had such a low center of gravity that it didn’t really matter like it did on a Jeep. Still, he and Davy Jones went back and forth about the roll bar/no roll bar debate for months.

Finally, Myers caved into Jones and put a nice sturdy roll bar into the Miata, though he grumbled about how much it weighed him down. It was not for nothing because three weeks later, I got a call from a shaken Davy Jones and David Myers who were, at the moment, hanging upside down in Myers’s Miata that had been forced off the road and into a ditch by an 18-wheeler. They were laughing anxiously at how the roll bar was the only thing that had saved them while they waited for the emergency crew to get them out.

So dear readers, if there is a moral to this story, then it’s to always protect your neck. Don’t let something like pride or hubris get in the way of personal safety. I still have two good friends to this day because of the argument over a roll bar.

-Trey Fennell

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