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Huh - all these people keep telling us the standard roll bars are terrible and we should be out buying aftermarket bars. But whadayaknow...
Aftermarket roll bars are required if you want to participate in certain SCCA events. SCCA rules require roll bars be braced side to side and front to back. Our factory roll bars don't meet that requirement.

Same reason that once your modern Mustang or Charger can run the quarter mile in under ten seconds the NHRA requires an approved roll cage.
 

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You do not say where you are from, but I have made the trip from Phillie north to Maine, where I live, many times in small cars. Yup, as chicklenoodelsupe says, NYC can be a bit dicey. I'm thinking the GW bridge and South Bronx Expressway especially. And just like he said, southern Ct. and Bean Town too. I always preferred the Verrazano Narrows bridge - new bridge now, up toward NW Mass. But, as Kain says, take the 'B' roads, they are more fun, often more scenic, and less apt to make you nervous - make it a fun ride by taking the long way. Once you get here, check out the Kennebunks, Boothbay, Rockland and Camden on your way to Acadia. Many great restaurants and views!
83294
. This is my old X1/9 at Acadia National Park. It is just gorgeous there! Best, s. (p.s., I think I could see Brexit's and SpagWagonScot's houses from here! :p)
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Thanks everyone for the feedback. You confirm what I'm thinking. I already have learned to be a "decisive" driver ie: if I'm going to pass another car, truck whatever, I get on with it quickly and as you and I know our cars can do that quite handily. Lengthy Interstate driving is no fun ( or at least not for me) in my Spider, because they really are made for the fun windy roads which are a royal pain to drive in anything else, so always best to find that route if possible. Although I do believe the idea of driving faster than the other traffic, I wonder how long it would take for me to get nicked on the Maine Turnpike in a red convertible sports car. Nah- it wouldn't be long!
I very much appreciate the support and ideas generated here. Good stuff.
And if anyone should have local knowledge of a good route through Boston north to say Kittery Maine, where I can pick up Rt 1 ( famous for Key West to the Canadian border) send it along.



As Greg stated, they are very crash-worthy. Check out this video. It's a Miata rather than a Fiat but as we know they are essentially the same car.


Even though the car is a convertible, the windshield frame and roll-bars protected the occupant so the driver walked away after the crash.
I definitely agree with driving the car like you would a motorcycle. Be aware of your surroundings and the idiot in the SUV texting on their phone driftining into your lane.
Just because the odds favor you surviving an accident doesn't mean you want to get in one.
YIKES!!!!
 

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This proves my theory that it doesn't matter how fast you drive, there'll always be someone who wants to go faster. ;)
:D To be clear, I did say faster than the prevailing speed / faster than the average speed. I didn't say I drive absurdly fast or faster than anyone else on the road. When I see the guy in the BMW sedan or the shiny new Ford pickup approaching in my mirrors at 97 mph, I just find a safe place to hide out while they zoom past, which is usually the rocking chair in the farthest lane to the right.
 

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To be clear, I did say faster than the prevailing speed / faster than the average speed. I didn't say I drive absurdly fast or faster than anyone else on the road.
Me Passing a Car - Move over you slow f#[email protected]!

Also Me Being Passed - Well excuse me, you insane speed crazed butt munch!
 

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A practice that I follow on my motorcycle or in the 124 on the interstate is to always move somewhat faster than the prevailing traffic speed. That puts me in control of my relative position to other vehicles vs. letting them overtake / crowd / tailgate / ride blind spot / drive abreast / box me in. The goal is to move forward of the wolf packs and try to occupy the no-man's land between them. The no-man's land will eventually evaporate, necessitating a return to above-average speed to seek a new safe zone.
I remember that from canoeing and kayaking on rivers; you have to be going faster than the water to steer.
Two trips back and forth from northern Michigan to central Florida, and I've never given it a thought. That includes driving through Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. There are so many idiot drivers on the road these days it doesn't matter what you drive - you need to be alert. And come to think of it, in terms of defensive driving, we're probably better off in something nimble like our cars.
Where in northern Michigan are you? (I'm in Southeast, specifically Oakland County.) There are some terrific roads up there.
One thing about taking the interstates is that you're generally on the road for less time, theoretically decreasing your exposure.
Plenty of crazy things can happen on secondary roads.
 

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^ This. My other ride is a Honda CBR250R motorcycle.

A practice that I follow on my motorcycle or in the 124 on the interstate is to always move somewhat faster than the prevailing traffic speed. That puts me in control of my relative position to other vehicles vs. letting them overtake / crowd / tailgate / ride blind spot / drive abreast / box me in. The goal is to move forward of the wolf packs and try to occupy the no-man's land between them. The no-man's land will eventually evaporate, necessitating a return to above-average speed to seek a new safe zone.

This fellow is a certified motorcycle riding instructor and safe riding coach, and he advocates the survival strategy of riding faster than traffic on the interstate.

I do all the same stuff...and we are not alone. Indeed massive overlap between motorcycle riders and those of us owning Miata/Fiat 124. I have that conversation about once a week, the phone rings and it turns out to be a former or current motorcycle owner and they just picked up a Miata/Fiat 124 as their 'four wheel motorcycle" and now they want it to handle more like their bike.

When I drive the shop truck to the shop I am a lot more casual about my position with other traffic, when I drive the Fiat 124 or one of our Miatas it is indeed very like a Motorcycle in that I don't let myself get boxed in, always moving and adjusting my position so I have 'an out' when things go south. That usually means once on the freeway I want to be in the fast lane so I have the emergency lane and am moving faster than the rest of the traffic, and likewise I never let myself get stuck in the blind spot of other drivers. My wife raced cars with me for years but never the bikes, and it shows because she will let herself end up in the blind spot of a big truck while driving the Fiat/Miata and it drives me crazy enough to remind her in the moment to move out of that spot. I know she doesn't like those reminders, but I would rather have her alive. My Buell...

 

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Hi Ruby Rosso, Bean Town area is heavily populated, and I don't know if you would be approaching from the southwest or west. But maybe the best thing would be to go to www.maps.com and order up DeLorme Atlas &Gazetteer for Massachusettes and Maine. They are very comprehensive and easy to use - then pick a route that suits you. ( They have a N.H./Vt. one too). s.
 

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Be aware that a lot of drivers don't have their door mirrors adjusted properly for monitoring their blind spots. Combine that with taller vehicles and a high driving position and our low cars can sneak under their radar, especially on their passenger side. Happened to me three times now.

There's a thread on here somewhere that describes a better way to adjust the door mirrors.
 
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Huh - all these people keep telling us the standard roll bars are terrible and we should be out buying aftermarket bars. But whadayaknow...
I still want the aftermarket roll bars. The top of my head is higher than the standard roll bars.
 

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I do all the same stuff...and we are not alone. Indeed massive overlap between motorcycle riders and those of us owning Miata/Fiat 124.
Absolutely. I remember being extremely surprised that the 124 was as invisible as a motorcycle to other drivers. That happened within the first week of ownership, and I quickly adopted the motorcycle mindset when driving the 124.

My Buell...

Noice! My riding buddies and I were in western NC / eastern TN one weekend when the Buell guys were gathering around Fontana Dam and riding 129 The Dragon. The Earth's axis and speed of rotation was altered as a result of such a concentration of awesome Buells at one spot on the planet. :cool:

 

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I'd like to drive "Ruby" to Acadia National Park, Maine. The beautiful Maine coast line and small towns you pass through are a treat, but to get there in any kind of expediency I have to drive Rt 95, a major interstate that passes through several large cities complete with nutty traffic, 18 wheelers and scariest of all- large raised pick up trucks. So 2 seater European spots cars, like our, look like roller skates compared to some of the large vehicles that are out there and they scare me. My son who rides a motorcycle says I have to drive the way he does on a bike on those roads, always on hyper alert. Any thoughts?
I would err on the side of caution for several reasons:

First, your life is priceless and cannot be replaced should you have a bad accident.

Second, even if you time your trips through the large metropolitan areas during non-rush hour times, the traffic will still pick up considerably and that means more erratic drivers and more vehicles.

Three, if you pass a slower vehicle the driver may not see you and may move into your lane as you are passing - ingredients for an interstate fatality. May drivers are easily distracted from the road with cell phones, music adjustments, grabbing the cheetos or handling hot coffee.

Four - the freight trucks and RV's next to you will make you nervous and feel miniaturized.

Five, puddle splashing from large trucks will splash rain onto your windshield with delta-force torrents.

Six, moronic drivers won't be able to resist the urge to ride your ass at 75 mph.

Seven, the noise and comfort level will diminish after a few hours.

Eight, you may need new tires, an alignment, an oil change and tire balancing after your trip depending upon the distance you are going.

Ninth, you don't have a spare temporary tire. Imagine it's 10 p.m. and the nearest tire store is 60-80 miles away when you pick up that nail or screw from that construction truck hauling debris away.

Don't mean to be a naysayer, but personally I'd play it safe.

My cautious and safe advice is to pay the extra money to have your car freighted by a reputable auto transport service to your destination. May cost $600-$800 but is worth it. then enjoy the summer months with it. You earned it! Or just take the wife's car. These 124's are made for back roads and weekend driving or local errands during the week
 

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We are blessed with 2-lane roads going in every direction on this corner of the world: through farm fields, over the mountain passes, along the coast.

I-5 is the freeway running through here; my desire to get on it decreases with each passing day. All the weirdos and bad drivers congregate there.
 
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Where in northern Michigan are you? (I'm in Southeast, specifically Oakland County.) There are some terrific roads up there.
Traverse City area. Yes, M-22 is a particularly spectacular road for its entire length, running north from Manistee along Lake Michigan through the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, and up and back down both sides of the Leelanau Peninsula to Traverse City. And of course M-119 is the noted "Tunnel of Trees" from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.

However, while I still go back and forth from Michigan to Florida, my 124 has become a permanent resident of Florida.
 

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You do have to pay attention to vehicles around you and think for them. Not that they are necessarily not paying attention, but the 124 is a very small car...

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