DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Jan At The Historic Finnish Temperance Hall

April 16, 2012 3:00 AM

dyr sacramento11 DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Jan At The Historic Finnish Temperance Hall

“I’ve had motorcycles and sports cars all of my life.”

The Ride
The Driver: Jan
Car in Question: 1991 Mazda Miata Soft Top Convertible
Spotted at: Historic Finnish Temperance Hall, 4090 Rocklin Rd., Rocklin, CA 95677
Odometer: 159,748
Nickname: J.V.


Q: I understand you’ve got a story about you, your husband and the name of your Miata.

A: We named it, but it was supposed to be French for “young person” because it made us feel younger, too. And my husband forgot his French. And he said it was jon vie or something like that. I can’t pronounce French. Anyway, he had the wrong spelling and the wrong words. But we kept it. We called it J.V. It’s butchered French for young person. So I keep thinking I’ll come up with a better name for it because we name all of our cars for the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association.

Q: You are an artist and a fiber artist. Right now, you serve as the chairperson for the upcoming Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild’s 53rd Annual Open House in Sacramento, so you’ve been spending a lot of time in Sacramento.

A: I use my car for everything. I’ve been in charge of the Open House for three years. I’m in the middle of following up with people to make sure things get done. This is my only car and I use it for club meetings.

Q: How will you move equipment and tools around with a sports car?

A: I can haul one passenger. And if there is no passenger, I can put a whole bunch of stuff on the front seat or the floor. It has a very small trunk. So there can’t be anything big. If I have to haul a loom or have to go and set up Open House, I will trade vehicles with my son. He drives my Miata, which he loves to drive. I drive his SUV.

Q: Why did you purchase the Mazda Miata?

A: For the first time, we didn’t have any kids. My son had graduated from high school. We thought we wanted to get back into motorcycles. We had a motorcycle with a sidecar on it. That didn’t work out. Then my husband discovered the Miata club online. I’ve had motorcycles and sports cars all of my life. No kids. We liked the Miata. It’s a two-seater and it’s just a blast.

Q: So as the owner of a sports car, are you a speed demon? Never mind. I saw that little smile.

A: My husband, when we were just friends, had a right hand steering Morgan, the English car. The steering wheel and the driver sat on the right. The only time he let me drive the car, he let me drive it in a road race. He took me out and let me practice before the race–the only time he let me drive. I’ve driven gymkhanas. I’ve driven go carts, dirt riding.

Q: So are you a natural when it comes to sports cars and motorcycles? Most people think of their vehicles as something to get them from point A to point B.

A: I just kind of got fascinated. I knew several people with sports cars. I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. I’ve flown a plane. I’ve taken a lesson. I’ve always been fascinated.

Q: Do you have a favorite day trip?

A: Any road that has turns and twists. Running around in the hills, on the edge of the Sierras. I don’t go out with myself very often, but any road that is twisty.

Q: How long have you had this car?

A: May 2001. Third owners of it. The second owner was a school teacher and she needed a bigger car. I’m going to have it as long as it is running good. I would want to probably replace it with another Miata. If my son moves, I’ll have to replace it and get a bigger car.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about your Miata?

A: It’s a standard transmission. I like the control of the shifting. I get a lot of mileage out of brakes and clutches. I like to drive fast, but I’m not hard on a car. And on the twisties, I’m conservative. I don’t drive dangerously. It’s a fun car. It’s not a comfortable car. I would not want to take a long trip in it. The longest trip I’ve ever taken in this car is to Fort Bragg. It’s a typical sports car that was meant to feel the road. It’s fun.

Photos and interview by Arlene Poma

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