Alfred Morris e o seu fiel Mazda 626

Iniciado por Kaizen, 21 de Dezembro de 2013, 13:48

Tópico anterior - Tópico seguinte


Esta estória já tem capítulos suficientes para uma mini-novela!  :D

1. Alfred Morris Won't Give Up His 1991 Mazda 626 'Bentley'

Parked among the decked-out sport-utility vehicles and smooth, sporty rides at Redskins Park is a silver, 1991 Mazda 626 sedan that Alfred Morris just can't give up.

Morris, a rookie running back, can most likely afford a nicer vehicle, but his '91 Mazda — which is affectionately known as his "Bentley" — reminds Morris of his journey of playing at mid-level Florida Atlantic University to starting in his first two career games in the National Football League.

"It has some sentimental value to it now," Morris said Wednesday before the Redskins headed out for practice. "It just keeps me grounded, where I came from and all the hard work for me to get to this point. So that's what helps me."

Morris said he didn't have a vehicle at all until his junior year at FAU, so he certainly didn't turn his nose up at "Bentley" when he had the chance to get it.

"I could've been like, 'Ah, I don't want this piece of crap,'" Morris said. "But I always wanted a car, and it was what I got."

Learning to tame his "Bentley" wasn't an easy task for Morris.

"It's a stick-shift," Morris said. "I had to teach myself how to drive it."

Which made for some interesting road trips.

"It was rough," Morris recalled. "I put my emergency lights on, and people would be driving behind me, and I'd be like, 'My emergency lights are on — stop following me.'

"I'd be stalling at lights and stuff and just sitting there trying to get it started back up, and I'd be like, 'I have emergency lights on. Why would you get behind me? You see the lights — go around.'"

Since that time, however, Morris has had some quality time to bond with his vehicle, considering he drove it more than 20 hours from South Florida to his new D.C.-area residence when he was drafted by the Redskins.

But how did he land on a name like "Bentley," which is one of the more luxurious automobile manufacturers on the planet?

"My friends, when I first got it — it was kind of an eyesore," said Morris, who then added that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

"But my friends just teased me like, 'Man, what are you doing in that piece of crap?' and I'd say, 'Oh, you talkin' 'bout that Bentley right there?'" Morris said. "The name just stuck, and eventually all my friends would be like, 'Hey let me get a ride in the Bentley!'"

As it stands today, the Kelley Blue Book private-party value on Morris' Mazda 626 is about $1,160. And that's in perfect condition.

Also, that's for a 1992 Mazda 626 model. Kelley Blue Book doesn't even offer the option to go back to 1991.


Anyway, Morris said he'll likely buy a new car someday, but he plans on making "Bentley" a family heirloom.

"One day, my kids are going to drive that car," Morris said with a laugh. "If it breaks down, I'm gettin' it fixed. That's just how I am."

2. Mazda is refurbishing Alfred Morris's 1991 626

RICHMOND – Redskins running back Alfred Morris revealed that his beloved 1991 Mazda 626 did not make the trip to training camp, and temporarily is not on the road.

The car that Morris affectionately calls "Bentley" or his "boo," currently is in the possession of a Mazda factory because the company is refurbishing the car.

"Mazda is going to make her like new, like she came off the floor in '91," Morris said. "They actually just took it, so we're going to switch cars while they're doing it. They said it would take about six to eight weeks to do it, but they're going to totally refurbish it. So, I'm happy about that. They're just refurbishing it so it can run for about 20 more years. ... I'm going to get my baby back on the road."

Morris said his agents worked out the deal with Mazda, and that the car company had initiated some contact because his story had given them a good deal of publicity.

"It's not 'Pimp my ride,' or anything like that," Morris said. "I'm not into that type of stuff anyways. It's just kind of – I just had a crack on my dash, so fixing things like that. They'll make sure the engine is in tip-top condition, maybe if the transmission is not so good, rebuilding the transmission – just making sure that it can run 20 more years so I don't have to worry about it, like, 'Oh, I don't know if I want to put it on the road. It might break down and I'll be stranded.' Just to get that worry out of the way."

3. Alfred Morris reunites with beloved car

"Over the past few months, Morris' 626 underwent a full restoration at the hands of master technicians at several D.C.-area Mazda dealerships who donated their time, manpower and money to bring it back to near-1991 factory specs — with a couple of modern modifications thrown in for fun. And today at Brown's Chantilly Mazda, the car was unveiled for the first time to a grateful Morris, who was ecstatic to get his beloved car back in better shape than it's been since it was brand new.

"I'm speechless," he told the gathered crowd of reporters and Mazda employees, many of whom worked to rebuild his car. "It's been a while, and I can't wait to drive it."

"This is my baby, man," he said. "It's more than just a car. I didn't grow up with a lot. This helps me remember where I come from and where I'm going."

More than that, like a lot of people who own older cars, Morris said he just loves "the feel of it." He's our kind of car guy — one who found the car he loves, the car he identifies with, and wants to have it forever.

"It's old school, like I am," he said. "I know I haven't been around long, but I have an old spirit." He even hopes to pass it on to his kids someday, to remind them that you have to start humble and work hard before you become a success.

Plus, the car is a five-speed manual, which lets him get a chuckle at people who can't drive stick.

"It's not that hard!" he said. "The hardest part is getting it out of first. I don't even have to look at the RPMs anymore, I just listen to it. The bad thing is the stick makes me feel like I'm Speed Racer."

So when the D.C.-area Mazda dealers saw on the TV news that the Redskins' ace running back was still rolling around in a '91 626 he had no plans to get rid of, they decided to fix it up for him

Things get a bit crazier on the inside. Because Morris calls the car "The Bentley," they added Bentley-style cross stitched leather seats. Technicians also installed a new dashboard and a 7-inch touchscreen Pioneer stereo with Bluetooth.

The result is a car that looks, minus its interior modifications, like it came off the showroom floor 22 years ago, dazzling everyone who saw it. Never has more attention been heaped on a 1991 Mazda that didn't win Le Mans.

Morris said he was extremely thankful for the work done and glad to have his car back. He's been driving a new Mazda6 since the project began, and while he said that's nice, he's eager to take the better-than-ever Bentley out for a spin.

"I'm just going to sit in the parking lot and listen to it," he said.

Rui Coelho
Associado AJA Nº1


Para mim é perfeitamente compreensível.As memórias e os momentos vividos são as coisas que mais nos ligam a um carro.
É por isso que temos uma secreta paixão por um carro que víamos na nossa rua quando crianças, é por isso que a máquina que era do nosso pai vale mais que qualquer raridade, é por isso que este (provavelmente) milionário anda num carro de 1000 dólares e é por isso que eu estou a restaurar um chaço alemão...
E já que foi nos Estados Unidos, é um bom exemplo de como deveria ser o Overhaulin'.
If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got.