Despite wheeling some much faster hardware on Angeles Crest Highway recently, its still a blast in my little 100 horsepower hatchback.

  • Car: 2014 Mazda2
  • Location: Mount Wilson, CA
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (IG + Twitter: @16vPete)
  • Camera: Canon 6D, EF 50mm 1.8 AF

A few weeks back I dusted the cobwebs off my Mazda 2 by taking it for a spirited run up to Angeles National Forest and back. I’ve spent so much time up there behind the wheel of press cars in the past two years, that I’ve barely visited its pristine beauty with my own, personal steed. Adding in the fact that I work from home, I barely accumulate any mileage on either of my fun vehicles.

The 2 is slow, but can still build up momentum and bully everything from Priuses to Mustangs out of the way with the best of them. It’s also nice and tiny, so one can cut the best of lines without risking crossing the double-yellow line. The little blue egg stops so well for tiny front discs with decent pads and rear drums, too. Its shifter is still nice and slick, and despite barely driving it spiritedly in the past couple months, I can still pull off some flawless heel-toe downshifts coming into Angeles Forest’s tighter corners.

The reward for making it up a few miles of twisty curves is the even tighter and twistier Mount Wilson Road. Then, when that ends there’s one of the most beautiful lookouts in Southern California atop its peak, with an excellent spot to stop for late afternoon car photos.

Like the one above.