Cars are many things — technological marvels, family heirlooms, workshops on wheels. But there’s a reason why even the highest of high-end car competitions require vehicles to demonstrate driveability: Ultimately, driving is what matters.

That’s why Mazda makes cars that are not only safe and good-looking, but also fun to drive. The experience of driving, of traveling at speed in a vehicle that fits you like a glove, is one that people get justifiably jazzed about.

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When is the time you’ve felt the best behind the wheel? What follows are a couple favorite stories to help prime the pump.

This marketing exec shared about the first time he really heard his engine:

Up until the point when I got my first tuner car and got heavily involved in the modding scene, my perfect drive consisted of a curated CD of my favorite songs and a nice leisurely drive at night through one of the many canyon roads in SoCal. But one time, when a favorite CD of mine had been scratched and rendered useless, forcing me to take one of these leisurely drives in silence, I began picking up on the various sounds emitting from the engine. Intrigued, I rolled down my window to see if I could hear the sound better. It was at that moment that I realized the canyon walls had been bouncing the sound waves back at me, the droning deep rumble of my aftermarket exhaust and the deep ssswwwwwwsssh noise from my aftermarket intake, which had been there all along — music to my ears.

And this editor rediscovered something he worried he’d forgotten how to do:

I had been living in England for about a year, and didn’t have a car there. At that point I hadn’t been driving for very long, so when I got back home I was worried I wouldn’t be able to drive stick any more. But as soon as I backed out from my driveway, all the muscle memory came flooding back. As I drove through my hometown, smoothly shifting gears and curving around corners I’d known my whole life, I felt uniquely connected with my car — and very happy to be back home.

So what’s your favorite driving-matters memory? Let’s get some stories going in the comments!

Hunter Slaton is the Content Director for Studio@Gawker. He learned to drive in a stick-shift 1988 red Mazda 323 hatchback.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Mazda and Studio@Gawker.