The Mazda MX-5 Miata turns 35 today

On February 9, 1989 one of the most influential cars of the 20th Century was unveiled: The Mazda MX-5 Miata. It was shown to the world at the Chicago Auto Show and kicked off a roadster renaissance, inspiring BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi,  Honda, and Nissan to create 2-seater convertibles of their own. Even after 35 years, the Miata is still the most affordable and accessible gateway to get into driving as pleasure.

Mazda has sold 1,256,745 of the Roadster/MX-5/Miata, with the lion’s share of 533,301 (40 percent) finding homes in North America. Europe comes in second with 391,503, while Japan has bought 225,510 of them. When new, an NA Miata stickered at $13,800, which is about $34,000 in today’s dollars. Not even Mazda themselves could have predicted how popular it would be. Today, the MX-5 and its jinba ittai philosophy — Japanese for “horse and rider as one” is a brand-defining car for Mazda.

In honor of this day, we share some of our past articles on this seminal automobile.

Happy 35th birthday, Mazda Miata!

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6 Responses to The Mazda MX-5 Miata turns 35 today

  1. Land Ark says:

    It’s pure coincidence that I drove mine to work today. Expecting it to be 60 degrees today was enough to uncover it from its winter sleep.
    Happy birthday tiny car.

  2. Jacob Durbin says:

    One of my biggest regrets in life was selling my red NA Miata. Luckily I sold it to my brother in-law, but he’s well aware of the gem he has, so now I get to patiently wait for the chance of him ever deciding to sell it …

  3. Taylor C. says:

    35 years, and I go into the garage and look at mine that’s tucked away for another month or so, hopefully. My son will inherit my NA when he’s of appropriate age, and I had wondered what I should replace it with. I am on the KPower email list, and they are wrapping up their development of a K24-powered NC Miata. I am not the biggest fan of the NC due to its bigger size, but reading on how much more straightforward a K-swapped NC was, it sounded so tempted.

  4. Franxou says:

    I almost joined the cult, and I still think about it now…
    When I got around to convince my significant other that I (kinda) would stop (I did not) motorcycling and get a roadster for us both, I also wanted to learn about working on cars, so I went and got us a Triumph Spitfire instead of an MX-5. The reasoning behind that is that it is made of 50’s technology, it should be simple, right? Well it is, and most of it are parts to maintain instead of parts to replace, but the rear end is on my working bench since last fall, and whenever I get around to work on it, I hurt myself on something else and it delays my coming back around to work on it. Getting old sucks, and I’m not even old yet.
    An MX-5 would have been simple. More modern tech, more electronics, but easier to get and any mechanics knows how to work on them. Pop-up headlights were a huge bonus too.
    Oh well.
    Happy birthday Miata!

  5. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    We feel we have reached the end of the line with our NA. Countless wheels stolen, windows broken & culminating with our factory hardtop stolen. The same thing happened with my 240-Z; After being the scene of a crime so many times, it becomes a daily reminder of the darker side of our society. We live in an area of older houses without garages & it has become unsustainable. We restored the NA to the best of our resources, but it doesn’t replicate the love we had for it. It looks like it’s time for someone else to enjoy it in its present form. It truly broke our hearts.

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