Regular Car Reviews: 1990 MX5 NA Miata

The Mazda NA Miata MX-5 debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, but it was manufactured in Hiroshima, because they’ve made it their mission to avoid any more bombs. It was conceived as a small roadster, and the first gen featured the 1.6 L straight four with DOHC. It sold 400,000 units from 1989-1997, which is pretty impressive when you consider that small roadsters were on the way out at the end it was released. The Alfa Romeo Spider was in production, but it was the only small roadster produced at a comparable volume, so the MX-5 filled a gaping hole in the market. In the first generation, this was a car for the kind of guy who uses the term “confirmed bachelor” to avoid addressing his sexuality in mixed company. But the Miata would grew to be the pre-cum of bro culture, with later generations serving as the full load. It was derivative of other roadsters, but that was part of its charm. It had a reverence for the classics but also an inflated sense of its own importance. It’s the Kanye West of cars.

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