To celebrate the worldwide release of the MX-5 Miata in late 1988, Mazda has officially announced limited availability of a “Miata Classic” beginning early next year. The company plans to announce a specific release date in November or December.
The original Miata, which itself was considered a Japanese update to the classic Lotus Elan roadster, rekindled interest in light, fun roadsters by adding modern Japanese engineering and reliability.
“I remember riding with my mom in our 1990 model as a kid. I thought it was the fastest, most amazing car on the road, even though my friends all said it was a slow little girl’s car,” writes Motor Trend’s Dave DeMuro in a brief interview. “I guess my definition of fast has changed over the years, but it’s still fun, I suppose. Seats are a little small. Needs more cupholders. It’s kind of loud. And the silver painted steel wheels aren’t exactly up to modern expectations. One airbag?”
Mazda has not yet announced pricing, but industry observers believe an inflation-adjusted price of $32,000 will keep the base model in line with its original market position.
Hoping to take advantage of an overall surge in Generation X nostalgia over the past few years — from movie T-shirts to video game consoles — Mazda is the first automaker to release a truly original, unmodified version of a modern classic car. A decade ago, Ford retested a prototype of the 1965 Mustang, built almost entirely to original specifications. However, the Baby Boomer focus group declared it “Too hard to enter/exit,” “Smelly,” “Loud,” and “Uncomfortable,” leading Ford to scrap the plan altogether.
The original Miata is also popular among tuners for its easy maintenance and plentiful modifications. Sports Car Club of America president Terry Rothfeld tweets “Very excited about NA Miata coming back! Finally we can own a piece of history.” Within two hours, competitive Formula Drift teams began adjusting their budgets and making plans around the new car for the coming season.
“I expect the $30k range is accurate,” Formula Drift COO Kevin Johnson hopes, “So with just $15k-$20k in mods, we’ll be able to benchmark this to the Nissan Versa. With a proper racing budget, we might even keep pace with a Camry. But not the V6, naturally. That thing is f*cking fast.”
Ash78 is a former Jalopnik commenter suffering from Kinjitis. He updates The Outside Line on Oppo whenever the mood strikes.