IT'S THE WORLD'S most popular roadster and one of Japan's most successful exports. It also repopularised the drop-top sports car segment and spawned dozens of hairdresser jokes in the process. It's the Mazda MX-5, and it turns 20-years old this year.
To celebrate, Mazda will be holding a birthday bash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on July 13 and 14, to which 200 MX-5 fans from across Europe will be invited. Party-goers will be wined, dined and offered a close-up view of the legendary race, which Mazda also lays claim to as the only Japanese manufacturer to ever score an outright Le Mans win.
Attendees will also receive a commemorative plaque, polo shirt and a few other goodies, and a competition will be held to find "the most beautiful MX-5".
Interested parties should head over to Mazda's French website or contact their local MX-5 club to sign up for the event, which will cost a not-unreasonable ?100 (AU$180).
Its successful formula of low-cost, high-enjoyment motoring has endeared itself to many an enthusiast. And, despite all of the ill-informed stereotyping that seems to follow it around, we can't help but like it.
Happy birthday, MX-5. Let's hope there's many more to come.