It's finally happened, Mazda has built the millionth Miata. Sorry, MX-5. Whether you refer to the little four-cylinder roadster by its original name or by the modern acronym that Mazda would prefer, there's no doubt that the achievement is astounding.
When the British sportscar market rusted away, few thought we'd see a return of the lightweight open-topped two-seater ideal. However, the first Miatas clearly scratched an itch – it took just a decade for the first half-million to sell, and there were soon spec-race series and regular club cruises. Big, sun-burned grins were back. Busted knuckles, on the other hand, were relatively absent.
And the Miata wasn't just one sort of car either. It appealed to everyone from track-rats to retirees. And to retiree track-rats, come to that. It was both rewarding summertime fun and a set of training wheels for a career as a club racer. You only need to look at previous milestones to see the dichotomy: the 500,000 MX-5 built was chosen by the Japan office and is a butterscotch-coloured high-option version; the 750,000 was chosen by the US team and is a cherry-red Mazdaspeed variant.
The millionth Miata is a pretty standard right-hand-drive Japanese version with the 1.5L four-cylinder engine, draped in Soul Red paint. It took some twenty-seven years to get here, which says something further about the Miata's success as an everlasting used car.
Mazda will show the millionth MX-5 off at the Hiroshima Flower Festival, established in 1975 to celebrate a win for the local Carps baseball team (given that the new car has the face that's a bit carp-y, that's fitting), and then will be showing the car off around the US and Canada later in the year.