The Mile High Club
With one million Mazda MX-5s now on the roads, it’s time to celebrate the iconic roadster’s longevity with five owners whose enduring passion translates into millions of kilometres on the clock.
“Sometimes I’ll drive up to 12 hours a day.” That, Yuichi says, is the key to the achievement that makes him a celebrity among fellow MX-5 fans, having racked up what is most likely the highest mileage count of any Mazda MX-5 in the world.
“I like to drive at a leisurely pace,” he says. “Even if I’m stuck in traffic for an hour, it’s far better than not being in my MX-5 at all.”
When Patricia’s first MX-5 was written off after an accident, she never thought of replacing it with anything but another MX-5. She even learned how to drive a manual transmission so she could take ownership of her next car as quickly as possible.
Her second-generation MX-5 has been a faithful companion ever since.
“This may sound a bit like a TV commercial, but it has been with me through my divorce and three jobs,” says Patricia. “Even though it’s not the most practical car—I’ve had to get pretty creative when moving house—it’s the one that fits me perfectly.”
Patricia drives her Mazda everyday, “come rain, shine or snow,” and has been on multiple road trips in it to Canada’s west coast.
“I always take the lesser-used back roads, the ones with all the twists and turns that make this car so fun to drive.”
No one knows exactly how many kilometres are on Michael’s one-of-a-kind Mazda MX-5’s odometer because it doesn’t have one anymore. But before it was removed, during the conversion to a race car, it had already done well over 500,000 kilometres.
Michael bought it from Kansas-based Prather Racing, where it had been scooping up SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) championships. Even more mods later, the certified car fanatic (a one-time RX-7 racer who runs custom motorcycle builder Revolution) continues to take podiums with it. “I gel with this car. It’s so simple, you can just plug-and-play.”
Michael’s just bought himself another two MX-5s to race: “One for a client and the other for myself to experiment with. This car is now too good to mess with.”
Joy purchased her MX-5 more than 26 years ago and the love affair is still going strong.
“My partner wanted me to exchange it for a sensible family car after the birth of my first child,” recalls Joy. “But there was no way I was going to part with my car, so I had an engineering firm create and install a roll bar/baby capsule strap attachment, and my son Tavis had his first ride in the passenger seat as a ten-day-old.”
Joy has lots more happy memories of her car, from interstate drives to leading a parade of Adelaide’s athletes on their return from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“I’ve always maintained that I’ll keep this car until either it or I die,” says Joy.
Vicente has the satisfaction of knowing that every tick of the clock of his MX-5 is his, and he has great memories associated with them.
Besides his daily driving, he has taken it to dozens of rallies, racing circuits (including the Nürburgring) and road trips all over Europe, most recently to Nordkapp in the Arctic Circle in Norway.
The engineering consultant bought his third-gen red MX-5 brand new from a local dealer less than ten years ago.
“I’m delighted with it, and would buy it again,” says Vicente.
In 2014, he converted it to run on LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas); the results, he says, are “fantastic” and of course, it makes racking up huge distances driving even easier on his pocket.
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