The Mazda MX-5 Miata first debuted in 1989 at a Chicago Auto Show. The small, affordable sports car became wildly popular because of how fun and accessible it was. The Miata has also always been very light in comparison to other vehicles. The original Miata's signature was its pop-up headlights that resemble a wave or wink when activated. The original Miata was a 5-speed manual transmission with a 1.6-liter engine, and it had 116 horsepower. The O.G. Miata was about as fun as they come.
The Miata clearly made an impact because the nameplate has now existed for over 30 years. A decade after the original winking car was released, Mazda came out with the second-generation Miata. This Miata did away with the winking headlights, making the last few model years even rarer. Check out this video of these Miata owners exchanging winks.
Miatas are far from the most common sports car. First-generation Miatas are even rarer, so it's pretty special when two cross paths. When the sports cars do cross paths, it's customary to exchange a headlight wink. These exchanges are common in the Miata community, but what are the odds of coming across another Miata while driving?
The Mazda MX-5 Miata has staying power beyond their first generation. Miatas are still very much regarded as a cheap alternative to more expensive sports cars. The current 2021 model will run you anywhere from $27,000 and up. This is on par with some average sedans today, so not too shabby at all. The fact that you can drop the top in a fast, lightweight car for under $30k is still pretty cool decades later.
Mazda has worked hard to create reliable vehicles. The fourth-generation Miata played a huge role in Mazda overtaking Lexus and Toyota in reliability rankings in 2020. The Miata sticks to the script and delivers exactly what consumers expect from the small, sporty fan favorite. If you happen to own the first-gen model, make sure you give your fellow owners a wink!