Motor

The "car lover" behind the birth of the MX-5 │ One that was born from the love for classic cars

This article isTest drive the original MX-5 show car! │ Roadster joins the classic car classIt is a continuation of.

Just one year after the first Miata was acquired, the gear of fate moved and Sourdard moved to Chrysler's California office.

Needless to say, I was close to Irvine's Mazda, and the relationship with the MX-5 design leader Tom Matano I met when I was a student was revived. Tom invited Sourdard to the interview and presented him with an office seat. That was almost 30 years ago, but Ken has been here ever since and now leads the Irvine design team.

The names of Matano and Hall are always mentioned, but in fact there are many more characters. Not only Hiroshima, but designers, engineers, and project managers from the United States, Europe, and even the United Kingdom were involved in the plan. What they had in common was that they were passionate "car lovers," especially because they loved the compact, simple rear-wheel drive roadsters made by British and Italian manufacturers in the 1950s and 1970s. is there.



Reading the history of the MX-5, there is a description that Bob Hall learned to drive with the Austin Healey 100. Designer Mark Jordan [son of legendary GM designer Chuck Jordan], on the other hand, educated how Hall was "aggressively" about British roadsters when he joined Mazda in the early 80s. I have to say.

John Shoot, who was the representative of the British IAD [which made the early prototypes], was an MG enthusiast who owns two dozen cars, and Norman Garrett, the engineer in charge of layout, decided to join Irvine's team. It is described as "Hot Rodders who own 76 kinds of cars from sprites to countachs." Looking back at the photos of those days, you could almost always see an old Elan or something around the R&D center, an engineer looking into the Fiat Spider, and a test drive on them on a California road. There is.


Since it's a team that loves cars, it's no surprise that everyone listens to the exhaust sound we recorded and pursues the best sound for their engine. It's no wonder that people with the same passion gathered near LA. Even around Los Angeles, when I go to a casual meeting on Sunday morning, the cherished Chevrolet Chevell tuned car is parked between the Mercedes 300 SL Gull Wing and Jensen Healey. The scenery is the land pattern of course.

This kind of environment connected the team members and spurred the MX-5. "Are there other places where you can always run open?" says Sourd, a migrant from the East Coast. "I can't make such a car in Maine or Seattle. A convertible sports car should be built in Southern California," he said. Certainly, it seems that the MX-5 was born out of a love for classic cars. But does it feel real?



You may not think so just by sitting down. The rooms are nicely and neatly designed. In addition to minimalism, it is carefully retro-decorated. The circular outlets and dials are conservative but not obsolete, the gear levers are very close to the steering wheel and only a hand apart. It's a perfect driving position that fits the body, but it's a little hard for someone with a big build of 6 feet or more.

"Some say it's a women's car, but it's totally different. It's probably because I've never seen a giant linebacker driving. They probably wouldn't want to, but they're just giants. Is too small for

The interior is never as old as the exterior, except for the steering wheel with American-style airbags, but the hard plastic trim feels a bit cheap, typical of 90s Japanese cars. However, at that time, it was actually cheap.

What was the price at that time? ..Continue to next time


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