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            The Concours d’Elegance annually held in Pebble Beach, California is a selective automobile show world-famous for its display of ultra-rare European and American models.

            But at the 69th Concours in August 2019, for the second year running, there was a large display of Japanese models including a 1970 Toyota 2000 GT, a hand-built, Italian-designed 1963 Nissan Prince Skyline Sports — and a row of Mazda Miata roadsters.

            Also known as the MX-5, the Mazda Miata is the world’s most mass-produced sports car.  It is not as rare as the 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport which has a collector car value of $264,000.

            Nonetheless, the Mazda Miatas on exhibit attracted a steady stream of admirers, mostly younger enthusiasts.

            The founder of an online auction site for special interest vehicles said that Japanese cars are becoming full-fledged collectibles, a lot of it driven by nostalgia, memories of a time when cars delivered a purer sense of driving – plus affordability.

            Prices for Mazda Miatas appear to be climbing, according to an article by The New York Times Wheels columnist Robert C. Yeager.  Early Miatas are included in “up-and-coming” Japanese collectibles, based  on final sales and sell-through rates at land-based (as opposed to online) auctions.

            Tom Matano, the executive director of the School of Industrial Design at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University who led the Miata’s original design team, said they never thought they were building a collectible car.

            Matano said they were inspired by small English roadsters such as MGs, Triumphs and Austin-Healys.

TO CELEBRATE DRIVING. But there were other major influences on the design of the original MX-5.  

            When the Japanese car manufacturer set forth to create a lightweight sports car for the 1980s, Mazda Philippines points out in a press release, it not only benchmarked the classic roadster design but also the inherent freedom that driving one entails. The MX-5 was engineered to celebrate driving.

            As a result, Mazda’s horse and rider as one philosophy, Jinba Ittai, came to the fore.

            Since its intro in 1989, over one million Mazda MX-5 units have been sold worldwide.

            In 2016, the fourth-generation MX-5 was voted by esteemed motoring journalists around the world as the World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year winner, the first time in the World Car Awards’ 16-year history that one model topped both awards in the same year.

            Now, 30 years, four generations and numerous awards later, the Mazda MX-5 continues to delight driving enthusiasts as a true sports car, as the iconic roadster that everybody loves.

            To mark the brand’s historic centennial milestone, Bermaz Auto Philippines, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles and parts in the country, will make available 24 units of the Mazda MX-5 100th Anniversary Special Edition as well as 15 examples of the Mazda3 commemorative edition.

ANNIVERSARY EDITION. “For one hundred years now, Mazda has remained true to its promise of making cars that defy convention,” says Bermaz Auto PH president and CEO Steven Tan.  “As we celebrate a century of manufacturing, design, and engineering expertise, we would also like to thank our customers by letting them commemorate the milestone with us. By making these 100th Anniversary Special Edition models available in the Philippines, Mazda acknowledges the passion of our loyal customers.  We wish to thank them for allowing us to create unique products that continue to brighten their lives.”

            The MX-5 special edition has a Snowflake Pearl White Finish and open-air Cherry Red Soft Top with automatic transmission, and is priced at Php 2,335,000.

            It will also be available as a Retractable Fastback with either a manual transmission for Php 2,390,000 or an automatic transmission for Php 2,480,000.  The 24 examples are equipped with the latest 2-liter Skyactiv-G motor producing 184PS and 205Nm of torque, a 9-speaker Bose Sound System along with top-of-the-line features currently available in the MX-5.

            A special Mazda 100th Anniversary Logo combines the original corporate logo layout of Toyo Cork Kyogo and today’s modern Mazda wing brand symbol. All the commemorative MX-5 variants will have the Mazda 100th Anniversary logo embossed on the red nappa leather seat headrests and key fobs, special Mazda 100th Anniversary badges on its front fenders and mattings, bright silver 17-inch wheels with the Mazda 100th Anniversary center caps plus red carpets and floor mats to complete the two-tone retro theme.

            Looks like the Mazda MX-5 100th Anniversary Special Edition is destined to become a high-value collectible car in no time at all!

            The line forms on the right.