This post is a continuation of the Houston MX5 Experience / Millionth Miata event. I took a ton of photos of the #15 and #1,000,000 Miata and thought they could use their own blog post.
Back story: I was sent to this event by the folks who run ClubRoadster. They wanted to make a video about the event and have a long-time Miata fan star in it. I still can’t believe my luck.
The Millionth Miata (known throughout the rest of this post as #1M) rolled off the trailer late in the afternoon once the rain settled down. Getting the car wet is not something they want to ever do on the tour. It needs to stay dry and clean.
Due to the wet weather, they did not angle the car around to have the nose point at the stage as they should have. See, we folks in Houston should have continued signing on the bottom side of the passenger door, where they left off in Florida. But thanks to the rain? That door was against the wall.
That’s right. The rain that tormented us all day allowed those at the Houston event to start signing the right front fender, right at the top. THAT is super lucky!
They had two cars with them for the Million Celebration stop – Number 1,000,000 and number 15. This was one of the three cars originally shown at the Miata unveiling.
Seeing this time capsule was an absolute privilege.
“This doesn’t just look like the Miata that was on the 1989 Chicago Auto Show stand when the car made its global debut; it is one of the three that was actually there, and it is the 15th Miata built.
“Mazda took everything the world loved about the legendary British Sports cars from the 1960s, and the automaker added Japanese reliability to come up with the Miata. A stout 1.6 liter engine fitted to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission was the perfect match for the Miata’s 2150 pound curb weight.
“Four-wheel independend suspension and four-wheel disc brakes meant the Miata was the perfect plaything for enthusiastic drivers, and the car became the perfect platform for legions of fans to apply modifications from engine power increases to suspension modifications to body kits. Has there ever been a question asked that the answer wasn’t Miata for?
“This car is owned by Mazda North American Operations.”
When I was hanging around this tent, there was no one else to be found. Just one bored car caretaker. I politely asked if I could come over the rope for a few close up pix. And I was allowed.
I reverently snapped pic after pic. I’ll let them do the talking. You can click on each to view them larger.
This, by itself, thrilled me. To get such access. To be allowed to worship at this kind of altar. I’m still floored.
Car #15 was incredible. To have lived so long, toured around, and still be in this kind of shape.
I turned my sights on car #1,000,000.
I was physically incapable of doing anything but signing the car. I wanted to snap some photos, but the job ahead of me was too greatly anticipated.
They gave me a pen. I signed.
Well… I signed after several dozen takes of filming at many different angles. Me signing the car was a key part of the video Autoguide was doing about me. So, I walked up to it a bunch of times. I got down on the fender a bunch of times. I did a bunch of goofy thumbs up takes. And then I was allowed to sign it.
It was worth the effort. It was so unbelievably satisfying.
This seems like a good place to pop the video.
After the video (where they made me look incredibly cool – thanks again Ben and Colum!), I was taken away for more filming. And after that was done, I came back to #1M for some quiet time.
I love the hood. Without the grid, you can really imagine what the finished car will look like.
I shot this over the rope. Then I had an idea.
I politely asked if I could come around and take some photos of the car. The caretaker happily agreed. There was no one else around and no line. I had #1M to myself.
I snapped the above interior shot and the car’s caretaker told me that there were signatures all over it. Inside the doors, under the car.
Then he opened the door for me to see.
You can imagine how I felt about this. I don’t think I screeched like a little girl, but I might have.
Then he mentions something about more signatures behind hidden under the trunk.
And then he opened the trunk.
I might have lost the power of speech at this point. I was all smiles just happily clicking away. Trying with all my power to make my shots focused and my framing good.
I’ve never seen any shots of this stuff. Maybe they’re all over the internet, but I had no idea that this existed. Getting to shoot it and share it with everyone on my blog. You have no idea how happy this made me.
Or maybe my words are giving you some idea.
He told me to lay down and try to see the stuff under the car. It was hard to see at first, but the more I looked, the more I saw. I could only get some of them on the camera. A lift would be required to see everything.
The caretaker mentioned a bunch of signatures under the hood. I asked to see. He went to ask permission and… was denied.
So no under hood shots for me. Sorry guys. But, you know, that’s okay. I got such access to this history-making car that I can hardly begin to complain. To get to see all of this and share the pix on my blog. Privileged is a word that falls short.
I was told that the driver’s side (RHD) door was reserved for Mazda staff. As the tour hit different cities and various Mazda workers were around the car, they were invited to sign this door.
This makes me feel even more lucky to have signed the adjacent fender.
Colum is the Autoguide content and marketing guru that made this all happen for me. He was a true pleasure to work with and spend time around. Getting to snap his signing really made me smile. Thanks again Colum!
Liam is one of the pro drivers who was taking the regular folks for rides around the track. He’s a former Marine Staff Sargent who lost a leg to an IED in Afghanistan. To say he’s an inspiration is putting it lightly. I wish I could have spent more time around him.
The event was capped off with a commemorative dash plaque. Mine, of course, says “revlimiter” in the correct all lowercase.
I’ll be honest, getting one of these little plaques has been huge in my mind. This has been nearly the equal to signing the car. I saw photo after photo of various internet friends signing the car and getting one of these plaques.
Jealous is a word that doesn’t begin to hit at my emotions.
I wanted one. Having it in my hand was pure joy.
But it got better.
Attending this event was my buddy Chad. I’ve known him for a few years through the forums. He’s an amazing supporter of my store and products, but he’s also a good friend. We’ve swapped emails and phone calls. Getting to meet him was wonderful. He’ll be the subject of another blog post soon.
But I’m getting off track. I was talking about plaques.
They were letting each person get just one plaque. I had it in my mind to wait until no one else was around (a strategy that got me 90% of the pix in this blog post) and asking for a second one that said “Sharka”. It was a pretty lightly-attended event. I thought my chances were good at pulling it off.
Before I could do anything about it, Chad walked up with this Sharka badge. He asked for an extra for me. The folks in the tent were apparently all too happy to do it. Chad didn’t make me wait for mail or Christmas or anything. He gave it to me right there.
I hope the pure joy of this is coming across as you read this.
Thank you so much Chad. This little plaque is already a treasured belonging. It’ll find a place on Sharka after a bit of thought and planning.
Thank you again Autoguide, Colum, and Ben. You guys made me one insanely happy Miata superfan.
I really need to buy an ND now.
(psst- go visit the MX5 Experience Post if you haven’t already.)