WITH A nod in design to the great British roadsters of the 1960s, such as the Triumph Spitfire and the Porsche 550 Spider, the Mazda MX-5 is one of the world’s most popular sports cars of the late 20th century.
Built in Hiroshima, Japan, the first MX-5 was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February 1989 and has since gone on to win a slew of awards including Wheels Magazine’s car of the year in 1989 and 2005 as well as being crowned Sports Car International’s ‘best sports car of the 1990s’.
For 18-year-old Jackson Fujimoto, the purchase of his 2000, emerald- green MX-5 NB was not only a dream come true, but an uncanny nod to his Japanese heritage.
A huge fan of late 1980s to early 2000s JDM cars (Japanese domestic market) Jackson could not believe his luck when friend, local tattooist and fellow skateboarder Daniel Mercy agreed to sell the roadster to him.
With a shared admiration for Japanese ingenuity along with an appreciation for the country’s popular culture incorporating a fusion of anime, manga and streetcar racing, Daniel’s personalised baroque fabric interior and hanging tsurikawa ring, straight out of the Tokyo subway, were a perfect match for Jackson.
With a 50:50 front/rear weight balance, rear-wheel drive and neutral handling, the nifty 5-speed manual transmission steers with agility and accelerates like a dream delighting both beginning and experienced drivers alike.
Perfect for around town driving, the four-cylinder, 1.8L sports scar is for Jackson, the first of many JDM cars of the era that he hopes to own, as he says, “I love JDM cars from the late 1980s to early 2000s, which the MX-5NB is an exemplar.
“For a first car it is not overly powerful like the RX-7, but the NB has the boxier shape which I really like the look of.
“There is in Japan a huge and vibrant culture around this era of cars, and I find their design, power and speed really appealing and no doubt anime such as Initial D have given them an iconic status.
“My dream cars moving forward include a Honda Acura NSX, Toyota Sera and a FD RX-7,” Jackson said.