"I'M REALLY CONNECTED TO THE CAR, LIKE WE'RE FRIENDS"

Thirty years after the Mazda MX-5's launch, owners explain why it remains the world's favourite sports car. This is a 5-part series where we will be sharing the interviews of five separate MX-5 owners from across the world and their thoughts on this advanced sports car.

Lou Iezzi's Mazda MX-5

  • Model: NC
  • Produced: 2006
  • Owned since: 2017
  • MX-5 highlight: "I like to customise my MX-5 and love how it looks. You become part of the MX-5 when you drive it, and it becomes part of your life."

Kate Keller's Mazda MX-5

  • Model: ND RF
  • Produced: 2017
  • Been driving since: June 2016 (in motorkhana)
  • MX-5 highlight: "I was practising corners and one of my mentors said: 'Just feel it.' So I gave it the boot and swooped out of the corner."

Jean Cook's Mazda MX-5

  • Model: ND
  • Produced: 2015
  • Owned since: 2015
  • MX-5 highlight: "Being a member of the MX-5 Club of NSW has enriched my life greatly. There is always something going on somewhere."


INTERVIEW BY HELENE DANCER

Learning to drive in an MX-5? It's a thrill says 15-year-old Kate Keller of the MX-5 Club of New South Wales

The Mazda MX-5 Club of New South Wales, celebrates its 30th birthday next year, having been founded within months of the car arriving in the country for the very first time. "The cars were few and far between in those days, and every MX-5 you saw got an enthusiastic wave," says Jean Cook, who was one of the original founding members.

Nearly 30 years later, the club has 1,037 active members and hosts more than 300 social, technical, motorsports and charity events annually. And Jean adds: "I love the fact the membership is so varied. On one side you can have a young P-plate driver and on the other side, someone of my age!"

The club's youngest member is 15-year-old Kate Keller, daughter of the club's secretary, Mel. Kate takes part in the junior development programme at the club's driver training days, and in club motorkhanas. "It's a great way to learn the feel of a car," she says. "I like learning on the track where you can feel everything. I'm turning 16 later this year and can get my learner's permit. I'm saving up for an NB. I'm really connected to the car, like we're friends or something."

While Kate saves up for her NB, club member Lou Iezzi counts a total of 117 MX-5s he's owned since 1999, when he was introduced to the car. "My first MX-5 was a 1989 white NA, soon followed by a neo-green race car. I'm a mechanic so I worked out I could buy MX-5s and pull them apart, repair, restore and sell them. Basically, it finances my habit." Lou currently owns a red NC and a black NC race car. "The MX-5 is not just a car - it has a soul," he explains.


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Source: Mazda