Those of us who well remember 1989 and the very first moment we clapped eyes on a Mazda MX-5 Miata have yet another reason to shudder at the increasingly cold breath of Father Time: the Sportscar Vintage Racing Assocation (SVRA), one of the main sanctioning bodies for vintage racing in the United States , has created classes for all first-gen Miatas, including the early 1.6-liter and the later 1.8. The first weekend for the SVRA’s new Mazda Miata Heritage Cup will be April 28–30 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
The recognition by SVRA that first-gen Miatas have become old cars was perhaps hastened by the continued popularity of the Spec Miata class in the more contemporaneous Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association events. Mazda doesn’t have an exact figure of racing Miatas; it only knows that it has sold 3000 Spec Miata kits for first-gen cars—a.k.a. the NA model—over the years, and typical SCCA and NASA events have ample first-gen fields.
More than 400,000 first-gen Miatas were produced between 1989 and 1997. Total Miata production passed the 1 million mark last year, with an average of just over 37,000 of the roadsters produced every year since ’89. It became the best-selling roadster of all time in 2000, when production passed 531,000.