Mazda Miata 'fathers' Hall and Case offer a tour through the roadster's historyWed, 10 Sep 2014 16:56:00 EST
The original Mazda Miata broke onto the automotive scene in 1989 and was a huge success. However, the convertible's genesis goes all the way back to the early '80s. Bob Hall and Dean Case were among the inside men of the program on the US side, and they were on hand at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the recent MX-5 event there to tell some of their stories about the project's beginning.
Hall was on the Miata project from very early on, and one of his most fascinating stories is how the convertible got its shape. The droptop wasn't necessarily going to be a rear-wheel drive roadster. There were both front-wheel-drive coupe and mid-engine concepts being considered. In fact, the classic look of the NA generation was the least favorite of the three at the sketch stage.
Hall comes off as a jokester hiding a genius mind. He has a fountain of information in his head about what a Miata should be, but it all comes down to "less is more." However, he admits that it's easy to conceive that idea, but it's much harder to actually execute it well.
If you're interested in the inside stories of automotive history, this is a video to check out.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Teen Miata enthusiast and friend of Autoblog passes away, Autoblog Podcast #396, 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata first engine shot revealed.