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Click above for a high-res gallery of 20 years of the Mazda Miata/MX-5

Twenty years ago, Mazda took the wraps off the first generation Miata/MX-5 in Chicago. Over the next two decades the lightweight roadster solidified its place in the enthusiast hierarchy and evolved with larger engines, more gears and extra amenities. Amazingly, it never lost its edge.

Mazda wanted to commemorate the Miata's milestone at this year's Chicago Auto Show, but rather than trot out a 20th Anniversary Edition with a few badges and a custom color, Mazda dusted off a handful of concepts, one-offs and notable MX-5s that defined the roadster and help create the Cult of Miata that a few Autoblog staffers continue to worship at to this day.

Check the gallery below for some of our favorite models, including a hardtop coupe concept that resulted in a JDM-only fixed-roof Miata and the Mono-Posto Roadster that had us seriously contemplating a late-night attack on our NA with a sawzall and some bondo.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      A BIG thank you to this company that continues to make driver's cars which are also practical, good-looking and easy on the budget.

      • 6 Years Ago

      20 Years of Miata at Laguna Seca

      • 6 Years Ago
      Like the JDM fixed roof model.How about bringing this here Mazda? with a new 2.5 duratec and say,200 hp? A boxter rival for less than half the cost!
      • 6 Years Ago
      My blue 90 with 136,000 miles looks just like the one on the stand. Even has the little gap on the right headlight and hood. Took it for a ride yesterday when it hit 60 degrees and while it shakes and rattles a little more, it's just a blast to drive.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ack, those gaps... you can very very very easily fix them. Pop the hood then gently pull up on the metal of the back of the headlight; drop the hood back down again and see whether you need to tweak it again.

        If anyone leans on the lights, the metal gets bent down ever so slightly and it's just so easy to make it look perfect again.

        Still got my '90 UK MX-5!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thank you Tom Matano.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One of my first "second" cars. I bought it used for 5k and could barely afford that. Park it anywhere, wash it in 5 minutes, fun little car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I will never sell my first gen 1.8 miata. Best sports car ever made.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or does the Miata look like something out of Cars? Take a look at that yellow one, for example.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's simple: the Miata is one the best cars ever made.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have owned a NA Miata (94 Laguna Blue R-Package) and a NB (03 Splash Green ). I loved both of those cars. The 94 was sadly destroyed when I rear ended while sitting in traffic (kid in a jeep hit me going about 45-50 mph). I had to sell the NB because of my back problems (Sitting in the seats more than 20 mins just hurt).

      I got a chance to drive one of the 3rd gen ones, and I really liked it. Unfortunately the time for 2 seaters for me has passed (or not come back yet :D). I will have to say though if I found one that I could buy with just extra cash I would in a heart beat. But right now, finding extra cash is like finding a needle in a hay stack.
        • 6 Years Ago
        RRRR can't edit.

        I was rear ended by the kid, while I was sitting in traffic (I was at the back of the "pile").
      • 6 Years Ago
      If I were in the presence of a chronology of Miatas like that, my smile would be at least as big as the Mazda 3's.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In St. Louis a couple weeks ago, all we got was one single Miata, the latest MX-5: http://tr.im/fuxj

      That's it. Pathetic. Thanks for nothing, Mazda.

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