Inside Mazda

A Family Building Lifelong Memories with the MX-5 Miata

Celebrating 30 Years of the MX-5 Miata begins with celebrating our fans and their stories. We asked owners and enthusiasts from around the country to submit their MX-5 stories to celebrate the debut of the 30th Anniversary MX-5 Miata at the Chicago Auto Show.


For Joe Burns, driving and owning an MX-5 Miata has become a family affair.

“These aren’t cars,” Burns explained. “They're part of our family. They build memories for life. Even to this day, we'll just hop in the car and take a drive and make a new memory for the family. It really has created a lot of life experiences and memories for us.”

Twenty-five years ago, Burns purchased his first MX-5. It was a red 1991, which he taught his wife how to drive when they were first dating.

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“I just absolutely fell in love with it,” Burns said. “It was probably one of the best decisions I ever made.” The couple decided to sell the car just weeks before the birth of their daughter, but that was not the end of their MX-5 story.

Flash forward 17 years, with their children old enough to drive their own cars, Burns’ wife suggested that it might be time to buy another MX-5.

“And of course it took me about five minutes to start the shopping process,” Burns said. “She had gotten bitten by the bug, too!”

They bought a blue 2004 MX-5, which he jokes was “hijacked” by their daughter.

“When we brought it home,” Burns explained, “my daughter looked at it, and said, ‘Wow, that's a really cool car. Will you teach me to drive it?’ So I would take her out on the weekend and teach her how to drive. For me, it was a lot of fun because I had done that 20 years earlier. It’s funny how history repeats itself.”

Burns’s daughter would go on to drive her own 2009 MX-5, which she entrusted to Joe and his wife for safekeeping before she went off to college. “She gave me the key back and said, ‘Please keep this, because we'll be driving this in the future.’ So, that's how we kind of ended up where we are today,” Burns said.

One special tradition that Burns and his daughter have is grabbing breakfast while taking the MX-5 out for a spin. “When she comes home,” Burns explained, “we always take an early Saturday morning drive to catch breakfast. You could not ask for anything more.”

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The car “built for two,” as Burns describes, has such a special place in this family, that he even created a poem book for his wife as a Christmas gift, detailing the adventures and joy this car has brought them over the years.

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“The MX-5s have been a big part of our lives over the years”, Burns said. “Even to this day, even with the one we have now, we'll just hop in the car and take a drive and make a new memory for the family. They really have, all three of them, they've just really been a part of our family.”

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