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Inside Mazda

Miata Club of Hawaii Co-Founder Has Found Her Ultimate Form of Expression in the MX-5

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.

After stumbling upon a white 1997 MX-5 Miata at a car dealership and falling in love with it, Amy Hisaoka’s passion for the roadster sparked immediately.

“My friend invited me to an autocross event and I signed up for the next race,” Hisaoka explained. “I was hooked! Of course, it was my everyday car, too.”

“There were other MX-5 drivers at the autocross events and we started organizing gatherings outside of racing,” Hisaoka added. “We started the Miata Club of Hawaii in the year 2000.”

The club began with informal meetings and has grown significantly from its founding three members to today’s 30 active members.


What started as a fun weekend activity turned into much more than that; they created a community of like-minded enthusiasts that loved racing and their MX-5s.

After almost a year of owning her first automatic MX-5, with which she autocrosses, Hisaokabegan searching for a manual MX-5 to increase her competitiveness events. This led her to purchase a manual 1997 MX-5.

After starting Miata Club of Hawaii, and serving as its founder and president for a few years, Hisaoka moved to Oregon with her family.

“We took my Miata with us and I joined the Willamette Miata Club in Oregon,” Hisaoka explained. “I was really involved with that Miata club for a while. There wasn't autocross racing in my area, so I was little bummed about that. I mainly used the MX-5 for club events and day-to-day driving.”

With a growing family and her MX-5 mainly garage-bound, however, she knew she had to sell her beloved MX-5.

“It was one of the saddest days of my life,” Hisaoka said. “But I had two young kids and the MX-5 mostly just sat [there]. So, I went MX-5-less for about seven years.”

After relocating her family back to Hawaii a few years ago, one of Hisaoka’s friends offered to sell her his MX-5 since they’d no longer been driving it.

“It had sat for about a year and needed some work,” Hisaoka explained. “He offered to sell it to me for $1,000. But it was an automatic and I wanted to save up for a manual MX-5. I declined the offer. After some time went by, he came back to me and offered me the car for free. I had to take it!”

Although the car needed a few things fixed, including the drive shaft and motor mounts, Hisaoka fixed all the standard maintenance items herself.

“I learned how to work on the car from being in the Miata club,” Hisaoka said. “We have tech days as club events where we all work on our cars. I learned a lot about working on MX-5s, and so I did most of the work all myself.”

She’s now back with the Miata Club of Hawaii and currently serving as the club’s president again. Her love for the club and all its members stems from their familial atmosphere. Amy has since found a manual MX5 for sale, the coveted 1993 Limited Edition Miata,  which she purchased without a second thought!

“Members are willing to help each other with work on their cars, sharing tips, parts and a helping hand during any project,” Hisaoka added.


After nearly 20 years of owning three MX-5's, Hisaoka has discovered that with the ability to update her car with different colors and accessories, she has discovered the ability to make her MX-5 a true extension of herself.

“No other car that I have ever driven has given me the feeling of being one with the car,” Hisaoka explained. “You just feel part of the car when you drive it.”