Inside Mazda

Passionate MX-5 Miata Owner Becomes Passionate Mazda Employee

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.


It all started for Marco Kok, when he laid eyes on a car unlike many others at the time. The sound of the rotary engine revving sealed the deal for him. Having always been interested in car culture, the FD RX-7 catapulted Marco into the next level of being a car and Mazda enthusiast.

“I began watching videos of rotary-powered cars and found drifter “Mad Mike” and his four-rotary MX-5 Miata,” Marco said. “That day I made the goal of getting an MX-5 one day.”

After graduating from college, Marco would begin to save up money to purchase an MX-5. He’d come across an Emerald Mica 1999 MX-5 Miata and had to have it.

“I can’t even express in words how much it meant to me that I finally had a car that I could race and have fun driving every day,” he explained.

For the next six months after his MX-5 purchase, Marco’s life became consumed by his new car and treated it more precious than anything else he’d ever owned. Even on the most stressful day, Marco said the best remedy is a 20 minute drive in the MX-5 and it wipes away the stress and calms him down.

“I don’t have to deal with anybody else”, he explained. “It’s just my hands, my feet, the steering wheel, the vibrations in the car, the tires gripping the road, and the sound of the exhaust. I focus just on those things and everything else just disappears.”

Before purchasing his MX-5, Marco was taking courses on computer programming in hopes that it could help him break into the automotive industry and potentially work at Mazda.

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“I tried applying to Mazda right out of college,” Marco explained, “but I knew they didn’t have a need for someone that had studied in the healthcare and biomedical field. So after getting some computer programming under my belt, I decided to apply for a position at Mazda again. I also submitted in my cover letter that I’m passionate about racing and that I own a 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata. It seemed to catch HR’s eyes and I got my first shot at getting a position within Mazda--and I got it!”

Marco, now a system designer at Mazda’s Research and Development Center in Irvine, California, feels like he owes getting his job to his MX-5.

“I can’t even begin to express the joy that I felt when I was hired,” Marco explained. “Now, I work for Mazda R&D and I put as much effort into building our future vehicles as I put into building my own MX-5. I feel that a portion of the reason I got my dream job at Mazda is because of my MX-5. It somehow opened a door for me. I will continue to enjoy my MX-5 for many years to come and I hope I can help build our vehicles in a way so that other people can have as much fun in them as I do with my own.”

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