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.
In the spring of 1989, Jeffrey Jury bought a Car and Driver magazine in an airport with an MX-5 Miata on the cover. After reading the story on the plane, he drove directly from the airport to the local Mazda dealer.
“I thought OK, let me just go try it out,” Jury said. “I test drove one of the three MX-5s they had and within 30 minutes, I put a deposit down on a red one, which was one of the first 200 shipped to the East Coast. I took delivery of my MX-5 Miata in July of 1989.”
To this day, Jury still has that original magazine that inspired him to test drive and ultimately purchase his MX-5. “I still get a smile on my face every time I get behind the wheel,” Jury explained. And with more than 400,000 miles driven across three MX-5s, that’s a lot of smiles.
Jury loves how the car feels when he drives. During his first few drives, he remembers thinking how wonderful and perfectly balanced the car was.
It didn’t take long for Jury to feel a desire to spread his love of the MX-5 to other people.
“Right after I got the car, I received a copy of the MX-5 Miata magazine in the mail,” Jury explained. “In it, there was a notice saying to contact Vince Tidwell, the president of the Miata Club of America at the time, if you want to start a local club.”
Jury sent him a note and learned that he wasn’t the only one interested in starting a club in his area. Another woman had already secured the charter and had been in touch with one other man who happened to be the president of the local Volvo club.
“We got together in the fall of 1989 and held our first event in May of 1990,” Jury said. “At this event, I was elected president.” This club became the Delaware Valley Miata Club, and grew to be one of the largest Miata club in the U.S.
Over the years, Jury has been able to create and engage in numerous experiences that have helped him build lifelong memories and friendships with fellow MX-5 enthusiasts. He also served as one of the first moderators on Miata.net.
“That website, founded by Gary Fischman, just keeps the sense of community going,” Jury explained. “People are so willing to help out. People love working on these cars themselves. And there really isn't anything that you can't do to this car, you can get advice from somebody on there who's done it.”
The club’s 2nd Club president, Brad Kravitz and Jury, began organizing and running a high performance driving school where they put an experienced instructor in every MX-5 with every driver and taught drivers about the joy of the MX-5 on the track.
“We kept the number of participants small so the people wouldn't have a lot of cars on the track at the same time,” Jury explained. “This way, everybody got plenty of track time.” Jury and Kravitz ran the school for 17 years and sold out nearly every year. Jury said, “I did it because I liked the smiles I saw on everybody when they came in off the track.”