This year Mazda will celebrate the building of the millionth MX-5, a model we drove to Breakfast Club earlier this year, and one that remains so loved that, even after 15 per cent of those million cars have been registered on British roads, it can still turn heads in 2016, 27 years after it debuted.
Sampling Mazda's pristine white mk1 we can tell why the model became so iconic, and so incredibly popular in the UK. Small and light, rear-wheel-drive, and two seats, it's everything that a British sportscar should be. Behind the wheel it's a delight too, the skinny wheel a delight to hold and fire the perfect chassis through the bends. It may not have the most power in the world, but that engine became the perfect base for thousands of simple and easy modifications - the birth of an entire scene in the motoring world that had never been imagined before.
Mazda's other icons are the screaming rotaries, developed to make Mazda stand out and proven on track with Mazda remaining the only Japanese manufacturer ever to triumph at Le Mans (the stunning 787B deafened Goodwood crowds at FOS last year). Mazda's heritage fleet holds the history of the RX name, which has carried the off-the-wall convention ever since Mazda set out on its left-field adventure with the R100.