Designing a legendary car isn't an easy task - many try, most fail. Think about how many truly iconic vehicles have appeared from the design studios of major brands over the past decade or so, and the list really is quite short.
The team behind Mazda's MX-5 weren't even meant to be working on a sports car. It was designed and engineered underneath the radar of upper management, snuck past the bean counters and basically put together as a bit of a skunkworks project.
• For more car news go to nzherald.co.nz/driven
This was in the 1980s, of course, and most car designs from this era were about as slick as a Rick Astley music vid - and like that famous piece of pop-foolery, they didn't age much past their release.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
But the MX-5 has lived on for 25 years - and with the reveal of the fourth-generation model last week at three locations around the world simultaneously, it looks set to power through another 50.
Talking to those behind the first-generation model was incredibly interesting. Both Bob Hall and Tom Montano talked about the concerted effort not to built a traditional sports car. There was a list - or a "noncept" as Mazda insiders called it - with items like awe-inspiring, elitist, high-performance and powerful. These were things that MX-5 could not be - and were probably the secret to its success, which is knocking on a million cars sold worldwide.
• Which modern cars do you think are deserving of icon status? Let us know at below or on facebook.com/DrivenNZ