So what was the inspiration? Well, Mazda really appreciated the driving dynamics of classic British sports cars. Sports car, so they bought a Lotus Elan to evaluate. And then they bought a second when it broke down. The bought an MGB, too. Took it apart, measured everything, even the way it sounds. See, Mazda knew there was a market for this classic sports car, but it had to be reliable. Of course, the British collection goes far beyond the styling. In fact, the very first prototype was built in Sussex, England by a company called International Automotive Designs, using bits from the master part bin, such as RX7, bits of 929 Saloon, bits of 323. They had a backbone chassis which. Which they closed in plastic panels to give it a perky little twin cam engine and they even had pop headlights just like the Elam.

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