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Submitted by Berny on Friday, May 25, 2007 - 12:19Mazdaspeed MX-5 | Miata MX-5

IRVINE, Calif. – The upcoming Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start of the top-down summer driving season. To celebrate, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), maker of the MX-5 Miata – the world’s best-selling convertible sports car, and the only optional power-retractable hard top that takes up no trunk space – wants to make sure convertible drivers across the country enjoy their vehicles, but do it safely at the same time.

“With over 800,000 sold, the MX-5 Miata is the best selling convertible sports car in the world, so if anybody has the authority to speak on behalf of top-down, wind-in-your-hair, sun-on-your-face driving fun, it’s Mazda,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of MNAO. “With Memorial Day weekend coming fast, summer road-trips can’t be far behind. But before you hit the road, remember these time-honored road-tips.”

1. As part of a healthy daily routine, apply sunscreen rated at least SPF 15. Just 15 minutes per day exposed to the sun equates to 90 hours per year of incidental sun exposure

2. To prevent “air hair” or wind damage to your hair while driving or riding in a convertible, always put your hair in a ponytail, wrap your hair in a bun or wear a hat. Be a considerate host and keep extra hair products – hairpins, butterfly clamps, ponys or hats – in your vehicle at all times

3. Wear sunglasses. This will help protect your eyes from the sun’s rays and also keep airborne debris from getting in your eyes

4. Avoid leaving loose articles such as paper or clothing inside the car when driving with the top down or windows lowered. Trash knows no boundaries…it’s found on our beaches and in our parks and lakes. The effects of trash on the ecosystem are devastating

5. Park away from trees if you plan to leave the top down. Birds also like nice shady trees…

6. Pull over and come to a complete stop before you open or close a convertible top. Not only is this a dangerous distraction, but wind-force may damage the mechanism that controls the top

7. To help protect against wind burn to your face and lips, drink plenty of water to help hydrate your skin, use a moisturizer every day and apply lip balm regularly

8. And, of course, ALWAYS buckle up for safety, no matter how long or short the trip

Starting at $20,435 (MSRP), the MX-5 Miata offers up to 30 mpg on the highway and an open-top motoring experience with minimal wind turbulence in the cabin. An aero-board wind deflector – now common on convertibles but invented by Mazda on the 1987 RX-7 Convertible – is located between the seat backs and directs forward-flowing air upward instead of into the cockpit for a more comfortable ride.

Beyond the MX-5 Miata convertible, Mazda produces seven other vehicles offering sunroofs as options, including the rotary-powered RX-8 sports car, MAZDA3, MAZDA5, MAZDA6, CX-7, CX-9 and Tribute.

“Every one is perfect for a summer road-trip to nowhere in particular – when you’re driving a Mazda, Zoom-Zoom means the journey is worth the trip itself,”added O’Sullivan.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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