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This 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata buyer may surprise you

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata appeals to those of all generations and both genders. However, this buyer’s background is unique.

At Torque News, we like to dispel stereotypes whenever possible. Our story busting the myth that the Miata is primarily purchased by women drew praise from the enthusiast community tired of hearing urban cowboys in $60K pickup trucks call it a “chick car.” This week, the first buyer of a Miata at Sandy Sansing Mazda, in Pensacola, FL, was Dick Pace. Dick is a 96-year-old veteran who fought the Japanese in World War II in the Pacific.

Pace was a naval airman. Flying off the deck of the USS escort carrier Breton, Pace saw active duty near Saipan attacking the Japanese island of Rota. Pace’s plane was the Navy F6F-5 Hellcat. Following his deployment Pace returned to the US and left the Navy. His ride on a fuel tanker home took a month.

The Hellcat Pace flew had 2,000 hp and could top 380 mph. The new 2016 Miata has slightly less impressive specifications of 155hp and a top speed a little shy of 380 mph. However, the new Miata will be beat a Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari California Spyder to 60 mph. That should be enough for Pace to keep up with traffic in Pensacola.

Dick Pace is one of the many new 2016 Miata Launch Edition buyers who ordered their cars in advance and who are now taking them home.