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Bob Hall is an automotive legend, and all around fun guy. He was a Mazda designer and automotive journalist who is responsible for the existence of the MX-5 Miata. He continues to be a sports car fan and the patron saint of the Miata community. But some TikToker’s Miata modifications are too much even for Hall.

Legend has it that there would be no Miata without Bob Hall. His dad was a fan of British roadsters (think Triumphs and MGs), so he pitched a more reliable version of this classic formula to Miata’s company brass. At first, they said they didn’t have a budget for his project. So Hall worked on the B2600 pickup truck from 9-5, then stayed in the office to design the Miata nights and weekends. Miata finally greenlit the project for the 1989 model year and a legend was born.

The folks at Donut Media brought Bob Hall on and had a fantastic idea for a segment: they showed him some of the most wildly modified Miatas in the world and asked for his opinion. And Hall didn’t disappoint with his hilarious takes.

Golden yellow NA Miata on lowered suspension with stanced rims.
Mazda MX-5 Miata | Matthew Sichkaruk via Unsplash

When he saw a stanced pink Miata with an extremely exaggerated camber he said, “Is that after the accident or before?” And the gem, “This is one of the downsides to living in a free country.” Before you say Hall just doesn’t understand the car culture, know he added, “I think there’s stance, but this guy doesn’t understand what stance is.”

Many tuners turbocharge their Miatas. And Hall isn’t against tuning in practice. He actually says, “What we got to make is a really really really fun blank canvas…The last designer of the car is the buyer.” But when he saw a Miata with two turbochargers so large that they covered the grille and headlights the had some quips. “We always thought the races it should be in are ones that have left and right hand curves, because anything else is just a drag.” Puns aside, he added, “Anyone that was predisposed toward straight line stuff, you used a rotary. There are cars you buy for performance, that’s why the RX-7 existed. That was the race car.”

I’ve never heard anyone refer to a proclivity for drag racing like a disease with the word, “predisposed.” But coming from the Miata’s designer, it makes some sense.

My lifted Miata
byu/Due-South4633 inMiata

Hall had some heartfelt comments too. When he first saw a lifted rally spec Miata his response was, “Whoah what is that” and he made some wisecracks about a Miata moon rover and “Some s—h— driving a Miata turned into an SUV.” But then he said, “I’ll be serious for a moment here. It bothers me less than a Miata sitting, rusting away in a junkyard.”

Hall did have some advice for anyone thinking of lifting a Miata: “I’d find one of those (Mazda) 323 painted the weird colors, put 323 four-wheel drive in it, and make that the lift thing.”

Next, read how Mazda wants its internal combustion Miata around forever, or see Hall’s entire interview embedded below: