Mazda draws hundreds of entries for 50-car ‘Heroes’ giveaway

LOS ANGELES — Mazda North America has drawn hundreds of entries for its “Mazda Heroes” initiative that will gift a special edition of the MX-5 Miata sports car to 50 U.S. residents who have supported their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Oct. 25 deadline approaches for nominations, the automaker has received tens of thousands of visits to the website it has set up for the initiative, a Mazda spokesman said Tuesday. The contest began Oct. 5.

The nomination process for “Mazda Heroes: Honoring the Human Spirit” begins with a one-minute video. Early entries, posted on YouTube, include health care workers, teachers, first responders and volunteers delivering meals door to door in their communities.

Honorees, who will be announced starting Dec. 2, receive a 100th Anniversary Special Edition of the Miata convertible, which has a starting price of $33,615 including shipping. The limited-edition sports car was created to mark the automaker’s centennial as a company.

“We had hoped this time would be filled with moments of celebration and appreciation for our fans, employees and partners,” said Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations. “But given the many tragic events of 2020, we decided to express, in another way, our brand’s unique heritage of trying to make things better.”

Guyton said in a statement that the giveaway was inspired by the company’s Essential Car Care program earlier this year that offered free oil changes and car cleaning to health care workers across the U.S., regardless of vehicle brand.