In a nod to the original Miata’s status as a cult classic, Mazda says it will restore privately-owned examples of the roadster, and begin making OEM replacement parts for it.
Mazda made the announcement on its Japanese-market website. In it, the company’s “roadster ambassador,” Yamamoto Nobuhiro, said the decision was inspired by a visit to a Miata fan club meet, where owners told him they wanted a way to return their cars to showroom condition using quality parts.
The catch is the program is only open to Japanese owners of the first-generation Miata, also known among enthusiasts by its NA chassis code. Nobuhiro-san says around 120,000 examples of the first-generation Miata were sold in Japan, and roughly 23,000 are still on the road there.
All cars will be restored to suit the client’s preferences. Collectors hoping for a concours-worthy job can rest assured the quality and authenticity of each restoration will be verified by TUV Rheinland, a global classic car certification and inspection firm.
Judged by the photos Mazda shared on its website of a trial restoration, the service entails a lot more than fresh paint and brake job: the images show evidence of a complete tear-down and rebuild.
The program is a joint effort with some of Mazda’s third-party suppliers: Bridgestone will re-start limited production of the SF-325 tires fitted to the car at the factory, and Nardi will make new examples of the wood steering wheel and shift knob Mazda installed in early cars. Replacement convertible roof assemblies will also be available. Our hope is at least some of these OEM parts will be offered to owners outside of Japan.
Mazda has already started taking orders for restoration jobs, and will begin those jobs early next year. For now, Miata owners in North America and elsewhere will have to wait and see if Mazda expands the restoration program outside of the company’s home country, and whether such an expansion may eventually include subsequent generations of the car.