It's hard to believe it's been nearly 30 years since the first Mazda roadster, which would be dubbed the NA generation, debuted. A lot has happened in that amount of time, and like many older cars, the original Mazda MX-5 Miata has become a rarer breed.
Mazda of Japan wants to restore the magic that was—and still is—the original NA Miata. Last year at this time at the Automobile Council Japan, Mazda said a full restoration program would begin for the first-gen Miata. The first cars restored in that program showed up late last week, though those were trial cars, probably owned by the company or its employees.
Mazda will begin taking customer applications for the restoration program later this year and the process itself will begin in 2018.
However, North American owners are out of luck since there are currently no plans to introduce such a program on this side of the globe.
Still, it's an incredible undertaking, and it underscores Mazda's values as the automaker where "driving matters." The entire restoration process will be tailored to each individual owner and the needs of the particular Miata. Additionally, Mazda has tapped suppliers of the original Miata and will re-release the original Bridgestone SF-325 tires, the Nardi steering wheel and shift knob, and the original convertible soft top. All of these components will be made available for sale to the public.
As for the restoration process, the program and the facility will be certified by TÜV Rheinland, one of the most high-profile technical inspection organizations. Around 120,000 units of NA Miata were sold in Japan, which means there are certainly some prime candidates dotting the Japanese countryside awaiting a new lease on life.
Here's to hoping Mazda shows North America some love with a similar program.