That’s right, the NA Miata is officially a classic car. So not only will it clean up at your local vintage races, but it now also qualifies for restoring. There just happens to be one stipulation, and it’s a big one. To qualify first you need to live in Japan.
I know I know, I got your hopes up. But don’t fret on that little aspects too much, this program could very well come stateside in the near future. The program was just announced, leading to a lot of unanswered questions. For instance, no one has published how much it will actually cost. From the sound of it, the cost could vary from car to car, depending on what is needed and what is going into each production. So what is the program all about?
Well for starters it is only open to NA Miatas. Meaning first gen, 90-97 model year roadsters. From there the program is set to completely restore your pride and joy to its former glory. The objective is to “challenge the cultivation of car culture along with those who love cars.” Basically, they want to do something unprecedented, for both the car and the fans that love them dearly. In the Japanese market alone Mazda was able to sell over 120,000 units during the NA generation. Rumor has it only 23,000 of those little buggers are still kicking around. So it would seem Mazda is trying to make up for the 80% of NA’s that are no longer with us, but quite the opposite is true.
Mazda sees the passion that people have for their cars. This program isn’t for the 80% that didn’t make it, it’s for the 20% that desperately loves their car like a part of their family. And that is what makes this program truly remarkable. That being said the program will be vast, with the owner picking how much detail they would like to go into. It appears as if Mazda will be offering everything from ground up restorations with OEM parts, to a simple ‘tightening’ of the package. With the reproduction of parts that were long discontinued Mazda is giving back to the Miata community.
Speaking of parts, this isn’t just for those getting the restore. Mazda is contemplating reproducing select parts for mass-market, allowing enthusiast everywhere to keep their roadster alive. I’ve already seen some seriously high mileage Miata’s strutting around town. If they can last this long with less than ideal factory support who knows what they can do with a decent list of reproduction parts. One of the most notable is a repress for the ‘factory option’ Nardi steering wheel. It was only available as an option in Japan and some Asian markets. If that makes its way onto the scene some petrol heads might explode.
I have to say, it is nice to see a Manufacturer recognize the cult following for an out of production car. While other companies it seems we either get resurrected names to cars that share nothing with the ones of the past, or we get a half-assed successor that checks next to none of the boxes that we fell in love with in the first place. But not Mazda. No. They get it. They understand the passion. It’s this character that has made the Miata such a success in the first place. For Mazda its a circle of life. Happy car = happy customer = happy company. Now we know why the NA Miata is always smiling.