Mazda’s factory MX-5 restoration program delivers first customer car

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

NA MX-5 owners can treat their beloved roadsters to the ultimate restoration

Mazda’s factory MX-5 restoration program delivers first customer car
Mazda’s factory MX-5 restoration program delivers first customer car

Factory restoration programs are nothing new, but have traditionally been reserved for the highest and most expensive machines and those who afford them.

Think of marques such as Aston Martin and Lamborghini.

Both offer the opportunity for the well-healed classic owner to return their pride and joy to true factory condition, by the hands of those who know best.

The Japanese joined the fold last year when Mazda offered the same level of treatment for the humble NA-generation MX-5.

The unique new program for Japan recently saw the first customer car delivered, a British Racing Green 1992 Mazda MX-5 V Special.


Mazda’s Roadster Restore program isn’t open to just anyone however; it’s quite a lengthy application process.

First, the owner must apply, along with a detailed questionnaire regarding the vehicle’s current condition and history. Following the successful application, the car then undergoes a detailed and thorough inspection at a local Mazda dealership, pre-scheduled with a member of the restoration team present. If the vehicle is deemed too rusty, damaged or modified – the process ends there. If the car is up to standard, a contract between the owner and Mazda is then created.


At the factory, the car undergoes a lengthy restoration process. The car is stripped back to the metal, and repainted by the same team who finish Mazda’s show cars.

In reassembly, worn parts are replaced with either completely new parts, or reconditioned units.

Once assembled, the car is finally inspected to factory quality control standards.

Completed cars come with a detailed photo album documenting the rebuild process, as well as a certificate guaranteeing the quality of work. The car is finally delivered to the customer at either Mazda’s Hiroshima HQ or its Yokohama R&D centre.


Since each car is unique in its requirements for restoration, Mazda is tight-lipped about publishing the cost of the Roadster Restore program, however owner of the BRG MX-5, Keiji Nishimoto stated that it was high compared to the price of a new MX-5.

Though Nishimoto obviously has no regrets and loves his little roadster deeply. When he learned of Mazda’s Roadster Restore program, he had already been intending to restore his Limited Edition 1992 MX-5 V Special. He bought the car new 26 years ago, and along with his wife Norimi, had driven all over Japan.


"I made the best memories I’ve ever had" with the little green roadster.

When asked upon delivery what his plans were with the car, Nishimoto stated: "I plan to drive it for another 25 years".



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