Mazda Is Going to Start Restoring First-Generation Miatas

Megalith

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Even if you think Miatas are gay, you have to applaud Mazda for bringing an ’89 to ’97 vehicle back to life: the carmaker has launched the “Roadster Restore” program, which will allow owners in Japan to restore their NA Miatas back to their original state by the factory. It would be nice if more automakers began to see the value of supporting legacy models.

We are incredibly excited by this. The Mazda Roadster (aka MX-5 Miata) is one of the most enduringly pure and joyful sports cars of all time. A car that’s hard not to love. The current ND generation is a marvel of engineering elegance and sports car driving dynamics, traditions that go back to the NA. In fact, the Classic Red ND that we reported on earlier this year was a subtle hint to the coming of this program.
 

Drewis

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Jul 25, 2006
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classic classic car.. I wouldnt fit into one but.. this car is considered the real first affordable rocket available in the US

I say rocket loosely, it was more about cornering and stability vs horsepower.
 

Bigdady92

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This will skyrocket the price of older miata's I've been looking at to setup my Monster Miata conversion.

Damnittt
 

Kor

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Never bought into the MX-5 stereo type, they're fantastic drivers cars. Nearly bought and ND last year myself but it was a bit to cramped.
 

M76

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Never liked the shape and feel of these cars. But the initiative is good. Every carmaker should offer the same option for every model, if you can afford it.
 

homernoy

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I remember the first time I saw one of these. I was at a bar with a friend in Bellevue, WA in 1989 and a girl pulled up in a Mazda Miata. It was the first one I'd ever seen and I had no idea they existed. It blew my mind. I had owned an Alpha Romeo spyder, a MGB and a Triumph TR7 (worst ever) and my friends had at one point, a Fiat Spyder, old Triumph spitfire and numerous other shoddy built British/European sports cars. I don't know how many people remember cars in 1989, but they sucked. Bad. Obviously British cars that were at least cool to drive and to look at, were extremely shoddy and sucked as well.

I was very happy to see a reliable, affordable and sporty two seat convertible. I thought those type of cars were never coming back, and even if they did, I thought they would cost a fortune to maintain. This car changed everything.
 

BulletDust

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I remember the first time I saw one of these. I was at a bar with a friend in Bellevue, WA in 1989 and a girl pulled up in a Mazda Miata. It was the first one I'd ever seen and I had no idea they existed. It blew my mind. I had owned an Alpha Romeo spyder, a MGB and a Triumph TR7 (worst ever) and my friends had at one point, a Fiat Spyder, old Triumph spitfire and numerous other shoddy built British/European sports cars. I don't know how many people remember cars in 1989, but they sucked. Bad. Obviously British cars that were at least cool to drive and to look at, were extremely shoddy and sucked as well.

I was very happy to see a reliable, affordable and sporty two seat convertible. I thought those type of cars were never coming back, and even if they did, I thought they would cost a fortune to maintain. This car changed everything.
British cars and Lucas electrics = Bleh!
 

BulletDust

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I never thought they were gay, Just more of a Jr. sports car.
I used to have clients running NB's with Garrett turbo's, eight injectors and aftermarket ECU's - Fun little machines!

In Australia we had the MX5 SP, Garrett turbocharged by Tickford from the factory it put down a ~14 second quarter mile off the showroom floor - That was pretty quick in the day!
 

viscountalpha

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I doubt toyota would ever do this. It feels as if that toyota that made the mr2 is dead.
 

Krenum

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Mazda Miata's are for girls...

Give a a Triumph Spitfire or MG Midget/B any day. In fact I miss my MG Midget SCCA roadster. We had to sell her, but she was sold a Champion.
 

TFchris

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The one car that everyone refused to call a sports car.... why can't they restore RX7's instead lol
 

DoggyDaddi

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Nissan was doing this with the 240z's.. wish it would become more common

Anybody remember when a Miata was supposed to be 12k basic, $15k for British Racing Green, and $18k fully loaded?

Yeah.. that didn't last long once they figured out what a money maker they had... :(
 

braamer

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Mazda Miata's are for girls...

Give a a Triumph Spitfire or MG Midget/B any day. In fact I miss my MG Midget SCCA roadster. We had to sell her, but she was sold a Champion.
That's nonsense. Look at almost any SCCA event, and there are tons of Miatas because they are great driver's cars. Read almost any magazine review, watch almost any video review, the Miata gets rave reviews.
 

RogueTadhg

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I was never keen on the Miata. But I do love their rotaries. I owned an RX-8 R3 for a while and love every minute of it.
 

CharonPDX

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Damn, my mom just lost hers (first year) to an accident. And aside from the paint being terrible (bad third party paint job a dozen years ago,) it was in great physical condition. Could have used a "factory restoration"...
 

Mize

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Never bought into the MX-5 stereo type, they're fantastic drivers cars. Nearly bought and ND last year myself but it was a bit to cramped.
I owned both a Miata and a 370z Roadster over the years and the Miata was arguably more fun to drive in spite of the Zs higher power and torque.
 

Full Otto

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I've almost bought a few, as they can be very satisfying to drive, but I don't really fit. I learned not to buy a car that doesn't fit when I had the Spitfire, though the looks you get when you're wearing goggles on the highway are fun. Drove several NAs that belonged to friends and was asked to fix/upgrade. A bone stock NA is about as close to a street legal go-kart as you can get. You can beat the crap out of those things as long as you keep up with maintenance. I was lucky enough to Auto-X a buddies prepped NB, and yea, it's a sweet machine when setup right. Speaking of, when you hear peeps talk about adding bigger wheels/tires/brakes, chassis braces, and especially forced induction, they are adding weight. Adding weight to a Miata is kinda like ordering a diet soda and then adding sugar. That NB was gutted, had zero power mods, stock sized light weight wheels, and near slick stock sized tires, essentially a scalpel you can drive. The NC never did anything for me. It had gotten so heavy at that point, you were better off going to a heavier platform with much more power. I drove an ND for about 10 mins on city streets and the thing that sticks in my mind was how floppy it felt. The chassis seemed stiff enough, but the body roll was excessive. I can appreciate weight transfer as much as the next trailbrake junkie, but that felt like it would actually hinder fast transitions anywhere near the limit. I hear newer ones and the RF are better though. I wonder what they are doing with "light weights" these days, hmmm.

Finally got a Solstice GXP when it was time to have a drop top back in the stable. It may be a bit heavier, but a few bolt-ons and a tune get me to 350rwhp @ 3250lbs with me and a full tank. An alignment and some Pilot SuperSports give it plenty of grip and enough balance to use it. Thing even got over 32 MPG when I drove it home across half the country. It's perfect for attacking Hill Country roads. I can fill up, go do a 3 Sisters run, and get back to SA in one 13 gallon tank. Oh, and I fit :D

Too bad GM hadn't quite figured out interiors yet in 08. :unsure:

PS: If you ever buy a Solstice (GXP or not), please get it aligned as soon as you do. They have ZERO camber from the factory. Seriously, it's -.5deg with +-.5deg tolerance front and back. My live-axle Z-28 has more rear camber then that.....

PSS: If the hotty in the cabrio 911 Turbo that blew my doors off north of Leakey a couple weeks ago is reading, thanks, but I'm taken. Nice ride though. :geek:
 
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BulletDust

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I've almost bought a few, as they can be very satisfying to drive, but I don't really fit. I learned not to buy a car that doesn't fit when I had the Spitfire, though the looks you get when you're wearing goggles on the highway are fun. Drove several NAs that belonged to friends and was asked to fix/upgrade. A bone stock NA is about as close to a street legal go-kart as you can get. You can beat the crap out of those things as long as you keep up with maintenance. I was lucky enough to Auto-X a buddies prepped NB, and yea, it's a sweet machine when setup right. Speaking of, when you hear peeps talk about adding bigger wheels/tires/brakes, chassis braces, and especially forced induction, they are adding weight. Adding weight to a Miata is kinda like ordering a diet soda and then adding sugar. That NB was gutted, had zero power mods, stock sized light weight wheels, and near slick stock sized tires, essentially a scalpel you can drive. The NC never did anything for me. It had gotten so heavy at that point, you were better off going to a heavier platform with much more power. I drove an ND for about 10 mins on city streets and the thing that sticks in my mind was how floppy it felt. The chassis seemed stiff enough, but the body roll was excessive. I can appreciate weight transfer as much as the next trailbrake junkie, but that felt like it would actually hinder fast transitions anywhere near the limit. I hear newer ones and the RF are better though. I wonder what they are doing with "light weights" these days, hmmm.

Finally got a Solstice GXP when it was time to have a drop top back in the stable. It may be a bit heavier, but a few bolt-ons and a tune get me to 350rwhp @ 3250lbs with me and a full tank. An alignment and some Pilot SuperSports give it plenty of grip and enough balance to use it. Thing even got over 32 MPG when I drove it home across half the country. It's perfect for attacking Hill Country roads. I can fill up, go do a 3 Sisters run, and get back to SA in one 13 gallon tank. Oh, and I fit :D

Too bad GM hadn't quite figured out interiors yet in 08. :unsure:

PS: If you ever buy a Solstice (GXP or not), please get it aligned as soon as you do. They have ZERO camber from the factory. Seriously, it's -.5deg with +-.5deg tolerance front and back. My live-axle Z-28 has more rear camber then that.....

PSS: If the hotty in the cabrio 911 Turbo that blew my doors off north of Leakey a couple weeks ago is reading, thanks, but I'm taken. Nice ride though. :geek:
As stated, the NB came from the factory with forced induction in Australia, at ~150kw's it was pretty quick in 2002 and the additional weight was negligible. The carbon fiber airbox and the turbo flutter was just beautiful, this model blew the doors off the last of the Mazdaspeed turbocharged NB MX5's that came late in the series:

https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-reviews/used-car-review-mazda-mx5-sp-2002-13294
 
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Semantics

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Ah the nintendo route of making money. If you ever run out of ideas, reap on nostalgia
 

W.Feather

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Well damn. I Loved my '93 NA when i had it, drove that shit into the ground and still got like 400 for it......was a fun car to drive as you could throw it around stock and it wouldnt complain one bit.
 

cageymaru

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Ah the nintendo route of making money. If you ever run out of ideas, reap on nostalgia
No, I think with new technology such as fast 3D printing of metals we will see other manufacturers selling older car parts. One of the main reasons you don't see manufacturers repairing older vehicles is because you have to have expensive warehouses and employees running those warehouses to store those parts. Stock prices don't like expenses. 3D printing fixes all of those issues as the customer just needs to wait for the part to be created.

Mercedes Benz is dipping into this older vehicle market also because of 3D printing. Ford is embracing 3D printing of car parts also. Ferrari and Honda are doing it. Of course there are more.
 

Nimisys

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As someone who does restoration work on vintage Italian Sports Cars, i am really surprised by this. Restoration is very intensive time wise. when every nut and bolt has to be cleaned, repaired, prepped and plated you can be looking 20hrs labor. every component gone through, stripped down and correct coatings/finishes applied. there can be an easy 40hrs in that alone. nevermind the material costs. On the cars I deal with, economically it's makes since, as you can easily gain back the 6 figures you spent to restore it in value when completed, but what about when the vehicle is only worth 50k or less when done?
 

Snowdog

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As someone who does restoration work on vintage Italian Sports Cars, i am really surprised by this. Restoration is very intensive time wise. when every nut and bolt has to be cleaned, repaired, prepped and plated you can be looking 20hrs labor. every component gone through, stripped down and correct coatings/finishes applied. there can be an easy 40hrs in that alone. nevermind the material costs. On the cars I deal with, economically it's makes since, as you can easily gain back the 6 figures you spent to restore it in value when completed, but what about when the vehicle is only worth 50k or less when done?
Mazda is not going to do restorations.

They are supporting them, mainly by reviving production on genuine original parts to supply the restorers, and do some certification of third party restorers.

So if you want to get a ground up restoration done on your 25 year old Miata, you pay some third party astronomical amount of money, and Mazda will build genuine parts for it...
 

Snowdog

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Never bought into the MX-5 stereo type, they're fantastic drivers cars. Nearly bought and ND last year myself but it was a bit to cramped.
The gay/hairdresser/girl car stereotype is mainly from knuckle draggers who are not car enthusiasts.

Among enthusiasts they are highly respected, and they are probably the most popular street legal car on race tracks and autocross courses.
 

rhexis

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wish i had kept my 240z i had in highschool. dont see very many nowadays. sad!
 
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