Mazda has completed its first factory restoration of a Eunos Roadster. The program was launched in August 2017 to help owners get their beloved NAs back to new condition, as well as to manufacture discontinued parts for the first-gen Roadster. To celebrate the completion of the first job, Mazda invited the owner to one of its restoration facilities to hand over the keys.
By the end of 2017 Mazda had already received over 600 applications from eager Roadster owners. Work on the first job began in in June 2018 and was finished in August, but Mazda announced its completion on September 12.
The lucky owner was a retired tomato farmer, Keiji Nishimoto (above, center) and his wife Norimi from Onomichi, Hiroshima. Nishimoto told Mazda he had already been meaning to restore his 1992 V Special, a limited edition in BRG over tan with a Nardi shifter and steering wheel, when he saw Mazda’s announcement in the newspaper and applied.
Nishimoto said he was quite surprised that he was chosen to be first. He bought the car new 26 years ago, telling Mazda that in driving it all over Japan with his wife, “I made the best memories I’ve ever had.”
The team took Nishimoto for a tour of the facility and gave him a walkthrough of his car. When asked what his plans for it were, Nishimoto replied, “I plan to drive it for another 25 years.”
The bigger question is: Is this open to Foreign Owners outside of GLORIOUS NIPPON?
This isn’t cheap. Will Americans be willing to pay top dollar for a factory resto?
Well, if Honda would do it for my Element Ex?
Yup. I would.
I love the Element too, but I think I could count people like you on one hand 🙂
I love this! And there’s two of us in Vegas who would gladly do the same for our Elements. ❤️
Wonderful program idea, the best cars already exist and should be kept on the roads. Something like this for the FD Rx7 or Del Sol would be on my wish list!
So… How much? It’s so hard to find a good place to restore classic Japanese cars, and I’m not sure a place that does American muscle cars can even do a Japanese car well.
I don’t see any familiar faces, but I see the factory staff still wear gray shirts with blue hats (and slightly changed insignias). I still have my shirt, pants, hat and ID badge from when I walked the first N.A Miatas down the line in Hiroshima.
I also don’t recall that beefy-looking shock tower brace. But it is a great thing they are attempting here.
What about the soft top? No mention here. Is that replaced too? And if so, which version?
When asked what his plans for it were, Nishimoto replied, “I plan to drive it for another 25 years.”
Does other vintage MAZDA coupe model, as example 818, be possible to restore in the factory?
Great project. I’m waiting to see how the parts bin will be available to the public. I hope the program includes a robust parts program for owners (without hurting the aftermarket). I like the idea of the small “factory” improvement like the strut towers instead of a clearly aftermarket looking anodized piece.
Maybe the aftermarket landscape will evolve into electric conversions done right. In the mean time, my partner’s NA is headed for the paint booth.