Got a rusty MX-5? Live in Japan? Mazda can help…

Published: 07 August 2017

Mazda’s own resto programme
 Only available in Japan for now
 Extending the life of original MX-5s

Time flies when you’re having fun, eh? The original Mk1 Mazda MX-5 is more than 28 years old, and, as is the nature of old cars, the eldest examples are beginning to crumble.

To keep the much-adored roadsters alive for longer, Mazda has announced it is launching its own in-house restoration service. A couple of caveats, though – it will cater specifically for original ‘NA’ series cars (built from 1989 to 1997), and – rather more inconveniently for UK MX-5 owners – only at a centre in Japan. Sorry.

The first MX-5 to be restored by Mazda's in-house programme

Mazda says the service is in response to customer demand, from owners who want to keep driving their MX-5 in the future and have asked for components that have previously been discontinued to be reproduced.

It’s taking applications now, and restorations will start in 2018. Mazda has restored the red car pictured in this story's gallery to pilot test the programme.

Of the 120,000 NA MX-5 roadsters sold in Japan, Mazda says around 23,000 remain.

The first MX-5 to be restored by Mazda's in-house programme

Customers’ cars will be fully restored using original parts, and subsequently certified by the Japanese arm of TÜV Rheinland, Germany’s famously finicky testing organisation.

No word on how much Mazda’s restoration services are likely to cost, but if they’re anything like Jaguar and Land Rover’s ‘Reborn’ projects for E-types, Defenders and original Range Rovers, they won’t be cheap…

Mazda MX-5 1989-2014 in pictures

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer