Published on January 31st, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Happy Birthday MX-5 Roadster Ambassador, Nobuhiro Yamamoto
You probably have never heard of Nobuhiro Yamamoto.
There is growing global community of Mazda MX-5 roadster owners and in Malaysia the community is stronger than ever before. Whilst many lust over the Efini and Savanna, the MX-5 roadster, especially the first model that was unveiled in 1989 remains the best to own and drive (if you are true car enthusiasts).
It is not about power delivery or driving luxury, it is about ‘driving around corners without hesitation’! We can say this as we have a basic MX5 roadster manual in our possession for more than two decades.
Meanwhile, today is the birthday of the former Mazda MX-5 Program Manager, now Roadster Ambassador, Nobuhiro Yamamoto.
“Our motto was to build ‘A car that makes everybody happy.’ And this was the defining characteristic of the NA roadster when it was born in 1989. We are so proud that to this day people still seem happier having it in their lives, treating it almost like a member of the family.” said Nobuhiro Yamamoto.
Today, is Nobuhiro Yamamoto’s birthday and we wish him a long and happy life to keep moving the reproduction of classic Mazda parts for owners to enjoy driving their cars.
Mazda shares the same passion to keep these much-loved older models on the road. So, in December 2017, the NA roadster restoration service was launched, helping to make these dreams come true.
The restoration scheme takes in much-loved classics and returns them to their owners as good as new. The comprehensive restoration plan is undertaken in Hiroshima by a team of dedicated Mazda experts.
It takes around two months to fully refurbish a car. First, the roadster is completely stripped, then the body is taken back to bare metal and re-sprayed by hand. The chassis components are refurbished or replaced and the interior re-trimmed, while the engine is also rebuilt.
All of this is recorded in an exclusive book that is presented to the customer on receipt of their restored NA Roadster. However, before any car can leave the facility, each one is driven by Yamamoto himself to ensure it meets Mazda’s exacting standards.
The program was originally conceived in November 2015, with the help of suppliers who put together plans for restoration and reproduction of NA roadster parts.
During an initial trial period, staff at roadster specialist stores gave Mazda indispensable advice, while the Roadster Club of Japan also offered its strong support.
The restoration service, which is currently only available in Japan, has allowed Mazda to work even more closely with fans. By continuing to produce authentic parts, Mazda is demonstrating its desire to live up to the expectations of roadster devotees. And, most importantly, that it is a brand that understands and cherishes its unique bond with its customers.
The NA roadster restoration service is much more than just a repair. With each restoration, Mazda is breathing new life into the cars. It gives Mazda a great sense of satisfaction and pleasure seeing the happy customers driving away in their rejuvenated roadsters feeling they are ‘more beautiful than ever’.
Mazda will continue to improve and update its restoration service and looks forward to celebrating the NA roadster alongside owners who have loved the car through the ages for years to come.