The first car was picked from 600 applications sent to Mazda. Out of all these cars needing factory certified work, the 1992 British Racing Green V-Special owned by retired tomato farmer Keiji Nishimoto was chosen to be the first. The Eunos-badged limited-edition car was bought new by Nishimoto, and he told Mazda the car had been instrumental in creating some wonderful road-trip memories. The V-Special edition came in a British roadster-style color combination: "Neo" green over tan leather, complete with a retro-style Nardi wood wheel. The car also has a front strut bar and a limited-slip differential.
Nishimoto had already been planning to get his car restored, but getting it done by Mazda during the summer was even better. The car was finished in August, and it was officially handed over to its owner in September. To have owned and enjoyed a car for a quarter-century and getting a chance to experience it in as-new condition again must be a fantastic experience. Nishimoto says the car is now good for another 25 years of driving.
For the time being, the TÜV Rheinland certified restoration program is only available for Japanese customers. But since a large percentage of first-generation Miatas are still on the road, and a large percentage of those will need bodywork done in all the usual places, we would happily see Mazda reach out to European and American customers as well.