Making coupe versions of famous roadsters seems to be a favourite pastime for some car rendering wizards. However, what you see here isn’t the product of a lengthy photoshop session, nor is it some one-off custom made by a coach-builder. Nope - Mazda really did make a coupe version of the ‘NB’ MX-5.
The reason this one will have passed you by (or perhaps not, since these things are Miata legends) is the Roadster Coupe was reserved for the Japanese domestic market. Plus, it was built in only tiny numbers.
Mazda only made 179, 63 of which were the ‘Type S’ derivative like the car seen here. It’s not the rarest of the tin top NBs, with that going to the weird-looking, luxury-focused ‘Type E’ (20 units), but it is The One You Want (TM). That’s because it has the 1.8-litre inline-four and a six-speed manual gearbox instead of the usual five-ratio transmission. You get a limited-slip differential, too.
It looks great in Arctic White (A3D for you paint code nerds), which isn’t the original colour. The paintwork is said to be in “excellent condition” with “no significant wear”. The interior is all original, including the factory-fitted double-din audio head unit.
It also looks to be extremely tidy in there, thanks in large part to how little use it’s seen compared to the average MX-5 of this vintage - the mileage figure is nicely low at 49,290. It hasn’t had a long string of previous owners, either, since the seller bought it off the original keeper. The NB lived most of its life in its native Japan before being exported in March 2020. Currently, it resides in Warsaw, Poland.
Included in the sale are all of the original manuals and brochures, the service book, the export certificate and a bunch of Mazdaspeed components. If it’s a coupe Miata you’re after, it doesn’t look like you’d go too far wrong with this one.
There’s a bit of a catch, though - cost. Whereas you can get a decent drop-top second-gen MX-5 for a few thousand quid, the rarity of the Roadster Coupe has long kept prices high. For a while, you’ve needed upwards of £12,000 to snag one at an auction in Japan, and prices have been creeping up.
With two days to go at the time of writing, the Collecting Cars online auction for this MX-5 has already reached €23,000 (£19,300). Too much for a 158bhp Miata with a different hairdo, or worth it for the rarity? Let us know what you think in the comments.