Rare Factory Hardtop Coupe Mazda Miata NB Up For Auction
The Japan-only Mazda Roadster Coupe offered a solid roof on a Miata over a decade before the RF hit the scene.
A true, one-piece hardtop Mazda Miata was never an option in America until the introduction of the fourth-generation Miata RF, but Japan was offered one as far back as the early 2000s, with a true fastback design produced in extremely limited numbers. The Type-A, the most uniquely styled of these already nearly unobtainable cars, has come up for auction at a Japanese auto sales house.
The cars—confusingly called the "Roadster Coupe" series of Miatas—are based on a traditional NB-platform Miata, but produced in extremely limited numbers across four variants: a base model, the Type-A (seen here for sale), the Type-S, and the Type-E. The Type-A was, according to Mazda, intended to evoke an "authentic design reminiscent of traditional racing cars," with an exclusive aesthetic package featuring wider fender flares, custom headlight housings, foglamps, and a sporty body kit. Mazda proudly notes that despite the addition of an entire solid roof structure to the normally-ragtop Miata, the Roadster Coupes weighed only a mere 22 pounds more than their open-aired brethren (which is a significant improvement versus the 120 pounds of additional heft the ND-generation RF hardtop weighs).
In addition, the Type-A was offered with a more powerful variant of the 1.8L Japanese-spec four-cylinder motor that featured variable intake valve timing and put down a total of 157 HP (nearly 20 more horsepower than US-spec NB Miatas could deliver). It was only offered with a six-speed manual transmission, and according to the auction listing, only 200 were ever sold.
While the Type-A is at auction and a final price isn't available, a Type-S that offers the same VVT-equipped, more powerful motor (but no wild body kit) is currently listed for just under $38,000 on an online sales site called Pistonheads, so it'll likely be one of the pricier Miatas money can buy, even if you count new ones off the lot. If the price doesn't deter you, however, you'll still have to be patient: The Roadster Coupe was only sold from 2003-2004, so you'll be waiting until almost the end of the decade to legally import one to America under the 25-year-import laws.
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