It seems most of us err on the side of “no thanks” when it comes to Mazda Miatas re-bodied to look like classic Ford Mustangs. But the Miata is a versatile platform with many good qualities, and now a reader has pointed me toward a Miata-based customization project I find much more compelling.
You may have heard of Jim Simpson’s Simpson Design, but until this afternoon I had not, and now I’m kind of a fan. He’s a former Ferrari design apprentice whose Washington-based shop’s been around for decades, and these days they turn Miatas into these Zagato- and Bertone-inspired custom kit cars.
They happen to be quite lovely. That green one up top apes the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and the lower one’s clearly a salute to the Ferrari 250 SWB, though I’d say they stand on their own. Not bad for a Miata as a base.
Also! In addition to the customized interiors, several of them even have fixed roofs. Those are pretty elusive even on normal Miatas!
Simpson’s website says his process involves 3D modeling, building 1/24 scale mockups, working with a custom wood buck, then shaping steel, fiberglass and interior to the buyer’s exact specs. The Gentleman Racer says the completed car will run you about $25,000, which is really not bad either.
Somehow, I think these work better than the Mustang customs, probably because Simpson’s Italian and English-inspired designs jibe much better with the Miata’s own roadster heritage. Good as it is, the Mustang was never meant to be a pure, two-seat, lightweight roadster.
And hey! Hardtop roofs! What’s not to like there? I can think of far more questionable things to do with your Miata than these.
Hat tip to Frank!