The Mazda Miata is one of the most fun cars to drive. Its petite frame makes its 155 horsepower feel like a 500 horsepower muscle car, only much more agile. The newer versions look quite sleek, but the Miata has never won any awards for its looks. That is until you take a look at custom retrofitted Miatas from a design company that is turning them into classic masterpieces.
Simpson Design is a restoration car shop based out of Washington. The shop, led by designer and mechanic Jim Simpson, mostly specializes in repairing high-end classic Italian and Japanese sports cars. Eventually the shop started to experiment with Miatas, retrofitting them with custom body kits of classic Aston Martins and Ferraris. The end results are some gorgeous cars.
Two of the specific body kits were based on the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and Ferrari 250 GTO for the Italia 3 GTZ and the Italia 3 SWB respectively. The final product looks nothing like a Miata. It’s a much more sophisticated design, conjuring the lore of British and Italian classic cars.
To build the cars, Simpson Design studio uses a specific process that is made in conjunction with the client. Once the studio gets feedback, it starts off with rough 3D sketches. The next step of the process is to refine the design, which results in a Hot Wheels-like scale model. Next comes acquiring a donor car that ends up being gutted, with all the stock parts and body panels taken off for what Simpson refers to as a blank canvas.
Once the car is ready to be molded, fiberglass parts are ordered. Putting the car together after this is the easiest part of the process.
Getting a custom-made Miata from Simpson Design will run you about $25,000. If you have that kind of money lying around, it sounds like a no-brainer to get one made.