By on September 7, 2014


Two and a half years ago, I asked an important question, to wit: “If a guy in a shed can make the Miata pretty, why can’t Mazda do it?” Well, I think Mazda’s finally done it. The new Miata is, at the very least, striking.

Simpson Design hasn’t stood still in the past thirty months, however: my favorite restyling company in the world has now come up with a variety of restyles for the NB second-generation Miata, and although they aren’t cheap, they are lovely.


Simpson currently offers four kits for the NB Miata, all of them takes on the original round-recessed-headlight “Italia” restyle of the NA Miata. The convertible is the cheapest, costing under $20,000 on an NB that you provide.


The interior restyle is slightly more convincing than it was on the first-gen cars:


There’s a subtle and delightful reverse-curved-window coupe available:


Most of these cars cost $29,900 with an NB that you provide. Here’s a low mileage car that probably sold for seven grand or thereabouts so you’re looking at $40,000 by the time you do everything and get the car all the way up to snuff. You could buy a car with major cosmetic issues or some crash damage for less.

So why pay forty grand for a Miata that looks vaguely like an old Ferrari? Well, you won’t see yourself coming and going in it, it’s a great conversation piece no matter where you go, and it retains most of the Miata virtues. Think of it as a modern Fiat Spider or something. Not the weird slashy-looking Chris Bangle Fiat Spider, but the old Pinifariana 124.

Or you could spend forty grand and buy a two-year-old Vette droptop and smoke the Italia’s four-cylinder ass from here to Atlantic City.

Your choice.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

23 Comments on “Just A Reminder That You Don’t Need To Wait For A Swoopy Miata...”

  • avatar

    For a conversation piece and spending that kinda cash, I’d buy a Factory Five MK4 Roadster. This certainly isn’t worth spending $40K.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    That looks nice. However, it made me wonder how much a Singer is going for.

    Or maybe a Speedster replica. Or a Corvette GS replica.

    And I went to the FF site. Man I wish I had chosen that chassis earlier as project. I wonder if they ran a FEA simulation of it.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Singers are a quarter million bucks.

      • 0 avatar

        Singers *start* at a quarter-million bucks. Have you looked at their gallery recently? I think my favorite is Indonesia; I wouldn’t have suspected it, but there’s something nicely different about the large Porsche name in orange over what looks like an asphalt grey-black color. I’ll pass on the red interior though.

      • 0 avatar

        Remember when Singer started as a way to make old Porsche’s a little nicer? Before they went whole-hog and rotisserie’d cars with OCD that would make a German cry in his sleep?

        I like Singer’s – they are GORGEOUS – but I have to wonder when someone is going to step in and deliver what Singer’s original plan was. They are building amazing quarter-million dollar machines, but there is a huge market looking to make their $30k cars nicer to live with for ~$20k.

        • 0 avatar

          See I think the problem is that there isn’t a huge market for a budget singer. Old Porsches are worth too much money to restomod them anymore. Singer makes them worth more than an equivalent restored version. Anything less would be counterproductive. Maybe on a 928 or 944 but not anything aircooled.

  • avatar

    Could never take these “restyles” seriously, though these Miata ones are better than the typical Corvette and old Fiero ones.

    As a car geek all I see is a Miata windshield line and door there. That is always the tell, as I imagine re-engineering the cowl is much more expensive than 30k could cover.

  • avatar

    of course, you can easily get a V8 installed in a Miata to go along with this, if you really want to lose all sanity..

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Or drop a 3.7 ford in there for 300 HP and a mere 75 pound weight penalty.

  • avatar

    My icon gives it away, but I would rather have a nice Lotus coupe or +2.

    • 0 avatar

      No kidding, who buys these things at those kinds of prices?
      If you just want something different and exotic looking then an Elise is much cheaper, hell a friend picked up a 2010 Evora last year at not much more scratch.

      And it looks like an expertly done conversion (really) but the proportions are a little off or something…. Perhaps the ride height too. Just opinion.

      Your money, do whatcha want!

  • avatar

    I would rather have a 2000gt kit that was spot on.

  • avatar

    They are very pretty. But what about the Muata’s famous reliability? Rust proofing? Will a small company’s shell hold up to actual road use?

    That’s more of a concern to me than where ro put my imaginary 40 grand. They would obviously be best invested in a pristine Volvo 1800ES, a V8 conversion Volvo 960, and a garage to park them in. Obviously.

    • 0 avatar

      Indeed. No matter how pretty the new shell, I’d like at this like taking one person’s face that’s loaded with personality–perhaps Barbara Streisand in her younger days–and performing cosmetic surgery to make her look like some more conventionally beautiful person such as, I don’t know, maybe Katie perry.

      and I like your investments, especially the first.

      Just in case you missed it…

  • avatar

    I love the idea of a DIY sports car.

    Almost anyone can finance a car and buy their way in to one, if that’s their main priority in life…. Meh. But building something unique, even if it’s a Miata with half of the body panels swapped, is cool! :-)

  • avatar

    If I wanted to spend 40 grand on a Miata, I’d turn my NC over to the guys at Flyin’ Miata and have an LS3 stuffed under the hood.

  • avatar

    For $30-40k, you could get a completely restored Fiat Spider, or an Alfa spider AND a practically perfect Miata to drive when they are broken… any generation you choose. $40k is touching cheap Ferrari territory. Any number of Porsche 911’s are available at that price; classics, 80s, 90s, even 997s. British roadsters, American muscle cars, German classics, etc. That is a LOT of coin to drop on an old Miata to make it look like a cheap kit car. Don’t they make a hardtop for them already?

  • avatar

    It strikes me that this is a car for those who don’t want to see the exact same car coming down the road towards them. I like my Miata, but there are four Miatas within 2 blocks of my house, and I see a car identical to mine in color and year on a regular basis around town. The Simpson kit solves that problem.

    Whether the cost is worth it to you is a personal decision. The remarks about buying another type of car (Corvette, 911) miss the point – you’ll still see another one that looks like yours on the road.

    The hardtop Simpson looks to me a lot like a Triumph GT-6, which is one of my favorite cars, but without the pain of driving a Triumph regularly (been there, done that as a daily driver). If I had the cash sitting around, I certainly consider it.

  • avatar

    Or you could drop an LS into an Italia and smoke that two-year-old Vette droptop’s 3400lb ass from here to Atlantic City.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • FreedMike: A 257-hp three banger? Sounds manic. I like it.
  • Lou_BC: “irradiate’ #*[email protected]& spell check
  • cimarron typeR: The Corolla hatch styling appeals to me more than any Golf derivative, maybe because of the rake of...
  • SoCalMikester: replacing hoods is just going to lead to complaints about mismatched paint. its really hard to match...
  • Secret Hi5: “Notion of toughness” – Could it be TTAC’s tongue-in-cheek snark to mock the subject?

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber