Custom Ferrari/Shelby 1990 Mazda Miata

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The Miata wears a custom body inspired by the Ferrari 275 GTB Spider

Take a Mazda Miata, reskin it with an Italianate body, then add Ford Cobra V8 power and what do you get?

Well, you get this, the Pick of the Day, which the seller calls a 1990 Mazda Miata NART Spyder.

The clean-looking roadster channels the elegance of Ferrari styling with Carroll Shelby’s habit of stuffing powerful V8s under the hoods of little sports cars. And judging by its overall appearance and the list of components, this hot little mongrel was done right.

A 238-horsepower Ford Cobra engine is nestled inside

The sleek-looking body is from Simpson Design. Called the Italia Classic, the shape was inspired by Ferrari’s rare 275 GTB NART Spider, which is now valued at many millions of dollars. The Ferrari/Miata effect comes across not at all toy-like but as a nicely integrated sports car (Note that I actually saw this car at the dealership). The paint is a lustrous Burnt Orange with black accents.

Then there’s the engine power, which definitely sets it apart from its Miata roots.

“One look under the hood will convince you this is more Shelby than Ferrari,” according to the Mesa, Arizona, dealer advertising the custom Mazda on ClassicCars.com. “That polished top intake boldly announce(s) 5.0-liter Ford Mustang Cobra power.”

The Simpson body looks well-integrated

The Miata’s chassis, drivetrain and suspension have been beefed up to handle the V8, which the seller says dyno’d at 238 horsepower. The engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission and stopping power is provided by Wilwood disc brakes.

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The interior also has been customized and upgraded with leather bucket seats, a full set of performance gauges, full power accessories, AC and a retro-style AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input. The Ferrari/Shelby dichotomy is reinforced by a Nardi steering wheel from Italy and a shift knob with a Shelby insignia.

A Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel adorns the upgraded interior

The album of photos with the ad show that the car is very clean on top and underneath, and apparently ready to drive, preferably fast. While the speedometer photo shows it reading 6,007 miles, the specs with the ad say more than 106,000. Judging by the Miata’s immaculate condition, I would believe the four-figure mileage.

The custom Miata is priced at a rather reasonable $28,995, although there are really no comps for comparison. Whatever its value, it seems like a priceless example of sports car enthusiasm that should be an insane blast to drive or be seen driving.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

4 COMMENTS

      • As far as value goes, it will never be worth more than it costs to make another one. Let’s see one $5000 used Miata, a $2500 used engine, some fiberglass, paint .. .. ..

        • That’s pretty much the case, which is why the $28,995 price is suspect. It was just reduced from $29,995 because of no serious interest. Honestly, I’d love to have it for a toy, but I’m not rich, so 30 G’s for a limited use toy strains my budget. Now, if they’d take 15K…………

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