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Old 05-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
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Default This might just out-weird the Jeepiata....

I thought the Jeep bodied-Miata was the weirdest conversion out there, but this homebrow Model A/rat rod/Mad Max-mobile tops it, in my opinion.

1931 Model A with Miata Engine - $8000 (Athens)

Hello folks, Im selling one of my toys so I can build another, this car was featured in Ratrod magazine, as well as being included in a few art shows localy. it turns heads all over the place, here is a copy of the article from the magazine, it describes the car pretty well:

Generally the last two things you’d expect to find in the same sentence are Ratrod and Miata.

I purchased the stock Mazda Miata when I moved from New York to Georgia for graduate school. A broken motorcycle was my only vehicle at the time, so a running $800 car sounded great regardless of make and model There were problems, of course: a ripped convertible top, power steering out, broken AC (a tragedy in sweltering Georgia), and an interior that smelled like cat urine. Nevertheless, I drove it around for about seven months. Then, one fateful summer day, a ten-wheel dump truck plowed into the rear end, shoving the little Miata down Route Ten. The Miata had always sparked my interest as a as a custom vehicle platform. After all, many of its components become donor pieces in kit cars and there have been a few Lotus Seven style replicas based entirely around the Miata platform. This wreck was the perfect excuse to experiment.

After a quick recovery and some insurance money, it was time to begin picking up parts and fabricating the frame for the Miata Ratrod. My research didn’t turn up much information on Miata hot rods, aside from a collection of insane human beings who swap LS Corvette motors into Miatas. For the most part I was doing things backwards by keeping the Miata drivetrain and ditching the body. The most logical starting point was simply pulling everything off of the wreck. Underneath, there is a very convenient frame member connecting the back of the transmission housing to the rear differential. From there I could establish a parallel rail chassis design using 2x3” rectangular tubing. The stock rear suspension sub frame was bolted onto the parallel rail frame, and the front sub frame was sleeved and welded directly to the front of the custom frame. This allowed me to keep the stock geometry and front steering rack mounting position. The stock front coil-overs were a bit large for an open-fendered car, but scrounging through some parts bins turned up a stock Suzuki GS500 rear mono-shock. Surprisingly, the Suzuki shock is a direct bolt-on to Mazda Miata A-arms! After a quick Ebay search, a passenger coilover was on its way. Motor mounts on a Miata engine are not unlike most American V8s and were simple to fabricate from 3/16th plate.

The Miata Rat Rod body is pure Frankenstein. The Model A cowl, gastank, left and right doors are all from the same generation but different cars. For the more complex back end, I cut and bent sedan rear doors around a 15-gallon beer keg (which eventually became the gas tank). The turtle deck is from a 20s Model T, widened about 4 inches. The floor and interior are handmade from old 18ga sheet. Stock 70s Monte Carlo seats fit nicely in the Model A body. The front grill is made from two fender skirts narrowed and turned sideways, covering a used aftermarket all-aluminum radiator.

The 1.8l Miata engine remained mostly stock. 130hp and 114lbs of torque move the 1400lb car down the road nicely. I fabed Zoomie headers but later changed to a single lake style header, using a gutted Honda CB muffler. For convenience, a flex tube and cone filter replaced the stock intake. The stock ECU and electronic fuel injection stayed on the engine and keep it running smoothly — so smoothly that two weeks after getting the car running, I had few hesitations about driving 1800 miles round trip on Route 81 between Athens, GA and Ithaca, NY. I didn’t need to open my tool box once.

Since I love the look of traditional hot rods but can’t afford to buy or build them, why not work creatively? After all, every tradition begins somewhere. In another 80 years, a Toyota Prius will be traditional — it's just a matter of perspective. Until that day comes, keep driving what you’ve got!

Car Specs:
Engine, Transmission, Rear Diff, Gauges, Suspension, Steering: 1996 1.8l Mazda Miata M Edition
Frame: Custom Fabricated 2x3 1/8 tubing
Grill: two 1960s ford fender covers
Headlights: 1940s Packard
Hood Ornament: 1941 Cadillac
Wheels: Stock Mazda
Seats: 70s Monte Carlo

some info since then, The exhaust is slightly different than pictured below, The rear tires are getting pretty low on tread, also the engine had what i thought was a blown head gasket (turned out to just be some water in the spark plug boots) but after a total top end rebuild shes running better than ever.

call or email - Ben 607 227 four two zero four

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Old 05-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #2
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:45 PM   #3
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Needz moar boost. A big triumpfant bastard hanging off.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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$8000 for that hack job? Give me a break.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post

Chump or Lemon car?
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
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Hood Ornament: 1941 Cadillac
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:18 PM   #8
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That is actually kinda awesome!
I could see me doing something similar someday
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #9
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ditto to what chicksdigmiatas said... needz moar boost... but thats why im even on this gay forum.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:01 AM   #10
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I kinda like it too - however, would NEVER pay anything for it...
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:51 AM   #11
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Cool? Kinda. Worth more than a grand? Not really.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:38 AM   #12
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Jesus, I can't imagine how loud it'd be.
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:34 PM   #13
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i really like the shape of the that ratrod, but not the rattyness. it needs cool paint/pinstripes to get me going. also can someone list the donor cars involved in that jacked up station wagon?
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