The Mazda MX-5 isn’t the sort of car we report on at NZV8 but today we have found an exception. Because one keen American car enthusiast has found a positive outcome from what we all fear – a nose to tail crash.
The American owner of the rat rod monster you see above was happily driving his 1996 MX-5 one day when he was hit from behind and his drop-top was wrecked. Instead of just scrapping it he decided to do something a little different. Firstly, he salvaged the engine, transmission, rear differential, gauges, suspension and steering components from the Mazda. He then custom-fabricated a frame from the remains of the crash-damaged car. Front and rear sub-frames were attached, and this allowed for the stock steering and suspension points to be reused.
At this point he decided that his MX-5 reincarnation was to take on a rat rod form and he wanted a filthy look. So he created a grille by turning two 1960′s Ford guard covers sideways and then welded them together. The headlamps were taken from a 1940s era Packard, and the bonnet ornament from a 1941 Cadillac. In the cockpit, luxuries are scarce but there are seats taken from a 1970s Monte Carlo.
Apparently, the entire package works very well and the owner gets a genuine rat rod look with the reliability and driving dynamics of a Mazda MX-5. It’s a story of pain, hard work and triumph but ultimately it’s about making something from nothing and giving one lucky MX-5 the chance to actually be something cool .
Check out images of the MX-5 Rat Rod in the gallery below.