Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Fall 2019
						Widow Spr1 1
Merry Widow

Widow SPR1 Rebodied Miata

As Told by Wayne Blackwell

I started building the buck for the Widow SPR1 two years ago with the dream of starting my own kit business. I have been in the trade for 17 years working alongside some of the bigger brands like Lotus, Caterham, Morgan, etc from my days in Ford power products. I felts I had been watching everyone do what I have always wanted to do for far too long and now it was my turn. 

The project started with a TVR’s Sagaris bodyshell that I cut up and used for the base shape. To fit the rear part of the Sagaris I had to cut the roof off the clamshell, narrow it two inches move it forward three inches and raise it one inch to get the desired roof angle that works well with the rake of the windscreen. 

After attaching several parts to the Miata MX-5, I then started filling in the blanks and altering the design to reflect my own vision and not create a replica. I thought the market needed something new. 

A great donor these days is the MX-5 with plenty of aftermarket parts available, so this was the perfect choice to make a kit from. Now here is the twist: I started building the car only to take a mold from and produce a complete body shell with a tube chassis underneath. But as I started showing my work I was getting asked to produce it as a body conversion for the MX-5 chassis rather than a bespoke build.

So I reverse engineered a lot of the design to create a body conversion kit instead. That said, the chassis version is still going ahead but with a new donor car, a nice big V8 and some dimensional alterations. 

The design changed a lot along the way with my wife often telling me to stop changing it and just finish it. Needless to say she would like me back in the house, and I’m guessing after a few sales of my Widow rebody, some new shoes as well in the closet (lol). (That way she won’t feel anymore like a widow to my Widow project.) 

The car uses the MX-5 base vehicle with some minor alterations, lowered suspension and a set of 18-inch wheels with custom spacers. The front end bolts on in original position using all original bolt holes, hinges and locking points. Door skins are bonded over the original doors. The rear clamshell is either a targa or fixed coupe, and both versions are held in place with the original soft-top catches and all seals around the door-shut area. Side sills are bolted to front and rear clam as well as inside the door shut. The side sills are designed as removable as we all know the horrors of MX-5 sills, so this seemed like a good option to include in the design. The rear lights are from the VW and we supply plugand- play loom kits so there’s no cutting of the original wiring. The rear and side windows are a custom size and soon to be offered in glass with the correct E marks. The rear screen is a tailgate so there is no loss of the boot, this also uses the MX-5 trunk seal and locks. Hinges are from the Ford Explorer. 

The kit has been designed to fit with ease so you don’t need to be a competent mechanical engineer, just some good old common sense, a box of sockets and a trolley jack. I’m confident someone could install a full body-panel set in a weekend with an extra pair of hands. Subject to the amount of lubrication needed to strip the donor (lol). 

Comments for: Merry Widow

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like

Filed Under:

Miata Widow Sports Cars