We have “forever meat” that is fake beef and Olive Garden which is fake Italian food. Artificial Christmas trees and spray-on tanning also come to mind. So, why not fake 1960s Corvettes? We’ve all seen conversions taking a C-5 Corvette and turning it into an
This is like that only different. First, it comes from Japan; and it starts with a 2019 MX5 Mazda Miata. Yeah, we know. But the first year’s production has sold out so there are buyers who like this. Is it good or bad?
Call it a travesty or brilliant, there is a company in Japan that will take your MX-5 and turn it into the “Rockstar.” That’s their name for this quirky Miata-to-Vette conversion. It is only making 50 which is either a blessing or not. The company doing this is Mitsuoka and the price is just under $42,000.
You can see what’s Miata and what’s 1960s Corvette if you’re familiar with Mazda’s roadster
If you’re familiar with Miatas you can see what is and isn’t original to the host Mazda. The upper is Miata as are the doors and rockers. What isn’t is the front clip, rear quarters, and trunk. Though the trunk lid is part of the conversion the folding top mechanism is unchanged and functional. For starting with a very round, organic Miata body Mitsuoka pulls it off pretty well.
In the rear, the Vette bodywork is integrated well into the Miata with those signature round taillights. All of the details are pretty spot-on. The exterior is completed with white-letter tires and five-spoke mag wheels. Oh, and there are 30 paint color choices so you’re almost guaranteed to own a true one-off.
We wish the Miata conversions didn’t have those funky little headlights
The funky little headlights are a bit of a buzzkill but hidden headlights like the original featured would surely add complexity and cost. At least they’re hidden somewhat under the hard undercut. It’s too bad they couldn’t have been hidden in the grille opening. That location would probably be too low to be legal.
For the interior, Mitsuoka leaves well-enough alone. This makes sense as too many components and functions are integrated into the dash and console, not to mention airbags. Mitsuoka does include some unique leather trim and a unique steering wheel center cap.
Under the conversion skin, it’s all pretty much good ‘ol Miata stuff
The drivetrain remains stock with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder and either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Since the exterior is so radically changed Mitsuoka must have felt modifying the drivetrain or suspension would only add cost to an already expensive exercise. Still, it would be interesting to have a more aggressive version that goes all-out with more power and better handling.
We don’t know if Mitsuoka has any plans to sell Rockstar kits in the US. We also don’t know if the idea would translate well. But since it already has the tooling and experience why not give it a shot?
Who knows what’s next for the conversion company? Porsche, Ferrari, and Mustang conversions could be just around the corner?