Wait, That’s A Miata? Pit Crew Style
Total customize

We all know those occasions where you see a modified vehicle that’s been so drastically changed that you can’t figure out what model it started as. You know, cars that are more fiberglass and body filler than they are metal.


That isn’t always the case though. There are those rare occurrences when a car can be so far removed from its original form that it takes on a completely new and completely awesome personality.


Sometimes it’s due to an incredible degree of craftsmanship, but in this particular case it’s due to an exquisite selection of rare parts from Japan.


Can you name the car you’re looking at here? Well if you’re reading Speedhunters, then I’d bet you’re sharp enough to identify that this is in fact a 1996 Mazda Miata. The general road-going public though, would see this car and wonder what the hell it is.


Joe Sixpack filling up his Camaro at the gas station will see this unique machine and wonder what he’s looking at, but those with a keen eye will not only recognize that this is a Miata, but a Miata that’s packing some of the rarest and most desirable aftermarket parts ever made.


The car belongs to Sean Shokouh, who runs an importation business in Northern California called JDMPalace. I spotted the car during the recent Slammed Society event at Sonoma Raceway and immediately I had my pick for the #FeatureThis winner.

Pit Crew style

Of course it helps that I personally have a soft spot for Miatas, but really this car’s got an appeal that reaches far beyond Miata geeks. In fact, those who see Mazda’s little roadster as being too wimpy or feminine will probably change their mind when they see this car.


Actually, Sean himself originally wasn’t a huge Miata nut, but he saw the opportunity to take the popular entry-level sports car and do something crazy with it – and that’s just what he’s done here.


As you look down the car’s spec sheet, it reads like an absolute dream list of rare parts from Japan – enough to make the drool flow from the mouth of any JDM Miata enthusiast.


The most drastic change on the car is easily its front end. Gone is the smiley face bumper and pop up headlights of the stock NA Miata and in its place is a full Pit Crew Racing front-end conversion from Japan.


When Mazda designed the original Miata, the idea was to call back to the great sports cars of the past – and the addition of the Pit Crew nose takes the retro vibe to another level with a look that is more 1960s than 1990s.


The retro treatment extends to the rear with a super low profile bumper from TRAP and a taillight conversion sourced from a Japanese market Mazda Porter pickup. The Pit Crew center-exit exhaust further helps throw people off.


Equally important is the car’s hardtop, which is even rarer than the now discontinued Pit Crew front end. It comes from a company in Japan called Zerbinino and even though I’m fairly familiar with the Mazda Roadster, I’d never seen one before.  Apparently there were just a handful ever produced.


Other JDM treasures on the exterior include a Garage Vary hood, a Garage Hundred One flat trunk and Runabout S800 side mirrors. The Project G side diffusers meanwhile come from right here in California.


If the rare bodywork wasn’t enough, there’s also the fact that the car is running one of the most aggressive wheel and suspension set-ups we’ve ever seen on a Miata. Sean has used quality parts throughout, and the pebble-scraping ride height is achieved via a set of Endless Zeal coilovers.


The custom-built BBS RM wheels measure 15”x8.5 in the front and 15”x9.5 in the rear with satin black centers and gloss black lips. They also pass the Larry Chen ‘Benjamin Test’.


The tires are Toyo T1R 195/45/15 on each corner and let’s not forget the Endless six pot front and four pot rear brakes.

Rare treasure

As for the cockpit of the car, I could probably write an entire story about all the rare parts that Sean has installed but I’ll just outline some of the basics.


He started off by converting to an early model NA non-airbag dash and then added things like custom door panels, a vintage dash center and console from Nielex, and vintage panels and switches from RS Products.


The Fabulous steering wheel meanwhile brings a hint of VIP flavor, and the M-Speed vintage Skyline seats help to round out the retro feeling. Again, if you look around the interior there’s almost nothing to tell you you’re in a Mazda from the 1990s.


The Japanese Roadster scene is filled with small boutique companies that make high quality, retro-inspired parts for the Miata – and Sean’s car is surely one of the best models of this on American shores.


The engine is the least modified part of the car – and that’s because despite its unpractical ride height and valuable body parts, the little Miata has seen plenty of duty as Sean’s daily driver.


Right now the power modifications are limited to the aforementioned Pit Crew exhaust, an ARC intake crossover and a stainless steel header. The plan though, is to build a new motor with a set of individual throttle bodies to complete the vintage feeling.


Making something that’d be unrecognizable to 99% of the people that saw it was part of Sean’s mission when he started building the car, but what I like even more than that is the way the Miata seamlessly blends so many elements from different parts of the automotive world.


There’s the look and feel of a 1960s sports car, the wheel and tire fitment of a modern day stance machine, and even a little touch of VIP luxury. All together, the result is something that I think is easily one of the most unique street-going Miatas on the planet.



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

the rolling shots of this car looks so nice! I am no a massive fan of the rear section of the roof but Im still loving the effort behind this car.


Sweet, I've been waiting for this article! I managed to steal some shots at the exact same angles that Larry did...but I was using my kit lens so I didn't get even one hint of the delicious bokeh that he got :(
I got a pretty cool shot of you guys doing the tracking shots, check it out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96353766@N05/10039056824/in/set-72157635605119903


hushypushy Hunting the hunters. :D


I'm not generally a fan of Miatas, but this is so cool. That front end reminds me of a Karmann Ghia!


Its kinda alright, but it really just looks like a kit car.  Which it is.  The Miata may just be the new VW bug.


Does the Japan branch of JC Whitney have these parts commonly available?  Cause I really need a JDM skull with glowing eyes for my brake lights.


That's not jdm. That's made by a stupid American company that targets ricers as their customers


SuzyWallace Not very familiar with the original K. G. but after google imagining it, your so very right.  It also reminds me of Benny the Cab from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.


A nice retro color would be nice. Cool car though!


That I want very very much.
Awesome car with great taste.


This thing is nutty. I only wish the rear of the car went with the front better, maybe circular tails from an early Mazda RX2?


meal stub you can get your car in any color as long as it's black.


been waiting for this! Thanks!


SuzyWallace hushypushy #Iamthehunterhunter?


Wow! The windshield/A-pillars/roof made this instantly recognizable as a Miata, but as a whole, it is beautiful! In the top pic, it looks very much like a vintage Ginetta G4, or an early TVR Grantura. If the front-end was easy to get in the US, I'd be very tempted to buy an NA Miata. They've gotten a lot of flak for being a "girls' car", but, when you think about it, they're manlier than most cars on-sale today. They require actual driver involvement; no creature comforts, proper steering, RWD, no stability/traction control, and a manual transmission with a CLUTCH! Porsche's 911 has electrically-assisted steering, Ferrari doesn't even sell a proper manual and hasn't for a while. So, you could say a Ferrari is a "girlier" car than a Miata! I've never driven one, but everyone I've ever met who has them, love them.


Those stupid roof scoops...Otherwise, I like the Ferrari Lusso/250 Berlinetta front end look. The rear taillights coulda been molded better so it doesn't look like a cover over the stock lights too.
Overall, I don't feel very inspired or disappointed. But the owner sure has a one of a kind car and the effort involved definitely shows.


That was a well written article for a car I don't have a lot of positive feelings about. It has some nice touches, like the fog lights in the mouth. But it seems like a lot of these pieces were chosen for their rarity rather than looks. The flairing on the rear fender ends abruptly forward of the wheel and looks to have creased the rear quarter which hasn't been filled in before painting. And I can handle cars with flush fitment. I really dig Jap VIP, demon camber and a lot of the VAG scene does it really well. But at what point are the wheels just not fitting? The rear wheels don't seem to flow into the rear fender, it just sits there outside the guard. Not to mention miata's can fit high offset 9's without poke so it would be justifiable to fit 10-10.5s with 225/45 on the rear with to really push some limits. All things considered this article was a approached well and the car is a brilliant bit of marketing with some nice brakes.


Rare, expensive parts thrown at a vehicle. Looks unfinished. Taillights need to be molded in. Roof needs to go, doesn't fit with styling cues on the rest of the car.  And the fenders in the rear could use some work.


looks good, now add some power


I'd spend the money on a 13bREW...sure is rare stuffs though never seen any of it before.


Luka024I agree 100%!
"Making something that’d be unrecognizable to 99% of the people that saw
it was part of Sean’s mission when he started building the car"
Mike, since when is throwing a ton of parts at a car building it? Really? Sad thing is, that's a LOT of cars that show up here. 
Another side note, what exactly does huge wheels with tiny ass tires have to do with speed anyways? 
 The car hobby in general really is going to shit and as a long time visitor of this place, so is this site. :(


I know Sean fairly well and he's a super nice guy, also if you wanna get your hands on some rare JDM parts for your car he will hunt them down for you all for a fair price.  He's also got an insane car collection, his newest acquisition being a Hakosuka.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the show that day so Sean took my spot which ended up being for the best because my Miata isn't nearly as attention grabbing as his lol.


People shouldn't be allowed to remove pop-up headlights ;)
Still some good and some (very) bad modifications on this little fella. It simply lacks any kind of design continuity.


Oh dear, oh dear... reminds me of those knock-off Rolls grilles on 70s Beetles. Fuggerley wuggerley...


This would be really cool if it weren't for the stance.

Pete the perfect pilot

Needs a rota mota


It's unfortunate that Pitcrew Racing is no longer producing the front end and the rear end.  Their cars with the full front/rear mod flows really well.  One must google all the pictures of the PitCrew Racing Miatas.  Peter Brusa built a really good one too, but unfortunately sold it to a lucky new owner.  Here's some pics on Peter's Miata >>> http://www.thebluepotato.net/blog/category/mazda-miata-the-blue-potato/
The Miata above does have some nice rare bits, but like some have said it doesn't have "continuity" and it looks like just a ton of rare parts slapped together.  Looks odd and the top is really not so attractive.  Looks more like Mad Max, or Death Race going on.  But must love that Pitcrew front end.  Interior is quite nice though.


It's looks sick and all, but thinking about all the money spent on "JDM-tyte-parts-yo" and basically nothing on the engine makes my head hurt. Regardless being a daily driver, it should be a crime to hard-park a Miata...they should be getting flung into turns @ WOT.
Looks pretty and unique though.


KillerRaccoon 100% agree. I have never seen that nose before and like it. Then, you make it too damn low and make it so it will never safely take a corner in anger again. Terrible.


KillerRaccoon I love the red one with a cage and stanced out!!!  What is the reasoning?


This Miata is sick as hell!!!!
A lot of people are saying it should have this and that, ie should have did it this way or that way, but that only works for you maybe the person built it to there liking and not yours


Not an easy task to blend all those modifications together, he has done a great job. Love the interior.


It looks pretty sweet except that rear camber/fitment, its just too much.


Can we get a stance on/off filter option on speedhunters?


love the look hate of the body, that it is slammed so much.


I absolutely love the Pit Crew front end, but I echo the comments that a lot of the other parts seem to have been thrown on purely because they're "hella JDM rare yo!!!111one!" rather than because they actually fit the style of the car.
The fitment is also pretty ridiculous, even for a stance car. The fact it's a Miata, which is supposed to be a no nonsense fun handling car, just makes it even more of a shame. It's great to hear future plans include a nice ITB set up, but I can't help but think some of the cash spent on parts purely because they're super rare would have been better spent on mechanical mods.
Overall, I really dig the Pit Crew front end, and I like the BBS' (if not their size and fitment), but overall I just don't think it really gels.
Props to the guy for building it how he wants though, I suppose.


riske86 It's a trend that will eventually "bottom out", just be patient.


Stance kills it. Otherwise, great car.


totally respect the time an effort that has gone into this build .. bloody well done

boosted un busted

the in side of that mx5 is pure cool. love the front convertion but the rears not my cup of tea but hats off to them that's one hard as nails little car.


koko san riske86 Stance is a trend? It's not a trend. It's just a new form of what's been around for a while. Look at the early hot rodders. They would lower their cars because they thought it looked better then the stock ride heights. It's nothing new.


Lowie_64 koko san riske86 ok then it's a new form, not a trend...it's just words. what we think looks cool today we may not like in a few years...been there my self many times.


koko san Lowie_64 riske86 Yeah, it's a new form of an age old modification, haha. Yeah, that's true. Personally, I'm a fan of stance (as long as it looks good) and in this case I think it looks good.


Maybe some chrome detailing down the sides, lose the side diffusers and a ducktail?


Wow, now that is one ugly Miata.  Stop convincing yourselves people.  This kit does not look proportionately correct in anywa., Also, the blend of modern "slammed" look with the XXR wheels just doesn't work with that classic looking throwback "pit crew" nose.


Lovely rare parts. However, that roof on this car just looks weird to me... It seems way too high! Lose the roof and have a speedster wrap-around windscreen (Think e-type Eagle Speedster - with no frame on the top of the windscreen). The seats should also be low back, and


If it wasn't for the pit crew front this wouldn't be that special. I'm most bothered by the tail lights, just doesn't fit the front at all. Should have gotten a Garage Vary tail light panel instead!


robzor SuzyWallace hushypushy Huntersquared?


Buy some tyres that fit


A classic case of more money than taste. Zero design continuity.
This said, the tweens on Clubroadster will elevate the cars status to circle-jerk status.


"It's a monster, KILL IT! KILL IT!" "It's not a monster, its Pit Crew's miata" "Awwww, its Pit Crew's miata, KILL IT! KILL IT!"


Nothing can beat the C-SPEC MIATA, but, it´s quite a nice car.


Poor car.


LOVE THIS CAR - The Cobra looking front end, the TVR looking back, and the billetted aluminum in the interior. I wouldn't have slammed the car as much as this is, but just adore the finished product


In a couple of weeks, my iteration on the Pitcrew theme will be out of paint.  It might press some different buttons.


DavidWoolery looks sick as a fastback


DavidWoolery Very nice. I've always loved your car!


@Johnny Are you trying to get a rise by saying XXR's?


riske86 Why do people think Speedhunters was created to cover nothing but powerful track cars.....it wasn't, move on...simply don't click...there's your filter!


Mike Garrett DavidWoolery Interesting how the power dome makes the high roof better proportioned (although this hardtop does not have a roof scoop) Very Nice... I guess that hardtop is also cheaper as there is more of them around?


@guest KillerRaccoon But why must it take a corner in anger, I don't get this way of thinking....not everyone wants to corner hard!?!?


I like it for what it is......but why not wipe over the wheels before the photo's? Dusty brown covered black wheels don't look so good. ;)


Way cool car Sean, but I'm a convert. Pit Crew Racing aero parts are available from the maker. I ordered a front earlier this year but it's still on the slow boat to Tasmania. I hope to have it by xmas holidays. Is there is an error in this article's specs? The boot lid is said to be a Garage Hundred One. I believe that it's an Alterna boot lid. I have that same Alterna part. The Hundred One is rounder on the trailing edge.


DavidWoolery Always been a big fan of the car!  Enjoyed seeing it in the flesh at Miatas at MRLS.  Glad that unlike this feature....thing...yours is still functional and kicks ass on the track!




RacingPast Mike Garrett DavidWoolery Yes, that was the intention for the hood (nice catch, good eye you got there).  Without it, the car ends up looking awkwardly top heavy since the headlights visually "pull" the nose lower.  That's the secret to my car...lots of little visual tweaks that add up to a larger effect--removing the beltline, changing the mirror placement, flushmounting the bumper, the hood hump, etc.


ugh. i'm sure the owner spent a LOT of time and money on this car's details, but when perceived as a whole it just looks like a jumble random ideas rather than a single cohesive sum of its parts.
- wheel/tire combo is definitely achieving it's stancewhore goal, but it looks out of place on this playform.
- the rear end looks amorphous, bulbous and totally kills the overall aesthetic appeal.
- Pitcrew front looks good on anything, G-diffusers are awesome, interesting and unique take on the hardtop rear window.
so overall the footwork and the rear end are gunking up an otherwise interesting car. hope this gets taken as constructive criticism and not dismissed as "hating," that kind of denial armor is what keeps subpar builds from reaching excellence.


I'm not sure if this was the intent but ... is it just me or does it look Cobra-ish? The one posted below by @David Woolery sure looks it too!  Love the interior on this car especially the shifter ... very business!  The gauge cluster looks sick too!


I find this car inspirational and unique. It definitely stands out from all the others. Love it.


Lucked out coming across this ! I would love to be in contact with you or anyone else that you know of in Tassie that is as interested in these little gems as I am, as I'm just about to go out on a limb and purchase my first Miata (and first car) idefinatly the more people with experience you have handy the better, it was only now after coming across your post that I actually found the name and company that makes that great looking boot lid, anyway what could be better then something that is cheap, fun and also looks great
Keen to hear from you with any advice you can give me in what to look out for when purchasing a miata if you have any at hand


What even, bad posting app or more likely misuse on my part, check one of the latest posts by me as it was directed at you, i am a fellow tasmanian that is also interested in miata's


Try mx5cartalk.com  It's Australia's Mx5 forum. I'm Malibu Q
Also you could try mx5vic.org.au  the Mazda Mx5 Club of Victoria and Tasmania


reginald_reginald  "That car is messed up, because it's not as good as it could be!!".  blah blah blah.  "Even though my car isn't on SH, I'm the super-ultimate excellence-guru, and the car in my head is better than that car!"  blah blah.  there.  I feel more clever now, that I told that guy who built a car, how much better the car is in my head - that I never built.


bakayaru reginald_reginald your story was cool, but i didn't get the point beyond "look i'm expressing my opinion on someone else's opinion" blah blah. "i want people to know that my opinion is more valid than the one i'm commenting on, so i'll just remove the original context and create my own" blah blah. "any criticism is hating and therefore invalid, but my criticism of the criticism is the sole exception to that rule." blah blah.
did i do it right?


Extremely high quality of the works but I can't catch the idea...