The Intent & Purpose Of A Rocket Bunny MX-5
Number One

I struggle with the current crop of overfender cars. I’ve made no real secret of this in the past, so it might come as a surprise as to why I’ve just gone and photographed one at last weekend’s Auto Heroes.

There are a couple of reasons for this, including that it is (or was at the time) the first street Rocket Bunny kitted MX-5 on the planet, which is quite an unusual claim for a car built in Ireland. It’s probably the first street Rocket Bunny car on the island, full stop.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-1

The Mazda was built and debuted as such earlier this year by Rick’s Car Care in Dublin as a promotional car to publicise their business. Coincidentally, Rick’s brother Keith had his 180SX featured on here a couple of years back.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-2

Despite my own reservations, in the metal – and glass fibre – the MX-5 has an imposing appearance. From a purely aesthetic view, it’s a very strong look for a small car which immediately captures your attention. It’s one thing to look at a photo or video of one of these cars online, but it’s a whole other experience in person.


What I probably most enjoy about this car though, is that it’s not a show pony – it’s being used regularly on the road and on track. When you’re dealing with a car that probably makes around 100hp, absolute performance is definitely second to having fun.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-7

For the moment at least, the MX-5 remains relatively stock beneath its skin, but that’s set to change in the near future.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-8

As I’ve come to expect from all of Rick’s projects over the years – whether it’s his own or a customer’s car – the fit and finish of the exterior is as good as you could ever expect to see. I think we often overlook just how difficult a perfect paint finish is, or even just how much craft and skill goes into bodywork. It’s certainly not as easy as it looks to achieve a result like this.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-6

Beneath the Rocket Bunny overfenders sit a full complement of Work Meister S1s, measuring in at 15×9-inch -25 at the front and 15×10-inch -38 at the rear.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-14

The Rocket Bunny side of things is complimented with a Mercury R rear diffuser, a shotgun exhaust, and a custom front splitter with custom side steps as well. The car also runs a half cage.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-12

It’s still early days for this project too. Rick is currently working on adding a little bit of rotary love to the mix and giving the car the bite that its look already suggests.

2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-16

The final reason I wanted to share this was to challenge my own perceptions of this sort of build. It’s only when you take the time to appreciate something like this in person, that you get a better understanding of what it’s really about. Ultimately, it’s a car that puts a smile on your face. It’s use on track wins me over too. Maybe I could get used to this sort of thing…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-3
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2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-5
2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-9
2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-10
2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-13
2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-15
2016 RCC Mazda MX5 Rocket Bunny by Paddy McGrath-17
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Beautiful shots Paddy! This is making me have bad, bad thoughts about my mother-in-law's stock red NA MX-5 sitting outside in my driveway right now...


Do it Taryn, missed you and Pedey at 4&Rotary Nationals this year. Hopefully you are going to Jamboree this weekend and shoot the RWB Porsches.


In the past year I've started to strongly dislike all the rocket bunny and similar style body kits. Oddly, I love this mx5! It just has a simple and clean look to it. I hope the owner leaves the headlights alone! The fully extended headlights, rather than "sleep", feel so inviting.


Speedhunters GuinnessFox


So much want!


Sick little car. A little wide for my taste, but overall I like it.


NAs look good low and wide - and I like this, but if I'd seen it I wouldn't have thought it was Rocket Bunny, just a nicely done 5.  It's not quite as trademark as their other kits.


Yay nice car m8 enjoy the rotary life


R34M8 Yeeeeeah. MX5s have I4.


The car looks fantastic, however that most definitely is not a Rocket Bunny kit. Fact.


"it might come as a surprise as to why I’ve just gone and photographed one at"
Hmm, the "Automotive Partners" list at the bottom of the page suggests not. I know they pay your bills but I'm sorry they finally had to get to you as well, Paddy. I think I'd be less cynical about it if it wasn't just an MX5 with wide wheels and some body bits, at the moment - and as such, is unfinished, as you say. I'm not sneering, it does look pretty cool; but I know a few people with cool little MX5s a lot more finished and with a lot more go but sadly no Rocket Bunny kit, so they go unfeatured. 
Still, on a brighter note; lovely work as always, man - and I don't think there's a car a Meister S1 looks bad on.


Mad4NA  Yeah that actually is a Rocket Bunny kit, it's their new Pandem line.


I stand corrected, thank you. Can't believe how much it costs though.... More than most Mx5s!


Mad4NA  His kits are well worth it however, I have installed a few for some friends and they are very well made.  Believe me, paying a little more for quality pieces is worth more than saving a few bucks only to spend more fitting parts that aren't made well.

turbo BEAMS ae86

no signal? truly?

turbo BEAMS ae86

StreetStatik Stand for what?  im not english


R34M8 lmao rotary life? someone must be a little confused


dsc_off R34M8  read the article, hes installing a rotary engine


CharlesChris15 R34M8  read the article, hes installing a rotary. somebodys a little confused


Just sort of wondering why they are only running a x9 and x10 when you can run a 15x10 with regular body lines.


Speedhunters Gotta take a look at it since I am in Ireland.


Frieswiththat dsc_off R34M8 "Rick is currently working on adding a little bit of rotary love"... Sure. For the time being, as the article states, the car still puts out the stock 100ish hp.


Don't do this to me now Paddy. I can't afford a Roadster at this moment. Trying to get a new appartment!


Frieswiththat CharlesChris15 R34M8 But is there currently a rotary? Nope.


@Jack  It's because of the negative offset


dsc_off Frieswiththat R34M8 I think he is referring to the future, where the rotary life may or may not exist, just beyond the horizon, where all your wildest dreams are waiting, triangle-shaped or not.


CharlesChris15 Frieswiththat R34M8 that is still basically a roundabout way of saying that you didn't initially read the article yourself and went straight to the comments to stir things up.  Enjoy the future rotary life, Irishman!


Not a fan at all of the Rocket Bunny hype but I would paint/powdercoat those rivets/screws body color for the over fenders and ride that till the wheels came off. Nice ride.


Why not R888s in the rear, too?


What size of rear tires is he using?


Taryn Croucher I mean, whose M-I-L wouldn't want their MX-5 Rocket Bunny'd?


SN95 Lover It's a very happy looking car.


Slappy_Pistons CharlesChris15 Frieswiththat R34M8 Semantics.


mrwicksy Damn, that's a pretty shitty accusation to make. Nobody told me or asked me to shoot this car. I shot it because it's the first RB NA MX-5 street car that we know of and whilst overfenders aren't really my thing, I know it appeals to a lot of people. It's just a spotlight too, rather than a feature. A spotlight is simply intended as a quick look at something interesting where as a feature is far more in-depth. There's every chance that this could pop up again in the future when it's finished with bridge-ported rotary powers.

If those MX-5s were at Mondello last Sunday that you speak of, I would have shot those too.


RensAdams Just buy Allard's :D


@Drive Circles I'd imagine it's to promote oversteer. When you have just 100hp, R888s are going to be a struggle to unstick :-)


Can some allude to the perfornance gain of such aggressively cambered and stretched tyres. Yes surely the track helps with handling, but doesn't this increase steering effort, numb feel? Doesn't it also create a lot of rolling resistance? And the ride/weight transfer characteristics? I'm curious as to where the aesthetic and function line is drawn. I like the look, perhaps pared down a bit, but would never want to compromise agility.


Paddy McGrath I apologise man, it was largely tongue-in-cheek but I withdraw it nonetheless. 
I'll explain why I commented however, and where it came from. Sarcastic b*stard I may be but I'm not one to needlessly snark and snipe online.
I know websites gain more hits than they do comments, so not everyone who reads passes comment beneath articles. I know plenty of my mates read Speedhunters and we talk about it offline, but it seems like its only me from my group who comments on anything (and I was a longtime reader before I started with the comments). 
You've probably heard all this before, but offline myself and my friends worry that commercial influence holds too great a sway on journalism and culture in general, and that it's pernicious. I was raised to question everything I read and to dig further - not to the degree of paranoia or conspiracy, but just not to be spoonfed, and not to take everything at face value. Having read your stuff I can tell that you were, too.

I also know the money to run this place has to come from somewhere, and it's usually advertising. Which I'm fine with - I understand commercial activities and motivations. 
The thing is though, after a while it becomes difficult to separate the adverts from the genuine articles on here, and that's for feature cars - I'm not even talking about some of the other things seeming like a big "jolly" for the Speedhunters staff - The NASCAR trip through the EA affiliation, all the stuff you do in conjunction with various Monster drivers and so on. Rocket Bunny are a partner, and it seems that if Rocket Bunny or Mr Miura is in any way involved with a vehicle then a Speedhunters article surely beckons if its the first of any new kit. Fair enough.

In print media (I subscribe to both Evo and Rouleur and read many more) they're obliged to stick "Advertisement Feature" at the tops of articles which makes it easy on the reader to establish the motivation but there appears to be no such requirement online. Even The Guardian is guilty of blurring the lines. 

So I see an article you've written, and it features a Rocket Bunny kit and little else besides some (very cool) wheels which would likely fit under stock arches. Despite not knowing you for real I feel I've got a bit of a handle
on how you think because you put your point of view across so well. Through reading your stuff, it strikes me that you're a man who doesn't like overfenders and crazes and hype and internet fame, you do what you want and so on, and that you've an undoubted eye for detail and the little things. So I see this article and I think; out of a place of genuine respect for what you do, and based on what are basically advertorials elsewhere on here; "ah f*ck, they've got to him as well." So tongue in cheek, I said so. 
I know, I know, this isn't Pullitzer Prize-territory, "it's mucking about with cars FFS, lighten up and all that", but it's difficult for the longterm reader of this place to see past the advertorials sometimes and to not question the merits and motivations of what we see, especially when comparing how it is today with how it used to be. It's why I no longer bother with PVW anymore as it just seemed like the same old people and matey backslapping and rolling adverts. It's not come from being upset about not being involved, personally I couldn't care less, I don't care about hype or likes or internet fame. If anyone asked to feature the Caddy I'd say no. I just remember how things were and have been, that's all; and am a little sad that things have gone the way they have.

The MX-5 does sound seriously cool based on the plans though so it's nice to have had it brought to my attention, and I personaly look forward to a full feature when there's something more to it. That was why it didn't sit right with me, as Spotlight or otherwise there just didn't seem like enough done to have caught your considered eye.

I apologise once more and I hope "directions from the top" never suppress your subjectivity. If I see you about at any of the shows I'll say hello and get you a pint in (though it's all hype and air-and-wheels in the VW scene and I got tired of that, but hey, stranger things have happened.). 
I'll keep reading, and keep my trap shut to boot.


mrwicksy Paddy McGrath with all due respect to you Mr. Paddy McGrath, I'm going to side with mrwicksy on this one. I've raised this concern before and I'm in agreement with the others that have raised it on all the other plugs on this site. From the US crew's name-dropping to the "JDM Rules!" stories we were deluged with most of the previous year' I can't help feeling as though you guys are giving up some of your editorial identity for either commercial reasons or for the hype. Maybe because I'm based against MX5s, overfenders and (to me at least) RBs frankly vulgar bodykits, but all I see is a mostly stock Mazda that the owner has big plans for nothing interesting here besides a bodykit made by a site partner. Not being rude; all respect to the owner/builder for having a car they built how they wanted and actually get out and use, I'm just worried, as Wicksy is, that by allowing sponsors to interject into content decisions, deferring to and/or plugging them up at the slightest chance we are all taking part in the devolution of this site to another throw-away pop-culture venue like Cycleworld or PVW or Hello!. Sure people spend money on those but are they really the company Speedhunters wants to keep? I'm likely not to shut up about this until my silence/disengagement will be the loudest thing I can add. 
Besides, if it's money y'all are after, maybe you should sell something other that T-shirts with striated hearts on them. How's that going that going for you? (Now I'm being rude, it won't happen again)


Trentworth mrwicksy Paddy McGrath I appreciate you guys taking your time to elaborate your points and raise your concerns. I do think transparency is hugely important, especially as media continues to transfer online. 

I guess I can only speak for myself - I only concern myself with my own work and responsibilities around here - but I honestly can't recall ever been asked or instructed to do a story to appease a partner on Speedhunters. I've wrote stories of my own choosing that happened to feature a sponsor (we can get access to information much easier if there's already a relationship in place) and I've wrote stories about companies who would become sponsors or partners further down the line. I know there's a difference between a sponsor and partner, but I couldn't tell you what it is. It's not my business. 

Each month, I pitch some story ideas to the editor, some get accepted, some get rejected and I work from there. I pitch these stories with consideration to what cars or events I might have access to that month. I've pretty strong opinions about what I think should or shouldn't be featured here, so I tend to lean towards more humble and home built cars, but every now and then I like to check out something different as well. It can be really difficult because I know that I personally put a lot of myself into every feature shoot and every story I write, I don't just do something for the sake of it. Sometimes people love it, sometimes people shit on you for no apparent reason which really sucks but you just have to get on with it.

On reflection, choosing this car to spotlight (I originally pitched to spotlight it back in January but the car wasn't finished at the time, but I knew it was being built), I wouldn't change my mind to shoot it again if I had the choice. It's simple and pretty basic but it's an interesting car. 

I've always said that the beauty of Speedhunters is that we will showcase pretty much anything interesting and I would hate us to become biased to one particular style or automotive sub-culture. As such, we're going to post cars you hate and post cars you love. It's just the way it has been and will always be. 

That being said, I'm glad we have readers like yourselves and others who keep us in line, so to speak. If you ever think we're veering off course, absolutely shout at us and call us out on our shit. We don't always get it right, but I can promise you that we always try our best. 

If you ever have any questions, my e-mail is at the bottom of every post I write. Feel free to use it at any time. Again, thank you for coming here and contributing.


Do you know tire size of this car?

Thank you!


tyresmokeF1 Honestly, some people just want to have fun driving their cars and have no interest in setting lap times. Outright performance and handling characteristics are often a moot point.


tyresmokeF1 it looks cool, that's the intent and purpose..there is no way in hell it's the fastest car on earth, so why not look badass


Any idea where he got those from turn signals?


Nicely done!  And all the uneducated closed minded opinions are just quite stupid...keyboard gangsters and warriors all day in this world that's built nothing of their own, but criticize others...those idiots below can all go suck a chuck and sit behind their computers and shift their c**k's all day instead of shifting a real fun, cool car!


oh man, this is just too good!


I can't understand how so many people drive with all that shit hanging from their mirrors.  In this cars defense, this is not an extreme example.
There are 3 things that immediately throw me into a fury whilst driving.  1. Anything loose and sliding around on the dashboard 2. A cacophony of keychains and other stuff rattling in front [and to the side] of my face. 3 Unsecured cargo rolling around in the back of the car.  I know we all hate hearing $300-$1000 worth of T304 Stainless or Titanium exhausts dragging the ground over an entryway.  There is a better way....


tyresmokeF1 This level of camber doesn't seem too aggressive for this driver/car.  If you take note of the contact patches of the tires, you'll notice that the tire is dirty/scuffed for most of the tread section. That means that he either has good contact most of the time, or he hits the corners hard enough to lay the outside tires flat.

Additionally, if he had a tire on these wheels that fit more square,  the car would likely be driving more on the corners (read: Flex Joints).  This would make the car feel really twitchy going strait and would more likely to catastrophically damage the tire structure if you were run over something.


I've been considering one also but then I just went and bought the polar opposite instead.




tyresmokeF1 1. less sidewall flex (although I realzied this on a heavier car so it was more pronounced) 2. its hard to find tires in the size you want (esp in 15" diameter, I had to get 50 series sidewalls /rant) 3. fitment (a square tire would rub those fender unless he raised it a foot lol)


@Jack Possibly manual or de-powered steering rack. If so, 10" would be a handful I imagine, can't say for sure.  I know 8" slicks are a beast!!!


mrwicksy Well if you're seriously concerned, search the webz for cars & try to hunt down their build threads.  DIY speedhunting!  Or check out this guy's site he finds some wacky stuff.


SnoozinRichy It's the same colour as your Ferrari


Paddy McGrath Not if you know how to tune!


When it comes to aftermarket panels on miatas, autokonexion does it the best :)


Any of the supra? U0001f600




@Kevin Truong you have way too much agression in you


Wish it was mine. Ive always wanted a miata


Can u tell me did u make the TURN SIGNAL ur self?


Did u get a answer about where he got the turn signal at?


the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> and very fast" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> mix of colors" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> from which to" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> make want pobud see hatnya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> kecepatanya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> was very nice ," rel="dofollow" target="_blank">  suitable for a "" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> sharp bend or not sharp I guess motorists like this is" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether there are new cars are better I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> style I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> also like" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> to see would be whether there is a" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> car that is as fast and forius like in the " movie , the car very good car designed a way apparently hopefully there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time


im planning on going RB on my NA and I may steal these wheels specs but go witha wider tire. I want to be the widest NA in the world lol.


Is rick running spacers with those wheels, or do those wheels actually fit in the miata? If he is running spacers, what size are his spacers?


Somebody knows tire size?