“Venture a Highway” with Epoxy Resin
Spoiler Alert! Epoxy Resin Customizations…
I met my friend Carsten in the early 80’s when we were both in college – working diligently (well, most of the time) on our degrees. We became “fast friends,” as the saying goes, and have kept in touch over these past thirty-plus years. We’ve helped each other with various tasks over the years – both business-related and personal in nature; however, a current project involves his college-age son, Peter. He’s restoring a Mazda Miata for which I volunteered some ProMarine Epoxy Resin…
The Mazda Miata was created thirty years ago to fill a void in the traditional rear-wheel drive roadster market. Well received and priced, this “plucky roadster” has remained a lightweight, fun and affordable sports car. Almost everyone either has owned one, knows someone who has one, or wants one. The Miata became the best-selling roadster of all time some years ago, and has improved even further over the years, while still retaining its prestige and desirability.
Peter Springer acquired his Miata as a project car – knowing full well that he wanted to not only restore the automobile but customize it as well to his unique specifications. One of the modifications currently in process is stripping the trunk lid to add a bespoke but elegant little “duckbill” spoiler on the back – for which he’s employing the aforementioned epoxy resin.
While not a practical car (who says fun has to be practical), the Miata is a blast to drive. Its popularity has never waned – and Fiat has recently rebadged the Miata as the attractive 124 Spider. (Bringing to mind the old adage that the sincerest form of flattery is imitation.) Technological and mechanical updates over the years have made the car ever safer while ensuring it stays true to its roots.
The Roadster – a Brief History…
The Original Roadster – the Ford Model A
The American term “roadster,” was initially coined for an open-air two-seat automobile that offered little in the way of weather protection. Many of these cars were raced throughout the years, and the namesake has evolved to include convertible and coupe body styles. Probably the most popular early roadster was the Ford Model A Roadster that replaced the Model T and became one of the best-selling cars in America when it was released in December 1927 as a 1928 model. As mentioned earlier, the Miata has since taken the popular roadster crown.
An avid automotive enthusiast; Peter’s passion about cars began the same way a great many of us gain experience – with an unreliable first car that we learn how to repair. He purchased a used Subaru with a manual transmission – so he learned how to drive using a stick shift and clutch. The engine seized while on a road trip, so once the car was towed home – he learned how to rebuild an engine. Rather than frustrate, these experiences ignited a passion in him which he’s now leveraging to work on his new vehicular acquisition…
The Mazda Miata is a 1992 model with ~139,000 miles on it. Purchased in May of 2019 in Concord, NH, after a friend told him about the car; Peter realized that this would be a labor of love. (He also realized that with some hard work, time, and of course money – that this model year – the Miata’s fourth year of production, may be modified from a paltry 95 HP to 350 HP with the addition of a turbocharger and a few other engine modifications.)
In order to have a reliable source of both body and mechanical parts at hand, Peter also purchased a “parts” car to rebuild, restore and customize the Miata. The car’s body needed
some work, especially the front end from a previous fender bender; then application of a vinyl wrap to the entire car to freshen up the old paint. Peter knew he could repair the commonly damaged rear finish panel and make a custom duckbill lip with fiberglass and resin.
“I’m no stranger to working with epoxy resin,” Peter explains. “I helped my dad repair our Four Winns motorboat – reglassing the rotted transom. I learned how to work with fiberglass and resin – knowledge and skill which I’m now applying in my automotive restoration and customization efforts.”
“Peter has finished the restoration of the interior and exterior of the car this summer and is now ready to start adding modifications to drastically improve performance over the next 2-3 years while also maintaining reliability.”
Peter’s Epoxy Resin Spoiler Process
Peter explains, “After building a shaped form using just cardboard and tape, fiberglass and resin was laid to create the lip, which was then fiber-glassed to the trunk and blended seamlessly using body filler.”
The Result – A Road-Ready Roadster…
“I love enjoying the car in its restored condition after all the hard work I’ve put in, and I’m really looking forward to making it faster and getting it onto the track more!”
We’d like to thank Peter for his time and energy in helping us create this story. We wish him all the best!