Mazda MX-5 Adds 40HP, Drops 800LB: BAUER Catfish Shell Over Flyin Miata Turbo

This is an interesting meeting of the Miata minds.

Bauer Limited Production’s Catfish body overhaul for the 1990-2005 Mazda MX-5 with Flyin’ Miata’s turbocharged engine underneath.

Bauer Catfish Header GIF

It is a recipe that delivers surprising style and divine performance, that is for sure!

This Flyin’ Miata example is a bit gnarly in the headlight execution and in some tiny spots on the metallic vinyl wrap, but is still quite bewitching in the flesh.

The $14,000 Bauer Catfish bodywork is a relatively simple bolt-on, bolt-off design – and also cuts 800 pounds from the cars’ curb weights. Not too shabby, especially considering the turbo four up front! - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 32

Further details on both kits can be found from the company links below: - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 2 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 8 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 6 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 5 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 4 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 13 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 18 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 17 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 16 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 15 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 19 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 24 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 23 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 22 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 21 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 25 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 30 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 29 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 28 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 27 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 31 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 37 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 35 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 34 - Bauer Catfish Flyin Miata Turbo 33


Official Details Below on the BAUER Catfish kit.


BAUER Catfish

Essentials–what’s included



There is a core list of parts that are included with every base Catfish.  These parts along with the initial design and execution of the car give it its unique character.  These core parts will make a car that will excel on the track or your favorite back road, and we often refer to this setup as the “gentleman’s racer”.  See the list of Recommended and Optional parts to help build the car of your dreams. These  parts may be purchased separately.

Catfish Essentials–these parts are included with every base car:

Frame & hard panels—High quality U.S. made seamless DOM tubing is used throughout, with main spars and lattices at 1.5” O.D.  Each chassis is jig welded and designed to fit directly onto 1990-2005 Miata sub-frames that are in good condition.  No welding or bending is required.  The front clip acts as a replaceable front frame support.  It also holds the NB-style radiator as well as the front bodywork.  The rear bolt-on clip holds bodywork and the optional diffuser.  Brakes, suspension, fuel and wiring are simple to install.  Mounts for four, five or six point harnesses are included.

  • Includes single roll hoop

  • Engine bay sized for many engine options, including LS, Ford V8, SR20DET, FC20/22, 3S-GTE and many others.  The first, best choice is the stock Miata or Miata with forced induction (turbo or supercharger)

  • Front clip holds NB-style radiator and allows lots of room and airflow for intercooler placement.  The body mount on the front clip doubles as the front diffuser support mount.

  • The frame also includes mounting points for the rear sub-frame support brackets.

  • Uncoated finish to allow for welding on customer options prior to assembly

  • New JIS B1189 grade 10.9 hardware is included for assembly. Donor suspension hardware is retained.

  • Floor—floor panels are pre-cut and pre-drilled for assembly.  The center floor panel is removable for access to the drive line.  The front panels rest under the radiator and tie together the front bodywork with the front K-member.

  • Complete aerodynamic flat bottom:  Left and Right floor pan, with removable center for drive line access.  There is also a Front piece that fits from the nose to the engine (an extended Splitter is an option), and a driver and passenger secondary interior floor to protect the occupants.


The Catfish is designed to be extremely easy to build.  Tabs are included to mount all the bodywork to the frame, and most bodywork will ship partially pre-installed, meaning that the bodywork is pre-fit and properly sorted.  Customers will simply take the bodywork off, start the build, and then re-fit the bodywork and add final mounting points as needed.

Frame brackets are included for all pedal controls, suspension, gas tank, radiator, seats, safety harness and obviously the fitment of the Miata sub-frames.    While many tuners will use our kits as a basis for their race cars, no welding is required to turn the base model into a potent street car.


All Standard composite construction using woven S-glass, with carbon reinforcements where needed.  Standard installation hardware is included.  The bodywork is finished in a gel coat that’s ready for light sanding in preparation for paint.  The bodywork is very light, with the main body side panels that run the length of the car barely weighing 20lbs each.  When the body is fastened together, it becomes exceptionally rigid.  Racers, ask us about our “Kevlar Jacket” safety option.

Firewall—the front firewall is made of steel & aluminum plate, and protects the driver and passenger from the engine.  The rear firewall is made of aluminum to meet NASA and SCCA rules.

Side Panels, driver and passenger—These run the length of the car and include mounting areas for lighting.  The driver side includes room for the exhaust.  Internal bulkheads are found at the firewall location for safety and stiffness.  Mounting points are at the bulkhead, floor, shock towers, rear deck, rear bumper and front grille.

Hood—this is a large piece that’s nearly half the length of the car.  It mounts in front with Aerocatch hardware (supplied), and at the back of the car with classic spring clamp hood latches that have been used by race cars from the 1950′s.  A bonded interior hood structure keeps the hood stiff.

Grille—this mounts to both side panels and the aluminum floor.  The side air intake areas can be used to funnel air to the front brakes, and the air slot directly below the hood can be used as a cold air or intercooler intake.

Rear Bumper & License Light panel—the base model includes a full bumper with a rear indent that shows where the diffuser would mount.  This area is easily removed for use with the diffuser.  The light panel holds the license plate and the reverse lights (included).

Rear Deck—the rear deck goes from behind the seats to the tail.  The roll hoops exit from the deck, as does the gas cap.

Roll Bar Cover—these are optional parts, and are designed to smooth the air flow off the roll hoop.


The standard interior body panels are made of sheet aluminum, and are designed to be used with stock or aftermarket seats.  The Catfish has more room than a Miata for larger race seats, and more leg room than a standard Miata.  Provisions are also made for the use of the stock gauge panel and emergency brake.  All aluminum panels are pre-cut and pre-drilled with mounting holes.  Ask about having your car shipped with all interior and exterior panels pre-fit.

Interior sides—the aluminum side panels can be painted, wrapped (standard and aluminum colors), or covered in Alcantara suede or similar fabric.  Dimple die holes that reference the race interiors of classic British race cars are optional.

Secondary floors—made of aluminum plate, these pieces run from the firewall to the seats.  They are intended to offer extra protection to the driver and passenger.  Hardware is included.

Center tunnel—molded from the original SEMA car and made from composite material, the center tunnel matches the curve of the outside body line and has provisions for the shift boot and emergency brake.Car-Revs-Daily-tile

Rear panel—the rear aluminum panel is a single sheet of aluminum, and acts as the rear firewall.

Dash—this is a simple bolt-in part that is designed to make use of the stock gauge panel.


  • DOT approved (SAE compliant) Headlight and Taillight package, including reverse, license and auxiliary lighting and interior buttons.  All auxiliary lights are super-bright, low power LED lights.

  • Clear polycarbonate headlight bucket cover, pair.  The entire headlight is a custom design, and does not use parts intended for some other car.

  • TIG welded custom stainless steel headlight shrouds with hardware included

  • Optional–Driver and passenger fly screen kit

  • Optional–full width polycarbonate windscreen with stainless mounting bracket.

  • Hardware Installation packet, including body brackets, Aerocatch hood kit, quick release fasteners, rivets, buttons and latches

  • TIG welded custom Exhaust side pipe, including connector to stock header.  This is a light weight “half baffle / half perforated”, and is built with light weight 22 gauge 304 stainless throughout.  The muffler itself weighs 5lbs.  The exhaust tip is TIG welded by hand, and includes an internal perforated core.

  • Optional–Exhaust street insert (lowers db level)

  • Rear and side view mirrors (TBD)

  • Stainless driver’s heel and kick plate

  • Other items To Be Determined (TBD) at the time of production