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Simpson Design ABOUT JIM Interested from birth in anything with wheels, Jim developed a love of mechanical devices th...
Simpson Design ABOUT JIM

Interested from birth in anything with wheels, Jim developed a love of mechanical devices that became a lifetime love affair with automobiles and their designs. As a young boy in Houston, Texas, he started drawing cars and went on to a GM sponsored mechanics program, a formal 3-year apprenticeship in European cars and a further 2-year Ferrari apprenticeship. He has had his own business restoring and repairing sports cars since 1975.

Jim started Simpson Design in 1978 to do design work and build custom sports cars. His work has caught the eye of other noted designers such as Pete Brock. One of his creations, the Blue Ray 3, a concept car built on a preproduction second generation Mazda 929 prototype chassis, represented Nardi at their 60th anniversary at the Concourso Italiano during the 1992 Monterey Pebble Beach weekend. Stemming from his association with Mazda executives, his designs on Miata platforms have been featured in the Mazda booth at the Laguna Seca Historic races.
Jim's vision has always been to create high quality designs and produce them as reliable, drivable cars.


ABOUT SIMPSON DESIGN

Simpson Design specializes in designing and producing unique experiences for the discerning driver. We've been in business since 1978, first in Houston, Texas, now here in the Pacific Northwest.

Most car companies save their truly innovative designs for concept cars seen only at trade shows. Here at Simpson Design, we create drivable concept cars on reliable platforms like the Mazda Miata, with readily available parts and maintenance that won't break the bank. Ours are concept cars that spend more time on the road and less in the garage. If you're driving one, you won't need to pick it out in a parking lot. In fact, chances are you may never see another one on the road.

For questions or more information:

SIMPSON DESIGN
Contact Jim Simpson
Clinton, WA
360-321-4122
M-F 9am-5pm PST


OTHER AUTHORIZED DEALERS:
EAST COAST:
DOMINO USA
Contact Peter Cameron-Nott
2152 Post Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
321-368-8716
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Patiently Training a #Mazda Miata to a to Become Prancing Exotic / #Ferrari-250-SWB-Simpson-Design / #Ferrari-250-SWB-Replica

    As Told by Jim Simpson // Photos by Austin Price and Courtesy of #Simpson-Design #2015

    Editor’s Note: A definitive example of the #Ferrari dualpurpose design is its 250 GT SWB. That is, a car that could be driven to the racetrack, win its class if not the the race overall, then driven home. Developed in the late Fifties, the model’s official debut was at the Paris Auto Show in 1959. The SWB designation referred to its “short wheelbase” of 94.5 inches, nearly eight inches shorter than its predecessor 250 GT models. This reduction improved both handling and cornering speeds, enabling the little two-seat coupe to achieve a storied competition career.

    Today this classic is far too valuable to be driven daily on the street. Yet the berlinetta (fastback) shape is so iconic and compelling, it needed a second life.

    That’s where Jim Simpson stepped in with #Mazda-Miata -based car with what he refers to as “retro styling” (not an exact replica, but with lines derived from the #Pininfarina #Ferrari-250-SWB ). He’s done a number of other Miata body conversions over the years, but this particular project was far more involved. What follows is a short history of the birth pangs he went through to build a couple versions for two different customers.

    The SWB project was originally commissioned by a gentleman overseas, we spent around two years creating the body, and building the first car.

    All of the glass in the first car was custom made for the project, with the exception of the small vent windows in the doors. Only the first car got a custom-made windshield, and the red car is actually fitted with the third-generation (NC) Miata windshield.

    Interior modifications were quite different on both cars, although the area behind the seats was all built to resemble the rear cabin of an SWB. Originally both clients wanted alloy wheels, but changed their minds and decided they wanted wire wheels. Dayton Wire Wheels custom built the sets of wires for us.

    Both clients wanted stock mechanicals so they could have Mazda reliability, as they both plan to drive and enjoy their cars. While I have somewhat over simplified the process here, building one of these cars is a monumental task and hence this is something that we will only do to order, and have no interest or plans to sell components. Even the grilles and surrounds are handmade for each car, and requires an amazing amount of time and effort.

    The bumpers on the red car are actually #Ferrari-250-GT-SWB SWB and were purchased by our client, we only had to do slight modifications to be able to use them on his car. Fact of the matter is that we got the bumpers after the body was made and had already been mounted to the car.

    The front end of the car requires mostly unbolting factory parts, while the rear requires major cutting and reworking. Lots of hours spent making steel to build this project.

    The red car was a result of the blog post showing pictures of the first car being built in the shop. The gentleman who purchased the second car came over and saw the progress on the first one and commissioned us to build that car for him. Good news for us is he is fairly local.

    One of the major differences is the windshield, as noted above. We had a nightmare of a time with that, and my warning for folks wanting to do a car where they have to scratch build a windshield is be patient and realize it is going to cost a small fortune and take much more time than you ever dreamed.
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  • Jim Simpson created this group

    Simpson Design

    Simpson Design ABOUT JIM

    Interested from birth in anything with wheels, Jim developed a love of mechanical devices that became a lifetime love affair with automobiles and their designs. As a young boy in Houston, Texas, he started drawing cars and went on to a GM sponsored mechanics program,...
    Simpson Design ABOUT JIM

    Interested from birth in anything with wheels, Jim developed a love of mechanical devices that became a lifetime love affair with automobiles and their designs. As a young boy in Houston, Texas, he started drawing cars and went on to a GM sponsored mechanics program, a formal 3-year apprenticeship in European cars and a further 2-year Ferrari apprenticeship. He has had his own business restoring and repairing sports cars since 1975.

    Jim started Simpson Design in 1978 to do design work and build custom sports cars. His work has caught the eye of other noted designers such as Pete Brock. One of his creations, the Blue Ray 3, a concept car built on a preproduction second generation Mazda 929 prototype chassis, represented Nardi at their 60th anniversary at the Concourso Italiano during the 1992 Monterey Pebble Beach weekend. Stemming from his association with Mazda executives, his designs on Miata platforms have been featured in the Mazda booth at the Laguna Seca Historic races.
    Jim's vision has always been to create high quality designs and produce them as reliable, drivable cars.


    ABOUT SIMPSON DESIGN

    Simpson Design specializes in designing and producing unique experiences for the discerning driver. We've been in business since 1978, first in Houston, Texas, now here in the Pacific Northwest.

    Most car companies save their truly innovative designs for concept cars seen only at trade shows. Here at Simpson Design, we create drivable concept cars on reliable platforms like the Mazda Miata, with readily available parts and maintenance that won't break the bank. Ours are concept cars that spend more time on the road and less in the garage. If you're driving one, you won't need to pick it out in a parking lot. In fact, chances are you may never see another one on the road.

    For questions or more information:

    SIMPSON DESIGN
    Contact Jim Simpson
    Clinton, WA
    360-321-4122
    M-F 9am-5pm PST


    OTHER AUTHORIZED DEALERS:
    EAST COAST:
    DOMINO USA
    Contact Peter Cameron-Nott
    2152 Post Road
    Melbourne, FL 32935
    321-368-8716
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  • Jim Simpson created this group

    Simpson Design

    Simpson Design ABOUT JIM

    Interested from birth in anything with wheels, Jim developed a love of mechanical devices that became a lifetime love affair with automobiles and their designs. As a young boy in Houston, Texas, he started drawing cars and went on to a GM sponsored mechanics program,...
    Simpson Design ABOUT JIM

    Interested from birth in anything with wheels, Jim developed a love of mechanical devices that became a lifetime love affair with automobiles and their designs. As a young boy in Houston, Texas, he started drawing cars and went on to a GM sponsored mechanics program, a formal 3-year apprenticeship in European cars and a further 2-year Ferrari apprenticeship. He has had his own business restoring and repairing sports cars since 1975.

    Jim started Simpson Design in 1978 to do design work and build custom sports cars. His work has caught the eye of other noted designers such as Pete Brock. One of his creations, the Blue Ray 3, a concept car built on a preproduction second generation Mazda 929 prototype chassis, represented Nardi at their 60th anniversary at the Concourso Italiano during the 1992 Monterey Pebble Beach weekend. Stemming from his association with Mazda executives, his designs on Miata platforms have been featured in the Mazda booth at the Laguna Seca Historic races.
    Jim's vision has always been to create high quality designs and produce them as reliable, drivable cars.


    ABOUT SIMPSON DESIGN

    Simpson Design specializes in designing and producing unique experiences for the discerning driver. We've been in business since 1978, first in Houston, Texas, now here in the Pacific Northwest.

    Most car companies save their truly innovative designs for concept cars seen only at trade shows. Here at Simpson Design, we create drivable concept cars on reliable platforms like the Mazda Miata, with readily available parts and maintenance that won't break the bank. Ours are concept cars that spend more time on the road and less in the garage. If you're driving one, you won't need to pick it out in a parking lot. In fact, chances are you may never see another one on the road.

    For questions or more information:

    SIMPSON DESIGN
    Contact Jim Simpson
    Clinton, WA
    360-321-4122
    M-F 9am-5pm PST


    OTHER AUTHORIZED DEALERS:
    EAST COAST:
    DOMINO USA
    Contact Peter Cameron-Nott
    2152 Post Road
    Melbourne, FL 32935
    321-368-8716
    More
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