The World’s Cleanest Restomodded BRG – Stephen Lee’s 1996 Mazda Miata

Definition of a restomod: Mixing old and new technology to create the best of both worlds. Matching classic styling with modern comfort, reliability and performance.

BRG’s or also known as “British Racing Green” Miatas has risen in value significantly in the past few years. Some of the reasons are due to the collector value and other reasons are for the classic color combination. According to Jalopnik, there were 3,997 BRG’s built in 1991. And in 1997, a more muted and “dirtier” British Racing Green was available with 3,000 units built. So with over a million Miatas sold to date, having a BRG is quite rare indeed.

I’ve been following Steve’s build for a few years now. And in my opinion his Miata is the epitome of a restomodded BRG. If you follow his build on his Facebook page or on, you will see how meticulous and detailed Steve is with his build. Styling cues are on point with the Gold faced RS Watanabe Type-A’s in a 14×6.5, +4.5 offset on each corner wrapped in Pirelli Cinturato P1 tires in 185/60/14. The car is lowered on highly rated Ohlins DFV coilovers. According to Steve, his car rides extremely smooth and comfortable through the streets and canyons in Sydney. Braking is addressed with Dixcel Type SD Slotted Rotors in front and back with Type B brake pads and Goodridge Steel braided lines. The exterior is super clean with an R-Package front lip, JDM Eunos fog lights, KG Works chrome washer nozzles, Runabout M2 mirrors, and Zoom Engineering amber side indicators, Lotus emblem and retro fuel lid.

The interior of his car is absolutely gorgeous and carries that distinguished gentlemen aura. The retro inspired interior is carried out with a slew of classy Nakamae quilted interior pieces. The gauge cluster was provided by RS Products Japan with custom Revlimiter Type RS gauge faces. Steering is handled by way of a Nardi Classico 360mm wooden steering wheel. And shifting is designated by a Joyfast super short chrome shift knob. Other bits worthy of mention include an Arrive mahogany wooden brake handle, Carbing foot rest pedal, Zeromotive M2-1002 style pedals, Zoom engine starter button and Retromodern knurled dimmer switch and trip reset stalk.

Besides the uber clean exterior and gorgeous interior, the engine bay is just as astounding. The mix of gold, black and green finishes contrasts and complements well with each other. The Mazdaspeed theme is well executed with the green ignition wires, uber rare air box, gold oil cap, and radiator cap. The custom satin black valve cover, intake manifold and intake pipe is a nice oem-plus touch. Steve tells me his future plans are to revamp the motor and build it up to a 1.9 or 2 liter with Jenvey ITB’s. To solidify his Miata as the world’s cleanest restomodded BRG, he’s going to continue this build and elevate it even further!

Now scroll down to check out the beautiful photos taken by his friends Daniel and Fatih, and also read about his journey with his roadster!

Photographer: Daniel Karjadi / Fatih Demir of Monday Made
Writer:  Kevin Truong
Owner:  Stephen Lee
Location:  Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Instagram:  @96BRG
1996 Mazda MX-5
Engine mods:
Advanced Cam Timing +14 Degrees
Arrive Intake Pipe (Satin Black)
BeatRush Radiator Cooling Panel
Fujitsubo Legalis-R Catback Exhaust
GarageStar Lightweight Alternator Pulley
GarageStar Lightweight Water Pump Pulley
Gates Racing Performance Timing Belt
Koyorad 36mm Hyper-V Core Aluminium Radiator
Maxim Works 4-2-1 Headers
Mazdaspeed Ignition Leads
Mazdaspeed Induction Air Box
Mazdaspeed Oil Cap
Mazdaspeed Panel Air Filter
Mazdaspeed Radiator Cap
MiataRoadster Short Shifter
NGK Iridium Spark Plugs
OEM Mazda Intake Manifold (Satin Black)
OEM Mazda Rocker Cover (Satin Black)
Samco Silicone Coolant Hoses
SARD Sports High Flow Catalytic Converter
SARD Sports Racing Thermostat

Transmission and Differential mods:
Goodridge Braided Clutch Line
Toda Racing Sports Clutch
Toda Racing Lightweight Flywheel
Arrive Mahogany Wood Handbrake Handle
ArtWork Dewa Cluster Needle Caps
Carbing DASH Foot Rest Pedal
CocoMats Sisal Custom Floor Mats
Garage5 Brushed Aluminium Vent Rings
HKB Boss Kit
J-F Customs Tan Leather Gearshift Boot
J-F Customs Tan Leather Handbrake Boot
JASS Performance Sun Visor Plugs
JDM Eunos Sunglass Holder
JDM Eunos Chrome Door Sills
Joyfast Chrome Gear Knob (Super Short)
Joyfast Chrome Handbrake Button
MOMO Futura 350mm Wood Steering Wheel
Nakamae Aluminium Door Locks
Nakamae Tan Cup Holder
Nakamae Tan Quilt Mat Belt Line Trim
Nakamae Tan Quilt Mat Lower Package Tray Trim
Nakamae Tan Quilt Mat Side Step Trim
Nakamae Tan Quilt Mat Transmission Tunnel Trim
Nakamae Tan Quilt Mat Upper Package Tray Trim
Nakamichi CD-400 Headunit
Nardi Classico 360mm Wood Steering Wheel
Nardi Tokyo Horn Button
Pioneer JDM Eunos 2″ Tweeters
Polk Audio DB651 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers
RetroModern Knurled Dimmer Switch
RetroModern Knurled Trip Reset Stalk
RevLimiter Custom Gauge Faces (Type RS)
RevLimiter Custom HVAC Panel (Version Stirling)
RevLimiter Door Sill Inserts (Type MX-5, BRG)
RevLimiter Retro Power Window Switch
RS Products Classic A/C Fan Knob + Sliders
RS Products Classic A/C Trim Ring
RS Products Classic Retro Gauge Cluster
RS Products Classic Retro Hazard Switch
Vintage Mazda Chrome Cigarette Lighter
XTC 6.5” Foam Speaker Baffles
Zeromotive M2-1002 Style Pedals
Zoom Engine Start Push Button
B1 Hybrid Polarg Parkers + Tail Lamp Bulbs
Bosch Aerotwin Wiper Blades
Depo Clear Front Indicator Lamps
JDM Eunos Roadster Fog Lights
KG Works Chrome Washer Nozzles
Nielex Fuse Box Sticker
NoPro Washer Bottle Relocation
OEM Mazda Genuine Front Lip
Philips 4300K Crystal Vision Headlamp Bulbs
Raybrig Crystal Reflector Headlamps
Runabout M2 Mirrors
ZOOM Engineering Amber Side Indicators
ZOOM Engineering Eunos Lotus Emblem
ZOOM Engineering Retro Fuel Lid
BeatRush Rear Strut Brace
GarageStar Delrin Door Mounts
Mazdaspeed Engine Mounts
Mazdaspeed Front Strut Brace
Ohlins DFV Coilovers (7F, 4R)
RacingBeat Sway Bar End Links (F+R)
Dixcel Type M Brake Pads (F+R)
Dixcel Type SD Slotted Rotors (F+R)
Goodridge Braided Brake Lines
H&R TRAK+ 5mm Spacers (54.1 Hubcentric)
Pirelli Cinturato P1 Tyres (185/60/R14)
RS-Watanabe Type-A (14×6.5 +4.5 Final Offset)
RS-Watanabe Centre Caps
RS-Watanabe Lug Nuts
RS-Watanabe Valve Stems
How did you get in to Miatas?
A close friend of mine, Thomas, was the one who planted the seed of wanting an MX-5 into my head. At the time I had just sold my car to pay the tax on some land I had purchased. I wanted a fun car but I didn’t want to break the bank either. I flirted with the idea of a convertible, but I had told myself that if it were to be one, it would be only one car: a Honda S2000. Thomas had a friend, Dan, who owns an NA6 BRG which had been tastefully modified. He urged me to consider the MX-5 as it was the most bang for your buck car you could get, which was not only fun to drive given it was a rear wheel drive, 50/50 weight distribution and the fact that the car weighed next to nothing, but it also had huge aftermarket support. The plethora of mods you could do at a relatively cheap price was amazing, albeit this is a double edged sword in a way since most parts individually do not cost all that much but collectively you would have burned a hole in your wallet. I know this first hand. Anyway, after driving one, I was completely sold and I began to understand why these cars were so popular. I ended up getting the very first one that I saw. An unmodified, completely original 1996 BRG NA8C, which had always been under covers and never seen rain water.
How long have you owned the car?
I’ve had the car since December 15, 2015.
How long did it take you to build?
The car is always a work in progress (WIP) so I guess you can say it took as long as from the day I picked it up to now, which would be approximately 3.5 years. I have kept a detailed build log on as well as my facebook page at where you can see the documented build.
What is your intent with the car?
Drive it as much as I can, keep playing with it by adding tasteful mods or refreshing parts with OEM where necessary, and to eventually hand it down to my not-yet-born son or daughter.
Is this your daily driver or weekend car?
What are your future plans/goals with the car?
Next on the list are the following in no specific order:
Jenvey ITBs
Built motor to either 1.9 or 2.0L with cams, etc
OS Giken 1.5 LSD
Take out the 4x pinhole dents on the car
Complete respray in BRG
Lizard Skin insulation in transmission tunnel and also underneath the carpets.
GV Rear Tail Lights moulded into the body, much like RevLimiter’s Sharka
Robbins tan soft top with glass rear window
OEM hardtop
Flyin’ Miata Frame Rails
Re-Upholster both seats with Nakamae with perforation on headrest to allow for speakers
Replace carpet with new OEM Mazda Tan carpet
Replace all rubber seals
Replace all four wheel hubs
Replace all fuel system parts with OEM Mazda parts
Refresh dashboard with new foam and insulation
Replace tan crashpad with OEM Mazda Tan crashpad
Replace heatercore with OEM Mazda NB heatercore
Refresh all suspension control arms, remove any surface rust and apply POR15 rust preventing paint
Replace all bushings with Mazdaspeed N1 bushings
Refresh subframe, remove any surface rust
Wire footwell lights and NA6 light assembly
Any special memories you’d like to share?
Taking the car home after paying the elderly gentleman and parting ways with my money, I distinctly remember playing with the pop-up headlights button as much as I could. I drove with the headlights up for most of the way home. Apart from driving the car which I love to do whenever I can, this car has enabled me to meet so many like-minded people and whom I have formed good friendships over. Every time I get behind the wheel and take it for a drive, quick or long, it never fails to leave a smile on my face. I’m sure I will have plenty more adventures to come. 
Shoutout to Daniel (IG: dkarjadi) and Fatih (IG: fatihfilms) of Monday Made (IG: mondaymade) for always taking great videos and photos, David (IG: dbourne87) for also making my car look good in photos, Dan for initially showing me his BRG which instantly got me hooked into wanting one myself, Thomas for convincing me to get an MX-5 in the first place. Thanks to Dan, Nick, Victor, NK and Sari for always willing to lend a hand with anything, Josh and Ratana for being my go-to guys for anything mechanical, RevLimiter for providing amazing custom parts for my car and for answering my many questions about everything, RetroModernUSA for providing the intricate detailed pieces which make the car feel complete and of course, Spirit Road for providing me with this platform to share my pride and joy to the world.