• Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
  • Bauer Catfish rendering
  • Bauer Catfish sketch
  • Bauer Catfish rendering
  • Bauer Catfish at Laguna Seca
  • Bauer Catfish sketches
  • Bauer Catfish chassis
  • Bauer Catfish engine bay
  • Bauer Catfish rendering
  • Bauer Catfish rendering
  • Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
  • Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
  • Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
  • Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
  • Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
  • Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
  • Bauer Catfish at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill
We're not trying to make a joke here. The creation you see above really is called the Bauer Catfish, and while the name is about as attractive as your average bottom feeder, the car itself is built on a sexy notion. Take the mechanical bits of one 1990-2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata, add in a tube chassis for as little weight as possible, complete with some custom body work and go forth. Bauer says the finished product weighs in at just 1,550 pounds, and the company will be happy to pull the stock four-cylinder to drop in a healthy General Motors LS V8.

The pre-production prototype shown above competed in last year's 25 Hours of Thunderhill, finished the race and earned a spot on the podium in the "anything goes for sports racers" ESR class. Very cool.

If you're looking for a dedicated track car, it may not get any better than this for the money. Expect to pay around $13,900 depending on options, plus the cost of your donor Miata. That's a good sight cheaper than a used Chevy Corvette Z06 and likely to be quite a bit more fun. After you're done watching it in action in the brief videos below, check it out over at Bauer Ltd.








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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      ELG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Factory Five, This is how you do it. take note: no camry headlights
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ELG
        [blocked]
      action3500
      • 2 Years Ago
      Z06 is street legal . . . Looks goods though.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @action3500
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @action3500
        [blocked]
          Lynchenstein
          • 2 Years Ago
          I'm hoping the licence plate indent at the back is more than just a design element. This car looks soo sexy.
      h-man
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great idea. Looks promising. If they can deliver and sell it for this price they will have a hit on their hands.
      audisp0rta4
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm seriously thinking about wrecking my '05 Mazdaspeed so I can have an excuse to phone Bauer for a catfish conversion!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      I absolutely love a lightweight monster.... It's even driving the right wheels. I get the whole V8 thing but with forged internals and a turbo the original engine is just fine. I'm more interested in what a stock miata with 140hp would feel like at 1500lbs! Tossable minimally....
      bubba_roe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cool, minus the chevy motor. Ill take one with a 3 rotor.
      rem
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, it's better looking than the MEV Exocet, but at over 2x the price, I think I'd rather have the uglier (and lighter @ ~1400 lbs) track toy. I also kind of prefer the open wheeled look.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rem
        [blocked]
      DRAGON
      • 2 Years Ago
      Brilliant and beautiful concept!
      Acre
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd be curious to see how this compares to the Factory Five 818. Very similar concept and price point.
        ELG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Acre
        and dramatically better looking
          Lynchenstein
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ELG
          Yup - I came here to slag the 818 too. I had such high hopes, but then they swathed it in cheap-looking plastic. I do hope they offer alternate cladding, it's a kit car after all.
      ShutoSteve
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the idea of a composite lightweight one piece tub over the Miata chassis. If any Miata chassis can be used, that would be great too. I see a fair bit of BMW Z4 in the side profile, and that's really not a bad thing either. Either way, even DD'ing this car would be fun. Imagine hopping into your lightweight sports car everytime you want to drive, at a cost of like, 6G all in. Brilliant.
        ELG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        its not a tub over the miata chassis. it uses its own tube frame chassis.
          Matt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ELG
          Nope you\'re wrong Aaron, it *is* a tube chassis using Miata subframes and complete suspension. There is a susbstantial thread about the design and build over at miataturbo.net.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ELG
          [blocked]
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