On this site alone, we’ve seen more than a few different types of MX5 engine swaps, including a 13B turbo, 20B PP, 2x LS3 V8s (here and here), and of course the standard engine converted to turbo (here, here and here) and even supercharged. More often than not, though, it’s the MX5 that becomes the donor vehicle, with many vintage chassis swaps using venerable Miata’s for their drivetrains. This build there, though, is one of the first times I can honestly say I’ve seen something entirely different applied to a Mazda roadster, in the way of a Mitsubishi Evolution 8 engine converted to rear wheel drive. Along with the very interesting engine choice comes a stack of gorgeous home-built fabrication work to set off the rest of the car, transforming it into a formidable track beast.
When I posted a small update about my own Datsun the other day, it reminded me of a build that I’ve been meaning to post for a while. This car may share a model name and basic shape with my own, but that’s where the similarities end. This 510 has been cut, chopped, grinded and welded to within an inch of it’s life, now sitting on airbagged Toyota truck suspension with an angry rotary engine on tyre smoking duties. It may look rusty on the outside, but underneath that wonderful patina are some surgical-grade underpinnings.
Mini Estates must be destined for greatness, I’ve featured two previously (here and here) and they’re all just a little bit nuts. This one is no different, with rusted out shell as a starting point, and a not-so rusted MX5 brought into the mix, the two were combined in yet another fantastic Miata-based chassis-swap.
If there’s one type of build that gets the most attention on Build-Threads.com, it’s gotta be the chassis swap. Taking the shell of one car and pairing it with the floorpan and running gear from another really gets peoples imaginations going, gives us all the feeling that anything our minds conjure up is possible.
This one combines a 1973 Volvo P1800 with the underpinnings of a 1996 Mazda Miata/MX5. Not wanting to stop there, the owner has replaced the standard Mazda 4cyl with a 302ci Ford V8 (and over 7″ of stretched wheelbase!). There’s a bit of everything in this one, and it’s one of the most detailed chassis swaps to date.
I’m so far behind in my posts (story of my life, yadda yadda yadda), so here’s a quick build at only four pages long that was submitted by it’s owner, Colin. This is a nice and simple build, which goes through the process of an interior strip, engine bay clean up, engine rebuild, wheels/tyres, paint job, and finishes up with a well-used track day car that looks just as good sitting still as it does attacking the corners. The best part is you don’t have to sift through 100+ pages of chatter to see it take shape from beginning to end. I might be a little bit biased, as I love FC RX7s, but I feel this is an accurate representation of what regular car folk like you and I like to tinker with in our garages.
Need more rotaries in your life? Click here for more rotary-powered builds.
If you’ve been following my “What I’m Watching” series, you would have seen me post about Tom’s Turbo Garage on more than one occasion, including this very project I’m about to share with you again. What can I say? I love Tom’s work, his videos are enjoyable, informative, and funny, not to mention he’s great at wrenching on a plethora of projects in his amazing home garage. His latest project, Project Thunderbolt, sees him installing an LS3 V8 into an NB Mazda Miata/Mx5. Even though I’ve posted about this before, I wanted to do a proper on-going entry about this car, where I’ll edit and post new videos as they’re released, much like Project Binky (which I’m gagging for an update on!) Tom is releasing new videos every two weeks, so you don’t have to wait very long to get your fill.
Check out V8Mazda.com for more information about the project.
If you’ve been following my What I’m Watching series since the beginning, you would have already seen me post about Tom’s Turbo Garage once before. Still, I thought I should inform you about his latest project, and one that I’m very excited about, Project Thunderbolt! Tom has bought himself a Mazdaspeed NB MX5/Miata and is planning to drop an LS3 V8 engine inside. New videos are due to be released every two weeks, and I just know it’ll be as detailed, humourous and of high quality as his other projects.
Time Attack season is almost upon us, with World Time Attack Challenge just around the corner (click here for my photos from 2010), I thought it would be a great time to share this long-term build from Australia. The brainchild of a Mazda aficionado and die-hard collector, this NC MX5 welcomes the addition of firstly a supercharged Renesis 13B, and then a 20B 3-rotor with individual throttle bodies and a whole host of goodies. Apart from all the CAD screenshots, machined metal goodness, fabrication, welding and general race-car building, you’ll also find a bonus R35 GTR build and a visit to Mazda HQ in Hiroshima within the thread.
I remember back in 2011 when I posted a certain chassis swap build, I commented on how long it had been since the last one was featured on the site. Well it sure doesn’t seem like we have that problem any more, because it feels like almost every second build is a chassis swap! If you’re having dejavu at the title of this one, that’s because I’ve already featured a similar project in the past. It seems the humble Mazda roadster is quite a popular donor for these types of builds. The more the merrier I say!
Imagine for a second that you just bought a car, but that car was located 1800 miles away, meaning you had to travel that distance to collect the car, and then drive it all the way back home. Now, keep your imagination going, and ponder how you’d feel if that same car got stolen from your driveway less than one week after you bought it. Pretty shattering, right? Well, what if it wasn’t just stolen, but also crashed, flipped, and completely totaled by the theif? I think I’d curl up in a ball and just cry. But not Jeff, the owner of this turbo’d Mazda Miata/MX5. After taking a week to grieve, he sought about buying a replacement car and rebuilding it piece by piece, ensuring no dirty or unpainted/polished product so much as touches the car. It culminates in one of the cleanest MX5’s on the planet, better than when it rolled off the production line.
Click here for more MX5/Miata builds.