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Flyin' Miata
499 35 Rd
Palisade, CO 81526

FM build diaries

We keep build diaries of some of our major projects, ranging from updated street cars to ground-up racers. You can follow them through our RSS feed.

 BRG 
Refreshing a 1991 BRG
Start from the beginning
Latest update, April 14, 2014
Meet our newest project.
This little 1991 BRG has been around for 23 years now and is starting to get a bit tired. The owner has had a full FM II turbo Miata in the past, and he wants something different.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Whiskers 
Meet Whiskers, our Catfish.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, April 01, 2014
The reason we've mounted the body is to check fitment, run wires and to drill mounting holes.
Then it will all come apart again so we can paint the frame and do final assembly. Although there is a certain amount of gratification involved as well! It looks so good when put together.
Read this entry

 Mazilla 
A Mazdaspeed gets everything.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 19, 2014
The complete engine bay, ready to fire up for the first time.
We were trying to integrate the stock Mazdaspeed shock tower brace by flipping it around, but unfortunately it wouldn't clear the hood.
Read this entry

 Moonshine goes V8 
A fast turbo Miata gets a mouthful of torque.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 31, 2014
Time for the first drive!
This isn't as exciting as you might think. It's not all tire smoke and rev limiters.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Dave's Montego V8 
A 1995 Miata receiving the full Habu treatment
Start from the beginning
Latest update, February 21, 2014
The end result underhood.
On the dyno, it's making about 420 hp at the rear wheels - along with a great noise. We're done with this car now, it's heading home. You may not notice it if you see it on the street, but you'll know if you hear it!
Read this entry

 Q-Ship 
Building the ultimate sleeper Miata
Start from the beginning
Latest update, January 23, 2014
The cooling package is ready for installation.
That's one of our custom V8 radiators with the FM Airflow kit mounted on top. There's a lot of dyno testing behind this setup, and it will keep our beasts cool even with hard track use.
Read this entry

 The Exocet 
The Exocet is a Miata-based kit car that offers excellent performance and an easy build.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 27, 2014
We're still waiting for the new bodywork - it's running a bit behind schedule.
But that doesn't mean the Exocet project is completely at a standstill. Here's the first set of our radiator mounts. If there's demand, we'll put them into production. Estimated price is $49. Let us know if you're interested.
Read this entry

 Lava 
Installing a 430 hp, emissions-legal V8 in a Miata.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, August 19, 2013
The perfect plate for a V8!
Read this entry

 Racecar 
Building a 525 hp V8 Miata race car.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, January 31, 2014
With the design work done on the salvage shell, it's time to turn to the actual car for the fuel cell installation.
Step one is to get the stock tank out, which involves tearing out the rear driveline.
Read this entry

 Mica 
Tonya loves her Mazdaspeed, named Mica. It's been upgraded over the years, but now it's time for a big step: a stroker motor.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, June 07, 2013
Mica goes home!
Read this entry

 Jim's V8 Miata 
Another V8 conversion. This is the first one to use the E-Rod engine.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 26, 2013
Jim didn't trust the weather heading home to Durango, so he brought his trailer.
We don't blame him, driving his E-Rod powered Miata with 430 hp and high performance summer tires in the snow might not be fun through the mountain passes. Thanks, Jim!
Read this entry

 Ron's V8 MSM 
Another Mazdaspeed goes under the knife for a V8 conversion. This one isn't a no-holds-barred build, but will be a great value.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, October 30, 2012
This is a special, bespoke car.
One of the last things we do is install a brass plate with the customer's name.
Read this entry

 Tim's V8 MSM 
Another Mazdaspeed V8 conversion. It's another fast street car.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, July 19, 2012
More road testing.
The car's working well, but there are the usual little quirks. The electric mirrors aren't working, for example. Easy to fix, but we need to make sure it's all right before delivery.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Moonshine 
At Flyin' Miata, we have a car named Igor. Igor is a very quick car that is happy being driven across the country or diving into the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca - and the cool thing is that it's built with nothing more than a pile of Flyin' Miata parts and normal tools. No machine shop work, no welding or grinding - just bolt on and enjoy.
A customer of ours liked the way Igor worked so well that he asked us to build him a copy. We're starting with a bone-stock 1999 and working from there.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, May 07, 2013
With cruise and a good alignment, Moonshine could probably go the next 30 miles with no driver.
But what fun would that be?
Read this entry

 Dave's CF-55 
This Mazdaspeed is here for a complete workover as a fast street car - with a 480 hp V8 at the core. All of the components are chosen with this goal in mind.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 26, 2014
Dave's CF55 continues to win awards.
This is from the Megaspeed car show, which we're told is the largest indoor car show with 500,000 sf of display cars. CF55 was put in the Modern Tuner Cars class and took home First Place, Class Champion. Congrats, Dave!
Read this entry

 The Gatmobile 
Joel's 2005 Mazdaspeed gets a major makeover.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, August 24, 2012
Voila, some fresh Lava Orange paint for the bottom of the hood.
We also shot the new metalwork in the nose, even though it'll be invisible with the intake in place.
Read this entry

 Project 707 
Keith's friend Eric wanted an interesting Miata. Something a bit different, a car that would satisfy his need for a vintage sports car but offer Miata fun and reliability. He had a fairly strong vision of what the final result would look like, and it involved some creativity to make it happen.
This project was done at home in Keith's garage. It's not an FM project, but we figured you might find it interesting.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, April 19, 2011
Eric and the final result.
He's overjoyed with how it turned out. He had a very strong vision for the car, and that's the key to a successful modification. Anything he considered doing was held up against that vision. This keeps the end result cohesive and consistent. Every potential change was compared against how it fit in, from the pattern on top of the shift knob to the choice of wheels.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 The NC V8 project 
After dropping V8s into more than a dozen 1990-05 cars, it's time for us to take on the current generation. This is the transformation of our 2009 from salvage car to a real beast.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 20, 2014
The final prototype of the new exhaust system for the NC V8 cars.
Excellent ground clearance, very good sound control - it's a great exhaust for long trips. Makes for a highly civilized car.
Read this entry

 The Targa V8 
The ongoing development (and competition) of the V8-powered Targa Miata.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 27, 2014
Dyno time!
Was all that engine swap work worthwhile? Short version: yes. The car spun the rollers at 466 hp and 432 lb-ft. Even better, it was making 300 ft-lb at 1700 rpm and more than 400 from 2900 to 6100. That's one healthy little car.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Laguna Blue 
This pretty 1995 Laguna Blue Miata got reworked with a major horsepower injection.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, October 27, 2010
A final shot of the engine bay with the coil covers installed.
The car left FM on the weekend and will be delivered to an excited owner tomorrow. Enjoy the car, Pat!
Read this entry

 Scuba Steve 
This 2002 checked into the Flyin' Miata hospital complaining of a torque deficiency. So we performed a heart transplant.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, August 09, 2010
All buttoned up and ready to go!
Does Steve look happy to you?
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Bert 
Bert is a 1992 Miata that has had an FM II turbo system for years. However, it's time for the big step: a big V8.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, October 11, 2010
The car's just about to leave us to head back to its owner.
Here's the final state of the engine bay. The 1990-97 models have a smaller engine compartment than the 1999-05 cars, which means the fuel rail covers can't be installed without modifying the hood.
Read this entry

 Igor 
Igor is a 1999 Miata that came into our hands as a salvage car. But he was too good to take apart, so we decided to have a little fun.
With an armful of off-the-shelf Flyin' Miata parts and a few spare body panels, we transformed Igor from a sad little stock Miata to one of the staff favorites on the street and the track.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, April 06, 2010
The big brake kit comes with an adjustable proportioning valve so that we can fine-tune the brake balance.
This can make a dramatic difference in the braking ability of the car if it's set up right, so it's an inexpensive way to improve the stopping power of almost any Miata.
Read this entry

 Mike's V8 
A nice 2002 gets a horsepower injection as we install a 480 hp LS3 engine.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, May 19, 2010
A final portrait.
We brought Mike's car down to the Miatas in Moab event where it was a big hit. The trucking company will be picking it up shortly to take back home to him.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Elvis 
Elvis has had a number of engines over the years - a high boost stroker, a high compression naturally aspirated engine - but when the time came for us to do our first V8 conversion, he was our victim.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, January 27, 2011
If you had X-ray vision, this is what Elvis would look like.
We're doing a bit of work to buff up the paint.
Read this entry

 The Rocketship 
A 1993 LE that combines luxury touring with very strong turbo power.
We originally built this car several years ago. It's back for upgrades.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, April 28, 2010
The car needs more spark, so we've mounted a set of coils from an LS3 V8 on the car.
The bracket design - done by Tyler - worked so well we're putting it into production, and we'll have a Big Spark kit coming soon.
Read this entry

 The Pi Car 
Another 1990-97 V8 conversion. What can't be improved by installing 480 horsepower? This car is at the beginning of a long journey. We're dealing with the performance, the aesthetics will follow later.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, March 26, 2010
We needed to do some road testing to ensure everything on the car is in perfect shape.
But the soft top is in poor shape - it's going to be fixed as soon as the car returns to its owner. So we stuck one of our hardtops on. We're not sure it improved the aesthetics of the car.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Dan's V8 
This was the first 1990-97 Miata to get the Flyin' Miata V8 treatment.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, April 28, 2010
Dan lives in Alberta, Canada.
Between his northern address and our high elevation, he wasn't able to come pick up the car for a long time. He finally flew in and drove the car home. It's shown here in Montana.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 Geoff's car 
We know this car well. It's been to us several times over the years for various upgrades. But Geoff decided it was time for the big step, and had us put an LS2 underhood.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, October 01, 2009
Pretty much the last step.
The GM ecu puts out 56000 pulses/mile, while the Miata speedo expects 8,000. This interface box lets us doctor the signal. Fine tuning involves driving at a steady speed and calibrating off a GPS.
Read this entry

 The Silver MSM 
This car came to us fairly modified from the start. But that didn't mean there wasn't a lot to do! The chosen engine was a 500 hp LS2 from Holden.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, August 14, 2009
Thaaat's all folks!
Headed home.
Read this entry

 The green 99 
The first customer V8 build. We put a 480 hp LS3 in, and gave the whole car a makeover.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, October 04, 2012
All buttoned up and ready to hit the road.
The intake fits nicely under the Racing Beat nose. The owner has a big grin on his face, as you might expect.
Read this entry

 John's Westfield 
We don't offer turn-key Westfields anymore, but here's one we built in-house. John's planning to take this thing touring all over the US, so it's set up with a little more luxury than most Westies. For example, it has heated seats, a trailer hitch and even a roof!
Start from the beginning
Latest update, August 12, 2010
Here's John's touring setup.
The trailer is designed for motorcycles and he reports it tows extremely well. The car's fitted with various lighting upgrades and stuffed with amateur radio gear.
(more on the FM site)
Read this entry

 The FM Westfield - modifications 
Follow along the post-construction life of our little turbocharged lightweight.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, April 08, 2009
AIM dash.
This thing is cool. It plugs into the Hydra ecu and gives us whatever info the ecu has, apparently including an imaginary sixth gear.
Read this entry

 The FM Westfield - build 
We built the first Miata-based Westfield with left hand drive. We came across a few little problems and helped Westfield sort everything out.
Start from the beginning
Latest update, October 14, 2008
A late arrival, the heatshield for the exhaust.
Read this entry

The Targa Miata
The Targa Newfoundland is a week-long tarmac rally that combines runs through tight little village roads to undulating coastal highways. So, how would you build the perfect naturally aspirated Miata to handle it?
Build and development
The race - first in class and 16th overall!

The Seven
Before Westfield came out with their Miata-powered lightweight, Keith built one of his own. Then he took on the Ariel Atom on the track and even wrote a book about it. Completed, but still occasionally updated.
The Seven

The MGB GT
How do you get baby supercar performance with classic style? If you think like Keith does, you take a 1972 MGB GT, cut the frame off at the firewall, build a new frame with Miata geometry, add a custom three-link rear suspension and then ram the drivetrain from a 1998 Camaro inside. This one is currently under construction.
The MG


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