This 1990 Mazda Miata (VIN JM1NA3514L0101777) is fresh from a round of modifications that included fitment of a 2001 Camaro-sourced LS1/6-speed combo, lifted suspension, a custom driveshaft, Ford diff, and upgraded driveshafts for the still-independently suspended rear.
The seller says that all the hard work has been done, though freely admits that the car will need quite a bit of fine-tuning before its ready for prime-time. That said, it does run and drive with no tendency to run hot, and could easily be lowered to stock ride height for more tarmac-focused driving. Find it here on eBay in Vale, North Carolina for $22k OBO.
The car wears faded paint and a tired top, but bodywork looks to be in good shape. Stock wheels have lost their center caps and gained 27″ knobblies “for that rally car look.” They’re running super-thick 1.5″ spacers in combo with a 3″ lift kit, and though it’s hard not to smile at the idea of a lifted, LS-swapped Miata, we’d have a hard time being comfortable with so much metal in between the hubs and wheels. Sourcing a different set with the right offset would definitely be a good idea.
The interior would benefit from new upholstery, and the parts store seat and steering wheel covers should be the first things to go. Manual windows and locks are ideal, and the dash, center console, and what can be seen of the door trim panels appear to be holding up perfectly well. There’s no A/C, but the tach, coolant temp, and oil pressure gauges work properly–the speedo will need an off-the-shelf converter box (according to the seller) to work with the new drivetrain. Note the longer shift lever.
Up front, the original 1.6 liter twin cam four has given up its home for a 2001 Camaro SS-sourced LS1 and T-56 6-speed, mated to a Ford 8.8″ rear end turning 400 HP-rated axles via a custom driveshaft. New, ceramic-coated headers are coupled to downpipes with o2 sensors, but the exhaust remains unfinished and un-muffled at the moment. Cooling is handled by a aluminum radiator utilizing the original Mazda fans, and the seller reports that the car doesn’t run hot.
Says the seller: “There have been a lot of modifications made here, so recognize that and understand that you are buying it in its raw, just-finished, phase one condition. This is the cheapest way to own it and still make it yours through your own customization. The hard work has been done–I installed the sub kits, engine and transmission along with the rear end and got it all to work together, yet the fine tuning still remains.”