Unlike most builds that are a product of some grand scheme of daydreaming and sometimes documenting plans for picking up a specific car and applying a headful of parts and changes to it, this turbocharged 1995 Mazda Miata is the exact opposite. Its owners and builders, brothers Alex and David Wong, had no intentions of spinning wrenches on the two-seater sun-seeker, but things just sort of fell into place and here they are, three years after putting countless hours into this joint venture.
Chance Encounter Turns Into Another Chance Encounter
Alex is the one that found the car, but it wasn't the result of a lengthy internet search. He'd actually just met Victor Wang, the photographer who snapped the pics you see here, who mentioned he'd had this Miata sitting on his driveway for quite some time, and it wasn't running. Being that he just picked up a new car, an immobile car on the driveway is the last thing Victor needed. Alex adds, "Prior to this, my brother and I had no intentions of owning a project car - let alone a Miata. I don't think I've had a single thought cross my mind in relation to Miatas before meeting Victor. I was able to convince my brother to jump on this with me with maybe the intention to flip the car down the road."
After picking up the car, the brothers put some miles on it around town and did a bit of research about Miatas in general, as well as the die-hard community that surrounds the long-running roadster. "We decided to go ahead and keep this for ourselves since we saw the potential to make it our own. My brother's only goal was to make some power. My goal was to make something that I could have pride in. He basically gave me complete freedom on the aesthetics and left me to do research on the powertrain, suspension, interior, etc."
Lately, RX-7s, Miatas and a host of other chassis have been given the GM LS or Honda K-swap treatment and those options, as well as a V6, were all considered when this build started, but in order to save on initial costs and keep the Miata, well, a Miata, the Mazda power plant was decided upon and in 2018 the two boosted the factory mill and injected a dose of E85 to reach the 300whp mark. It's not a terribly complex layout but if you're not all that experienced, turbocharging can be a pretty tall order. Fortunately, David is a Hyundai Platinum Tech and a Subaru Master Tech, so he had the sort of experience that would undoubtedly help to figure things out as the siblings did almost all of the mechanical work in their garage, only relying on David's workplace on a few occasions.
While content with what the factory engine was capable of, the brothers sourced a newer generation BP4W engine that they tore down and began building as a replacement in search of more power. The strengthened block includes Wiseco low-compression pistons, Manley Performance rods and ARP main studs. Bored to 84mm, the block was mated to the head that they'd fitted with Volvo valve springs and SI valves.
To put the power to the pavement, the factory trans was ditched for an RX-7 Turbo II version. Bolt-ons include a Skunk2 intake manifold and 64mm throttle body force fed by a Borg Warner EFR6758 and Trackspeed Engineering manifold. None of the go-fast additions really matter if there's insufficient fueling and that's why the brothers installed a Deaschwerks DW300 pump and fuel filter to feed Injector Dynamics' ID1050x. The fuel setup plays nicely with E85 under the watchful eye of a GM flex sensor and the entire operation is fine-tuned with an MS3 PRO that helps produce over 450whp. "We ran out of boost," David says, "Maybe we'll try to break the 600hp barrier with a bigger turbo."
Bulking Season Begins
The bubbly flares that house enough rubber to stay in control are actually the car's second set. When the car was purchased, much smaller, generic add-ons were in place, and since the sheet metal underneath was cut away, Alex decided to go further with it and replace them with Tuckin99 flares - he admits that it was a challenge, being that it was their first attempt at any sort of bodywork. The additions allow for 15x9 -15 rear (8.5 front) TE37 with 235/50 Toyo Proxes R888R.
The unique paint color isn't custom, it's actually Daytona Violet Metallic borrowed from BMW. It's not all that common and after months of going back and forth, the brothers concluded it would be the right choice for the project. Funny thing is, neither of them had ever seen the color in person, only in photos. Alex adds, "I actually reached out to a local owner of a DVM F80 M3 and set up lunch just so we could finally see the paint in person. Up until then, neither my brother nor myself had seen one." The color change would also give them the chance to correct the body, as Alex mentions, "The car was riddled with dents and we didn't have a single straight panel."
Additional exterior updates included a Trackdog Racing R-Package front lip and Jass low-pro headlights up front, with GarageStar aluminum side skirts and APR GT3 mirrors along both sides, and you definitely won't miss the APR GTC 200 wing out back. Under the hardtop you'll find some off-the-shelf parts added in, like the Sparco seats with Takata ASM harnesses and a Personal suede steering wheel, but there are one-off touches too, like the aluminum center console and "tombstone" HVAC control and stereo surround, as well as the flat door cards.
We Love It When a Plan Comes Together
Three years is what it took to completely revamp this MX-5 into the little monster that it is now, and Alex feels like the duo met their personal goals with the build. It's been seen in action at multiple autocross events and that will continue, though Alex mentioned that they've run into an issue with the MX-5's PPF delete kit (aluminum frame connecting the engine and the final-drive and mounting bracket) which is causing some drivetrain noise and vibration. Once they have that squared away, they plan to bring it to the dragstrip to see what it can do in a straight line. From there, that larger turbo mentioned earlier in route to reaching 600 and maybe even a ZF transmission might be the next few changes, but that's way down the line. For now, this team is focused on enjoying their hard work on a build that was never even supposed to happen, but sometimes the best plan is no plan at all.
|Thank Yous:||David for making all of this come to fruition. Without you, none of this could have been possible. You're my best friend and the best brother anyone could ask for. I love you. Thank you Victor for getting me started on this journey and always willing to take these amazing photos. And last but not least, thank you Super Street for featuring our humble Miata. It has been a honor to work with you guys.|