This weekend is the final stop in the Millionth Miata Tour, an event that celebrates the most popular convertible in history: the Mazda Miata.
Taking place during the Miatas at Mazda Raceway in Monterey, California, what venue could be better than the awesome Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
With over 500 Miatas and MX-5s in attendance, there are amazing examples of the creativity and sheer awesomeness present in the Mazda community. Here are five examples that I couldn’t take my eyes away from.
2016 Mazda MX-5 w/V8
The folks at Flyin’ Miata are clearly the kind of people who spiked the punch bowl at prom. They offer V8 conversion kits, that allow Miata owners to give this roadster a bit more power. And by a bit more, I mean a LOT more. The one on display uses a 6.2-liter V8 from a Corvette, that pumps out 525 horsepower. At the very least you can expect a “monster Miata” to pack 300 ponies. The swap involves changing out the transmission, driveshaft, rear axles, rear end, and adding in a new subframe and transmission brace. Overall it adds about 200 lbs to the car which isn’t that much of a hit when you consider that the power of the car has basically doubled in comparison to stock.
Speaking of more powerful Miatas, some of the more interesting cars to spot around the event are the legitimate Mazdaspeed MX-5s, which came from the factory with a turbocharged engine. This means the 1.8-liter four cylinder engine now put out 180 horsepower, which means that the MX-5 no longer had to rely on its low weight to be fun.
A much more exciting version of the MX-5, these Mazdaspeed versions are considered kind of rare, although there were a few of them at the Miata gathering this weekend, and some in awesome condition. Most took to the track too, showcasing this production cars awesome limits.
This eye catching car is called the Catfish, and there’s basically a Miata underneath that slick body. The Catfish uses the powertrain and suspension from a first generation Miata, and strengthens it with a space frame chassis that is then draped with this dramatic body.
Why go through all this trouble? Well the Catfish looks like nothing else on the market, and the whole process cuts some significant weight from the donor Miata, which improves the performance of the car.
The cult-like following of the Miata has a lot to do with its awesome Grassroots racing community. A number of the cars around the track have actually seen head-to-head racing, thanks to the accessible and affordable Supermiata Maxis racing series.
This racing series is limited to just the first and second generation Miatas, and power is capped at 140 horsepower. It’s a great starting place for people who want to compete in head-to-head racing, as some of the front runners in the series have spent as little as $10,000.
I know what you’re thinking: “that’s not a Miata!” But it is. The Exocet is what happens when you think that a Miata is too porky. So the solution is to put it on a diet that involves removing all the body, and wrapping the drivetrain and suspension in a space frame chassis. The resulting car weights 800 lbs. less than a normal Miata, and looks downright awesome.
It was hard to pick just five cars from this years Miatas at Mazda Raceway event, but fortunately we have a massive gallery of the cars we saw around the track.
The Millionth Miata Celebration Tour concludes this Saturday and Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. For full details on tour’s last stop, check out our Millionth Miata Celebration Tour Hub. And if you take photos, you can become a part of the conversation by sharing them here and on Instagram using the #MX5Movement hashtag.