We're pretty smitten with the Flyin' Miata story at Targa Newfoundland, and not just because they offered us a seat in their supercharged Grand Touring Class entry. Husband and wife team Keith and Janel Tanner managed a 16th place finish in their 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata in the event back in 2008, and this year, they're coming to the fight with a fire-breathing V8 conversion at their disposal. The tale is interesting enough to have snagged the ear of a filmmaker who wants to bring the Tanner story to the rest of the world.

Adam Costa has jumped onto the Flyin' Miata wagon for the long road to the checkered flag, and he's started a Kickstarter project to help fund the endeavor in hopes of being able to bring along an additional cameraman. You can donate anything from one dollar all the way up to $2,000 for various 'thank you' gifts, including an executive producer title in the film itself. A more reasonable $50 donation will land you a DVD copy of the film. Having had the pleasure of seeing Costa's work in Speed Science for the Science Channel, we don't think we'll be disappointed. Hit the jump to check out the trailer for yourself and cruise over to Kickstarter for a look at the project.



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  • 20 Comments
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very cool that the FM team gets this much publicity with their *17* year old Miata. - former owner of an '01.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob
        It's getting this much coverage because a writer from this website is the co-driver.
      ramairjer
      • 3 Years Ago
      LSX FTMFW
      Derek
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://www.flyinmiata.com/V8/ Do some research before you flame.
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      What kind of moron would put a V8 into an MX-5? It made a great car worse. Much worse. The MX-5 is legendary for it's handling and balance, not to be front-heavy and over-engined. Sorry, the idea is equally stupid as dropping the MX-5's engine into a muscle car originally powered by a V8. You'd ruin the car and destroy its purpose, which is exactly what has been done to the featured MX-5. Again, because you can, doesn't mean you should.
        Keith Tanner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Give one a try. I think you'll be surprised at how balanced they are when done well. The weight and balance is almost the same as the 2004 factory turbo car, and the howls of protest about how poorly turbo Miatas handle are noticeable by their absence. The biggest difference you notice is that the accelerator works better. Much better.
        Dreez28
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        There's racing, and then there's racing with a Chevy small block. If you want to get serious about trying to win, you'll put one in whatever car you choose to drive. A stock Miata is hugely underpowered and put all it's money into suspension, of course it will handle good, but it will still be slow. Racing is for drivers, not for people relying on the car to do all the hard work for them. If you want to go fast, you NEED power.
        Tyler
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Miata+ V8= 10 times faster and more badass Muscle car+ Miata 1.6L I4= 10 times slower and probably going to blow up. If you think a car that goes from 0-60 in 9.4 seconds, owned by Barbie dolls, and only turns corners better than the average coupe out there is great, don't even bother to check your pulse.
        Smythe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Do a little research, Replacing a cast iron 4cyl with an all aluminum V8 doesn't add as much weight as you might think Miata engine full dressed are about 370lbs. LS series engines are about 500lbs. Delete AC and cut weight where ever you can and it comes out less than 100lbs difference. Sure its still quite a bit on a 2000lb car but with the proper suspension tuning (something flying miata is great at) it can be negated and its well worth if for the 300% increase in power.
        LBJAY02
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Hmmm ... Large V8 into small light sports car. Now where have I seen that before. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BrA_mg3muTQ/TgNT1M89T4I/AAAAAAAAAOs/SqfleUz0Nbw/s1600/1966+Shelby+Cobra+427+Super+Snake+Muscle+Cars.jpg http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/mongrel-motorsports-miata/ Right tool for the right job
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Leave it to Myself to make an asinine comment...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      gtv4rudy
      • 3 Years Ago
      It will probably eat the brakes for lunch and then some.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        I'm pretty sure they're not stock brakes...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not too knowledgable on GM's truck V8s, but I just find it awesome that you can fit the truck engine into such a tiny engine bay. It ALMOST sounds like fitting the Triton 5.4 into one, which would be AWESOME to see stick out of the hood of a Miata.
        Keith Tanner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        The L33 is one of the LS-series of engines, and they're all the same size. We had to put on a specific oil pan and the intake manifold is from a 2002 Firebird. It could have just as easily been an LS3 or LS7 - except for the fact that you can get that little 5.3 for a tenth of the cost and it's a strong little thing.
        Danaon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        The L33 (like all smallblocks) are pretty compact in terms of external dimensions. A 5.4 would be much more difficult, as it weighs a lot more and is much larger. It's a boat anchor, though a great engine. A complete 5.3L weighs about 420 lbs minus accessories. Close to 500 with everything on it. It really weighs very little, most V6s weigh much more.
      Joey Lopez
      • 3 Years Ago
      My dream track car! Sadly the swap is on the pricey side, but it sure is worth it
      Adam Costa
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmm...the audio is out of sync on the vimeo link. Not sure when that happened. But it's right on the kickstarter page!
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