2012 Flyin Miata Summer Camp V8 Conversion

A strange thing happened at this year's Flyin' Miata Summer Camp. The crew hosts a day of seminars covering everything from new products to a timing belt how-to, and this year, a total of 11 V8 conversions showed up in the same room. There are many ways to pull over 400 horsepower from a Mazda Miata, but few are more entertaining than plopping a honkin' American V8 behind the headlights.

The shop routinely plays host to Keith Tanner's delicious Targa Miata as well as the company's NB development mule, Elvis, and his NC sister, Betty, but with six customer cars with FM V8 conversions on hand plus two homebrew specials hanging about, the total hit an all-time high.

No one's throwing out any specific numbers, but estimates put the final horsepower figure at around 4,500 ponies. For perspective, you'd need to amass around 27 stock NC models to crest the same number. Cue the mad-scientist laughter.

This year marked the 15th Flyin' Miata Summer camp, and fans of the brand trekked from as far as Maine and Florida for five days of on-track shenanigans, group drives and seminars by the FM staff. Check it out below as well as a full gallery from the shindig.

Summer Camp at the track


The Flyin' Miata Summer Camp originally got underway as little more than a few close friends swapping tech tips over founder Bill Cardell's barbecue. Since then, the event has grown substantially. This year, over 130 people turned up to take part in the festivities, including plenty of track time. While participants were more than welcome to sign up to cane their own machines around the short stretches of Grand Junction Motor Speedway to compete for FM gift certificates, the real thrill came from hopping into the passenger seat of some of Flyin' Miata's more intriguing development vehicles. Visitors could take a ride in everything from a V8 bruiser to a big-turbo E85 car and even one of the company's Miata-powered Lotus Seven replicas, the FM Westfields.

Talk about effective marketing. Riding around the go-kart track is the quickest way to decide you just can't live without another 100 horsepower to your MX-5's rear wheels.



The FM crowd has made a tradition of descending upon the local Sonic for a cruise-in, and the flood of little Japanese convertibles is something to behold. The impromptu car show gives everyone a chance to rub elbows and catch up on the previous year's events, as well as stick an eyeball on recent modifications. Everything from bone-stock 1.6 NA models to cranked-out NC heathens show up for burgers and shakes. It's our kind of party.

Flyin Miata Summer Camp

The eye of this storm has to be the day of seminars. Flyin' Miata has established itself as a solid technical resource for owners around the globe, and the crew is happy to share its expertise with the summer-camp crowd. Participants can sit in on discussions about new products and changes to old wares, technical how-tos, and Q&As on the company's V8 conversions. You can almost hear the gears spinning in everyone's heads as Tanner details the process of shoehorning a Chevrolet V8 into the engine bay of a Miata.

It'll be another full year before the Miata faithful return to Grand Junction, but we'll have more news from the shop soon. Stay tuned.