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Project Thunderbolt, The LS3 V8 Miata - Part 1: The Master Plan & Tear Down Begins

Big engine, little car. It’s a simple formula that has created some of the greatest pavement pounders in automotive history. This mantra has intrigued me as long as I can remember and has shaped my love of cars throughout my life. There are countless examples of little cars powered by big engines, some bordering on pure insanity, but my favorite are two seat V8 roadsters and my dream has always been to build one of my own. My goal is to create a lightweight, nimble, powerful, balanced sports car that is sure footed and enjoyable to drive, while delivering an addictive, breathtaking wave of torque from a big, burly V8. This is my idea of the perfect driver’s car.

At first glance it may seem that shoving a V8 into a chassis like this would ruin the balance of the car, turning it into a nose-heavy sled that is only fast in a straight line. But when done properly, the handling magic of the MX-5 Miata is kept intact. The rumble of the V8 and the big horsepower injection simply compliments the package.

My name is Tom and I’ve been a DIY wrencher and car lover pretty much since birth. I’ve always enjoyed sharing my car experiences with fellow enthusiasts online, but now I’m about to tackle my biggest project yet. It’s going to challenge me, it’s going to require me to learn new things and it’s going to be a blast. In every update I’ll give you a short overview with a bunch of photos, but for more detail and explanation, please check out each video. So come along with me on this journey and let’s build a beast!

Here's the video version of this update. Check it out!

Thanks for reading and watching, see ya next time!