Muscle cars can start their lives overseas, they just need a little work to be brought to our standards. In this case, Dale Schwartz is in the process of transforming a run-of-the-mill Mazda Miata into an over-powered autocross and road racing monster. Not to be confused with the "Monster Miata" that got a Ford 5.0L powerplant, this Miata has the extremely efficient, powerful, and lightweight small-block LS1. Sorry Ford guys, but the 5.0L is outdated, and the 4.6L motors are just too wide for this kind of swap, so Dale called upon the all-aluminum LS1 to deliver power to the T56 six-speed manual transmission. Dale is in the process of transplanting an 8.8-inch Ford IRS differential and suspension setup from an early '90s Thunderbird made to fit within the Miata's rear quarters.
Dale is a junior at McPherson College in Kansas, and he's deep into their well-known automotive program. He's building the car on a college student's budget, and realizing what is realistic for him to build and what is slightly out of his budgetary reach. So far he's got the big items covered, and the car will truly be a performer. The things still up for determination are the aesthetics and the finishing touches that always seem to add up financially. Dale wants to keep the original white paint and primer blotches as-is to give it a sleeper look. But that might change if he finds he can afford to paint it.