Turn Projects

1996 BUDGET-BUILD MIATA: Project CrossTime

Project CrossTime is a 1996 Mazda Miata purchased for $1,000. With 187,000 miles on the odometer, you would think it is time for the retirement home. However, instead of letting it go quietly into that good night, we plan to build it on a budget — over time — to prove that you don’t have to have a lot of money (or experience) to go racing. Starting with a virtually stock Miata, we will slowly transform this nimble little convertible into a track-day racer that can create havoc for high-dollar sports cars.

It is said the word “miata” is derived from an old German word meaning reward. The Miata is the best-selling two seat convertible sports car in history — and probably the most-raced car in America. Mazda has made millions of Miatas through the years, so there are a ton of them out there to be had for cheap. Parts are cheap, too, and there are plenty of aftermarket companies supplying performance goods.

We think it makes great sense to have a Miata as a project car for TURNology. The project name CrossTime is an amalgamation of the words autocross and time trial. Readers can follow along as we start to throw parts on CrossTime to increase lap times making it into an awesome corner-carving Autocross and Time Trial beast on a budget. We hope you will be rewarded with ideas you can use on your project.

Project Specs

Vehicle: 1996 Mazda Miata

Engine: 1.8-liter, stock except for header

Trans: Stock 5-speed

Rearend: Stock

Chassis/Suspension: Stock, with Boss Frog frame rails

Wheels/Tires: Stock 14-inch wheels with Douglas touring tires (380 treadwear)

Brakes: Stock 4-wheel disc

 

 

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