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Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/16/09 12:03 a.m.
Nashco wrote: Hmm...fair enough, I'll give you that. However, it seems to me that it's still not enough tire/aero/brakes/etc. to compare to the Z06 without a heck of a lot of work. I do agree, it would be easier than a Miata, but I still doubt that the Z06 is "easily" trumped by the reworked RX7. Bryce

I think the FD does have enough tire and aero. Brakes, I dunno. I'm not an RX7 guy, I just think the FD looks good enough to lick. But it should also have a weight advantage, which helps with the brakes and there are certainly upgrades available. It's probably a better starting point if you're going to be chasing the Vette on a big course. If you're going to be on tighter courses, I'd put my money on the Miata. I've hustled a V8 Miata around our local track faster than any Corvette has managed to go.

The bad thing about a V8 Miata instead of a built-up four cylinder is that you can't work your way into it. Like the used Z06, the V8 swap is an all-or-nothing proposition. Whereas the turbo Miata can be built over time. Start with a basic kit, then upgrade engine management, then build the engine, then a bigger turbo, etc.

One thing a V8 Miata has that the Vette never will is that "oh my GOD" factor. People go nuts over V8 Miatas. It hits some sort of primal gearhead button. The best part about having Elvis at the Mitty last year was watching the crowd reaction as the glazed stares slid over the engine bay...then refocused on the CORVETTE valve covers. If we'd had a pole in the middle of the pathway, someone would have walked into it about once every minute as they stared at the Miata. Don't get that with a Z06 or even an FD.

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/16/09 7:57 a.m.

Truth to all of that. I'm always for opening the hood of something and getting a big WTF kind of reaction, which seems to work best with the 'vette valve covers. Even Edelbrock covers, or SBF covers don't get that reaction.... but EVERYONE seems to know what it means when it says Corvette under the hood of something that is most certainly NOT Corvette. I have yet to find an LS1 swap I do not approve of.

Sidebar to that..... FD WOULD probably be my choice in this battle, if I wasn't sure I'd spend nearly half my budget just getting a shell that wasn't all cut up. FC would be a consideration, but for some reason, a Miata makes more sense to me. Plus- look at Elvis. Elvis is rad.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/16/09 10:32 a.m.

At the Mitty, we had two V8 Miatas there. Both were running LS1s. Elvis had the CORVETTE coil covers, the other car didn't. There was a big difference in the reaction of casual passers-by. Unless you know what both a Miata and an LS engine look like, you don't notice anything unusual when you just glance over. But those covers...

A friend picked up a nice FD for about $6400. It was an automatic and had been clogging up a local used car lot for some time. When he pulled the engine to put an LS in the car, he discovered it was a brand new factory replacement. He did okay on that deal.

mapper
mapper New Reader
12/16/09 10:59 a.m.

Something we haven't mentioned. Corvettes are still stable at 150 mph +. Miatas are not. Keith, what was your fastest speed at the Targa?

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/16/09 11:32 a.m.

Not applicable. The Targa has a blanket speed limit of 200 km/h (120 mph). I peaked at about 197. Didn't have the power to go faster. In the wet, on a bumpy unknown road with trees on one side and rocks on the other, it seemed pretty damn fast.

That said, I've seen over 140 and we brought a Miata to the second Superfour challenge that would have been very comfortable at 150 or more. With the right suspension and a bit of intelligent attention to aero, stability is not as bad as you'd think.

Again, it comes down to what parameters of the Z06 you want to "beat". Top speed? Big course laptimes? Small course laptimes? Autocross? Cross-country cruising? Define what you're going to build, then build it. This goes for both bench racing and real racing.

EricM
EricM Dork
12/16/09 12:33 p.m.
Keith wrote: Define what you're going to build, then build it. This goes for both bench racing and real racing.

Um, there are no rules for Bench Racing

Appleseed
Appleseed Dork
12/17/09 1:06 a.m.

Correct. If there were it'd be called design theory.

MitchellC
MitchellC HalfDork
12/17/09 2:38 a.m.

I believe "all of them" is what the original poster was hoping for.

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/17/09 9:12 a.m.

Exactly. I want to build an all around better race car out of a Miata, while retaining as much streetability as possible. Isane? Yes. Fun? More yes.

Ian F
Ian F HalfDork
12/17/09 10:11 a.m.

...and I think what Keith is trying to say is that may be possible... could you do it for less $$ than simply buying a C5 Z06? Hmm...

I know all about insanity... I still want to build a nice GT out of a rusty Volvo that most 1800 enthusiasts would strip for parts and send to the crusher...

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/17/09 11:48 a.m.
Ian F wrote: ...and I think what Keith is trying to say is that may be possible... could you do it for less $$ than simply buying a C5 Z06? Hmm... I know all about insanity... I still want to build a nice GT out of a rusty Volvo that most 1800 enthusiasts would strip for parts and send to the crusher...

I believe it to be entirely possible, if wholly impractical. That's the fun of this idea, throw convention out the window and just say I want it to do this, and you open up a whole new realm of possibility. Sort of like the guys that build the 10 second diesel duallies. TERRIBLY impractical, but you know you want one.

Also, I love the Volvo idea. I support it.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/17/09 1:09 p.m.

An LS-powered Miata isn't any less practical than a normal Miata - or a Z06 But the Z06 was a hell of a target to aim at when it was new, and assuming you can get a good one for $20k? That's a killer value.

I think you could beat the Z06 in certain areas, and even most. Crush it in all aspects of the performance spectrum like top speed? Hmm, not so sure.

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/17/09 1:36 p.m.
Keith wrote: An LS-powered Miata isn't any less practical than a normal Miata - or a Z06 But the Z06 was a hell of a target to aim at when it was new, and assuming you can get a good one for $20k? That's a killer value. I think you could beat the Z06 in certain areas, and even most. Crush it in all aspects of the performance spectrum like top speed? Hmm, not so sure.

Well, impractical in the sense that I'm talking about spending 20k$ to build a 1500$ shell into a monster that's going to take on a car worth 20k, and likely to appreciate, eventually.

beaterworld
beaterworld New Reader
12/17/09 1:39 p.m.

Why don't ya put a small-block chevy in one of these...

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/17/09 9:31 p.m.

What the hell is it? Looks more like a turbo'd busa motor candidate to me.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt Reader
12/17/09 9:38 p.m.

Quick! Keith, build a C5 Z06-eating Miata for the same cost of a typical C5 Z06, then find someone with one and pit 'em against each other.

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/17/09 9:41 p.m.

I'd pay to see that. I wish it were my miata though.

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/17/09 9:52 p.m.
Keith wrote: ...I just think the FD looks good enough to lick.

Agreed to infinity. Just saw this one in a thread earlier tonight. Gorgeous.

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/17/09 10:00 p.m.

Wow, that is a REALLY pretty pic of a REALLY pretty car.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/17/09 10:50 p.m.
JeepinMatt wrote: Quick! Keith, build a C5 Z06-eating Miata for the same cost of a typical C5 Z06, then find someone with one and pit 'em against each other.

Meet Elvis, the slowest V8 Miata we've ever built Bring on the Z06. I'm pretty sure it's been around our track faster than any Vette, but most of the Vette drivers are too scared to run it in the counter-clockwise man direction and prefer to run in the easy girly clockwise configuration.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt Reader
12/17/09 10:51 p.m.
Keith wrote:
JeepinMatt wrote: Quick! Keith, build a C5 Z06-eating Miata for the same cost of a typical C5 Z06, then find someone with one and pit 'em against each other.
Meet Elvis, the slowest V8 Miata we've ever built Bring on the Z06. I'm pretty sure it's been around our track faster than any Vette, but most of the Vette drivers are too scared to run it in the counter-clockwise man direction and prefer to run in the easy girly clockwise configuration.

How much did Elvis cost to build?

mndsm
mndsm Reader
12/17/09 10:52 p.m.

I'd love to meet Elvis. Elvis would probably be right at home in my garage. Alas, I suspect Elvis, were he for sale, would be far more than a pauper like me could afford.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
12/18/09 9:40 a.m.

There's modded FD RX7 with LS swaps already done 'round these here parts for well under $15k. That would be a nice start, yes?

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/18/09 9:44 a.m.
Keith wrote: Probably pretty close to the $20k budget if assembled by free labor.

Note the free labor part. If you wanted to buy Elvis, he'd be expensive because there's a lot of our time in there. Also, we would not duplicate Elvis for a customer because he's running a junkyard LS1. We only build customer cars with brand new parts. If you drop off a Miata here, we'll put in a 480 hp LS3 with a two-year warranty and all the drivetrain upgrades T56, Getrag rear, axles, fuel parts, etc) starting at around $30k.

But if you wanted to duplicate Elvis yourself, you should be able to do it for the $20k budget being tossed around. Depends in large part on how much you pay for your drivetrain. Add in a set of AFCOs, wheels, big brakes and a rollbar and that's basically what you're looking at.

And yes, an FD with the swap already done would certainly be a good start.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Reader
12/18/09 10:45 a.m.

My brother is doing this right now with a MR2, or so he hopes. A Z06 is an awesome car, but in the long run, he's going to have way more money in the MR2 ('85 model) than he would if he had bought a Corvette to start with. Of course half the fun is building something unique.

Anyway, my first experience with a Z06 was during a 24 hour race years ago at Moroso. We went out to dinner and I was following a friend in one, and he proceded up to what we'll can super illegal speeds. I was following in my 300hp MR2 Turbo. Above 100 it simply left my car for dead and kept on pulling. I had to sort of keep up as I didn't know where we were going, and it was not comfortable in the Toyota. I can't state how much faster this car was over 100mph, it was a rocket in the upper speed ranges!

And the Z06 is really comfortable to drive at those speeds much the same way a Porsche is, but I've never found any of my current or former Miatas to feel that way, even modded.

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