Builds: Grassroots Carbon Bodied Mazda Mx-5

Besides the outright number of impressive cars coming into the featurethis@dev.speedhunters.com inbox , I’ve also been very impressed in the diversity of machines you guys have been sending in from across the world. From drift cars to restored classics to daily drivers, the spread is very much in line with the content that appears on Speedhunters daily. Representing the not so common category of homebuilt Time Attack car is this NB Mazda MX-5 build submitted by David Wilken from Melbourne, Australia.

Built in his own garage, David’s build goes well beyond anything I’ve ever seen at the grassroots level and his final goal is to take on the high budget Time Attack machines that compete at the WTAC.

This NB is just one of a few MX-5s that David has built to various degrees, and it’s by far the most extreme.

When it comes to building a competitive Time Attack car, weight and aerodynamics are two of the most crucial factors. In order to tackle these, David has completely removed the MX-5s factory body panels in favor of his own custom-fabricated setup.

Now you may expect to see this kind of work done by a pro level team with multiple sponsors, but as you can see David’s workshop is much more basic.

With aerodynamics in mind, he has reshaped the entire body…

…and then vacuum infused the whole thing in carbon fiber.

David says the entire body now weighs in at right around 20 kilograms.

The weight on just a door for example? Try 1.6 kilograms.

There are many different engines that could be used for a car of this level, but David wanted to keep the powerplant in the MX-5 family. He will be using a fully built and turbocharged version of the original 1.8 liter running on E85 fuel.

David estimates the completed engine setup should make in excess of 500 horsepower.

Combine that with a planned total weight below 800 kilograms and you begin to see the kind of potential this little Mazda has.

At the moment David is hard at work on a new fastback to further improve the car’s aerodynamics.

If you would like to follow along with the complete project, make sure you check out David’s build thread over at MX5CarTalk.

If you have a cool car or build story that you think is worthy of being featured on Speedhunters, drop us a line at featurethis@dev.speedhunters.com . Please make sure to include your name and location, as well as some basic details and specs, along with at least 5-10 photographs. Photos should be no less than 800 pixels wide and in .JPG format.

-Mike

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54 comments
designguru
designguru

form follows function ...  I wish that he improve the looks, it can be better if only the bodykit is designed well. But, then again if you really do not have the talent as a designer and just cut and paste what you see in the magazine you'll end up like this. 

Okibi
Okibi

Thanks for the MX5Cartalk.com plug, Dave's work is amazing and I really appreciate him sharing his progress with our forum.

Roberlini
Roberlini

Nice build!  The talent, dedication and skill required to build that in a garage is mind blowing.  It looks a little like the Amuse S2000.

Zeus
Zeus

Having owned and raced a 2002 NB Miata with a stock engine I really like this. Only thing I would have done different was an LS6 all aluminum V8. Awesome car though. 

Option86
Option86

I'm hoping that huge gap in the rear is where a fat a$$ rear diffuser will go...

Vittorio Jano
Vittorio Jano

I really respect the fabricating skills of the builder, but it really disappoints me to always see on these kind of builds that the builder has taken inspiration and design principles from the right sources without understanding what makes those designs work. Though I have to say that the roll cage is quite well designed. Still.. the aero seems to be a pretty big mess, but I hope its still a work in progress and will improve. Best of luck for the builder and please make some decent ducting for the coolers.

KristofferSandnes
KristofferSandnes

This is one of the hands down most insane/inspiring/jaw-dropping garage-builds i've ever seen, and then seing someone bashing it for looks without all the body work/suspension setup/wheels/vinyls/stickers done is one thing but  bashing it for a supposed lack of function, just reminds me of that movie idiocracy. 

That carbon fiber bodywork just screams DOWNFORCE and im sure he's adding a few holes and splitters still. 

Daws
Daws

I've visited this site for years now and I don't think i've ever read such stupid remarks before, the idiotic-boyracer brigade has found Speedhunters :(! This thing will be an absolute weapon on the track, can't wait to see the 1.8L blowing the competition away! Its going to handle like its on rails!

grandtouring
grandtouring

While this may not be everyones cup of tea,you gotta respect his effort on this build. All that carbon bodywork must have been a hell of a job to lay. A build like this reminds me of scorch racing's s15. Sure that car was more ascetically pleasing (though this one seems to take a lot of the gt300 rx7 lines) but the same premise remains, crazy guy in search of speed, and building a race car all on his own.  If anything deserves the phrase "because race car" its this.

Hugo Mestre
Hugo Mestre

This is just so freaking epic! Awesome build!

yanesnyawai
yanesnyawai

Vacuum infusion. Now I know how to make a carbon fiber body panel. At my backyard. :) Awesome car btw!

bakayaru
bakayaru

I once saw a surfer riding an 8ft winter wave over a shallow rock patch. As I stood in appreciation of the sight, 2 fat kids were jabbering and mocking the "tiny wave" from the shore. They were so removed from the reality, they had no idea how to even appreciate amazing wrecklessness and bravery of the surfer. If he made a single mistake, he'd have been easily killed. Same with this group of useless kids on here, mocking your styling and carbon work. They disrespect it only because they've not ever tried it. They have no idea.

Henry
Henry

Rad. I'm feelin this

Biz
Biz

Some of you guys are on another planet I'm sure of it!1) This build is a proper home built car so really the only limit is budget, have some respect for that.2) It easy to see the commitment to quality and engineering involved with this type of build (Eg mould making and CFRP layup)3)  I bet many people said the same comments about group C cars and Pikes Peak cars when they first saw them.4) Th builder is not building some over powered youtube hero wheel spinng package that will gets it arse  handed to it be something of half the specification.

5) Get the hell off Forza Motorsport and get in the real world.

LS1RX7_owen
LS1RX7_owen

WOW this is insane, what a time consuming buildup and I want to see the finished car up and on track ASAP! Greta work and kudos to the builder, something like this easily brings on the haters and purists but I love it. The next project fastback looks 100x better and has some beautifulk lines and proportions to it, I'd love to get my hands on that! Good feature, glad to see this kind of thing on speedhunters!!!!

Corey K
Corey K

Damn!!! That thing is ugly as sin, but form follows function! I bet it's gonna scream.

gues
gues

What happened to Speedhunters putting up awesome cars? Lately some horrible excuses for "Speedhunting" have made their way through the cracks. A crazy VIP car with NO engine mods, a boring GS300 that looks just like every other car in Little Saigon, a busted ass S13 with an ebay body kit and NOW THIS?!!?!?!  what the fuck is going on over there?

whoshot
whoshot

This is a guy that steps out and builds a cool looking car just to have an arm chair bolt on artist at best pooh pooh his work. Alot of pro temas are using these srange body styles in time attack to get that extra little bit out of the top end and turn stability. This car is not for a street show, or quick highway pull, and for a purpose built car this one is amazing, as it was built in a dudes garage. Much respect, looking forward to seein where it ends up, the complete car should look the bizness.

V4L_SprinT
V4L_SprinT

That's very cool, but it needs better rims it looks so weird with OEM rims

Option86
Option86

Let's not forget, it was an Aussie who built the BMW M5/Ute conversion a while back... They are no strangers to building projects from the ground up, so I think it's safe to say this guy knows what he's doing...

Numptee86
Numptee86

credit where credit is due....that is PRO level work, I have spent months making ridiculous mess trying to create something 1/1000th as clean looking out of cf...but that said....it is a very, VERY "American" style of body....not to my taste at all :/ still, max credit for quality!

Akb18c
Akb18c

looks like a pile of crap. what a waste of money. 

AntonisK
AntonisK

Seems like a disaster to me...

:-(

jjpae86
jjpae86

What work did he do to prove that the design will actually improve the aerodynamics of the car? I'd describe the design as 'interesting...' 

Lille Buller
Lille Buller

That rendering is pure awesome.Wicked build!

Neal
Neal

IMO the front does not suit the rest of the car...adds extra weight and considering the Rad/IC it's not functional either. I would doubt that it's aerodynamical an improvement over a more 'stock/modified' bumper

 

bakayaru
bakayaru

respect! carbon work isn't easy, and those doors look really well done. should make copies of the doors and hardtop, and sell them.

Aisakey
Aisakey

It should be better with the fastback, but right now, it's a bit strange imo. The front reminds me of the Batmobile ...


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