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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60 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. 

bakayaru
bakayaru

@designguru don't be so pretentious. this guy never claimed to be a "design guru". please post a link to your most famous designs. Anybody who calls themself 'guru', is either famous or a fraud.

I like fasts
I like fasts

 @Vittorio Jano I think he wants to maximize plan area to get decent amounts of downforce. It's not exactly a mess, but it's being built by a stay-at-home dad, in a small garage, without CFD, or a wind tunnel.

Zeus
Zeus

Agreed, but to then hyperlink something from Super Street...man...you can't get all technical on people and then hyper link Super Street! :P

I like fasts
I like fasts

This is SPEEDhunting. The front is quite functional. 

 

I honestly recommend that people (not just you) on Speedhunters read books like "Competition Car Aerodynamics" and "New Directions in Race Car Aerodynamics". Maybe then people will stop whinging about looks and appreciate function.

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

Strange. I thought someone who doesn't like VIP cars with no engine mods would dig a build like this that's very much function over form. But I guess it doesn't look cool enough?

Paul
Paul

>500bhp, <800kg. Is that not hunting enough speed for you? What's the last thing YOU built in your shed?

Hondafan
Hondafan

I agree to a certain extent, but to be fair, Speedhunters readers asked for more grassroots. 

Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean no one else does.

frankthe3rd
frankthe3rd

show us your example of what you have achieved in either your garage, or on a racetrack.  Armchair dickpunchers that spend their whole lives collecting welfare and bagging other peoples effors and achievements are a clear sign of parental neglect - in that your parents neglected to drown you at birth.

wheatgod
wheatgod

Youre a fucking tard. Go back to jalopnik or truth about cars or whichever shit hole you came from.

PeterT
PeterT

Right because you are clearly of high enough intelligence to judge it. It may not look like much right now but I'm willing to bet that someone with this much skill and ambition does their homework on the aero component and didn't just pause a F&F movie and say, hmm maybe I'll build that body kit onto my Miata.

Have some respect for the word being done, it may not suit your tastes but to call it crap and a waste of money is blasphemy. 

Designguru
Designguru

@bakayaru I do not need to prove myself to you, he posted the photos of his work for public to see and that means his ready for positive or negative feedback. If his fast then good but it's still an eyesore. His design needs to improve, not all race car shape is applicable to all cars like his miata and I do hope his really fast. If his slow and ugly then imagine what people would say. If you think what I'm saying is bs then your blind.

designguru
designguru

 @Vittorio Jano  form follows function ... I agree with Vittorio Jano, 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.

wheatgod
wheatgod

 @gues2 its called physics, it doesn't stop working if its not wind tunnel tested.

gues
gues

 @Mike Garrett I back the roll cage and the motor, and Im sure the suspension will be pretty awesome as well. But this body kit has got to go. Not only does it not "look cool enough" but the horrible looks are because it seems to lack any real function. I doubt any wind tunnel testing or anything close to it inspired those darth vader x 70's super hero wheel arches. He should have stuck to his rendering.  I understand this is speedhunters and not hater hunters so I will digress.I have just come to expect something from one of my favorite websites of all time that I guess is no longer there anymore.  

gues2
gues2

 @Mike Garrett It just looks like a NOPI car from 98, that's all.

 

I'm all for garage engineering, but this thing is a MAJOR eyesore.

gues
gues

 @Hondafan Yeah I get it I get it, but come on this thing looks like it belongs on an episode of ancient aliens. 

D1RGE EXE
D1RGE EXE

Bro, you need to just go away. You just made a complete and utter a-hole out of yourself on "one of your favorite websites of all time". Trying to defend and back up your hater comments you surely dug a deeper hole because this car is 1000 miles of awesome. Massive props for the work this guy is doing. And you can only sit there and piss on it. *facepalm*

wheatgod
wheatgod

First of all its not a "body kit". Second, aero kits, in this case body panels, dont have to be wind tunnel tested to be functional.

gues2
gues2

 @Option86 I hope "finishing" it includes taking off that horrifying kit and making it like the rendering.

Option86
Option86

 @Mike Garrett An eyesore? WOW, wind tunnel testing...? Relax. Don't make this personal, like your taste in cars has been offended. That's weak. Clearly it's not finished, so let's just say "wait and see".

wheatgod
wheatgod

Who gives a fuck what it looks like. Plus its not even done.


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