Ever Wanted a Chevy Silverado Shaped Like A Mazda Miata?

The Miata has long been the perfect sports car. These little Japanese zoomers have always been relatively affordable, reliable, and plentiful. That being the case, the Miata has also been the subject of many custom car builds, some of which have been downright silly, like putting a Hellcat engine in one. There is a new wild Miata build that is tearing up the drag strip. This is little Frankenstein has been given the heart of a Chevy Silverado. 

Can you fit a V8 in a Mazda Miata? 

You sure can. According to The Drive, Ryan Hamilton, a Welder in Rhode Island, slammed a 5.3-liter from a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado and twin Borg-Warner S300 EXC turbos into his 1990 Mazda Miata. 

red 1990 Miata with a LS Chevy Silverado motor swap
1990 Mazda Miata with twin-turbo LS swap | Ryan Hamilton

As you might have noticed from the photos, the engine doesn’t fit, per se. Hamilton opted to pile a massive engine in this little Mitata over having a hood. I get it. You get a giant engine with way more power, and you’re saving weight; win-win. 

Where did this Chevy Silverado / Miata beast come from?

The Drive mentions that Hamilton got the car a couple of years back by trading an Audi wagon that he had swapped in a 4.2-liter from the C5 A6. The friend was feeling the Audi, and Hamilton clearly was hungry for another, more insane engine swap, and so the two friends made an even trade.

red 1990 Miata with a LS Chevy Silverado motor swap
1990 Mazda Miata with twin-turbo LS swap | Ryan Hamilton

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When Hamilton got the Mazda Miata, it was bone stock and was missing things like AC and power windows, but overall, it was a clean example. Although the car was nice, Hamilton says he felt like it was too underpowered and ultimately too slow for him. Now, the Miata has never promised much in the way of power, but its superpower has always been its ability to rip a corner to shreds. This was clearly not enough for Hamilton. 

“I figured I was going to put some kind of engine in it. It was good for autocross, but I got kind of bored with the response of the throttle,” he says. 

Miata LS engine swap

So not only did this modern-day Dr. Frankenstein drop a Chevy Silverado engine into this Mazda Miata, he went ahead and strapped two Turbochargers on there as well. Although the Borg-Warner whirly boys are on the lower end of the turbo spectrum, Hamilton seems happy with the job they are doing. He says that they give more at a lower- to mid-range, bring the spool time down, and improve the overall torque. 

red 1990 Miata with a LS Chevy Silverado motor swap
1990 Mazda Miata with twin-turbo LS swap | Ryan Hamilton

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This twin-turbocharged Chevy Miata is said to be making around 700 hp on 93 octane fuel with the street tune. Hamilton says that it will make more power with 110 race fuel and the rough tune. His Miata will be hitting the Drag strip before long, and one can only assume it will do a good bit of chopping on the strip. 

What else could he possibly do to it?

As you likely assumed, dear reader, the engine isn’t the only custom part of this car. At this point, Hamilton estimates that nearly 90 percent of the car has been modified or tweaked. He also put an ‘89 Thunderbird rear end in the little Miata. Since he is a welder by trade, he has fabricated many of the custom parts for this car himself. 

Although there doesn’t look like there is much left to do, Hamilton still wants to drop a big-block engine in it and really start to turn the screws.