1992 Mazda Miata Convertible
The Monster Miata was the creation and product of Monster Motorsports, a defunct California company, (once associated with LaForza Industries, another defunct company). The Monster was a Miata with a Ford 5-liter cast-iron block/heads OHV pushrod engine and a Borg-Warner T-5 transmission. The swap was easily accomplished – almost unbelievably the entire engine and transmission fit into the Miata as though it had been designed by Mazda for it, (everything fits under the stock hood!). That and some appropriate springs, cooling, and exhaust made up the basic technical package and the cost started at several thousand dollars and the car. The much heavier Ford engine did add about 4 percentage points to the front/rear weight balance – and the car takes a corresponding amount of care to drive in turns. Somewhere over 275 Monster Miatas were claimed to be built by Monster Motorsports. A couple of hundred unofficial conversions were made by other companies, and kits remain available from them to this day. RX-7 conversions are also possible since much of the chassis is shared.
For consignment, a sporty skate from the Mazda camp right out of 1992 with unique but subtle badging inside and out which identifies the car to anybody getting close enough to notice. The appearance of the entire car is very stealthy until you start it up: deaf “opponents” won’t know what hit them. Everybody else would get an aural shock. Builds like this harken back to the days of Carroll Shelby and the marriage of a small block Ford V8 to the lightweight AC chassis. Gobs of power, tons of good looks and with the press of the “loud pedal”, miles and miles of smiles. Our consignment before you is one of approximately 20 built as a Mega Monster Miata, so it not only got the 5.0 Liter Ford V8 and the 5-speed manual transmission but also the added boost of a Kenne Bell twin screw supercharger. Mix in this being the brochure car for Monster Miata, as well as a magazine feature car and sporting a mere 3,957 title verified actual miles on this little yellow stinger and you can put that in your pipe…and smoke the competition.
Sunburst Yellow bathes the curved hidden headlight panels on this sports car. Small enough to be thrown around corners, and powerful enough to be able to handle it, she’s in low mileage form and well cared for in rust free condition. Garaged all its life, our owner lovingly cared for this example with its Monster Miata fiberglass front fascia with larger cooling inlet and lower fog lamps. Just above are the low profile integrated pop up headlamps which lead back to the factory aluminum hood now with louvers cut in to assist with engine bay cooling. Round and round she undulates as it forms the Miata which in German means “prize” or “reward”, particularly down the sides with the Monster Miata added front and rear fender flares as well as rear quarter panels. Up top is a factory hardtop which is easily removable for some open air track time or you can pop up the factory black soft top and change personalities yet again. Bringing up the tail end is an added rear spoiler and just below are the factory tail lamps as well as the custom center dual outlet exhaust in the rear neoprene valance. The Sunburst Yellow retains its depth and shine but displays with a few touch ups and a notable crack in the right front fender flare. White stripes in decal form race rearward from the front of the hood and finish off wrapping under the rear fascia. Ground all of this are Monster Pro-Lite aluminum alloy wheels with staggered blackwall rubber on the corners.
Smooth black leather covers the sleek door panels on the inside, up top and down low are custom leather panels in black with diagonal yellow stitching. More black leather drapes the Monster Miata supplied bucket seats with smooth bolsters and deep tuck and roll inserts along with door panel matching yellow stitching. On the driver’s seat there is some wear off of the bolster color along with fine age wrinkling. These smooth black bolsters on the sides and integrate at the top of the seats with melted in headrests. A black factory center console is the original, sporting a padded armrest, ashtray, and a black shifter boot that has a hint of yellow stitching. As it rides to the dash we have a small storage box, an Alpine AM/FM/CD radio, temp sliders and eyeball A/C and Heat vents. Black and gray molded vinyl play on this rounded dash front, with the black making the eyebrow in front of the driver, which houses the instruments and is fronted by the rally steering wheel. A Sunburst Yellow DOT approved Monster Miata 4-point roll bar has been added for extra safety. A sea of black carpeting floods the floors and looks just great with the yellow stitched Miata on the black carpeted mats.
Under the hood things get interesting…and then some. Long gone is the peppy 4-cylinder powerplant and now a Ford 5.0 Liter V8 is residing between the factory Sunburst Yellow inner fenders and shock towers. This mill is fed by EFI and makes approximately 400hp with the added boost from the Kenne Bell twin screw supercharger. This supercharger makes around 6.5lbs of boost ensuring longevity of the engine. A Tremec T5 5-speed manual transmission is on back, and all is well preserved under here. Nearly all shows as new under the hood and in the rear, we have a Thunderbird limited slip 3.08 rear axle that helps get it on with a press of the accelerator. Zoom, zoom, zoom as Mazda says, but Ford says Vroom, Vroom, Vroom!
Up on our lift we note some slight surface rust but certainly no invasive rust and all structurally sound unibody construction well sorted, beefed up, and sported out. Rear wheel drive with independent coil springs all over and power discs on all 4 corners but far from what was onboard when it left the Hofu assembly plant. The upgraded ride components now sport RX-7 R1 suspension parts including, 5 lug hubs, uprights, spindles and forged aluminum A-arms. The brakes have also been upgraded to RX-7 R1 power disc units and we note the addition of front and rear swaybars with high performance bushings. Nice floor pans and rockers and no real oil leaks to speak of so the garage floor will remain clean. Headers snake their way outward from the V8 mill and drop down then flow rearward sending spent fossils through Flowmaster mufflers before ending in the center mount custom tips.
Slipping inside I had shades of doing the same in my TR-6. Although this car assured me it was going to start.and start it did with a thunderous V8 roar. Our test track was no match for the endless power, superb handling and perfectly unbiased braking. I’ll be the first to admit that a change of my jockeys was in order after my drive as I did get a little goosey with my right boot. Overall, a wonderful and FAST experience with all functions operating as they should.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing that harkens back to the days of turnkey high-performance cars that continue to be produced today. The exception here is that the Mega Monster Miata stays true to its racing roots with a powerful V8, great suspension and stop on a dime braking. Visit out Hallowed Halls, setting in behind the wheel and be prepared to crush nearly any bit of competition that comes your way…all the while maintaining the mild mannered looks of a track day Miata.
1-Hofu, Japan Assy Plant
317565-Sequential Unit Number
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Location: Morgantown, Pennsylvania, United States