Internet Rages After Learning That Flyin’ Miata Stopped V8 Swaps; Which Actually Happened Years Ago


Yesterday, parts of the internet were seemingly lit ablaze at the news that venerated Colorado-based tuner Flyin’ Miata would no longer facilitate or perform V8 engine swaps. The only problem was that, according to the owner of Flyin’ Miata, they stopped such practices years ago. And it’s allowed the brand to refocus its energy on the base four-cylinder under the hood of the MX-5.

Road & Track was the first to report on the V8 swap discontinuation and specifically said that it was due to “emissions regulations and government oversight.” Not long after, automotive blogs and news sites from around the globe were reporting the same story. We spotted no less than seven different outlets saying the same thing. It’s only after Jalopnik spoke to the owner of Flyin’ Miata that a clearer story came into view.

That owner is Keith Tanner, and he says that the shop actually stopped building V8 MX-5s “three to four years ago. It’s just that no one noticed until [yesterday].” R&T also cited a now-removed portion of the tuners website that said “With emissions regulations becoming increasingly stringent and government entities seemingly eager to slap big fines on businesses that sell “emissions defeat devices,” we have made the difficult decision to lay our V8 program to rest.”

Read: Flyin’ Miata’s LS3-Swapped ND Is Just As Exciting As It Sounds

That’s now long gone in favor of a more muted statement that simply says “There are two factors here: there are questions about the federal legality of the conversions, and we have limited resources to build cars and do R&D.” Instead of shoving eight cylinders under the hood of a tiny Japenese sports car, Flyin’ Miata focuses on the four-cylinder platform even more now.

While it won’t sell you the kit you need to do the job it still offers helpful resources, advice, and supporting parts for those that want to do the job. Every once in a while an older V8-swapped Flyin’ Miata comes up for sale on the used car market too.

To put it very bluntly, we’re not here to dunk on R&T or anyone else who makes a mistake but hopefully, this puts to bed the idea that the change just happened or was a result of some new law or regulation. After all, if we all just noticed as Tanner says, maybe the market for V8-swapping a Miata isn’t as big as some of us might think. And that’s a shame, as the video below should prove nicely.

Image Credit: Flyin’ Miata


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