Featured car: Zombie Elvis (2003 V8 hillclimber)

Zombie Elvis

2003 hillclimb racer

Back in 2003, Flyin' Miata picked up a brand new, pristine white Miata from the dealer with just a handful of miles on it. Then we proceeded to completely void every part of the warranty, building it up as a 350 hp turbo car for the Car and Driver Superfour Challenge. No part of the car was left untouched other than the interior - even the white got painted over with Laser Blue from the Lotus Elise palette. No, it's not the same as Mazda's color of the same name. The car was named Elvis.

Over the years, Elvis was used for development. That stroked turbo engine was replaced with a high compression stroker engine running roller barrel throttles. When we decided to start V8 conversions, Elvis was our first build. It was featured in Road and Track and many customers got thrill rides at various Miata events. The car was upgraded from the original LS1 to an LS3 engine.

When we started development of the first ND V8 Miata ever built, Elvis was getting tired after over a decade of being used for experiments. We pulled out the LS3 drivetrain to use in the new platform and the carcass was pushed into a corner. We thought Elvis was done.

But then he rose from the dead. FM tech Matt and his friend Brian bought the remains to build into a dedicated racer. Not just any sort of racer, they wanted to compete in the all-dirt Colorado hillclimb series. Matt and Brian are full of crazy ideas and are not afraid of making them happen. The end result is a full-size Hot Wheels cartoon that does stuff no other Miata can do. You'll see a variety of setups in the pictures depending on what the car is set up to do, check the video below to see the full-bonkers crazy version.

Spec sheet


  • LS3 engine
  • T56 Magnum transmission with faced gears
  • sequential shift conversion
  • Getrag differential
  • FM V8 cooling system
  • Fuel Safe fuel cell
  • Deatchwerks surge tank


  • AFCO Racing suspension with extended shafts
  • FM Big Mama Jama front brakes
  • custom rear brake setup with dual calipers and hydraulic handbrake
  • Hoosier dirt hillclimb tires on 13" wide beadlock Kaiser rear wheels with a wide-five conversion
  • Gravel rally front tires


  • full hillclimb spec cage and safety gear
  • fire suppression system
  • Hello Kitty seat cushion
  • absolutely no fear on the part of the driver


  • 9Live Racing dual element wang on custom mounts
  • DIY fender flares
  • Singular hood vents
  • FM tow hook
  • custom front air dam, splitter and diffuser
  • all the mudflap