Not The Answer: 1993 Mazda Miata diesel conversion

When K2 tipped me on this, I thought about just posting a link to the ad and just typing NO in the largest font available on the Blogger platform.  I guess it is your car and you can do what you want with it, but why would anyone do this to a Miata?  Talk about not getting the whole point of the car.  Find this 1993 Mazda Miata diesel conversion for sale in Warminster, PA for $3,250 via craigslist.  Tip from K2 Mystery Car.

I feel sick

To me, this swap is wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to start.  If Bob Hall and Tom Matano were dead, they’d be rolling in their graves (luckily they are both still alive and kicking!).  The original motor in the NA Miata was a 1.6 liter twin cam with an iron block and aluminum head, producing around 116 bhp and 100 torques and loved to rev to its 6,500 rpm redline.  The ad says it’s been replaced with a 1.0 liter Isuzu diesel making 25hp, but getting over 55 mpg.  Seems like it should make more than 25, but there’s too much meh here for me to bother to look it up.  But with a diesel, it is all about the low revs and low down torque (and black lung), or so some say.  Which is pretty much at odds with the Miata and sports car philosophy in general, right?  I don’t think Bob Hall’s blackboard sketch of a lightweight roadster envisioned a boat anchor with a 2,500 rpm redline under the hood.

Zip ties and Reynolds Wrap, but where's the duct tape?

The interior appears to be untouched, although it’s hard to assess the condition of the driver’s seat bolster – a common wear point.   I’m curious how the stock gearing of the Miata 5 speed works with the totally wrong power plant.  Shouldn’t it be a 16 speed with a Jake Brake?

To do list:  Item one, refill prescription.

No mention of the top condition or rust – a problem with Miatas that live where salt is used in winter.  However again, none of that matters, does it?  It would probably be doing the earth a favor if it broke in half because of rusty rockers.  The bigger question though is what would be the line of thinking that would go into doing a swap like this?  Monster Miata I get, this I don’t.  Sorry to go off the rails on this if you are the builder, but I can’t see why anyone would do this, let alone thinking someone else might buy this (unless they were really rich and wanted to tick off their friends in the local Miata club).  Could you run it in LeMons if you caged it?

I'll show those guys on Club Roadster...

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.  He thinks diesels are for 18 wheelers and farm implements.  He tries not to rant, but sometimes he can’t help himself.