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When Miska Kähkönen isn’t working as a young electrician in Espoo, Finland, you’ll likely find him in his garage, or out having fun on two and four wheels. Miska is into motorcycles – from street to motocross – and recently started overlanding in his Jeep Cherokee XJ. The real star of his garage, however, is a 1991 Mazda MX-5.
Miska purchased the MX-5 back in 2013 with the intention of daily driving it. But – surprise, surprise – that all changed during its first winter in his possession, when Miska decided it would make a great project car.
The first iteration of the project debuted at a local car show in 2014, but it wasn’t until 2019 that the little Mazda started to resemble the machine we see now. It was a trip to Poland for a Next Level DriftThe event that inspired the transformation.
On his return to Finland, Miska wasted little time ordering a full Duce bodykit from Firefly Speed Shop in the UK, and everything else he needed to set the MX-5 up for drifting.
With all Miska had going on in his life it took several years for the Mazda to hit the road again, but when it did, it was a different car. This was largely thanks to the DIY turbo conversion, which is centered around a Garrett T3 (scavenged from a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth) fitted to the Mazda’s original 1.6L engine, which remains internally stock. The setup is reputedly good for around 230hp and 300Nm – plenty for the lightweight MX-5.
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Miska still shifts through the Mazda’s original 5-speed gearbox, but the diff has been locked.
What drastically helps with drifting is the suspension setup, and Miska uses BC Racing BR coilovers, plus front knuckles, lower control arms and steering spacers from Destroy or Die. The wheels are 16″ Riverside tri-spokes from Japan.
The interior features a full roll cage, Recaro SPG race seats, carbon door panels, and a quirky addition – a 15-year-old pink iPod Nano loaded with all the best bangers from the early ’00s.
Miska describes the MX-5 on the street as uncomfortable, but “entertaining” nonetheless.
While the Mazda was his first project car – and something he completed himself – it’s not going to be his last. Miska is currently working on a C5 Corvette he inherited his father. The MX-5 will be relegated to the track and the street, and the Chevy will take its place. Large wheels and air suspension are the most important features.
The dream is to build Finland’s best modified C5, so I look forward to seeing what Miska comes up with. In the meantime though, there’s plenty of fun to be had in his little roadster.