Nathan Sumner Last Update: January 15, 2012 12:07 PM

Nathan LS1 Miata Cruise

I graduated from Georgia Tech with High Honors in May 2009 and received my BS in Mechanical Engineering as well as a certificate in Engineering Entrepreneurship. I was active in one of the automotive clubs on campus, Wreck Racing, which competes in the Grassroots Motorsports $200x Challenge. I co-oped with General Motors in Michigan in their High Performance Vehicle Operations and Hybrid Vehicles groups. I was also on the GM Performance Division Auto-x team while I worked up there. I am now working for GM full-time as a Ride and Handling engineer at the Milford Proving Grounds.

I grew up on a farm in good ole Cave Spring, Ga (pop. 1015) and have always enjoyed building things. Started out with huge lego skyscrapers that my older brother would push over just before I would show them to mom, continued on to model rockets (and model rocket-powered GI Joe figurines) and building RC cars. Also, being on a farm, we always had power wheels and then go-karts and finally ATV's to ride around on. As soon as I could reach the pedals, I was driving away in any vehicle I could get a hold of.

My car craze started developing once I reached the glorious age of 16, got my driver's license and the peppy MINI Cooper S. I attended a few auto-x's here and there throughout high school and took full advantage of all of the free "teen-driver training" schools that various car makers offered. I also paid for a BMW Performance Driving Experience and SRT Track Experience; Going 160 in a Viper with the top down was fun but not as heart stopping as trying to heel toe a manual Ram SRT10 when slowing from 120 to 60 to enter the infield (FYI, heel toeing a Ram is nearly impossible thus meaning downshifting provides lovely rear wheel hop under braking, and good lucking finding a gear with the 3 ft long shifter...).

In college, I quickly became involved in Wreck Racing and through them got a co-op with GM. These two things made my car craze go off the deep end and thus I knew I had to get a project car. Wreck Racing provided the encouragement to tinker and the GM co-op provided the funds. After looking around, I found the Miata to be a solid choice and bought a Flyin' Miata turbo'd 1991 one. Unfortunately, the turbo setup was not installed very well by the previous owner and I didn't like the idea of pushing the limits of the stock internals engine with 15psi of boost. After looking at the options of getting a built motor and realizing the associated cost, I stumbled upon the V8 swaps and decided that was the way to go. So I tore my Miata apart and made it LS1 Miata.

Feel free to shoot me an email at my Contact Me page.

nathan ls1 miata cruising


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