Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks, OnAllCylinders will profile engines and engine builds by everyday high performance enthusiasts—hot rod hobbyists with DIY work ethics and real-world budgets.

sbc 383 v8 engine in a mazda RX-7
sbc v8 engine on a chain cradle
men dropping v8 engine into a mazda RX-7
two men posing next to a sports car in a shop
383 Chevy V8 in a mazda RX-7
interior of a mazda RX-7 with SBC V8 Swap
side view of a mazda RX-7 with sbc v8
side view of a mazda RX-7
rear view of a sbc-swapped mazda RX-7

All things are possible.

"Doctor, the heart is prepped and ready for surgery." Looking pretty.

Don grew up learning his way around a garage with his late father, a retired U.S. Air Force mechanic. Don's dad helped him with this engine swap. What's better than that? Nothing.

Don's father passed away in November. We loved seeing the photos of the two working on this project together. A lot of us here at OnAllCylinders are both fathers and sons. So, this resonates. Thoughts and prayers, Don.

She really does look at home in there. We should get the Chevy people to talk to the Mazda people. Or something.

Digging those floor mats, Don.


Don Teifke was hunting for a donor Mustang to support a future Factory Five Racing Mk4 Roadster build when he stumbled on this second-generation Mazda RX7—a car he always liked the look of. His brother had owned a 1986 GXL RX7, and Teifke liked it. But it always needed a V8, he said.

When he stumbled on this RX7, the paint and body were perfect, but the drivetrain was a little rough. The only responsible choice was to drop a small-block Chevy 383 stroker into it. And Teifke makes responsible choices, so that’s what he did.*

The net result is a car that runs 11s at Great Lakes Dragaway, and presumably serves as a pretty cool sleeper on the streets of Wisconsin, where Teifke makes his home.

This is a super-cool swap, Don. Thank you very much for sharing with us.

Be sure to check out the slide show above!

*This is pure speculation. Teifke could be a total loose cannon. We just know if you’re dropping bored and stroked Bowtie motors into Mazdas, we’re always going to give you the benefit of the doubt.


Engine Block: Chevrolet 350 bored and stroked to 383, COMP Cams Xtreme Energy Camshaft (.540-inch lift, 252-degree duration)

Rotating Assembly: Callies Performance crankshaft, SLP pistons, Howards Cams connecting rods

Induction: Edelbrock Thunder Series 800 cfm carburetor, Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap intake

Ignition and ElectricalMSD 6AL Ignition Box with MSD Blaster Coil and MSD Pro-Billet Distributor

Exhaust: Hedman Hedders Elite conversion headers, MagnaFlow exhaust

Other Items: Vortec iron heads; COMP Cams dual springs; COMP Cams 1.50-ratio roller rocker arms, FluiDampr Street Series damper, Centerforce dual-friction clutch

Transmission: T5 World Class

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.