Mid-engine

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V8

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Twin-turbo

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Supercar.

Being stupid enough to purchase an old English sports car doesn’t mean that I’m stupid enough to try and do the timing belts myself.  That work has been subcontracted out.

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Gentlemen, behold!

And after a brief jaunt with some friends . . .

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She goes to sleep for the winter.

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In Spring 2016 I started driving the car around and experienced the hot start issue.  I immediately took the engine apart with the help of some friends and replaced the injectors (leaky injectors cause the hot start) along with plugs, wires, and air filters while I was in there.  It took about four days of work.  Not easy, but not overly complicated.

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I also had a few professional photos taken.

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1987 Porsche 944

Posted: September 21, 2015 in Rants

People who know me know that I can’t resist a bad ass 80s car.  Especially one with a pedestrian clobbering wedge nose, pop up headlights, and an interior that really doesn’t care if you die by bashing your face on a sharp object.

Naturally, I purchased another 944 on eBay as a complete impulse.

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It looked clean.  The interior is almost perfect.  The exterior has some blemishes that are not readily apparent in the seller’s eBay photos.  The dash is not bad!

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Hell, it even had a PCA sticker on it.

Of course, as soon as I got it registered and drove it something was clearly wrong.  It felt WAY down on power.

To cut to the chase, it was down on compression 30-40% across all four cylinders.

So, I thought long and hard about what I had in the car.  I took offers for the car as a parts car thinking I could cut my losses.  But at the end of the day I decided I owed it to myself and enthusiasts everywhere to get rid of those horrible wheels, rebuild the engine, paint the thing and restore this car to its former glory.

So, after going to see someone who was low balling me for this as a parts car, we got talking and they said they could restore it for a reasonable sum.  Out came the engine.

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The diagnosis was far worse than anticipated.  Not only were the rings gone, but the camshaft teeth had broken off, clogged the oil pickup, and starved the engine of oil.  It was running and driving with two spun bearings.  The oil had probably never been changed.  The clutch was original from 1987.  Yet, the car still ran and drove.  Quite a testament to Porsche’s build quality.

At the end of the day, I spent as much purchasing and rebuilding this car as I cleared selling my 911 – but, this car is significantly cooler.

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This dog likes it.

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It turns good.

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It does burnouts.

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And I look back at it when I walk away.

Lotus Elise

Posted: May 7, 2015 in Rants
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He tossed the key at you which you managed to snatch from the air like a frog grabbing a fly.  It was small and light, just like the car you were about to drive.  What a nice touch it would be if the engineers had gone so far in their thinking to “add lightness” to everything – including the keys to the car itself.

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The car was orange.

He had warned you about getting in and out of the car, something he affectionately referred to as “The Lotus Dance.”  It was one you’d done before.  Rather than sit with any kind of grace you simply dropped into the seat and hoped your ass landed where you intended.  A leap of faith.
elise interiorOnce situated, the seats were rather comfortable.  As sparse as the cabin was you didn’t have any trouble finding things where they should be.  The only thing you were interested in was the start button.  It did not disappoint.

You were surprised by the roar the engine made.  It wasn’t the weedy sound you anticipated from the same Japanese four cylinder you’d find in your administrative assistant’s car, but something else.  It sounded like a race car.

elise frontYou eased the car out of the driveway relying on faith as much as the mirrors.  Rearward visibility was not a major concern when designing this car.  Who needs to see what’s behind them in a race car anyway?  Flat out, all the time – that is how this car was meant to be driven.

You warmed the car up to operating temperature and began to mesh with the machine.  It was loud – aurally and visually.  The giant front wings let you know where your tires were.  Your tires transmitted every surface of the road not only through the unassisted steering but also through your ass and up your spine.  Such is the ideal way to process feedback and supplement your eyes – all of the sensations processing in your brain.

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You drove the car, you enjoyed it, but you did not push it.  An unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads – now wasn’t the time to explore the limits.  In reality, the limits aren’t accessible on a public streets.

As you returned the car to its home, you began to notice that people stared.  People pointed, people waved.  Its all part of driving an exotic car.  It wasn’t something you cared for much but you humored the masses with smiles, waves, little blips of the throttle.  That’s the code that any exotic driver abides by.

You opened the door, put your ass on the edge of the seat, your left hand on the roof, and extricated yourself from the cocoon of a seat.  Tossing the keys back to him you began to process the experience.  This was a race car that you could drive on the street.  Some people might complain it was too raw, but to you it was just right.

1999 Porsche 911

Posted: April 27, 2015 in My Cars
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In October of 2014 I made an impulse purchase of a blue 996 c2 – for those of you who don’t know, this means a watercooled, narrow body, rear wheel drive Carrera.

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She’s a pretty little thing.  The car came with a refreshed suspension and some outrageously expensive Champion RG5B wheels wrapped in Hankook RS3v2s (235/40/18; 265/35/18).  It also had the IMS addressed, new brakes and a new clutch.  Of course, the rear main seal is still a bit wet but nothing unusual for these cars.  There’s also a pesky vacuum leak that pops up now and then and sets off a CEL.

Winter came so I promtply put on a set of hollow spoke Sport Techno 18s with Continental all seasons and drove it all winter long, mainly on days when the roads were clear but occasionally on some light snow.

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As soon as the weather cleared I went through the car, cleaned it up, mounted the wheels on and took out some extra weight in the form of silly stereo equipment.
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My first autocross saw disappointing results.  6/29 (beaten by my co-driver by 0.05 seconds, who took 4th in class – that’s how tight things were).  The A-Street PAX index for my car is set by the Corvette Z06, so it’s a pretty brutal place to be in, coupled with running year old tires, which are last year’s technology (about 1 second off the mighty HoosierStones on a 60 second course), in a stock car.  Well, I can’t fix the tire problem yet since they don’t make them in big boy sizes, but I can go full nuclear on the rest of the car.

According to the April Fast Track, Porsche Exclusive options are now legal in the Street class.

Options XSE, XSF and XSN allow the addition of GT3 seats front and rear and the deletion of rear seats.  Since my son likes to ride in the back, I kept the back seats.

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I can pick these seats up with one finger.  Suffice to say that was not the case with the stock seats.

In furtherance of weight savings, Ross Temple built me a custom exhaust.

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The weight savings are substantial.  As you can see, we deliberately left room so that another muffler or resonator could be added.

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It sounds alright.

No traffic laws were violated in the filming of this video.

I’ve been autocrossing the car with limited success on the Hankooks.

Lift off oversteer is a thing. I’ve got it fairly tamed with alignment and shock settings but it can still get you if you aren’t careful.  The RE71R tires on it are fantastic.

The tires are FANTASTIC in the rain.

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I originally had the car on the market for a reasonable price to fund my next purchase, but took it off because it really didn’t owe me anything – it is solid, fun to drive, fast, reliable, etc . . . but I received an offer I couldn’t refuse and now it’s gone to a good home.

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Getting in a little simulator time.

Posted: March 30, 2015 in Rants

1999 Range Rover P38

Posted: February 24, 2015 in My Cars
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I’d been searching for a Land Rover / Range Rover for a few months.  Every time I went to buy one it got purchased out from under me.  I found one which I thought was nice, and had my brother in law buy it for me. IMG_1393

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The car has a brand new Electronic Air Suspension, a very solid 4.0 liter engine (despite being badged 4.6 HSE?) and a nice transmission.

It drove beautifully on the way back from Westchester, only to refuse to start the day after I got it home.

About two weeks later my friend came over with his P38/GEMS program and an OBD-II cable to scan the car.  Everything was in sync, so we set about fiddling with electronics connections, cleaning things, etc.  One of the tests included me setting the car to max high, crawling underneath in the melting snow and putting my hand on the starter as he tried to start it.  PULSE.

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I bashed on the starter with Range Rover Repair Tool #1 (rubber mallet), re-tightened the battery connections and she fired right up.

Later that evening I loaded my son into the car to get a wash.  Waiting in line we played with the monster rally lights, the raising and lowering suspension, and even the rear fog lights (so that’s what that button does).  He quickly declared “this is the coolest car of all time!” – this coming from a kid used to being chauffered around in V12 BMW Supercoupes and Porsche 911s.

I took the car in for an inspection and the shop also had a detailer on premises.  I paid for an interior detail and all I can say is wow – totally refreshed and like new – they told me because the leather was high quality to start out with it came back to life super nice.

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The car pretty much refuses to die.  I believe that as long as people make fun of it and joke about when it will die, it will continue to run.  Only when people finally respect it as the fine, durable machine that it is will it decide to finally kill itself.

Along those lines, I took the truck off-roading.
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Its performance was exemplary.  The Jeep guys couldn’t believe that it hung with them (on all-season garbage tires nonetheless).  The only place I got stuck, another heavily modified Jeep also got stuck.  I can’t imagine what she would do with real tires . . .

. . . so after getting a flat I used this as an excuse to replace all of the garbage Kumho all-season tires with some real BFGoodrich KO2s – and let me tell you – these tires are the real deal.  They are nearly unstoppable in anything I’ve thrown at them.  More importantly, I went subtle with OEM sizes instead of that garish “look at me and my big ass tires” look – mainly because I already have an above-average sized penis, and I also have 5″ of height adjustment so no need to look foolish all the time when I can lift the car with the push of a button.  These things have kevlar in them to survive brutal contact and all sorts of crazy tread and sipes – even in the sidewall.  Where I would hit the brakes, engage ABS and slide on the old tires this thing just stops.  Amazing what modern technology can do.

The downside?  Car is slower because they’re definitely heavier.  And fuel economy has dropped from 14 mpg mixed to 11 mpg mixed.  But then again, only poor people care about fuel economy.

 

Ice Cube drives a Porsche.
I drive a Porsche.
Ice Cube drinks St. Ides.
I should drink St. Ides.

Video  —  Posted: February 16, 2015 in Rants