Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Getting started...Again?

So, maybe you read all about my little project Corolla we were going to enter in the nearly-famous 24 hours of lemons race this June. If you did, then you know it did not end well. The car was too far gone with rust for us to attempt to fix it safely. I never really stopped looking on Craigslist for other possible Lemons cars. As soon as I saw the floorpan of the Corolla I had a feeling it wasn't going to work out.

I looked at a few cars in person, actually bought one, a 1989 Saab 900 from a kid in Denver. I offered him his asking price of $350, but I told him I couldn't come to pick it up until Sunday. He said he would consider it sold, and we would complete the transaction on Sunday. After a couple unreturned phone calls I looked on Craigslist again and there it was, listed at $550 now. He fixed a few minor problems that had been pointed out and relisted it. I am all about getting the most money for your car, or anything else for that matter, but don't waste my time telling you will consider it sold just to go and repost it for more money. Dick!

I found a 1980 Mazda RX-7 for $300 the same week. The owner said it had no title, but was a daily driver before being parked. I took a ride to Conifer to take a look at it. The drivers window had been down about 5 inches and the interior was shot. Looks like some sort of animal went to town in there. It had not been started in 4 years, but the body was straight, the motor was complete and the glass was all good. Honestly, I thought it might be in too good of shape for the type of racing we were going to do. Looking at the videos of past races, the cars get absolutely totaled out there. I was also worried about the size of the car, it's small and I'm not sure how much damage this thing could take. Last but not least, I had concerns because I had never worked on a rotary engine before. I knew the basic concept, but I needed to do some research before I jumped in this pool. On the upside the car was easily modifiable, had plenty of aftermarket parts support and has a bolt in rollcage available. The owner said his low dollar for the car was $200, and he needed to get it gone because he sold his house and was closing the following week. I thanked him and left to think it over.

A few days passed, I found the above-mentioned Saab, went through that whole shenanigans ordeal, and decided the RX-7 wasn't the one for this project. We had toyed with the idea of doing a smallblock Chevy V8 swap, but it looked to be too expensive to complete under the $500 limit. A few more days passed and I knew the guy was getting close to closing on the house so I gave him a ring to see if it was still available. The auto market gets very small for a non-running, 27 year old car with no title and a trashed interior. I offered him $100 for it and he accepted.

Tonight, we brought the beast home from Conifer. I'm still not completely sold on the idea of using it for this race. I would feel somewhat bad for destroying a car that is getting fairly rare, and could be used as a legitimate race car. Putting a V8 in there and some suspension bits would make this thing a absolute blast to drive on a track.

It's JDM Yo!!

In my research I found a bone stock 1980 RX-7 with a manual transmission weighs 2,420 lbs. We figure when the interior is gutted, glass removed, the A/C and other unneeded components are removed we should be down around 2000 lbs or 1 Ton, and it's going to be fun!

1 comment:

Daiana said...
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