Archive for August, 2014
Craaaazy FB Mazda Rx-7 Swap August 30, 2014 | 12:52 am

It’s very rare, but occasionally I will come across a swap so insanely built that I am awestruck. This is certainly such an occasion.

Mazda released the first generation FB-Series Rx-7 in the States in 1978. The Rx7 always had a unique rotary engine. The FB had a 12a, which was a 1.2 liter and had 100 horsepower with 100 ft-lbs of torque. By 1984, the car had grown into a version called a GSL-SE. It had a 13b engine, which was fuel injected, 1.3 liters in size, and had 135 horsepower with 133 ft-lbs of torque. At only 2,400 lbs, these things were pretty peppy. I owned one in high school. Mine got pretty bad gas mileage, and the steering (which is a recirculating ball design) was pretty bad. But I remember when Car & Driver magazine did a write-up on the SE version, and they something about “entire city blocks can be covered sideways.” Well, maybe if you are a Car & Driver editor, and not a pimply teenage dude with an 89k mile example with worn out steering. I introduced mine to a ditch or two trying to prove that statement.

I digress.

rx71

Doing a high quality swap in a nice shop when you have lots of money and the best tools and just buying all the parts you need is one thing. But when you see something ultra-fine and it’s apparent that it was all done by hand… awesome. Read the rest of this entry

Vorshlag LS1 E30 August 28, 2014 | 06:07 pm

Unique cars are a good thing. I’ve found that souping up an old(er) car won’t necessarily get you around a track quicker than a more modern car. Add to that the fact that it’s rarely more cost effective, and you have a recipe for cookie-cutter, OEM sports cars.

But…
a) If you’re a real car guy, you can’t help but tinker, so you will almost always modify whatever you’re driving, whether by a lot or by a little.
b) Stock is boring. Why not mix a little drama in there? Yes, the feeling of satisfaction you get when you snap off perfect shifts right at redline with a machine that is operating perfectly and just as intended by it’s original design engineers is GREAT. But it feels EVEN BETTER if the same thing happens with something you built with your own hands. Or at least that’s how I feel.

DSC2918-L Read the rest of this entry

1999 BMW M3 August 27, 2014 | 09:28 pm

The 2nd generation BMW M3, generally referred to as the E36, was heralded as one of the most sublime daily-driver sports cars ever. No, it wasn’t as brutally fast as a Corvette or as exotic-looking as a Porsche. But anybody that has ever had their ass handed to them by a smug M3 driver at a track event knows that these cars are more than the sum of their parts.

This car was found on bimmerforums, originally for sale for $23,000. At the time of this post, asking price had dropped to $13,200 OBO. The fact that it has 193k miles on it is a bit of minus. But the fact that so much work has been done to it is quite a plus. All the projects were well documented on MotoIQ. Some fancy dress-up bits for the interior, a cat-back exhaust, an M50 manifold upgrade, the TurnerMotorSports Stage 3 performance package, wow. Read the rest of this entry