When you look back on the cars and moments that made you so fond of the modified car it is a heart-warming experience. Its nothing less than a passion, spending long hours in a cramped suburban garage with no heating and a welder as your only companion, as if it were anything less we sure as hell wouldn’t be doing it.
Peter, who also happens to be my uncle, is the epitome of a dedicated car ‘enthusiast’. With often more than two projects on the go at any one time, it is safe to say that restoring and tweaking cars to his tastes is in the blood. This particular car, or to narrow it down, the engine underneath; was a stepping stone for me into the world of wires hanging out of every conceivable surface, black fingernails and hammering, as well as the start of a deep passion; so it holds a certain something with me. It must hold something with Peter too as he has held on to this engine for more than 14 years, finding its way into different cars and putting out different power each time.
This particular guise of Capri he bought in 2003 and ripped it apart, as you do, to make way for the running gear of the old essex V6 engine and goodies, with the original Capri that this engine was fitted to well and truly rusted away by this point. Peter had noticed that the car was running awfully being way down on power and returning about 10mpg! So it was definitely time for a new shell and get to the root of the engines issues.
“I decided to get another capri again and fit my old essex engine/box/axle into it as i had done years before, also while the engine was out i decided to get the cylinder heads fitted with hardened valve seats, so i took the heads to the local engine re-conditioners. They called me the next day and told me one of the heads was cracked, which would explain the loss of power!” Another was sourced and all was well.
“I eventually got the Capri in the garage and progress was slow, unfortunately it was a very wet year and the garage roof was leaking badly, the Capri spent much of its time in 2 inches of water which took its toll on the bodywork. I eventually had a new garage roof fitted and work could begin, but now it was more than an engine swap, it was more welding too”
“The engine and gearbox went in on the 3 litre crossmember with uprated brakes and suspension, I collected the rear axle from my friends yard but where it had been laying outside the rear cover had rusted through and the differential was full of water! There was a lot of rust inside and the pinion was seized, but i flushed it out, filled it with old engine oil and eventually it freed off; with a new end cover and EP90 oil it seems fine”
“I had a close call when cutting out a rusty section of floor in the garage, I was inside the car cutting out some rust in the floor when i noticed what i thought was water pouring in from the inner sill, i pulled the angle grinder away, switched it off and then realised it wasn’t water swirling around my shoes, it was petrol! The cutting disc had severed the fuel line, i don’t know why it didn’t ignite but if it had i would have been badly burnt or dead.”
“Finally after new lower rear corners, a post repairs, floor repairs and 1 fibreglass wing it is back on the road, it wont win any prizes because i can’t afford to respray it and there is some rust on the scuttle which will need doing someday,but it is a nice useable classic and a pleasure to drive”
And when it boils down to it, thats what it’s all about.
Some cars just scream for attention, they cannot help it; the sheer presence certain cars hold when at a meet is unprecedented. That certain ‘thing’ that is incredibly hard to describe. Auto Extreme’s wide body R33 Skyline is one such car. At a recent Eurospec open dyno day, I thought I would head over for some eye and ear candy in the form of high bhp, mostly japanese cars; but there was one particular car that I could not avert my attention from.
As I walked into the packed venue, I could not help but notice the scattering of modified cars parked in every conceivable place. People were also spilling out of the shop; eager to tell friends who couldn’t make it what their car had put down on the rollers, it was a great atmosphere. However, it took me a while to make it in to the place. Much like you would imagine an attractive female mugger, the R33 gave me a punch in the face, demanding my attention, not letting me take my eyes off of it. Every time you look away from this car, you catch a glimpse of something new that you missed before. A contour, an intake; it takes a while to take it in. When it came to the Skylines turn on the rollers, there was a distinct excitement present. Reading the liveries backwards as it reversed and sat snug in the rollers, the shop started to fill out once again to see the Skyline put down its numbers on the dyno.
I had braced myself for the volume of the car but it was to no avail. The noise was incredible and instead of it simply being a loud exhaust that sounds like a party flute creating the noise, it was the awesome RB25DET at full chat with flames spraying out from the screamer pipe and exhaust. It could barely be tamed on the rollers, the car trying to lift itself out and attack the packed crowd that had now formed. The noise this car produces is nothing short of addictive, there is nothing quite like the highly tuned RB screaming up the revs, laying down all of its 512bhp. Imagine what it would sound like to hear a swarm of bees attacking a lion and you wouldn’t be too far off the mark.
Although the Skyline has been made into a demo car to show for the company, it is not a show and shine trophy to simply hard park and trailer to events. The car still has that certain honesty to it, a personal, home brew touch that makes the car unique. Owning the car since June 2007 and acquiring it for a price that simply could not be refused, long hours and fettling in the garage have been spent to make it look and perform just the way they want and it has certainly paid off. The sheer presence this car has is phenomenal. Passers by cannot help but stop, watch and listen to it drive by and even get their phones out to snap it, turning the pavements into a spectators stand and the road in to a parade lap. The car really is like a celebrity, effortlessly drawing in attention.
The attention to detail on this car makes it what it is, for instance the wide body kit that really is the piece de resistance is not even meant to fit this car, but it has been modified and fitted so well and as I think you will agree, looks like it came out of the factory with this kind of fitment as standard. Another detail that cannot be ignored and, as Wayne describes, was the most tense part getting right, was the hole in the bonnet for the screamer pipe to poke out from. One slip and it would have been a costly mistake! Again, it has been done so well that it simply works and becomes a defining feature on the car, showing that all the hard work has paid off.
Auto Extreme never had the intention of buying the Skyline from the start. They have, and still own an S13 project, but from just looking at this and the buckets of character it effortlessly exudes, its damn good that they did.
Auto Extreme Cat Back Exhaust
Auto Extreme Downpipe
Auto Extreme Decat
Blitz Electronic Boost Controller
Apexi Air Intake
Z32 Air Flow Meter
Custom Intake Pipework
Garrett GT3076R Turbo
6Boost Top Mount Manifold
Turbosmart External Wastegate
Plazmaman Intake Plenum
Auto Extreme Intercooler
Auto Extreme Carbon Bonnet
Auto Extreme Carbon Boot Lid
Auto Extreme Catch Tank
Auto Extreme Radiators
Auto Extreme Silicone Coolant Hoses
Auto Extreme Engine Damper
Auto Extreme Wide Arch Kit (Customised to fit R33)
Rota GTR-D Wheels – 18x9.5 front / 18x12 rear
GTR Seats re-trimmed in Half Leather
All parts on the car are available from Auto Extreme. They are official UK dealers of Blitz, HKS, Garrett Turbos, Turbosmart, Rota Wheels and many more product lines. Auto Extreme are also sole UK distributors for 6Boost & the main UK agent for Plazmaman.
When a new project car is undertaken, we are all well aware of just how long it takes to build it. This is especially so when it is from bare shell to beautiful. Usually, many months, even years of toiling and spells of misery are endured to get that all important result at the end; to achieve a car that is undeniably yours.
Tim is one such fellow who has recently undertaken a complete transformation from a particularly rotten s14a shell with no running gear and making it into what you see here. You will have seen him before from my last and currently only other feature on my blog! 3 solid months of dedicated building after work hours were laboured to first repair the shell, then build the car from the ground up. Everything from the running gear to the subtle tweaks in the interior have been touched upon or fabricated by Tim himself, truly making a car that is entirely his own and creating a unique understanding of every nut and bolt of the car in the process.
Of course as with any project, the car is far from ‘finished’. There will always be subtle changes in store for this car; for example it is due its third wheel change already! But there is one element that is a given, its time to enjoy the hard work put in and go skidding.