As an avid car enthusiast, I find myself frequently drooling over customized vehicles that I find on the internet. I’m not picky, if it has wheels and an engine, I’m probably drooling over it. This is one that I originally came across on a truck forum, and saved the pictures because I think it is intriguingly awesome.
It was built by a guy in New Zealand and it is was a Mitsubishi L200, which are known as Mitsubishi Mightymax’s in the United States. He chopped the roof, bobbed the bed, body-dropped it, and added some much needed air ride suspension. Overall, very cool. This is obviously a work in progress, but from what I remember, it was getting a turbocharged 4G63 engine from a Galant VR4 shortly after these pictures were taken. These are from a year or two ago, does anybody out there have updates? I sure can’t find any.
While cruising through the sand pits near the internet’s automotive superhighway, I came across something way more rad than your new patch-covered jean jacket. It’s quite odd, has 4 wheels, and comes complete with an engine, thus heavily qualifying it as an automotive oddity this week. Let’s stop for a moment and consider all the things in life that you have ever thought about running over. Watermelons, crush em. Dirt piles, crushed. Couches, crush. A wagon full of teddy bears, crushed. A pool full of pudding, crush. They are ALL now able to be crushed thanks to the guys in this video. With 7 feet of articulation, it doesn’t matter what’s in front of you, it’s getting crushed.
While on one of my weekend junkyard journeys, I came across possibly the saddest looking 1967 Chevy Chevelle in the history of mankind. It was in tough shape as you can tell, and basic in every possible aspect of the word. It had some of a small block still hiding under the hood, and a terribly boring automatic transmission to match its painfully bland paint. I have to assume that this car put the previous owner to sleep every time they looked at it, which ultimately drove the most boring Chevelle ever to its final resting place.
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You may not think anything could be more thrilling than the “Pants on the Ground” singing sensation General Larry Platt from American Idol last night, but there is in fact something far greater. A simple internet link from a friend yesterday took me to some fresh pictures of an absolutely unreal Pontiac Solstice built by Stenod Performance. One quick peek, and I was desperately clawing at my mouse craving more. I mean who doesn’t need one of these? It could be the most perfect daily driver for any gearhead out there. An LS7 with 625 horsepower and a dry sump setup, 6-piston Brembos, and coilover’s for that absolutely perfect stance. Wrap all that up with a new tiny convertible Pontiac Solstice body, and you have an ultimate win. It doesn’t even scream “arrest me”, so staying under the radar is even doable. Stenod definitely built this car just right in my opinion. I have to guess that when this car is in motion, the driver is laughing hysterically at how absolutely absurd it is. Well done.
I will shut up now, enjoy the eye candy, I know I did.
Today we have a Pontiac Sunfire that may or may not have seen more air time than we want to admit. Much to our surprise, it continues to impress us with its never ending survival strategies. Sure we have to throw a few parts at it from time to time, but that’s what happens when you pretend your Sunfire is Ferrari-built Baja vehicle. It may not look the part, but I can assure you that deep within this vehicle is the heart of a hostile jellyfish and the soul of 1000 wild turkeys.
On this specific Sunfire (which is the really the same as a Chevy Cavalier), the rear control arm bushings were completely gone, in the physical sense. This made driving extremely scary, especially while steering and braking because the car would dart in the direction that you least expect. Just when you think you have the Sunfire figured out, it throws a curve ball at you and leaves you trembling in your tastefully upholstered cloth driver’s seat. In this video, we take the unintended roller coaster ride out of this very saucy Sunfire.
Once you get past the whole “I completely horrified my engine” thing, catastrophic engine damage is really awesome to see. Here is the Nutts & Bolts Top 3 Most Awesome Ways to Destroy your Engine:
1) Blowing pistons and / or connecting rods right through the engine block
Typically when your internal engine parts forcefully become external, they do so for good reason. You likely built the engine wrong, over revved it, or had a complete lack of lubrication. What you may not realize, is that this seemingly negative action is a really just your car’s way of telling you it wants a more powerful engine.
2) Destroying your valves in epic fashion
Whether it is losing your timing belt at highway speeds with an interference engine, or running lean enough to turn steel into magma, it sure is fun to see. The grossest display of shared combustion chamber space that I’ve seen was a Cadillac Catera that I worked on many years ago. It had broken the heads off the valves, bounced them around the cylinders, and then pushed them right back through the exhaust ports. The inside of the engine looked as if it were trying to combust rocks instead of gasoline. It was an epic win for shared space that day. Let’s not forget burned valves though, you get an extra points when the valves burn and destroy your turbo in the same instant.
3) Recipe for disaster: The automotive cocktail of destruction
While cruising the junkyards a few years ago, I came across a Chevy Nova Convertible that was 98% parted out and left for dead. This made me sad because:
A) I get emotionally attatched to cars in junkyards
B) Chevy only made these in 1962 and 1963, for a total production of about 50,000 units.
That seems like a lot at first glance, but they made over 300,000 Nova 4 door sedans in the same time frame, in addition to thousands more 2 door sedans and hardtop models. The unfortunate reality, is that this car has most likely long been crushed, which is really too bad because the body itself didn’t look all that bad. Here in New England, we rebuild far worse.