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This is a question Amazing Projects

We here at B3ta love it when a plan comes together. Tell us about incredible projects and stuff you've built by your own hand. Go on, gloat away.

Thanks to A Vagabond for the suggestion

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:12)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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It's easy to love the cars everyone else does.
When you fall in love with the marginal vehicles, the wretched refuse, the automotive icons surrounded by negative press and placed near the top of every hack writer's knee-jerk "worst ever" lists, you embark on a fantastic journey of pain, suffering, heartache, discovery - and triumph.

I love the Pacer.

The car which dared to be an egg; an ovoid; an aerodynamic jellybean 10 years before the rest of the automobile world decided it would be cool to leave their shapes in the oven a half hour longer than necessary. The car built on the promise of a fantastic new compact engine (Wankel rotary) only to have said engine project abruptly cancelled. The car which showcased itself in a giant observation bubble, only to discover most people don't really want to be seen driving their rides.

I purchased a Pacer wagon several years ago, looking rough but still straight and solid. I decided it would be fun to clean up the interior and jazz up the exterior. I knew it would be a magnet for attention when finished, and the target of every coffee-can-exhaust buzz-bomb rice-boy racer out there as a result. I didn't want it to be let down in a fight.

So I hid a Corvette inside my Pacer.

The original 4 litre inline 6 cylinder cast iron lump of an engine and truck transmission have been replaced by a crate LS2 V8 and 5L50E unit, with a Ford 8.8" rear axle replacing the stock unit and fitted with a traditional Auburn clutch-type limited slip differential (the Torsen T2R worked better but was much noisier). The front seats have been replaced with the motorized and heated units out of an Audi A8, and those are the primary anachronism in the project. Everything else in the car has been carefully selected to scream "The Seventies!", from the big foot dimmer switch and throttle pedal (not shown here: I only got that one in place 3 days ago and forgot to take a snapshot at day's end) to the 4-spoke chrome and wood steering wheel (3-spoke units looked 'too Italian': can't have any refinement in my cars!) to the lift-and-lock ratchet shifter for the transmission (and you thought learning how to shift a manual was hard...). Despite the engine and transmission being straight from GM's parts bin, the project boasts the occasional bit of outside technology, such as the Ford a/c compressor to clear the frame rails, the aforementioned Audi seats and the left/right side mirror adjuster from a Honda. Heck, I think we've even put some shitty Mitsubishi tech in here somewhere.

The project has been given a temporary pause as we erect a tent-type garage shelter out at the yard so I can continue to work on the interior over the winter months. Once the reskinned doors are in place I can drive it around and put enough miles on the beast to properly unlock its full power potential: the LSx crate engines only allow partial throttle activation until the computer has determined at least 500 miles have gone by.

Until then, I've taken to tracking down the occasional FIAT/Yugo which shows up at the yard with a straight set of steel wheels, stripping and sand blasting them, then painting them with whatever bright and happy colors I can pick out of the PPG catalog.

Thank you for your time.

p.s. Watch out for the first three images: they're of the unscaled multi megabyte type, the better to spot all the nasty dust and scratches on the car. The last 3 are dialup friendly.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 4:00, 11 replies)
Don't get me started on Corvairs
Geez, you'd be surprised how easy it is to get a hold of a '91-'96 GM wagon with the standard Corvette LT-1 engine.

It gets one around, and looks like an egg. Right off the shelf.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 5:25, closed)
Funny you should mention that.
I'm currently visiting friends for the holiday weekend and made the cross-state hop in a '96 Roadmaster wagon, which I dust off for all those long road trips where it makes the miles melt away. A bit too thirsty to use as a daily driver, but when I know I'll be carrying several friends around for an evening or a weekend, it's an ideal vehicle.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 5:43, closed)
Old iron
I'm currently running a '92 Olds with the body panels falling off, but when that's over, I'll be back for more. The Roadmaster coupes I've seen had dumbed-down digital instruments, but apparently went for the full cluster later on, at least in wagons.

Started with the 305 Caprices, but the wagons are eggier, by far.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 6:04, closed)
I posted an earlier one about
shoehorning a Rover V8 into an MGB roadster. I think your project is even dafter than mine.

I also think I win, 'cos you must have spent a big pile of cash on the crate motor.

Like the wheels. Very scooby doo.

By the way, there were a few Pacers imported into the UK in the 70's. I think people did it just to prove that they were real, a sort of 'Yes, in America, we really DO have this fuckin' ugly car, it's not just a joke the car magazines are running'.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 8:47, closed)
Whereas the Allegro and Ambassador were beautiful?
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 12:30, closed)
They were
better looking that that monstrosity.

Although, they were fucking ugly, I'll grant that.

You could always tell when an Allegro was approaching, it whistled. I mean, how hard is it to stick one in a wind tunnel and notice it sounds like a boiling kettle? dark days they were.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 12:33, closed)
Have you blogged this?

(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 9:59, closed)
1. tl;dr
2. dialup??
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 11:34, closed)
Time poor, yet bandwidth rich?
The curse of the modern woman.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 11:48, closed)
first world problems, eh?

(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 12:30, closed)
oh yes
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 13:52, closed)

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