If you’re a long time reader of NZ Performance Car then I would like to apologise for harping on about my E36 project for the past four years. The project has haunted my thoughts during nearly every waking hour. That’s 16,000 hours of conscious thought in which my mind has wandered back and forth through every conceivable way to build each component, how to change things, and how we can build something different to the norm.
I have never been afraid to chop something up and bin it, only to start from scratch again if I felt it wasn’t right, or learned so much building it that I couldn’t not redo it.
That’s effectively meant we have built three cars in the past four years. First the 30% completed 1UZ-FE drift hack, then the over-the-top complicated comp-spec drift car, and now I feel I have a happy medium that will be really fun to blast around the track with.
While this might seem ridiculous and stupid to some, to me, it’s all been part of the learning process and a steep one, which has covered everything from TIG welding, carbon and composite work, and wiring. While I’ll never claim to be an expert in anything, obtaining a solid foundation of trusted knowledge to build on, has been very helpful. I’m thankful that I know some really talented folk who have taken the time to lay down that knowledge and have shared tools with, and opended up their workshops to me. I’m honored they have given up their time to teach me anything I wanted to give a go, and told me when I need to button off with the over-ambitious ideas. I’m a firm believer in listening to a small group of trusted people for advice, rather than asking every man and his dog for input. Holl Racing, Quest Fabrication, GT Refinishers, Green Brothers Racing, Hell BM, KBM Motorsport, HPA, and TTT have all been key to what we have sitting in the shed. Without these guys, it would certainly not be the car it is today. Sure, it’s not perfect, and you can clearly see I was learning on just about every component, but it’s all there, and, more important, it’s ready to rock!
How will the parts I’ve made perform? Who knows, but the start button has been pushed, the engine fired, and now I’m hanging out to hit the track for a shakedown. I’m under no illusions about how successful it’ll be at first; I’m facing a whole new set of learning curves in terms of tuning and tweaking, but I’m ready for that challenge, so, while I won’t say the project is finished — after all, it’s a race car — I’m just happy that I will be pounding Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in only a few weeks’ time after writing this (unless the car blows sky high on the dyno, that is!). My budget has never been big; we have scrimped and saved, attempting to build the best damn car we could with all the strongest parts the wallet allowed. We’ve spent far too many hours and way too much cash beavering away on it. So, here’s to going balls deep and building the car you want — just get in that shed and do your damn best.