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WTF Friday: Sidetracked


are pretty cool. They come in a variety of sizes, so that they can fit on a wide range of vehicles. Made of rubber they can also do short trips on road without making an ungodly squealing racket.

However, they are expensive. So what’s the alternative? Do it yourself of course! Which is exactly what the owner/builder of this Dodge Durango did.

Details are mysteriously scarce about the vehicles overall conception and construction, but it looks like the tracks are mounted to the factory suspension as simply as possible. The factory hubs and brakes were removed and replaced with flat car up front and a straight tube in the rear.

The Durango actually looks to be in fairly good shape, all things considered, which really makes me wonder what provoked this conversion.

Those of you familiar with industrial equipment have any idea where the tracks might have originated? With dual pumpkins and differential mounted brakes I imagine the set up is pretty recognizable if you know what you are looking at.

This is another Kijiji special, but the owner doesn’t want cash he’s looking to trade. You can see what he wants to barter for .

Project Why Wait: So Fresh And So Clean


I’ve been holding out on you guys, the chassis for ‘Project Why Wait?’ actually returned from about a month ago and I’ve kept pretty quiet about it. Believe me, I was excited and wanted to share photos immediately, but I’m still a few parts short of showing significant build process so I was gun-shy.

I have since come to my senses and realized that the frame coming back is significant progress because it means I can start bolting things up, theoretically for the last time.

Seeing the frame painted, and not covered in a moderately thick coat of rust, is a great sight.

To get it how it looks today Stripping Tech sand –well actually walnut– blasted it to remove all of the rust before coating it in POR-15 and then single stage automotive paint.

Traditionally Stripping Tech deals with powder-coat, but because of the frames size powder was out. But POR-15 covered in paint should be plenty durable and keep the elements from harming the metal.

Should rocks nick the surface I’ve already got a couple of rattle cans on deck for touch ups now and in the future.

Color was something I deliberated over for quite some time. I wanted something that wasn’t black (everyone has black) but I also wanted something that was versatile.

I didn’t want to go with too loud of a color however, just in case I fall on a sack of money and decide to respray the truck.

I settled on a metallic gun-metal and I was a nervous wreck until I saw it in person, but I think it all worked out.

My plan is for the rest of the components (wherever possible) to be black and I think the two colors will work very well together.

I’d show more of the black components, and more of the frame unwrapped, but because I am not in a hurry to scratch anything I am keeping things under wraps until I start work on a particular area.

Along with the frame and suspension components went my rear end, which I discovered was actually a bit hurt on the day of delivery.

Too heavy to lift out of the truck solo I decided to bring it along, get it coated, and deal with what was wrong later.

Doing this was a bit of a gamble but the axles did spin with each other, just not when the yoke was turned, so I took a chance on not all hope being lost.

This week I took it apart and with the help of the good people at I’ve determined that it is missing a shim between the axle and the carrier. Rolling it around without said shim cocked the carrier sideways and now it doesn’t engage with the pinion gear.

I’ve arranged for a local shop to take a look at it, then I will make my next move after that. It is a limited slip equipped unit, with a cruise ready 2.77 ratio so it wouldn’t be a bad fit for the truck as is.

But a few upgrades couldn’t hurt either…

Since putting the rear suspension in was out of the question, and a friend currently has my front lower control arms to put in some bushings, I decided to square away mounting my fuel cell.

I taped up the top of the cell so that I could mark where I wanted the tank straps to go. In my head I was going to go across the tank vertically but because of how far back I mounted the fuel cell holder I had to go horizontally.

On my workbench I think taped insulators to the tank to minimize metal on metal . Yes, those are rim strips from the inside of a bike wheel. They are long, straight, cheap, durable and should do the job.

This isn’t the last bike part that will work its way into this build I assure you.

A little heat and persuasion bent the steel straps I purchased over the tank easy enough, and I plan to sand out the vice marks before I hit everything with a lick of paint.

For mounting I decided to put oval holes in the bottom of each strap which would allow me to put the strap on easily, push it down snug against the tank, then bolt it tight.

I created slotted holes using the classic drill two holes then walk it out method. Then I took a dremel to it afterward just to make installation and removal as painless as possible.

There’s still minor finessing I could do here, but the idea works as planned.

Next was how to mount the studs to the tank tray. The idea of grinding and then welding into my freshly painted frame didn’t thrill me, so I thought of another solution.

It is quite simple really, a bolt welded to some sheet metal that has been bent to a 90 degree angle. The weight of the tank keeps the bolt in place, and the strap bolts to the nut.

I’ll be cleaning these up a little more as well before applying a bit of rubber to them.

Here is where the studs protrude through the straps. I counter sunk the hole so the nut fits in nice and tight because I don’t have much clearance to work with between the tank and its mount.

This mounting solution isn’t completely hidden but it is pretty unobtrusive.

After all of the above it was time to test fit the straps. I bent one a little long so I had to cut some out then weld it back together. Purchasing a welder is one of the best things I’ve ever done, even if it is just a little Migpack 10. 

Here’s the straps loosely mounted with the welds ground down. I recently ordered an drop in fuel pump from that I intend to mock-up before painting the fuel cell black.

I should have more parts and things to work on as early as Monday of next week, so here’s hoping this summer will be an exciting summer of progress on ‘Project Why Wait’!

Theme Tuesdays: Odds And Sods


Opted to raid my cache of random photos last night while I think of some new Theme Tuesday topics (or better yet go out and shoot some).

Most of these photos are inspiration for future “what if” projects, photo ideas, or Theme Tuesdays that were started but never finished.

I’ve credited where I could but some I saved from as far back as 2010 so I can’t remember where they originated. If you know let me know I can update accordingly!

I am fairly certain I originally pulled this stunning e30 m3 from
This photo makes me fondly remember the days of clean quarters and non shock value wheel fitment
This truck has changed slightly since it’s feature. I really like the Green wash took this one
I briefly started a 454ss Theme Tuesday but couldn’t find enough source material, I may start again – This truck belongs (or belonged) to
I suppose around the same time I was pulling together a G body post as well
I repost this photo every now and again just because of how rare low Dakotas are – via:
is a great source for some of th e most bizarre car photos ever
Wheel standers and bed dancers are still on my must see list
If you can believe it, this car is the previously featured VR6 powered s14. Trevor is super serious this second time around
Hubs and whites and bags, via
This feels like the work of but I am not sure if it is
Love photos like this, that capture the roots of car culture

I love vintage lowrider photos too. So much style
Something from the guys at

Does anyone know if this car was ever finished? I imagine if it was there’s quite a few really angry people floating around

WTF Friday: …is that a Sunfire?


Building a hot rod can be done many ways. Of late putting an old body on a new chassis has become quite popular.

Usually the chassis chosen are rear wheel drive cars prior to the popularity of unibodies. Usually.

There are of course exceptions to the rule. People have been known to put anything they have sitting around on top of well, anything else they have sitting around.

Like say a 1937 Ford body on top of a Pontiac Grand Prix chassis.

From the jump the proportion of this car are, creative, to say the least. It looks like the front end has been extended significantly and maybe even the door.

The roof also looks to have been brought down some but that could just be the long front end playing trucks on me.

The rear, is devoid of any rear bumper and has tail lights from somewhere. A plate recess would have done wonders here.

The front is, put nicely, busy. Very busy. Including the Pontiac nostrils was an interesting choice, but the push bar is straight out of left field. It makes me wonder if it was added after the fact to make the car legal.

Inside is pure Pontiac and I don’t know why but looking at it I can smell cigarette smoke. This just might be because most of the Pontiacs I’ve been in have belonged to smokers…. but I digress.

It’s currently for sale,

Built Not Bought: The Arrogant Man’s Mantra


There has always been a divide between those that build their cars and those that don’t. This divide has been discussed, debated and argued about hundreds of times over.

Many words have been written about the topic, and admittedly we may not need more. However after becoming quite familiar with the Ridler competition this year I was compelled –some might say triggered– to share a few thoughts.

With an extreme focus on engineering, creativity, and workmanship the Ridler is one of the hardest best of show awards to win.

People may debate each of the Great 8 finalists aesthetic merit but from a craftsmanship view-point they are all remarkable.

After immersing myself in the selection process, and writing on the cars, I noticed that there is some level of contempt around the competition. One of the most prevalent criticisms is that it has become a cheque writing exercise.

Some enthusiasts turn their nose at the entire competition because it doesn’t lend itself to the back yard builder, despite the fact that there are no rules against their entry.

Detractors state that it is easy to build a car to Ridler standards when money is no object.

But it’s not. Just ask any of the builders involved if it was ‘easy’ to put together a car of Ridler caliber.

Pundits also claim that those who have someone else build their car are a lesser form of enthusiast.

But they’re not. Talk to any of the vehicle owners and try not to hear the passion in their voice as they talk about what is now their car.

The notion that a build is any less remarkable because of the money that went into it doesn’t really make much sense. Owning and modifying a vehicle is not a great numbers game. Often it is cheaper to buy a car than it is to build one. Furthermore purchasable options are also usually easier to maintain, better performing and an overall better investment.

But in a hobby where individualization is an integral part, buying something that anyone else can fails to impress.

Creating a custom vehicle takes much more than money, it takes vision and execution. More often than not it also takes a combined effort from a number of individuals.

Devaluing a build because it was paid for by someone with the means to do so unfairly takes away from the people who put in the work. Those individuals had the talent, the client just provided the medium and often the idea.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of capable builders out there whose work goes virtually unnoticed because the right project never comes along.

That might be fine for some but there are many who both want and deserve for their work to be seen. It’s unjust to dismiss the efforts of these builders simply because they were hired by someone who could afford to pay for their talent.

Similarly dismissing everyone who commissions their builds as a lesser enthusiast is an arrogant and narrow-minded perspective. Yes, there are some who write a cheque at the beginning and only reappear at the end. But, there are also many who can’t/won’t/don’t spin a wrench but stay involved throughout the entire process.

These enthusiasts have sketched the car of their dreams out on napkin several times over, but have opted to have it built instead of building it themselves. Many race car drivers do not built their cars, are they not enthusiasts?

The reasons for outsourcing a build are plentiful but the most common is skill. Not everyone is capable of building something themselves. The analytical thinking, attention to detail, and motor skills required to safely build a vehicle is not a common trait among all people. Is it better to try, and potentially put yourself and others in danger or know when you are in over your head and call in the pros?

This question is rhetorical, and one I am constantly battling with on .

I am, at least historically, more a car assembler than a builder and there plenty of things outside my wheelhouse. Some of those things I have a desire to learn, or improve my skills at, and others I have little interest in and thus problem with outsourcing.

Time is money and sometimes its more worth my time to pay the money.

Most who chant built not bought are in the same boat but too afraid to admit it. I’m sure there are plenty of cars with built not bought stickers on them sitting incomplete in garages around the world. The owners of these cars would no doubt love to have them out sooner if they could but a few extra dollars towards enlisting some help to lift them past the next hurdle.

There’s really no shame in that either because time is the second most relevant reason to call in the cavalry.

Life doesn’t want anyone to build a car. There’s only 24 hours in a day to figure out a problem, and most of those 24 hours are dedicated to things other than the build.

Days become months, months become years, and timelines are easily blown out as priorities change. Paying a shop, a good shop, means that a build will be done by an established date.

If you’re the type who enjoys the drive more than the build then paying makes perfect sense. For those that enjoy the build over the drive paying someone else for the fun part doesn’t make sense.

But really it’s just two different sides of the same enthusiast coin, and often the ones who take the time to build things correctly don’t criticize those who pay to have things built.

Usually the reason for this is because they are the one’s being paid to do the building.

The die hard do it yourself crowd may not realize it, but the pay someone to do it crowd is an important part of the enthusiast community and industry.

Many of the best back yard builders are given the opportunity to do what they live for a living simply because people are willing to pay them for it.

If you’ve gotten this far I’m sure you are wondering how I feel about people who buy completed cars that were modified by their previous owner.

Honestly, those people just might be the smartest of all. Cars are, typically, horrible at holding their value and there are tons of great deals to be had if you know where to look.

If you’re comfortable with buying a finished or unfinished project then by all means give it a go. I’m surely not one to talk or judge, the chassis going under Project Why Wait is one I bought and didn’t build.

Finally, contrary to what those who live by built not bought mantra might think, paying for a build is not easy. It requires resources, and usually these resources come from hard work. Hard work in a different way perhaps, but hard work all the same.

One person’s talents might lie in creating a frame from scratch and another’s might lie in working the stock market, or renovating a house for profit. It’s all relative and one skill is no less valuable than another if it contributes to a car build.

The choice to build or buy is rarely ever a simple binary decision, and instead of drawing lines in the sand it’s much easier to let people do what they are comfortable with while you do the same.

Built not bought, bought not built ultimately doesn’t matter if at the end of the day it puts a smile one your face.

Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – March 2017


Another month down and another Recently viewed post to celebrate. My YouTube video consumption actually slowed down a bit in March in favor of Netflix and Iron Fist.

However my interest in that series seems to be waning, so I might be back to Youtube videos while I edit photos.

This month’s picks start out local at Motorama, then go to the North Face Rally Stunt driving charge fiasco.

After that it’s a bit of a trip around the internet, with a few stops off in the past, and a couple at Hoonigan, before concluding with Project Binky, an AWD Mini build that looks stellar.

WTF Friday: Civic Unrest


It’s been quite some time since a Civic has rolled through WTF Friday, but this one is pretty deserving. Submitted by vr6 s14 owner Trevor, without much info, I sat on this EF for a few weeks hoping I’d find out a little bit more about it.

Sadly more info has not shown up in any of my usual haunts so I am left posting it with only what I can glean from the photos.

Once a standard hatchback the rear has been lopped of and in it’s place sits some sort of trans-axle based v8 motor. At first glance the intake, and support structure make the car look as though it is carrying a BBQ and some construction levels at all times.

The motor was more than likely lifted from a non desirable fwd American car, and judging by the paint marker on the rear bumper, it is fairly safe to assume said motor came from a junk yard.

Is it faster than stock? Maybe. Is it safer than stock? Questionable. Is it WTF Friday worthy? Most certainly!

If anyone has anymore info on this curious car I’d love to hear about it.

Theme Tuesdays: Supremes and Whites


The Astro Supreme wheel is a staple of car customization. It is right up there with the strikingly similar American Racing Torque Thrust wheel, and the omnipresent BBS mesh well.

The design may be simplistic, but it is still iconic, and due to it’s simplicity it is highly unlikely that it will ever go out of style. Pair the wheel with white wall tires, and you’re left with one of the most timeless combinations of all time.

Why it took me so long to pay homage, I am not sure, but it’s time.

This picture is really old, I’d say Circa 2010 but since Supremes are timeless so is the car
I can’t be the only one who would appreciate more dune buggys in the world can I?
Beetles are not the only aircooled Volkswagens to wear Supremes elegantly
Withheld this one from the Corvette Theme Tuesday just for this post
Supreme wheels + a faked roof… perfect
I’m a thin white guy myself but several vehicles in this post, like this C10 make a hell of an argument for thick whites
I feel like if we ever met Mike Garret and myself would get along
This drawing almost looks like it could have inspired the truck above, it came from
Astro Supreme wheels are the only wheel fitting of any version “The Bloody Mary”
Simple, Los Boulevardos style will always win me over
I don’t think I have ever seen one of these in person. It is a 62 Chrysler if you’re wondering
This truck sold, sadly with the wheels, had I known Dick was selling it I would have scooped them up
Astros, candy paint, and lake side pipes? Awesome.
Fat whites once more on this dope Ford
Lots of details in this truck I wouldn’t mind working into my own..
I just love paint jobs like this
Going to close things out with this truck, not sure where it is these days but it was a mighty fine looker

Some of you might be wondering if I like these wheels so darn much why don’t I get a set for Project Why Wait? Well, considering their price and the price of steelies there’s a chance I just might get both! Time will tell.

Event Coverage: Spring Fever 2017


Last year when Spring Fever debuted at Motorama it did so to a largely positive reception, which in a city as critical as Toronto, is no easy task and a large indicator that the organizers know what they are doing.

The same organizational crew returned for 2017 and managed to grow the show in size in the process. There may have been more vehicles this year but the show didn’t feel overly crowded, which is something that not all indoor shows are able to achieve once they expand.

Knowing when to say when is important however because some cars really deserve to be viewed at all angles.

More important than layout however is car quality, and the organizers managed to deliver on that regard as well keeping the quality of vehicles up through a rigorous screen process.

I have to give credit to the initiated folks that applied and got accepted (especially those with daily drivers) considering most of us are still dragging our heels for the 2017 season.

In all honestly I couldn’t believe how much some cars I thought were “done” changed in the off-season. One such example is Lugi  Genesis .

This car was pretty impressive last year, really impressive in fact, and while I thought it look good wrapped, it looks great painted.

Interestingly enough this paint is over a removable primer that can be peeled off similar to plasti dip or vinyl.

The truck you see above is known, affectionately and appropriately, as Big Booty Judy and certainly lives up to its name.

Shine up the paint, put it on bags, Alcoas, add a healthy amount of fabrication work, refresh the interior and bam you’re left with a great looking cruiser.

Parked close by Judy was the latest creation to roll out of , a Rat Rod International truck.

It and the 2016 Dodge beside it left a few people scratching their heads about the creative back half designs.

I did a bit of a double take when I learned that the widebody Ford Fiesta below was built by , the same people who built the low slung model A from the 2017 Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo coverage. Bolt on flare critics need not avert their eyes, because this car is all molded.

Jay () has been steadily plucking away at his Speed3 since he got it and last year it was already one of the more heavily modified in the local show scene.

This year he switched his wheels out for fairly aggressive (9.5 et 15 if I recall correctly) BBS wheels. There is of course a bit of fiddling left to do to get the car to sit exactly how he wants but that’s how it always goes right?

On the topic of wheel changes the widebody EM2 above got a nice new set since I saw it last. I was never able to determine if they were authentic Speedline wheels, but they look great regardless.

The car also got some clean up in the engine bay from who can apparently work on darn near anything and do a great a job of it.

In general The Honda/Acura community really brought their a game to this year’s Spring Fever. There were show cars, track cars and everything in between.

To say what I just did about quality and follow it with the car above probably seems contradictory, but consider that I’ve been seeing this car at shows for over a decade. That is a long, LONG time for a car to kick around the show scene.

Practically a time capsule at this point it’s a pretty epic throwback to what things were like in the early 2000s, and I feel the owner deserves some credit for keeping the car presentable versus letting it rot away under a bunch of junk in a garage somewhere.

When was the last time you saw a car with this many screens? The I.C.E. set up in this car is ridiculous, and the owner embraces the period correct look of the car by only ever giving show goers the option of playing 16 and 32 bit games.

On the more contemporary side of things Brian always comes correct with his Civic. Parked in the same spot as last year noticing the changes between 2016 and 2017 was a little game of spot the differences.

The one I noticed first was the plate above the radiator which is new and emblazoned with the Elevated Status logo.

Parked behind Brian was this incredibly well-built father son Civic project. A full rotisserie ground up rebuild this car is far more deserving of a feature than it is a few flattering words in an event coverage post.

The two photos above are a small sampling of the work done to the car, and plenty more examples can be found on the builder Rob’s that documents several of the modifications. This car took home a well deserved best of show.

This mini was pretty gnarly, the sign in front really tells the story here, can you imagine what an all wheel drive K20 powered mini would be like to drive?

The installation was incredibly well done too, and if it wasn’t for the sheer amount of space the K20 took up in the engine bay one might assume it was stock.

Fairly unassuming, outside of the vtech sticker, I wonder how many people will be surprised by this little mini this summer.

I’m pretty sure I have taken an engine bay photo of this car every year since it first debuted. As far as I know it isn’t running yet but is apparently the closest it has ever been to doing so thanks to a recent visit to .

I have taken a few photos of this trunk set up over the years too but I feel like Rob Anzit did it proper justice with this series of photos.

The interior on this car is also all quilted leather and took home the best interior award, though I’ll have to get a picture of that at another event.

With two years now officially under their belt and no chinks in the armor I’m looking froward to seeing how Spring Fever continues to improve next year.

Of course there’s also a whole seasons worth of events I’m also looking forward to between now and then so no rush guys.

The Pantera Reborn By Filip Malbaša


I hinted at it in yesterday’s Theme Tuesday, but here is the final result of Filip Malbaša’s take on the DeTomaso Pantera.

Filip Malbaša if you recall is quite the digital artist and his take on iconic platforms is always interesting and creative.

I’ll let Filip describe his work here as he’s completely got the car planned out in his head right down to the rear view camera.

‘The DeTo as I like to call it is still powered by a Ford V8, but instead of the carbureted version, it’s a modern twin-turbo unit, giving it both power and reliability. The long tail rear end is home to a huge carbon diffuser from the latest 911RSR, while the intake is a hint to the “finned” modern LM racers. For the suspension, KW provided a fully adjustable set at all 4 corners and for the braking, a carbon ceramic compound is used, making traction with the 6 pot calipers all round. Gearbox is a 7 speed sequential, operated using paddle shifts, and being a rear engine, rear drive car, it’s a trans-axle, meaning the electronically controlled diff is in the same housing as the gears.

There are no rear view mirrors, since the rear fin is also host to a camera, which projects an image to the on-board display, which is also used for giving the driver much needed info on the car(fuel, various temps, rpm, speed). Steering is done from the full carbon bucket seat, which is snugly mounted in the 6 point cage equipped race trim interior and turning the three spoke deep dish SPARCO steering wheel with some buttons and switches mounted on it.

Traction issues are solved using TC(can be switched off or regulated) and super sticky slick tires measuring 18×9 in the front and 20×11 in the back with 02turbo tire lettering. Wheels aren’t center locks as you’d expect, rather, they are regular 5 bolt, making it easier to find ones that look good, since this would be used for the street as well(yes, it’s street legal).

Thanks Filip for induldging me in giving a Pantera a go. Check out more of Filip’s work here on .