I’ve said this before, but it’s the humble yet amazing DIY garage builds that truly encompass the mantra of this website, and it’s a sentiment that Greg, the owner of this Swift, agrees with. His words: “1987 Pontiac Firefly (That’s a Canadian-Market Suzuki Swift or Chevy Sprint), with a full tube-frame, full cage, small-block Chevy, converted to front-engine-rear-wheel-drive. It all fits under the body work, and looks a sleeper.” The best part? The total cost came in at $3200CDN (roughly $2500US), an exercise in true DIY (see: transmission tunnel sheetmetal pillaged from dead freezer).
Never underestimate the power of the internet! A short while back, I sent some Build-Threads stickers over to one of my favourite YouTubers, Home Built By Jeff for his mailbag segment (here’s a screenshot). One of Jeff’s viewers, Michael, was watching that very episode and decided to get in touch to show me his own project, this very sorted longhood 911. It starts out as a rusty ’69 with plans for a freshen up (way back in 2005!), but quickly snowballs into a full build with no stone left unturned, spanning over 10 years, and still continuing today.
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If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@buildthreads) you might have seen a story I posted on the weekend showing some upcoming mods planned for the car. One of those being a fresh set of rubber! The tyres I had on the car were getting close to a decade in age, and even after a couple of track days, skid pans, and plenty of mountain runs, they just wouldn’t quit. While the tread was still plentiful, the compound had become hard and useless (yay free horsepower!), and a great deal on some Hankook R-s3s saw me getting the credit card out.
Gregor Halenda is a man whose talents I’ve followed for many years. Long-time readers will remember the post I wrote up about Gregor’s multiple projects (with no less than 6 links to various threads) that he had a hand in, including his gorgeous home that opened my eyes to the wonders of mid century modern architecture. That post was made over two years ago, and Gregor has not been idle. Along with his busy photography schedule, he has turned his attentions to creating a capable adventure vehicle for quality family time on (and off) the open road. The base vehicle? An airport shuttle bus!
Every now and then I get a bit of a “wow” moment when a build finds it’s way to my inbox, and this rally car restoration is definitely one of those moments. The thread first takes you through the competition history of the car, before we begin the build with a very tired and damaged shell. With a donor car brought in for parts and panels we get taken along for the ride as years of automotive archeology are uncovered with every layer of paint sanded and spot weld drilled out. The owner/builder shows off his skills in everything from body work, fabrication, painting and composites. The car doesn’t look to be finished just yet but the thread is up to date.
It’s been a minute since I’ve featured a bike build, that’s for sure. This one was sent in by Grant, and is chock full of highly detailed and very intricate home-built fabrication. The owner mixes a great amount of DIY fab work, from sand casting to CAD, and even creates a wooden forming die to bend stainless steel. I’ll admit, most of it goes way over my head, but it looks damn cool and I’m jealous as hell of the bucketload of talent on show. If you like machining, welding and lots of shiny metal, you best get in here.
I’ve owned my car for around 8 or so years now, and in that time it’s been in a perpetual state of modification/restoration. One area that I’ve neglected over that time, apart from a change in steering wheel, is the interior. This isn’t unusual for most people, but it doesn’t make sense for me as my dad is an upholsterer! I’m hoping to change that this year, and the first area I attacked was the seats…
I’m not sure what to say about this one, I’m pretty gobsmacked! If you like Formula 1, engineering, and…uh…old Volvos, then this one’s for you. What we’re looking at is a Volvo 360 with a turbo AND supercharged power-plant, peppered with an assortment of genuine F1 parts like wings, diffuser, wheels, hubs and wishbone suspension, built by a Mr Peter Schmidt. If you’ve seen Speedhunters latest post, you might have seen the finished product already, but I think the build thread is worth a mention too. I’m sure they’ll do a spotlight on the car soon, so we can see the completed car in detailed hi-res shots. I’ll be sure to update this post with a link once that happens.
The remnants of a Datsun 240Z, a late-model engine swap, a whole lot of tubing, and a slathering of carbon fibre thrown in for good measure. This is a complete ground-up build if I’ve ever seen one. The thread actually started in 2009, so there are a few dead links, but all the oily bits are still there for us to enjoy.
You can check out the owner’s website here: Z-car. Thanks to Geoff for submitting (waaay back in 2014!).
One of the things I enjoy about this site is keeping in contact with some of the great craftsmen out there who grace these pages. One such person is Cameron, the man behind the 205 Hillclimber I featured way back in February of 2013. Cameron got in contact recently to tell me that he’s now working for himself, having started SaloonLibre, and is now part-way through another race-spec Pug build. If you remember his previous work, then you’ll need no incentive to read on, but if you haven’t, well, I’ll let Cameron’s own description be your guide: “The basic spec is a mid-engined RWD 2-seater using a Formula Renault engine (192bhp F4R) and Sadev sequential transaxle, carbon-kevlar T16 silhouette body, some Clio suspension & brake bits, and around 750kg kerb weight”