Every now and then I’ll waffle on about what makes a good build thread. My list of requirements usually includes nice photography, good writing, quality modifications, and the ability to tell a story. Well this is one of those threads, and I can always tell when I really like one because reading it isn’t a chore, it’s a pleasure that I never want to end, no matter how many pages I click through. The owner, Brandon, says goodbye to his very clean M52 turbo powered E34 525i and then sets out to build a manual LSX powered E39 wagon, documenting the build with images that look like they’ve been plucked straight out of a catalogue. When you see his collection of previous rides, you realise he’s one of those people who have a kind of midas touch when it comes to cars, knowing how to show restraint and refine a car with carefully chosen improvements, no matter what the make, model or era.
A few months ago I took a step forward in this little hobby of ours and bought myself a Mig welder. Since then I’ve made a few custom parts and brackets, added some new metal to my radiator support panel, and even helped a mate plug up some holes in his engine bay. I was starting to feel pretty proud of my accomplishments; then I received an email from Cameron about his Peugeot 205 build and I came crashing back down to reality. You see, Cameron studied Motorsport Engineering and now works for Ford in the UK as a suspension systems engineer, so he knows a thing or two about how cars work, especially his Peugeot 205. The plan for this little hatch is a space-frame chassis with double wishbone and push-rod suspension, front engine (ish), rear wheel drive, ~350bhp and carbon panels for a target weight of 600kg including the driver. Be sure to keep an eye out for an update in the future when the car is closer to completion.
Over the past 3+ years that I’ve been running this site, there’s been a few builds out there that are so popular they get submitted to me by multiple readers, and this thread falls into that category. However, the submissions weren’t even necessary this time, as I have been lucky enough to follow this build since the thread was first created. Kevin, the cars owner, is a one man building machine, doing everything on this little BMW, from fabrication to bodywork, rust repairs to paint, and now the currently-in-progress F20C engine conversion. I’ve personally enjoyed every update of this well-photographed thread, and hope you will keep following it.
About a year ago I featured an Audi A3 turbo belonging to a very talented man by the name of Alex. He was the driving force behind my idea for creating a post tag called People Who Get It, for those special build threads belonging to people who take the time to take nice photos and keep their threads updated. Well, that A3 was just a daily driver, something to tinker with while his real project was being worked on in the background. This is that project.
Earlier this year I made two consecutive posts about the automotive exploits of one Retro Rides member by the name of Bruce (aka Mystery Machine), a person who truly understands the appeal of a good build thread. Bruce not only built a very cool MX5 along with a number of other awesome rides, but he also spearheads and bankrolls a communal garage space known as Area52. You should already know what type of guy he is (a die-hard car nut), so it’s no surprise to learn his hands have been less than idle since the last time he graced these pages. I thought I’d do a little ‘catch up’ piece on his latest projects (a Land Rover and a Lotus, can’t get more variance than that!), since I’m enjoying reading them so much myself, it’s only fair to share it with all of you…
Passionate, talented, patriotic and meticulous is how I would describe the owner/builder of this next garage. Built as a workshop for 44 Bikes, an all-American mountain bike frame building company, this space started off as an abandoned horse stable before being restored and modified into what it is today. Just as much effort has been put into the thread as the actual building, with sharp photography and designed title text overlaid on images, it’s a highly enjoyable read. Threads like this are the reason this site exists.
If there’s a person who embodies the spirit/mantra/black magic of Build Threads and the people who get it post tag, it’s definitely Bruce aka Mystery Machine from the Retro Rides forum. He’s someone who lives and breathes cars while also enjoying the challenge of taking cracking photos whilst wrenching, and documenting his actions as clearly as possible with an intent to educate and entertain his audience (not as easy as some may think). Having owned and modified more cool cars than I’ve had hot dinners, his MX5 project was the first that caught my attention, a thread that I happily read numerous times for my own enjoyment (a rare treat these days, as my usual priority is to find stuff that everyone else will enjoy). I hope you all take as much pleasure in reading as I have, and I look forward to keeping an eye on – and later sharing with you – his new project, already firmly planted in my bookmarks.
It feels slightly strange using the word “restomod” to describe the build of a car that originally rolled off the production line in the 90’s, but that’s exactly what this is. Levan carefully chose a clean ’92 240sx as his project base, then set about to restore what Nissan got right while updating and modifying the areas deemed in need of improvement. The restoration portion includes such factory fresh parts as a brand new OEM sunroof and fuel tank, along with countless trims, clips and rubbers. The modifications? Just check out that gorgeous paint and the flawless 18″ Work Meisters, not to mention the fully built and turbo assisted KA24. From top to bottom (literally), this is one very clean and well thought-out car.
More S13 builds can be found here.
What happens when you work for a major car magazine and share a fully equipped communal garage with your sister titles? You build a badass car, that’s what. Fresh black paint, OEM aero, all the good bits underneath, and an LS3 V8 swap to supply the power makes for one very tasteful and effortlessly powerful S13. And what better way to test the limits of your freshly built and swapped car than with a 2400 mile road trip?
Recently I created a new post tag called “People who get it”, for those occasions where an owner or builder will put extra effort into their threads to make for an enjoyable and informative read. But where to from there? Is that as good as it gets? Is it possible to take it a step further than slick photos and well-structured posts? Yes, my friends, yes it is. Let me introduce you to Wil and his foray into the roadster life. Wil decided to document his new found obsession in a light-hearted comic-book style format, much to the delight of his audience. Is this the future of build threads? I can’t wait to see what other ideas people come up with, the bar has been set!
More MX5 builds here.