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).
Thanks to Jordan for submitting this build, and for emailing me a nice little intro to the project. So nice, in fact, that I’m just going to post it here…
“Built for the Grassroots Motorsports $2016 Challenge and a great example of scope creep. Originally, the build was going to transplant a newer version of the van’s engine into its tired and rusty chassis. Instead, the van body was placed onto the late-model, wrecked car. I have to say, the low-slung look of the raked-body van looks amazing.”
I wholeheartedly agree! Click here for more chassis-swap builds.
This build has been sitting in my drafts folder for two years, TWO WHOLE YEARS! I’m always fighting with myself over posting builds before they’re complete, but this one is just too good to sit on, so I figured it was finally time (plus I like posting follow-ups on popular builds as they evolve). This pro-touring Pontiac Firebird resides in Sweden, and is being transformed with great attention to detail and craftsmanship during a love affair spanning 16 years. There’s plenty of fabrication and CAD design to keep you more than entertained, from big suspension components to the smallest detailed bracketry, and the photos are all top notch. Apart from the build thread you can also follow this extremely thorough project on it’s dedicated Facebook page, which you’ll find at the bottom of the post.
When thinking of a suitable intro for this post, I wanted to share my opinion of some replica builds without offending anyone, then I read the owners own intro and realised he summed it up for me with this gem: “The problem I’ve seen with many rebodies though, is that too many of them end up looking like accidental explosions.”
Regardless of what the body style is trying to emulate, the simple fact that we should be concentrating on is that this car is a mid-engine V8 sports car with a host of intricate fabrication. The base car, like many Ferrari replicas, is a Pontiac Fiero. To get the right proportions, it’s been amended by 3 inches, and a Cadillac Northstar all aluminium V8 and 6 speed transmission will take care of the momentum. Make sure you check out the plethora of technical drawings and DIY’d inbound suspension setup when you get to the highly detailed build thread.
Thanks to Youn-sok for submitting. Click here for more replica builds.
Well, it’s the silly season, aka SEMA season, so a bunch of huge builds have been wrapped up just in time to make it through the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Centre. One of those builds is this evil looking, black on black, twin turbo, 1970 Pontiac Firebird built by the team at All Speed Performance. I was lucky enough to catch the build thread a couple of weeks ago when the car was in the body shop, so I was excited to check up on it’s progress now that some SEMA coverage is starting to flow, and thankfully it was completed in time. Build thread link after the jump.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a feel-good story, so here’s one that Ty emailed me about his very own pride and joy.
Ty is in his early 40’s and has been a serving member of the US Air Force for over 25 years. He sent off his first ever car, a 1971 Firebird, for quick paint job but things didn’t go exactly as planned. The ‘Bird ended up in “paint jail” at a panel shop for over 14 weeks, so he enlisted the great guys at Fletcher’s Customs to rescue the car and carry out the remaining work. Like most of us, Ty had a set budget to work within, but Chad Fletcher and his crew knew the car needed to be finished to a much higher standard than the money would allow, especially considering it was going to be returned to someone who has been serving their country. So with that in mind, Chad set about to drum up support from a number of companies and individuals who donated various parts and services, and the car went on to become a full-fledged Pro-Touring masterpiece, concluding with a spot at SEMA and an appearance on the television show PowerBlock .
Each year, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine holds the “$200X Challenge”, a competition for budget-built custom cars to compete in a series of challenges, where the build cost must not exceed the monetary value of the year it is held in (hence the $2009 limit for 2009).
This particular entry is a Pontiac Fiero, a car known for being used as a base for Ferrari 355 replicas. This one has a different destiny though, and receives an electric motor slotted between the front wheels to accompany the factory standard mid-mounted V6, essentially converting it into a twin engine hybrid.
Thanks to Mike for submitting this build, and a big congratulations goes out to him and his fiance Vica on their engagement.
To take a break from the wild custom fabricated builds, here’s a loving restoration of a 1972 Trans Am, submitted by the owner of the car and Build Threads reader, Steve. The car is being restored to better-than-new condition after being on the receiving end of a small engine fire in the previous owner’s garage. Luckily for us, Steve is taking the time to document the process of his impressive detail work.
A short time ago, Ralf emailed me all the way from Hamburg to show me his car. I love finding out about the distant places this blog reaches.
Ralf is the Editor-In-Chief of Chromjuwelen.com and he drives a tasty concoction of automotive parts. How’s this for unique, a 1972 Pontiac LeMans with a Toyota 7MGTE engine swap humbly known as the LeSupra.