Colin Chapman, James Bond, Formula 1, Pretty Woman. These are some of things that you might associate with the word “Lotus”. But what about air ride, engine swaps, wide wheels and interior re-trims? I’ve mentioned before how much I love seeing once pampered classics being torn down and fettled with as they become more affordable, and these three examples truly embody the guiltless “modify everything regardless of the badge” train of thought. You might not agree with some of the styles of modification, but I’m not here to convince you one way or another, I just like seeing people modify cars, especially cars that are rarely messed with.
All three builds reside together on the Retro Rides forums, and whilst enjoying their threads individually, I thought they’d make a great combined post to showcase how these vintage British sports cars are being re-imagined by the DIY crowd. I’ve added some captions to the images to make it easier to follow, I hope you enjoy.
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Continue reading “A Tale of Three Lotii”
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…
Continue reading “The Adventures of Mystery Machine”
To follow on from the last post about his MX5, I thought it was only fitting to continue with another creation from the hands of Bruce. But this time it’s not a car, it’s a place where car guys come together and work on their projects as a community, forging bonds that are thicker than oil and stronger than steel. I present to you, Area 52.
This garage feature differs slightly from the others, as it doesn’t involve the actual build of the garage itself, but the automotive activities that happen within the walls and the new toys (hoist, anyone?) and tools that slowly trickle in. The site was transformed from your run-of-the-mill factory space to a character-filled hideaway where friends spend days and nights wrenching on their cars, helping each other out, and learning new skills. The monthly “play weekends” have an open door policy and go from Friday afternoon all the way until Sunday, with members traveling from all over Europe to be a part of the action. All of this is solely funded by Bruce for his love of cars and the community that comes with it.
The world would be a better place if there was an Area 52 in every town.
Continue reading “Area 52”
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.
Continue reading “Teenage Dirtbag – NA MX5”