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).
Yesterday in Melbourne we were gifted with a gorgeous sunny day to mark the start of summer. It also happened to be the same day as Classic Japan, a casual car show catering for Japanese cars and motorbikes that are 25 years or older. No prizes, no trophies, no egos, just a congregation of the states oldschool JDM owners and fans. It had been a while since I had driven the datto after experiencing some periodic teething problems since completing my FMIC project, so I was ecstatic to be able to have it back in action just the day before the show and enjoy a full two days of trouble-free driving. I didn’t take my camera with me, but my good friend Tony from The Motor Report was snapping away and has given me his blessing to share his images here. Click the images for full-size hi-res shots.
A man on a mission, that’s how I’d describe Rassie, the guy behind this latest build. After owning no less than 4 of these bikes over the years, he decides to give it another crack and build his idea of the ultimate GT750. To achieve this he rectifies the handling issues of this older model by bolting on a set of Hayabusa front forks/brakes and a modified Katana swingarm. All of these improvements to the underpinnings are paired with a delectable oldschool exterior. I love the idea of buying a model of car or bike you used to own and then creating the ultimate version that you always wanted, I often have ideas like this about all of my previous cars.
Thanks to Jake for the link. Click here for more bike builds.
Just when I thought I’d seen every kind of build combination make it’s way into my inbox, along comes Ben and his one-off creation. I can confidently say “one-off” because I don’t think anyone else out there would be crazy enough to turn a Hayabusa into a reverse-trike, then mount a Suzuki Carry body on the front end, and set it off with 3 Porsche twists.
Click here for another trike build.
Click here for more Hayabusa powered builds.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the 24 Hours of Lemons races, but to be very brief the official site describes it as “A nationwide series of endurance races for cars that cost $500 or less.” That $500 includes the purchase AND building costs. The entries are very interesting, the teams are hilarious, and the whole deal raises money for charity. So now that you’ve got a run-down on the competition, let’s see just how far you can stretch that $500 budget with a bit of know-how, a lot of had work, and a sense of humour. This frankenstein hatch-back started out life as a Geo Metro (a.k.a. Suzuki Swift to my fellow countrymen, hence the title), which was gutted and then had it’s rear end violated by some Ford V6 goodness from a Taurus donor car, awesomeness ensues.
You have to see this. Major props to the people behind this video, I can’t imagine how long it would have taken.
This next build comes all the way from Sweden, a first generation Suzuki Swift sitting atop a custom tube frame chassis. The engine has been rotated 90 degrees and now powers the rear wheels. Not only has it been remounted, but it’s also received a little kick in the pants courtesy of a turbocharger and pumps out over 260 dyno-proven kilowatts. Damn these Scandinavians with all their fabricating skills, there must be something in the water. There are so many great builds that come from Scandinavian countries that I’ve decided to create a Scandinavian Post Tag that you can use to find builds stemming from these skillful folk..
Thanks to Audrius from the Lithuanian forum per4m.lt for submitting this one.
Mike from Sp33dy sent me the link to this left-of-field build. An electric engine swap is a slight change of pace from the hot rods, drifters, and turbocharged animals we’re used to reading about. In a world were sustainability and environmental consciousness are the dominant issues of society, maybe this is something we’re going to see more of in the future?