Well, it seems like I'm making some progress lately, and I figured I'd share an update with the crowd here.
The car was picked up as a replacement for my 90 GT, which two years of neglect had left in a pretty sorry state.
About five minutes after purchase:
Although the car was well maintained mechanically, aesthetics left a lot to be desired, and the car was painfully stock.
It's also worth noting that despite 280k miles on the original engine, it showed no signs of giving up any time soon.
It received some body parts and leftover bits from the pile of MX6 memorabilia in the garage, was crashed into a guard rail after a particularly long overnight shift, and was generally pointed/laughed at by friends whenever I opted to drive it over my DSM.
Given the depressing state of the car, and the fender gap which was capable of accommodating an additional four passengers, the most logical thing I could think to do with it next was to enter it in a car show.
There's a completely logical explanation for this - The San Diego Grand Challenge
A season long competition series incorporating autocross, drag racing, and a concourse show with a catch - all entry vehicles had to be purchased or constructed for under $1000. Although the MX6 was purschased for just over that amount, it was deemed to be worth less than $1000 thanks to my guardrail assisted bodywork.
Unfortunately, the car never made it to competition. Working with the series' organizing body to run a smooth series took priority over the MX6 and a secondary entry I was working to complete. So the MX6 was relegated to beater/driveway ornament status again.
My original intent was to just use the car as a disposable commuter at this point, but a few things happened which motivated me to get the car back into respectable shape again.
The 2010 San Diego Grand Challenge was pushed back to Spring 2011, the budget cap was increased to a much more manageable $2000.00, and I realized I had far too much MX6 gear accumulated to take on a different project. Rod knock at 281k miles sealed the deal, rod knock is a good motivator.
So the goal was laid out - put together a well rounded MX6 GT for $2000.00.
I had the car in its then dismal state reappraised by the SDGC organizing body - $600. Seemed fair, even though I would never buy the car for that much
Less words, more work...
Engine was out, shortblock was replaced with an OEM rebuilt setup which I purchased for cheap from Antval several years ago and stored in the garage for a rainy day.
New and old.
Remaining budget - $1250.
Car is ugly and handles like a dead moose strapped to a skateboard, but runs well.
I am admittedly a sub-par body/paint guy, even by the lowest possible standards. Fortunately, I was able to collaborate with someone who was doing body/paint out of his home, and was working to build a clientele so as to move into a shop and begin legitimate business. He joined the team, and took the car in to make it less scalding to the retinas.
In the mean time, I consulted with Gavin, as well as the fine folks over at Corksport, and was given some great advice and direction for a suspension setup on a low budget. The best bang for the stretched buck was decided to be Tokico Illuminas, and Vogtland springs. Vogtland was recommended by a local vendor who has run them on several cars with success. Spring rates and drop height are typically similar to what you'd get from an Eibach Pro-Kit, but at a lower price point.
Four months later, the car is sitting in my teammate's garage, and I have a pile of parts in lieu of a kitchen table. My performance themed home decor is a hit with friends... my significant other... not so much.
At this point... some things happen. I sent my then teammate some customers for paint and body work so that he can continue to pay bills whilst working on the MX6. Long story short - the aftermarket industry is full of shady people. A backup MX6 is purchased, as I was not entirely sure that my car hadn't been transported across the international border into Mexico at this point.
Then there were some phone calls, angry words, beginnings of litigation, calls to law enforcement, threats of bodily harm, a surprise visit by San Diego Sheriff, and the car is back in my possession. Grey hair, lots of it on my head.
Well, look at that.
Suspension is installed, car handles well, runs well, and looks decent. I didn't get the spoiler back. Who steals a spoiler for an MX6? Oh well.
I've been working in the marketing sector of the motorsports industry for the last few years. The amount of dishonest, flakey, shady, and unscrupulous people/businesses I have encountered is astounding. Machinists, vendors, mechanics, it goes on and on. When you find someone who is the opposite of those things, stick with them, send them business, help weed out the garbage.
Current setup -
Rebuilt shortblock (OEM specs)
ACT HD clutch
Tokico Illumina struts
Resprayed Corvette Monza Red
90+ tail lights
I still have roughly $700 to allocate towards the car to keep it under budget for the 2011 San Diego Grand Challenge. I'll be sure to update once it's finished.
I'll be maintaining a more in depth record of this project here:
Big thanks to Corksport, Gavin, Sparkplugs.com.