My second first car

20 Aug

-1996-

If it wasn’t for Nissan, my first semester grades during senior year of high school would have been much better. In my defense, it was hard to concentrate in class when you’re first car was being custom built just for you and the job was almost complete. No, I wasn’t a rich-kid. No, the parents weren’t helping out at all. It was just nice to have friends in high places. Friends with a thriving business specializing in high performance Z-cars. Friends with a clean chassis and enough spare parts to piece together a sweet ride. My 1982 280ZX Turbo was almost completed! When released, it was THE fastest production car available and put the hurt on the current Corvette, 911SC and even the Ferrari 308GTSi.

Now you understand my hesitance to stay focused during social studies. So, I’d daydream about the fresh charcoal gray paint, HKS intake, custom exhaust and the electronically controlled Recaro’s they just had lying around.

Delivery was imenent so I had the car insured with the same company my Father used. And that’s when it happened – the VIN # came back “Turbo” and my Father forbid the Z as my first car (despite me funding it all from working over the summer and throughout the school year). The guys at Z1 didn’t mind at the time – now they had another lovely Z to drive around in!

Unfortunately, a turbocharged car was out of the question. So, I searched high and low for my second first car! I decided the naturally aspirated FC3S RX-7 was the car for me. I loved the 944-esque exterior and the Rotary powerplant was legendary with old school tuners. After looking at several junkers, I found a clean 1988 base model FC. It had around 80K on the clock and aside from blown shocks, it checked out 100%. Compression was strong and it even passed emissions with flying colors.

Within a few months, I had new KYB shocks and a set of linear Suspension techniques springs. Then I scored a set of 16×8 ROH wheels at the junkyard and threw on some 225/50/16 dunlops. Within a year, I added a K&N intake, custom single exit exhaust and the rear spolier and side strakes from an ’87 RX-7 sport. The RX-7 was a sexy superb-handling dream machine and it treated me well.

-2005-

Fast forward 8 years. The FC had undergone some major changes. I’d eventually changed everything including the swap to a ported Turbo motor. However, it all became too expensive to maintain. After my second TII motor in a year, something had to give.

It didn’t take long to find a suitable buyer. The kid was from CT and seemed nice enough. My FC was gone (much to the shock of anyone who knew me). “One day, I’ll build another,” I told my girlfriend.

-2008-

It’s August 20th and I’m freaking out!  I’m getting married in nearly 3 months!!  So, my Fiance comes to me with some depressing news. It seems she’s been trying to buy-back my old RX-7 for a wedding present (yea, she ROCKS). Unfortunately, she found out the car was totalled in a bad accident a few months ago and the remains were sold as a parts car to another enthusiast. In that moment it all came back to me. I could smell the turbo rotary’s putrid exhaust. I could feel the powerful motor thrust forward on full boost. I will build another one day…I’m thinking an ’89-’90 convertible with a Turbo motor swap. For now, let’s hope I don’t spend my time in the office daydreaming or I’ll never be able to afford it!

RIP

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2 Responses to “My second first car”

  1. Mike Ko August 21, 2008 at 6:21 AM #

    Ah, so goes the story of abandoned children. To be adopted by crackheads as a tax write-off.

  2. Kwame August 21, 2008 at 12:05 PM #

    Damn, your fiance is the shit. Tell her you’ll take a 997 GT3 RS instead 😉

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