Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring is almost here!

Oscar's spring suit is still a bit big on him...
And Jules' bum was a bit wet after using this slide...
People are driving Ferrari's, but only the all-wheel-drive ones...
Nice STi with no wing
I love these old S6 wagons
Winter grime on an Alpina B6 sedan
Long, but sleek 
There are not too many three-door cars still available...
Not my kind of car, but I respect anyone who keeps a car of this vintage in this condition.
Our car is one of the grimiest of them all...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Track Car Project: Part 1

A little over a month ago, my loving wife Alex and I had a discussion regarding a used Civic I had found for sale on Kijiji. I explained to her that, for my next track car, I wanted something simple, something that I could just put gas in and go, like my first Civic in 2002. Also, I wanted something already modified by the previous owner so that I could save quite a bit of money.

Alex was on board. Needless to say, I was very excited. I had been waiting for us to agree that it was the right time for me to get back into the sport. I contacted the seller of the 2002 Civic SiR in the ad I had been watching all winter. It had a bunch of really expensive aftermarket parts, like a Mugen header and exhaust, and a Quaife limited slip differential. It was essentially ready to go (minus some wheels, as the Volk wheels were not included in the 5500$ price tag). I contacted the seller and an appointment was made to go see the car in Ottawa. And then, the appointment was canceled, by the seller. I had been just a little bit too slow and someone else actually flew to Ottawa to buy the car. He had paid a deposit, I had not offered. Lesson learned.

Alex asked me if I was disappointed. I was, but not that much. I figured something else would come along. I mentioned another Civic I had been watching, and told her there was no rush. I was just happy I would be getting a new car, so I could deal with the loss of this (admittedly very cool) track car.

My next thought was to contact a super nice guy I know from Monday night lapping. When I had last bumped into him in late fall, he told me he was thinking of selling his E36 BMW 328i. This car had been modified over time into quite a capable track car, with many parts from the E36 M3 and many other updates. Dave responded immediately to my query and told me all about the car, the good and the bad. The only bad was that there would have to be some repair done to the rocker panels, as the jacking points had rusted through. However, Dave offered me the car at such a ridiculously low price that I was willing to take the plunge. Plus, the car came with 16 wheels and a bunch of usable tires. 

Dave's E36 track car
Dave told me not to expect Honda levels of reliability with a car like this, but that it was a very fun and rewarding car. I figured I could do much of the maintenance myself (I already have a BMW, I already do most of the maintenance) and it would be a good opportunity to learn how to properly drive a rear-wheel-drive car. It would look a bit strange bringing this car to the Club Civic Quebec track day, but would fit in nicely at BMW events. I was convinced to take the plunge. I told Dave I would come and check out the car as soon as the snow started to melt. Then, a couple of days later, Dave emailed me that he had decided to keep the car a while longer. I was a little disappointed, but not mad. I could totally understand why anyone in his position would keep a car like this rather than sell it at such a low price, even to a nice guy like me. So still no track car.

Anyway, I kept looking at the classifieds and found another car that ticks most of my boxes, and is cheap enough that I can pay to tick a few more. I will not mention the details yet so as not to jinx it, but if all goes to plan, I will have it by Easter weekend. Oh, and I paid a deposit this time! If everything the seller has stated is accurate, I know I want to buy it. Stay tuned!