Project Sipster Part 3: Optimism Meets Realism

by Dave Coleman

If you've ever done a project car on an urgent gotta-achieve-something-significant-every-single-week schedule, you'll realize that just building this car was a 29-hour-a-day job. On top of that job, Jared Holstein, then Executive Producer of Top Gear.com America, had to keep the site running while he was doing this. He had his entire staff (intern Chris Gifford) with him on this trek, so together in their sleeplessness, they were a roaming office.

During this chaos, Jared snapped this pic of the office he shared with Chris while they enjoyed the relative warmth of Regina:

the office

There is some irony in the fact that I'm re-posting this story from my temporary office in a hotel room in Mexico City. The internet is so glamorous...

Another fun little tidbit: When I found this draft of the story, it still had a list of possible titles for Jared to choose from, most of them lame. Two of the least-lame were:

Project Sipster: 121 Wires and a Prayer

Project Sipster: Just Stick it in There!
Enough reminiscing. On to the story:
Project Sipster part 3 lead
To step into CWS Tuning is to step directly into Cam Waugh's brain. The walls, the floor and half the ceiling of the shop are lined with what looks suspiciously like stacks of greasy junk. To the untrained eye it's a tripping hazard, but to a mechanical prodigy like Waugh, this is a library, a university, and his memory, all in one.

CWS Tuning Library


Any dropout parts jockey can open a parts book and order a new left axle for a '91 Integra, but what if you have an engine from a '91 Integra and an insatiable desire to put it in an '86 Chevy Sprint? There isn't a book in the world that will tell you which axle will work for that one. 

Somewhere in Waugh's tangled shelf of worn-out axles is the answer, and he knows exactly where it is. The problem with this kind of filing system, of course, is that the more Waugh knows, the bigger this pile necessarily gets. By the time your resume includes putting a Supra Turbo engine in a BMW 535i, cramming a Cadillac Northstar V8 in a Volkswagen Golf, squeezing a Mazda 323 GTX engine in a Ford Festiva and concocting an off-roader by bolting an Austin Mini to a Suzuki Samurai frame and powering it with a Chevy Chevette engine running a Volkswagen fuel injection system, your shop is so full of knowledge there's barely room left for two Rabbits. Which is just about where we step into the picture.


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Scott Helmer
Scott Helmerlink
Sunday, November 14, 2010 11:34 PM
Heh, for some reason the link to this page took me to the second article. Way to go Dave :P

All kidding aside, this makes me wish my sister hadn't blown her round headlight Cabriolet's engine on the highway.
Monday, November 15, 2010 4:22 AM
This series just keeps getting better (or is that worse?)! Cant wait for the next installment. I was really looking for a diesel build up before this project became re-printed (if thats possible on the internet lol) and this one is filling that void lol.
Monday, November 15, 2010 5:16 AM
Because of this series I now have an uncontrollable urge to buy a 1st gen Rabbit. Thank god I don't have money right now for that nonsense. But my house is going to be redneck central once I get through college and can buy cheap cars on a whim.
Monday, November 15, 2010 5:40 AM
The link has been fixed
yo vanilla
yo vanillalink
Monday, November 15, 2010 5:49 AM
by far my favorite series on the website!!
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Monday, November 15, 2010 7:43 AM
OK Dave, I just forgot to find the date this weekend, but I know the cover had a Black GT-R on it and I'm pretty sure Mike did a write up on Technosquare in the same issue. Anyway, the reason I bring up this issue is because, isn't this the same issue that you, in the reader Q&A, basically lay out the framework to Project Sipster and Miatabusa, sort of?

I believe the question came up about economical performance, and then you went on to point out the advantages of a TDI and/or a turboed Miata.

I may have not gotten my doctorate in psychology or psychiatry but I think someone's subconcious past is conciously making a break through lately!?
Monday, November 15, 2010 11:11 AM
and figure out how to connect a pedal for a cable-actuated clutch to a transmission designed for a hydraulically-actuated clutch by using old Honda parts. mhm... easy way: got too your local vw dealer and by the stock parts for that :) vw used a special "system" on a few passat´s ... it´s a bold on part :)
Monday, November 15, 2010 11:34 AM
Cam does some crazy stuff. I was on, I think the first, trip out to Texas with Cam, Jared, and a couple other people from SCC. I was driving Hiro's R32 GT-R, and did the trip out and back. Other than the rain in Texas that tried to kill and flood us, it was a fun trip. Well other than the big dent in the door of Cam's car, the death threat, and a near fist fight at the event prior to the rain.

yo vanilla
yo vanillalink
Monday, November 15, 2010 4:32 PM
call me a geek but i just peeked real quick, dec 05 and march 06 have a black gtr on cover. didn't page through them though
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 1:04 AM


from old Mike K post, get rid of your cheesy avatar.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 1:07 AM
@# 8695Beaters - It will happen. Pretty much how/why I have six vehicles...lol!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 4:47 AM
Yeah I know. Why do you think my username is "Beaters?" Cuz that's pretty much all I drive!
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