posted on July 05, 2009 17:25
Building a project car is one thing, actually living with it is something altogether different. Construction is the realization of a dream, no matter how long, slow, painful, and expensive it may be. But when a project stabilizes (project cars never actually finish), miles and time reveal every mistake and every compromise.
When Proejct Silvia rolled away, for the last time, from the Sport Compact Car garage, it was a thoroughly sorted track machine. Easy to drive, reliable, and devastatingly fast. For a while, it seemed, there was nothing Project Silvia couldn't do well. 2000-mile road trips? No problem. Towing rally cars over mountain passes? Faster and safer than a U-Haul. Tear up the track? It didn't even need a cool-down lap…
|For a while, it seemed there was nothing Project Silvia couldn't do. Even towing other cars to the track was a cakewalk .
But there were limits, and it took a surprising test of automotive durability to finally bring project Silvia to its knees: Parking.
For two solid years, project Silvia barely moved. It sat in a secure, but un-shaded parking lot behind Mazda R&D. The Southern California sun and toxic air were unforgiving for the Krylon paint job, and once the car was dusted off and put back into service, other chinks developed in car's once pristine armor.
Follow the links to see what we learned: