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Author Topic: The Beltway Bandit  (Read 11720 times)
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LittleLiner
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« on: September 11, 2008, 01:30:23 AM »

(((      Note:  This is an old diary for a car that I sold in 2009.  I will be going through this diary and editing the posts to re-insert and attach photos that no longer appear because of problems with photo posting from Photobucket.   What follows in the original text fro 2008 and 2009.  )))

I will eventually be posting a build diary for my Gas Coupe but wanted to post some info on the car I (hopefully) will be running at Maxton in a few weeks.  Sorry for this long post but I need to get through the background on why and how I decided to buy this one instead of build it.

June 08   Admitted to self that finishing the gas coupe this year ain't gonna happen.  Time for Plan B

Researched  ECTA records.  Found some open or soft Maxton records that the right street car could snag. 

Logged on to ebay and started searching for a good car that could possibly be a record setter.  Found one and started to bid. 

June 30 – Won the auction

July 1st – paid the deposit via PayPal - contacted the seller and arranged to pick up the car.

July 19th flew from Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Met the seller.  Took a test drive.  The car is a beast.  Barely street drivable.  Touchy clutch, rough idle with racing cams and really really LOUD.  No air, no heater, no defroster, no radio, so-so paint, rides pretty rough (lowered suspension), blacked out windows, no cat, no emissions gear.  In short, Perfect!

Transferred title and got temp-drive-home plates.  By 2 pm I am on I-95 headed north with 1000 miles to go.  Did I mention that it was in the high eighties, sunny and humid with passing showers?  Did I mention the car does not have air?  Did I mention the ‘no-season’ tires that sure ain't rain tires?

10 pm in South Carolina and the engine quits.  Did I mention that the gas gauge is not real accurate?  Add fuel but car won't start.  Owner didn't mention that there was an anti theft system nor did he mention that there was a hidden switch.  Apparently when I locked the car to go for gas I somehow activated the alarm/anti theft system.  So I assume the starter is shot (wrong) and call triple A.  Got to meet some real nice state troopers.  Tow rig comes and says that the garage we were going to would be able to get er running with no trouble.  They didn't mention that the repairs wouldn't happen till Monday.  Did I mention that there was a full moon? 

Spent Sunday in Bluffton, SC.  Think ‘Mayberry RFD.’  Nice Holiday Inn.  Maybe after staying there I will be smarter since I did spent two nights in the Holliday Inn.  Monday morning I catch a cab (well he said it was a cab but wasn't marked) back to Tommy’s Towing.  Turns out Tommy is a real live dirt track racer with a really first class late model.  One of his guys crawls under the dash, finds the secret switch, fixes a few other problems and by 10 am I am back on the road.  I highly recommend Tommy’s.  Really good operation and nice people.

Unlike Saturday, Monday is even hotter!  Mid to high nineties and clear.  No rain in sight.  Did I mention that there is a non-stock turbo stuffed under the hood in this small engine compartment?  Within two hours I am re-living my youth, back in the 50s when it was common to experience ‘vapor lock.’  At least three times I have to stop, get off the highway, find shade, and let it cool down.  Finally I pull into a truck stop near Dunn NC. Park it with the hood up, go in, get something to eat and wait till the sun goes down.  Tried to work on the laptop (my vacation in Bluffton caused me to miss a day’s work).  A guy at the truck stop keeps trying to get me to accept Jesus. 

I get in the car around 8 pm.  It starts and runs fine.  Back on I 95.  Making good time.  Did I mention the speedometer is about 5% off?  Cooler air, no more vapor lock.  I get to my apartment building near Washington DC at 2 am Tuesday.  Did I mention that the car has a Turbo Timer?  I did mention that it is LOUD.  I stop down the street and let it idle for a few minutes to allow the turbo to cool then quickly drive up the block, pull into my apartment parking lot and over-ride the Turbo Timer.  Didn't get cited for disturbing the peace but could have.  Did I mention that one of my neighbors is an Arlington VA cop?  Home at last. 

In the next installment I take the car to Pennsylvania . . .  plus I'll post a few photos.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 02:11:14 PM by LittleLiner » Logged

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Roadster943
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2008, 02:10:04 AM »


  So far so good. Good story and I am looking forward to hereing more.
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Stainless1
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2008, 07:10:17 AM »

Pictures?
Sounds like a great road car  rolleyes at least for stories....  cheers
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Stainless
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2008, 07:33:44 AM »

..great writing , great story........ that car is gonna get you , it will bend you to it's will, my money says you're gonna let it while complaining the whole time, and loving it cry.I'm thinkin' it smells like a mix of aerostart and spray deodorant inside and that's not the first time it's gonna dial up a phantom problem huh that will waste your time angry , take you to the very edge of selling it or parking it before disappearing just long enough for you to get your confidence up to heady levels again. cheers

I had a girlfriend just like that once.
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2008, 09:00:46 AM »

More!  More!  More!

Mike
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2008, 09:18:28 AM »

You should have stoped by for a break
terry
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McRat
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2008, 09:40:01 AM »

Your car sound like what us internet jockeys call a "street car". evil

Yes, technically it can be made to operate on an asphault roadway, much in the same way a 10 gauge is a dove gun. shocked

Sounds like alot of fun! 

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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2008, 08:25:52 PM »

What kind of car is it Huh
Sounds just about like mine.
Mike Reichen
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My EVO 2 - 8.96@158 mph in the 1/4
221.4 mph at Maxton sept. 08
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237.6 mph at Maxton april 2010
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2008, 01:24:48 AM »

[img]
What kind of car is it Huh
Sounds just about like mine.
Mike Reichen

Well Mike it may 'sound just like yours' but the only way I'll get into the ECTA 2 club will be if Tonya lets me add the speed from two runs together.   smiley

The car is a Suzuki Swift with Turbo kit and other mods.  1300cc.    Front Wheel Drive.  Street registered and insured.  I'll be chasing the H/BFSS record (currently open).  Who's knows?  On paper it should fly but I won't know till I actually make that first run.  Unless something weird occurs I'll get that open record.  The challenge is getting a respectable time.  The ECTA record in I/BFSS is over 118 mph.  That's with a 3 cylinder Metro, SOHC, 2 valve engine.  If I don't get close to that speed I'll be disappointed.  I'll be happy and I'll have fun but I will be disappointed.

I picked this car for several reasons.  I avoided getting something with All Wheel Drive because it would limit me to SS and PS.  I avoided getting a two seater because it would limit me to SS, GT and MS.  I wanted a legit coupe/sedan without AWD that can run not only in Super Street but also in Gas Coupe, Altered Coupe and Competition Coupe.  It had to be street legal because I do not have a trailer or a vehicle large enough to pull a trailer.  It had to be able to compete for records under 135mph so I could enter without the expense of safety gear required for over 135mph.

The car is a legit Super Street Car.
To run in Gas Coupe I need to have a non-stock turbo . . .got it.
To run in Altered I need to cover up (tape) the front end . . . can do easy
To run in Comp Coupe I'll have to install a belly pan . . . not an engineering or financial challenge by any means.

At 1300cc this is an H class car.  Remember at Maxton you can run up in engine class.  There are currently 16 records in these categories in the H or higher blown engine classes that have records under 135mph, 5 of which are under 125mph.
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t russell
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2008, 07:15:37 PM »

Sounds cool to me
terry
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 09:28:42 PM »

Thanks for clearing that up for me. The car sounds like a fun little project.
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E.C.T.A. 200 MPH club
Winner HOTROD TOPSPEED CHALLENGE (superstreet) 2008
My EVO 2 - 8.96@158 mph in the 1/4
221.4 mph at Maxton sept. 08
223.6 mph at the Texas mile oct. 08
237.6 mph at Maxton april 2010
LittleLiner
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2008, 10:20:53 AM »

In the next installment I take the car to Pennsylvania . . .  plus I'll post a few photos.



July 25th  -  After a week of work in DC I drove the 'Beltway Bandit' to Pennsylvania so I could register and title the car.  Anyone that has had the experience of driving in or around Washington, DC at rush hour knows the joy of bumper to bumper traffic.  On the bright side I got plenty of practice starting and stopping with this flywheel/clutch/engine combo.  In fact it was so much fun that I decided to press on so I could experience the same pain on the Baltimore Beltway as well.  No problems at all.  Fuel pressure stayed up and there wasn't any hint of vapor lock.  After three and a half hours and 120 miles I arrive in York.  My wife said she could hear me coming for five minutes before I arrived.

Over the next few weeks I spent some time going over the car and removing what seemed like 500 layers of window tint (see photo above).  Found out that my 13 inch wheels and H rated tries from the Geo Metro (future LSR gas coupe) won't fit the Swift GT ( front calipers require at least a 14 inch wheel ) so I'll be going to Maxton on the 205/50/15s.  Not my first choice by any means but will have to do.  Not a safety issue so I'll live with it for now.

August 15th - Took the Swift to the auto club to apply for title and registration.  The clerk says that I need a bill of sale.  Don't have one.  Didn't think I needed one since I have both a valid Florida Title and valid Florida temp registration in my name and have appropriate paper work that shows that I have paid all the required fees and taxes.  Did I mention that the Florida Temp plates will expire on August 19th?  Did I mention that our Condo Association rules do not allow cars parked (outside) on the premises unless they have current registration?  Did I mention that my wife will not give up her side of the garage? (My side has the Geo Metro - in pieces -)  Anyway the nice lady at the AAA says she thinks that my paperwork will be OK but they have to check with Harrisburg (state capitol) and won't be able to get an answer until Monday (August 18th).

August 18th - AAA calls with good news.  My paperwork is OK after all.  Within an hour I have the new PA Plates on the Swift and am on my way back to Washington (where I work during the week).  My wife says she could still hear me five minutes after I left. 

Since then the car has been parked and only driven a few times to keep up the battery.  I've been installing a tach and waiting for the end of September to go to Maxton. . . .

in the meantime I have preregistered for the Maxton event and reserved motel space. 

September 24th - I leave tomorrow in the afternoon.  Rain is predicted for tomorrow but it should clear up some time before Saturday in Maxton.  I'll probably be driving in rain the whole way. . . should add to the excitement with my 'no-season' tires.

hopefully I'll be able to post again Friday evening and let you know how the trip went and fill in the blanks on getting the car through tech and me through rookie orientation. . . later.
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2008, 12:13:08 PM »

great times to be had by all cheers
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2008, 02:51:00 PM »

LL,

     Sounds like a plan.  We'll keep an eye out for you, not leaving up here until Thurs afternoon also, prob won't get in 'till later Fri.  Have a safe trip and I'll look you up over the weekend.

              Take care,

              Ed
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2008, 07:17:53 PM »

I had intended to post a description of how the trip down here Thursday worked out, how I went through tech and driver's orientation on Friday, how I made four runs today, set one record and have my sights on a second record tomorrow (hopefully.)  I will post that in a few days plus let you know how I do tomorrow (Sunday). 

But not today . . . .  That information can wait for another day.

As most of you now know, today, very sadly, we experienced the first fatality in the history of the ECTA and the Maxton events.  See the topic posted elsewhere by others here on Landracing.com.  I didn't know Dave Owen.  I wish I did know him.  My thoughts are with his family and with those that were his friends.
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