Looking back at my project as it draws closer to an end I struggle to work out where to begin!
On New Year’s Eve 2007 my car was outside in a freak hail storm. Unfortunately due to living in the side of a hill and not having had any rain the area for some time I had to prevent our house from flooding.
Whilst the car sat in the drive-way it managed to have a fine layer of small dints all over the side roof and bonnet.
It took me until 2008 to look into having it repaired. My insurance company was paying for the respray and hail damaged to be replaced. While this was occurring I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to install a bodykit as an additional cost to the repairer.
A local supplier had a TRD wide body kit for sale which I thought would be a perfect addition to the car. I purchased the bodykit and waited for the car to go to the repairer.
The repairer was refered to me by people with our local supra club and also became a sponsor of the club. He had experience repairing supras and had also previously painted a TRD wide body. The insurance company approved the repairer so it was now time to organise the car to be dropped off.
I dropped the car off but then decided i would pull the motor out so i could do a colour change in the engine bay too. I drove the car home where i invited some mates over and started to pull the motor out. We had everything off to find out the chain on the engine crane was not correct. Not risking damage to the motor or gear box i decided to have the car sent to my mechanic for the last part.
In April 2008 i was going overseas for 4 weeks holiday. This seemed to be a good time to have the car at the repairer as it would then only be off the road for a short time after. How wrong was I!!!
I was leaving on the Sunday morning and the car was being delivered to the mechanic on the Saturday. It was then having the motor safely removed and then the car was going down a couple streets to the smash repairer.
After 4 enjoyable weeks away i returned to, well...nothing.
The repairer had not even touched the car. Complaining that he was busy etc etc and that he would have the body kit test fitted within a few days. Giving him the benefit of the doubt i said id return the following weekend.
After another week there was still no sign of any activity. Another week goes by and i decide to help pull the part of the interior out the speed things up.
Finally 3 weeks after i return the test fit is completed. With only a couple issues everything seems ok. Happy days now it just needs to be stuck on, prepped and painted. Maybe a month or so i should have it back....wrong again!
Weeks go by followed by months.
A little bit of work here and there but no real progress.
As you can imagine this is really start to frustrate me. Whilst i want the car completed i don’t want a rushed job which when it turns out badly would end up being my fault for hurrying them.
I enquire to the insurance company to see if they can speed things up. Same reason as above the say they can’t.
Another couple months go by and I’m wondering why someone would take so long as they have not been paid for the job yet...surely it is costing them a lot more money taking space in the shop.
I start enquiring to have car removed as its now just ridiculous. While over the phone the insurance company seems happy to remove the car, when i ask for it in writing its another story.
More time goes by and still no progress. Its been broken promises again and again. This time i push harder for the car to be removed.
Whilst talking to the insurance company i found out that they had actually paid the repairer while i was overseas. When i asked where i was the form i signed to say i was happy with the work they said they couldn’t find it. They gave me the date i supposedly agreed which just so happened to be whilst i was overseas and did not have global roaming on...how could they call me?
I threatened legal action for fraud as i had not signed anything and if my signature was on anything copies would be going to police.
This is where it got really bad.
The insurance company then started to go against what i wanted and blamed the additional work for the problems. Yes they had found their scape-goat. Hundreds of emails later i finally had their internal ombudsman reviewing the matter. After taking nearly 2 months to send through the letter (legally it must be to me in wirting within 15 days,) it was agreed to have the car sent to another repairer.
The car was off to Sydney, three hours from me to have the final prep work completed and the car painted. I was then offered a small cash settlement which i still a matter with the lawyers.
Whilst the car sat in the first repairers shop. He’s pets were not only sleeping inside the car but also urinating and chewing on some parts. I have since removed the factory sound deadening and scrubbed the floor. I am also installing dynamat throughout the whole car so the smell is 100% gone.
Many other items have been lost, damaged or destroyed. Most of these parts are only visible as the car is now slowly put back together.
Now since the motor has been removed the car i might as well go single turbo. I originally looked at a gt42r but thought it might be too big. I decided to order a smaller single T04z. However since the car has taken so long to complete i have since gone back to wanting the 42r as i want something that could go further once i build the motor.
Once the insurance company debate was over I was able to give the new reparier (Smashtech in Bankstown) the go ahead. Within 2 weeks they had completed more work on the car than the previous shop had in 13 months. I drove up a few times to check colours and drop off some parts that i had managed to collect from people wrecking supras.
a couple weeks later i recieved a call that the car was ready. I had arranged that the car was to travel straight to the mechanics from bankstown for the single turbo work to be completed. Again further delays with contractors lead to the car being delivered back to my house.
I decided to start reinstalling parts to the car as it had been a rolling shell for over 2 years and looked terrible. brand new paint to the outside with a dirty shambles inside the car. a couple mates of mine and i worked on the car over a few weekends installing dyna matt removing old sound deadening and installing a new dash pad etc
Finally the mechanic was ready for the car so off it went. A simple process again turned into months. AT this point i had all but given up that the car would ever be completed as the only thing that saw change was my bank account heading into negatives!
I took parts home to polish the engine bay to move things along but again it did nothing to speed things up.
Finally the car was ready for tuning where it saw 630hp at 27psi. this was obviously dropped down to 22 psi for street duties and while i get use to the power of the car.
Once the car returned i was able to reinstall the interior including my new sparco racing seats and much more. I imported genuine alcantara to match the seats to finsih the interior to add a touch of class. reinstalled the stereo and have finally been able to drive the car on the road.
Now its a matter of fine tuning the bugs that slwoly surface after three years of no driving etc.
Looking back i often ask myself, WHY!? while it is an emotional roller coaster the positives in the end outway the negatives and watching people snap their neck as you go past on full song or ferrari owners giving you the thumbs up as you drive past you seem to forget all the issues that have occured for the build.
Ill get the pics up soon so people arent left reading my terrible grammer and spelling mistakes haha