|November 8, 2010 - I posted about the first drive on a few forums, and the responses have been interesting.|
A few people who didn't understand that it was a first drive of an unfinished car and who had comments on the cut fenders. Not everyone can look at a project in process and see the final result! A few votes for the factory Sebring fender flares, but they just don't suit the style of the body to my eyes. Maybe if I'd grown up watching MGs duke it out on the race circuit. I personally think the stock Pininfarina body is beautiful, and the Sebring flares just look like slapped-on blobs. It's going to be a challenge to fit the Rabbit flares gracefully (and symmetrically!) but their overall shape complements the car to me.
One of the most common comments was about how low the radiator sits. Granted, when the car is viewed from the front with no bodywork it's an imposing piece! But it's still 5" off the ground, which is about the same as the oil pan on a Miata. Also, as you can see in the picture, it's not unprotected. That bar underneath is 1"x2" with a fairly hefty wall thickness, supported by an extension of the frame rails. I could probably use it to jack up the car.
But it does have me thinking. Flyin' Miata recently came out with a much smaller radiator for the V8 Miatas. It's got all the correct fittings on it and there's even a high-quality shroud and fan kit available that I could just drop in. I'd have to buy new fans for this one anyhow. I might grab the dimensions and see what making the change would imply. I would like to have the option to run the stock nose instead of the Special Tuning airdam. Hmm.
tags: first drive, brakes, suspension, springs