New year, new life

Welcome to 2020. Let’s begin.

This year has begun in a most unexpected way. Thanks to the kindness and help of plenty of people, particularly Rob and Chris who have been around more or less since the beginning with this car, my Silvia runs! It was with equal degrees of bemusement and disbelief that I watched a video of it idling while standing in the pasta aisle at the supermarket in the first full week of January, Rob having pulled off something of a minor miracle and gotten it to fire. The car went in for a new fuel tank and new suspension arms and came out with a completely new lease on life.

It’s interesting what happens when a car, long dead, comes to life. The term “comes to life” is really pretty accurate. In an instant, it switches from being an inanimate object that’s a stone around your neck to something with life and spirit and, dare I say, a point to its existence. Momentum that the day before had to be forced now comes more easily.

The coming to life, though, also brings with it a new kind of burden. One that is lighter and easier to carry, but perhaps a little scarier. For a long time, I think this car was a hypothetical for me. I talked about finishing it, and what it would be, but I’m not sure I ever believed it. Now that the car runs it has to become a car again. The hypothetical is now real, and the pressure is on me to make good on all those ideas and plans. So, I guess, here we go.

The list of what has been bought, what has been ordered and what has been done is actually pretty long. I decided to try and replace everything I could replace within reason, so prior to the car being shifted to Rob’s shed I bought new arms, new brake lines and most of a new fuel system. The new tank, pump, lines etc have all been fitted along with all the new ZSS arms in the rear. A new Cusco front strut brace is in (after some panic when it initially refused to drop on) and some new interior toys too. There is a new ZSS exhaust installed, and some parts from Auto Collect Storm ready to go as well. And on top of all of that, I’ve started to refurbish my wheels.

Once it started there was some money freed up to do some of those “nice to have” jobs. New Blitz ZZ-R Damper coilovers were ordered and installed. New silicone joiners and hose clamps were picked up. New front lower control arms too, and a new oil filter relocation kit to cure an oil leak. These parts are being drip fed into the car as I have the time and ability to do so. It’s now a matter of trying to replace everything that has aged and decayed in the time the car has been laid up. Scraping the years away, but at the same time trying to apply the benefits of experience gained to make sure that everything is done right this time.

There’s so much more to do yet. A new radiator and hoses will find their way into the car soon. The LCAs, tension rods and brake lines are there to be fitted, along with a new brake master cylinder. There are more SuperMade parts to be bought, more engine room parts to buy and install, a project to do on the rocker cover, all in the name of making the car as complete and respectable as possible when it goes off to meet its destiny at Primal Garage in the months to come.

Above all the nuts and bolts, though, this is a story of a team effort now. Of so many people pooling their abilities, efforts and goodwill to make my old dream achievable. I resurrected this site so that I could track this project, and I’m going to make an effort now to post as regularly as progress on the car dictates. I hope everyone reading this can follow along and share in the ups and downs as we finish this one up, and maybe join in with creating that pool of goodwill that makes this all a little bit easier to accomplish.

More to come.

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