The Original Wall of Shame Car

This group of pictures are of a car that was recently brought in to us to have some work done on it. The conversion was done by a company based out of California (not sure they are competitors, not much competition in quality or safety). We will not name this company because with this kind of quality, they have to end up with lots of lawsuits, and probably have some good lawyers.

The quality of "Hackmanship" in this car was a driving force in the creation of our "Wall of Shame".

We have recently been informed that this particular car is STILL (Aug. 16th, 2004) listed on the creators website. These pictures were taken in October of 2003. I found it somewhat odd that this car was still listed for sale, so I called their telephone number. Apparently this car has been sold, but they are willing to build me another one JUST like it.... That means there might be another car just like this driving down the same roads your children are driving on. YIKES!!!

Here is the front drivers side strut. The car is using 951 (944 turbo) brakes, which is a decent sized upgrade from the stock 914 brakes. Unfortunately the conversion company simply welded brackets to the strut to attach the 951 hubs. They never thought about the ENORMOUS loads that are put on those parts under braking. Also notice the nice bubble on the "zero mile" tire.

Here we have a different view of the same strut, they didn't even use one piece of steel to make the bracket, it relies completely on the welds, with all the heat induced metal inconsistencies that go with them.

Now we get to the fun stuff. This is the passenger side rear suspension. This pic was taken from roughly the center of the car, under the harmonic balancer. The rear suspension started as 914. It still uses the 914 trailing arm mounts (upper left of picture in black), then things get ummm interesting. They hacked a 911 trailing arm off (cut edge in top center of picture) and bolted it to the 914 arm, which was also cut in half. They then BOLTED the 2 pieces together, and cobbled together some brackets to mount the shock and spring to.

Another pic of the rear suspension, this time from the rear of the car. From this angle you can see the BOLTS holding the 911 trailing arm to the 914 trailing arm. You can also see the first class (tongue firmly wedged in cheek) fabricating skill demonstrated on the shock mount. On the driver side, one of these welds had already started to crack, and if it had broken completely the suspension would have collapsed.

One Last pic of the rear suspension. At least they could have cut the 911 piece off flush to make it somewhat pretty.

Back up to the front, this time passenger side. Looks kinda sedate compared to the rear. It is a nice match to the drivers side, and all the things that were wrong before still are.

This is a picture of the hood shot from roughly the front of the passenger side door. The fuel filler door is a semi popular modification, but when you have the wrong people do it.... This one was a sheet of fiberglass with a piece of sheet metal epoxied to it. There was no way of latching it closed, keeping it from flapping open at speed, no seal to keep water out if caught in the rain, and no finishing material anywhere in sight. Also if you notice in the reflection of the light, the fiberglass printed through the gel coat really bad.

A view under the front hood. We believe this car originally had air conditioning, and as such had the bottom of the front trunk cut out at the dealership. Instead of welding in a new floor and adding some semblance of strength back to the car, the covered up the hole with a piece of flat fiberglass. They then placed a perfectly good Griffin racing radiator in there and made some semblance of ducting (once again flat sheets of fiberglass), unfortunately they forgot that air will flow the path of least resistance when they created the ducting and did not seal the sides in any way.

Here is another shot of the radiator assembly. Notice there is nothing sealing the top edge of the radiator to the hood, and the lovely (tongue back in cheek) wiring job. Also worthy of noting are the overflow tube from the radiator, and the lovely radiator hose junction in the top hose.

Also notice the air outlets. Oh wait, there aren't any!!! This car was attempting to vent through the hood when it got to us.

One last view of the radiator setup. In this picture you can see the fiberglass distorting where it has been hit by hot water, the fan wiring mess, and lastly the hole that the radiator hose runs through. I am going to assume that it was cut with a W.W.II era army can opener, and if so, it isn't too bad. However I wouldn't drive very far without at least one spare hose, and the tools to change it on the side of the road.

Lets go back bottom side. This is from directly under the car, without the transaxle. That motor mount looks really stout, and is not a bad idea. However there is no way to get the oil filter off of the motor. You can barely see it (hint it's below the oil pan in the picture, hidden behind the motor mount and shift rod. The Driver side header runs right next to it, and appears to have been rubbing on the motor mount at one time.

There is that pesky oil filter again. Looks like no fun to me.

There are other issues with this particular car that we didn't get pictures of. Some of the more major issues are the enormous hole in the fire wall that the stock GM water pump sticks through. The "roll bar" installed with TWO 5/16" bolts in each corner, and 2 more in the middle of the passenger footwell, in the middle of the sheet metal doing absolutely NOTHING!!! We have obtained an interior picture. The fuel line that runs through the firewall, down the passenger compartment and then into the tunnel. Then there is the Radiator expelling it's hot air out the hood. Yes it can be made to work like the Ford GT-40 and Lotus Elise, but just cutting a hole in the hood will not do it.

Knowing what the owner of this car was looking for, Renegade Hybrids declined to do any work on it. It would have cost FAR more money to make the car safe than the car would have been worth at the end of the repairs, and Renegade refused to put the owner in that position. It is really too bad, as the car seemed to be reasonably rust free, and what few body panels were left of the stock car seemed to indicate the car had been straight. To put it in BJ's words, "This car didn't die, This car was Killed!"

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