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Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
12/29/19 8:10 p.m.

I had truly hoped to be tbe guy to finish this one. Love a europa

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 8:12 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

You’ve got other important work to do. 

You are not alone. GRM vultures have been hounding me about this for years. Many of them are probably better builders than me. 

That’s a shame. cheeky

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
12/29/19 8:12 p.m.

<3

slowbird
slowbird Dork
12/29/19 8:14 p.m.

Tube frame! Tube frame! Tube frame! laugh

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 8:14 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

Love the idea, but I’m not good enough to build one. 

JThw8
JThw8 UltimaDork
12/29/19 8:33 p.m.
SVreX said:

In reply to slowbird :

Love the idea, but I’m not good enough to build one. 

You underestimate what you could do!

That aside, I seem to recall you are no longer where you used to be.  If you are now where I think (or Linkedin tells me) you are then you are closer to me than we've ever been and very close to my parents.  I could possibly arrange to visit them and lend some thoughts and noodling in the future if needed.

 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 8:36 p.m.

In reply to JThw8 :

That would be totally cool!!

I’m in Lexington SC (outside Columbia)

Mi casa es tu casa!!

JThw8
JThw8 UltimaDork
12/29/19 8:47 p.m.
SVreX said:

In reply to JThw8 :

That would be totally cool!!

I’m in Lexington SC (outside Columbia)

Mi casa es tu casa!!

Tis where I thought you were.  Folks are a short trip around the lake from you in Chapin.  Still getting settled here but part of my reason for coming south was to get down their way more to help out with things, I'm sure if I head down for a weekend I can carve out a few hours to lend a hand.  Currently I dont have a shop here either but once I get that sorted if there are parts that can be outsourced I could do some remote work up here.

 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 8:48 p.m.

In reply to JThw8 :

Awesome!!

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 8:51 p.m.

In reply to JThw8 :

Wait!  You’re not in Jersey anymore??

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
12/29/19 8:58 p.m.

YESSSS!!

2ZZ?? 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 9:00 p.m.

In reply to Brotus7 :

I had to drop engine considerations...

...the chassis was the thing I had to solve first!

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
12/29/19 9:10 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

Chassis solution and retain the Lotus handling.  I'm on the edge of my seat since I'm in a not too different situation.... total deathtrap consideration and all.  I think I've resigned myself to just keeping mine as an autox car.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 9:10 p.m.

....but there will be a 2ZZ in this story!

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 9:12 p.m.

In reply to Brotus7 :

The 2ZZ would not fit in that chassis and mate with any trans that would work with the rear drive wheels. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:11 p.m.

I finally realized my struggle was with the chassis, not the engine.  I knew what was important to maintain:

 - I wanted a floor pan to build off of

 - Mid engine, RWD

 - Nimble handling

 - Lightweight

 I started considering if other chassis options might exist...

The good news for me was that the list is really short if you are looking for mid engined platforms that are Challenge-friendly budget-wise.  There's the Fiat X 1/9, the Fiero, and the MR2.  I've had both a Fiero and an X 1/9... I know their shortfalls.  The MR2 is head and shoulders above all of them.

When I started researching the dimensions, lookie what I found:

 

The wheelbases were nearly identical.  The width at the door sill was identical.  Track was a little wider on the MR2 (but box flares, right?).  The one big difference was the height.  The Europa is comically small.  I was pretty sure I could handle that.

I did some high tech research.  I found side view diagrams of both of the cars, and played with the photocopier until I had both images scaled the same (same wheelbase).  I laid one over the other, and low and behold!  Almost everything aligned!

I had a new plan.  A re-bodied MR2 using the Europa body.  That would give me a floor pan to build on, a very capably nimble platform, and maintain the mid engine RWD. 

I think that would make it "Mister S2". wink

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:13 p.m.

Shortly after that, this car came into my life (at a VERY reasonable price!)

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:17 p.m.

The MR2 sat on my trailer for months.  I spent a lot of time measuring stuff.  I also spent a lot of time getting to know the car.

It really was a nice car.  Rust free.  Leather interior.  Too nice to cut up.  

Who was I kidding?  I wasn't the builder I dreamed of.

I eventually brought the MR2 to the $2018 Challenge as the parking lot build.  Robbie headed up that effort. It was a blast.  After the 2018 Challenge, the MR2 was sold to Mr Joshua.

The Europa ended up buried in the back of a storage container.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:19 p.m.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:20 p.m.

I made the decision I was probably done building Challenge cars.  

I would pass the Europa on to the next person (although it was gonna take me at least a year to dig it out of the storage container).  

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:24 p.m.

Then the 2019 Challenge happened.  Travis took the gold.  

I was stunned.  I wasn't stunned at Travis.  I was stunned that I was again thinking I could put together a car that would be competitive.

As usual, after-Challenge banter was hot and heavy.  I learned that Mr. Joshua had a stash of 5 different AW11's.  Of course, the black one he bought in 2018 was the nicest.  But there were 4 more.

I asked him if he had one we wouldn't be ashamed to cut up....

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:27 p.m.

It wasn’t long before I was back in Gainesville loading up this truly awful gem from Mr Joshua:

 

 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/29/19 10:31 p.m.

It had dragons etched into the glass, and bizarre bohemian fabric door panels. 

And the MOST GOD AWFUL STENCH!  The windshield had been smashed for a long time, and plenty of stagnant water had soaked the interior for an extended period. Between the broken glass and the terrible mold smell, I really felt I needed a hazmat suit. 

We named her Matilda. Total purchase price $100. devil

white_fly
white_fly HalfDork
12/29/19 10:35 p.m.

IT'S A CHRISTMAS berkeleyING MIRACLE!!!

I can't wait to see this at the challenge.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/30/19 6:56 a.m.

I had a platform.  NOW I could start thinking about the engine...

If you are perceptive, you've seen me searching.  The options have been all over the map.  But the MR2 helped me focus on the right engine.  I wanted a Toyota transverse engine with a proven formula for swapping into an MR2.  Because of my skill level, I really wanted to keep it simple.  A bolt-in would be awesome (though I doubted it could happen).

I briefly considered the LS again.  Don't we ALWAYS think of the LS??  That didn't meet any of my goals (although it certainly had the power).

The 1UZ. The 2JZ.  So many choices...

Mr Joshua (my Deviant Enabler) reminded me of the common ties between Toyota and Lotus in the 2ZZ.  I own a Pontiac Vibe GT (same car as the Toyota Matrix), and am very familiar with the 2ZZ.  It's an awesome little high-revver, which is also found in the Lotus Elise.  It would make a ridiculously fun little car, and the Lotus/ Toyota history was also cool.  It would nearly bolt into the MR2.  I'd have to give up on my 300 hp, but it would be an ultra-lite weight crazy tossable car.  I started looking for a decent 2ZZ donor.

Steve Hoelscher's nationally competitive DP MR2 weighs in at 1769 lbs, and it still looks like a Mister 2.  I had a fiberglass body and didn't give a hoot about maintaining any resemblance to a Toyota.  I was pretty sure I could get lighter than Steve's car.  The lightweight screamer 2ZZ, might be the answer.     

Along the way I also thought about a K-swap.  It intrigued me, because I'd really like to do a K-swap Miata one day.  But ultimately, it wasn't gonna fit the bill for this car.  All the ridiculous fab work, none of the Toyota/ Lotus cred, and I'd still be sitting at about 200 hp.  It wasn't a better choice than the 2ZZ.

Sooner or later however, my MR2 swap research led me down a different path...

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