|May 2007, as I bought the car|
The silver car sat in the garage basically untouched for the rest of 2007. I removed and sold some of the interior pieces and the soft top, but didn't make any progress on converting it into a racecar, aside from accumulating parts. In 2008, I purchased a welder and a few other assorted tools and began the process of bringing her back to life. The front frame rails were straightened, a new upper radiator support and new right inner fender lining were welded in, and various body panels were sourced as cheaply as possible. Special thanks to Skip Merryman for donating a spare hood! I found the alignment adjustment bolts sized on 3 of the 4 control arms, so I had to cut those out and replace all of the lower control arms. For the most part, that was the extent of the repairs to fix the crash damage.
|First autocross, July 2008|
Though she was on 2-year old, hard-as-rocks, Kumho 710's (and only 225-width to boot), and had not been aligned, the car survived the event, and was dubbed 'Frankenstook'. I'm not sure who came up with the name, but it stuck. At that event, she was essentially a stock-ish s2000 with some KW v3 coilovers, a partially stripped interior, a Sparco seat, quick-disconnect steering wheel and a rollbar. The rest of 2008 was spent resolving little issues, like flakey ABS engagement, and minor additions.
|up on 2 wheels! October 2009. photo by Jon Krolewicz|
|2010 SCCA Solo National Championships|
In July, inspired by (and with considerable help from) my buddy Jason Collett, I began building carbon fiber doors and rear fenders. In the month leading up to Nationals, the car shed over 100 pounds, most of it from replacing the steel doors and cutting out the floor and inner fender panels in the trunk. The car now sits at 1975 pounds in race trim. Garrett brought home a 4th place trophy from the 2011 Solo National Champiionships, and I came in 7th. 2011 was a really great year for Frankenstook!
For 2012, we added some off-season upgrades. Out came the revalved koni yellows, and in went a shiny new set of Penske 8300 shocks. Out came the old 2L motor, and in went a low-mileage 2.2L. With the motor swap, we switched back to a stock intake manifold and a 70mm throttle body instead of the ITBs. The early part of the season was great. The car was running well, and handling beautifully, culminating in May with the Evolution Super Shootout in Atlanta, where I finished 7th overall. After Atlanta, though, things got frustrating. The car behaved very strangely, it was difficult to drive, and it was not consistent. We chased shock settings, air pressure, spring rates for the next 3 months. Ultimately, the culprit was found to be a clutch pack failure within the Carbonetics limited slip differential. With only one event on the repaired diff, the ProSolo Finale and Nationals were disappointing. We were not comfortable with the car and it showed. The rest of 2012 was spent trying to get the car back to its early-season form.
I had a big list of planned modifications and upgrades for the 2013 season, but managed to let the offseason slip by without doing much of anything to the car. It was a mad-dash effort to get the fuel system redone before the Dixie Match Tour, and our lack of practice/test time was clear. Neither of us made the shootout portion of the event. The positive takeaways were that the new fuel system didn't leak and the switch to Goodyear bias ply slicks appears to be promising. I replaced the harddog bolt-in rollbar with a much beefier welded-in setup, with door bars (Thanks to Geoff Zimmer). Getting the car dialed in for the bias ply slicks is going to be the goal for the next several events. I have a few other goodies to throw at the car as well.