Did you think the LeMons-winning CBR900RR-powered Geo Metro Gnome is a good idea? Well, then you're going to love this car, which is even now being prepared for next month's Arse Freeze-a-Palooza LeMons!
I first heard from the machine-shop-owning, Mazda GTX-rallying, Human-Powered Land Speed Record-challenging engineer uber-freaks when they offered to take some of the useless-to-me extra parts that came with my 20R Sprite Hell Project. So, I headed on over to their East Bay shop with a Mazda RX-2 rear and some matching steel rims in the Civic.
The first thing I noticed was the aluminum five-man tandem bike on the wall, built while this team's head madman was studying engineering at a California university that will probably sue us if we mention its name in context with this "race car."
I must admit: for a completely stupid idea, this one is very, very nicely executed. The engine will go where the passenger once sat, with a machined-from-scratch gearbox to reverse the direction of rotation and send power to the driveshaft. Hell yes, it's going to be rear-wheel drive! This thing is going to be
a total nightmare something of a handful on the track, what with all that power in such a short wheelbase, but there's no doubt that it will be quick... when it's not spinning out.
The Z600's front suspension was a little too fragile for racing duty (and let's not even get started on the stamped-steel brake calipers), so a Mazda RX-7 parts car donated its front subframe. Hey, what's a little narrowing and welding and endless fabrication? No problem!
With three weeks to, there's a terrifying amount of work left to do. The engine runs fine on a test bench, but the mounts, driveshaft, wiring, and a million other details need to be worked out. The good news is that the car is sitting in a fabulously equipped machine shop full of dudes who can just start whittling metal if they need a special part. 500 bucks worth of parts, 100 grand worth of labor: LeMons-approved! Meanwhile, the Metro Gnomes aren't standing still; they've switched to a bigger engine and rear-wheel-drive. They want you to know that they're totally legit, too! I tell you what, I'm counting the days until this matchup appears on the track. So when do we get to see a motorcycle-engined Subaru 360, eh?