The reason all those stupid car rescue and rebuild reality shows do so well is because they prey on that part of your brain that has convinced you that you can get something for nothing, if only you get the right deal. Well, here’s what that looks like without a network budget, completed by one determined guy in a cold Oregon garage. Clear your schedule for the rest of the day.
As the self-proclaimed president of the “That’ll buff out” club, I’m no stranger to what it takes to rebuild a discarded diamond in the goat’s ass known as the parts car market. However, this Lotus Evora build takes that mentality to new pedantic and cost-cutting heights.
This Lotus Evora was purchased, sight unseen, by an Oregonian car modder and YouTuber named Chris from the salvage car auction house Copart. Its once pristine, hand-built British body was damaged on nearly every panel, with severe damage to the front subframe, suspension, and bumpers. And the undercarriage. And the roof, because it flipped over.
Chris’ goal was to have this once desirable supercar, that he obtained for $12,000, to be his daily driver, on a budget of about $25,000, or the price of a new, moderately optioned Toyota Camry. Clearly a man after my own heart.
The list for what the car actually needed to run and drive again is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Front and side curtain airbags were deployed, and the fiberglass shell that served as both a structural component to the car’s insane rigidity and a mounting point for the curved and precisely-fit body panels needed a complete restoration.
However, Chris took on the seemingly overwhelming project as any sane person would - one painstaking step at a time. He stripped the car down to its bare chassis, cutting away any fiberglass that wasn’t to be used in the final build.
He ordered the necessary parts from Lotus and found hard-to-come-by parts such as the GT3 front bumper, from aftermarket sources.
To tackle the front frame damage, He created his own, bolt-on front frame section out of heavy gauge sections of steel, that would, at least in theory, provide more protection from a head-on collision than the stock aluminum sections ever did.
He also rebuilt broken and bent components of the car’s high-strung suspension, fixed the mechanical issues such as destroyed airbox and exhaust, cleared the car’s engine and transmission computer, and managed to sand, prep, and paint the car, turning it into his version of the ultimate daily driver.
If ever you need to feel inadequate about what you did today, keep in mind that this work was done on top of the rigors of a full time job.
Yes, I may be skimming over some major plot lines in this build, but it’s worth checking out the entire 48-part series on his YouTube channel, called B is for Build.
However, if you’re like most people and don’t have the attention span of a subdued sloth, here’s a five minute compilation of everything done to the car over the project’s five month time span.
This build serves as a reminder that knowing what you’re doing, and learning when you don’t, is the most important thing to possess in a project. This allows anyone, given enough time, to build whatever they want on a budget they can afford.