Did we do anything in 2021?

Posted on Jan 20, 2022
Oh boy, another year has gone by and we still haven’t finished this car! We have photo albums on Flickr going back as far as 2016. That’s seven albums, if you include the new one for 2022! To be fair, the 2016 album and the project itself only started in September of 2016. We actually got the car in December of 2015 but didn’t know what to do with it for quite a while. Also, in our defense, we did move into a new building after spending most of 2020 working on it in a storage unit, there was and still is a pandemic going on and the business experienced a dramatic sales growth during 2021 which sort of limited time to work on the car. So, what did we get done during 2021? Quite a lot, though not many transformational things. Perhaps that’s why it didn’t feel like a very productive year.

In January, we finally got the car established in its very own build room on its pin stands. This allowed us to work on a lot more areas of the car simultaneously and is so much nicer than the storage unit where it spent most of 2020.

Not a big leap but figuring out a throttle cable for the car was troubling us. We were very relieved when we found a way to utilize the stock Quattro cable with the AAN throttle body on the Wagner manifold. Yes, the same one Ken Block’s Quattro has!

Gotta stay cool so we refurbished the heating and vent panel and found some suitable aftermarket vents too. We also sourced a European only short center console just like the works cars used. Not seen here is the way we managed to snake the stock vent tubes behind the custom dash.

Tow Hooks - More little things but they needed doing and we figured out how. The rear is a stock RENNLINE unit whereas the front is the same but modified to exit where the works cars hook did.

While we didn’t make the actual skid plate in 2020 we did figure out how to make a mockup of the factory Kevlar plates in aluminium sheet by first making one in cardboard sheet.

At last, a biggy. Local Subaru guru (Suguru?) Scott Banes made this beautiful custom exhaust, mimicking many details of the original, except the catalytic converter of course. The rear muffler hanger took a lot of work but worth every ounce of effort and is completely over the top.

Not yet finished but our door cards are mocked up in cardboard and the door pulls figured out too. Easy to make in ABS during final assembly.

This was a biggy too. Just simple Sparco mud flaps you might say but the brackets were a lot of work and getting everything lined up and level was far more work than anticipated.

We managed to cobble together some rather period looking footrests for the navigator and driver. At one point we were measuring pictures on the computer screen and scaling them to figure out what size holes they had. We could have just bought some but we are so glad we made these now.

The front support for the skid plate was way more work than anticipated. Getting the shape and location correct from pictures was a challenge, as was making the connection tubes to the bumper bar. But we did it and now can fab up a skid plate.

A long time ago we had committed to using a high output Ford alternator and mounting it on the opposite side from where the AAN one went. This meant fabricating a custom bracket that had to be stiff enough and hold the alternator in the correct position and orientation. We think we nailed it but time will tell, hopefully soon.

More cooling stuff. This might be classed as a another “biggy”. Well the rear one is and that’s fake!. The front one is what we’ll actually be using to cool the engine oil. Once we realized we could pass oil lines under the engine we able to locate it in front of the radiator in good airflow.

We also mocked up some ¼ panel cards in ABS. These have to curve over at the top so were a little more involved that the door cards. We’ll make the final panels during final assembly.

At the end of the year, we also started to work on the rear bulkhead, which is not a small project. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish it so that’s a job for 2022. So what else is in store for this year? Well, ideally, we’ll finish the bloody thing. Hopefully we get plenty of time to do so. For this current “dry build phase we still have such large items as the entire wiring loom, electric power steering pump and lines, diff lock actuation, making the doors fit, fabbing a spare wheel holder, floor mats, finishing the dash panel and a myriad of smaller things. Then we’ll strip it all down and work on getting the body painted. Then final assembly. Maybe 2022 is the year we finally finish it! Stay tuned to find out.