Installation: My next step was to actually put the thing together, this meant gathering parts and information from around the internet. Curiously enough there is a small circle of people with lifted Crown Victorias (off road, not big rims) around the internet, when all else failed they were quick to respond.
After about a year I had purchased just about everything I needed to get the car lifted, and a handful of parts that were now at 100,000 miles and probably needed replacing anyway. Continue reading →
There is a car show held once a month in Scottsdale where people gather to drink coffee and show off their high-end exotic cars. I skipped right past the rows of Ferraris and Porsches to go check out this 1984 Toyota Celica GT (yes, seriously).
I took one look at the car and could tell right away that something special was going on here. For one thing, it’s a lifted car! Aside from an AMC Eagle or a Subaru rally car, you don’t often see cars with this much ground clearance! I snapped some photos and looked around for the owner who was nowhere to be found.
If you have been to our website before, you would probably agree that a Toyota Camry is a pretty boring car. It’s not a bad car, it is just not terribly exciting. The reason it is boring is because the Camry was designed to meet the need of drivers all over the world.
It has to be good at city driving for commuters.
It has to be good at highway driving for families and road trips.
It has to be good at being a taxi, commercial vehicle, or suburban grocery hauler.
It has to work in freezing cold Michigan winters and brutal Phoenix summers.
It has to be safe and pass crash test standards.
It has to meet vehicle emissions standards.
It has to be aesthetically pleasing.
And it still has to be affordable!
The Camry is a car that’s designed for every type of driving environment. But what if automakers built cars specific to the region where they were to be used? What if car manufacturers built a vehicle for the Pacific Northwest, a different vehicle for the Midwest, and another car for the Deep South?
Well, that is exactly the idea behind Local Motors.
I always thought International Harvester was a really interesting company. They made such a wide range of products, from farm equipment, to military vehicles, to refrigerators and air conditioners. Somewhere in the midst of all the weird shit they were doing, they managed to pump out a few really cool light duty trucks as well. And I do mean only a few. Although they were in the light truck business from 1907 to 1975, when’s the last time you saw an IH driving around?
Civic wagons are rare enough but the AWD version is even more of a treat. The manual cars actually came with a 6 speed transmission which had a super low gear to the left of first gear. I’m not sure why they didn’t just call the low gear “first gear” and rename the rest of the other gears to follow suit, but whatever, it’s still cool.
The reason for the low gear was because with only 100 lb-ft of torque, the D16A6 motor really didn’t have enough power to really do anything exciting at all (or get you out of a ditch, should you accidentally manage to do something exciting). I’m pretty sure the owner of this car doesn’t have much of a problem getting a little crazy though…
Yeah, someone swapped a K-series motor in there. Aside from all the obvious, well …dirt, it looks like a really clean swap too. I bet the thing is a lot of fun to drive, and it looks like the owner of the car isn’t afraid to take the car out in the desert and have some fun with it. Civic wagons in general sort of strike me as an “I really don’t give a fuck” type vehicle, and this one says it with more sincerity than any other Civic wagon you are ever likely to see, given that about 95 percent of them have been hastily converted to rusted hood, negative cambered-out dork cars.