Kyle, owner and operator of Z Driver.com and also Strictly Z needed a project car to showcase what his business had to offer. After searching for a bit, Kyle found a well-maintained 1993 TT. After talking with the owner, Kyle decided that this was the car. He called me up and asked if I would be interested in flying out with him to pick up the car and drive it back. I jumped at the opportunity. I guess Kyle also wanted me to come along because I have a 1995 TT of the same color. It's good to be needed. We made it a cool trip, but not just because of the friends we met but because of what happened during the trip. Maybe the deer antlers and the coonskin cap in the picture above may give you a hint.
This is the first thing that we saw when we stepped foot into the warehouse. Kyle's TT.
This is my Gateway laptop with Street Atlas and a Delorme GPS receiver. This was an awesome piece of technology as we could punch in any address and it would tell us the turn by turn directions, our speed, and exactly where we were. How did we live without this.
The first night at Kyle's parents' house. The previous owner installed the front and rear rims on backwards and also had the directions reversed on the rims.
This is Kyle's parent's house in Oklahoma. His father designed the house himself and also built it by himself. How's that for being a handyman. All that you see was their land. If I had that kind of money and that kind of space, I think I would have a race track on my lot. =)
The Crescent Cafe where we had breakfast with Kyle's parents and brother and sister.
The drive from Oklahoma to Texas.
Cool sign. I guess there is no tolerance if you are driving too slow.
First stop on our second day, Courtesy Nissan. Z Mecca of the United States. Unfortunately, they were closed. It was Sunday, and from what we were told, there is a law in Texas that allows dealers to be open only 6 days a week. I guess Sunday is the day that they are closed.
We met up with some of the TT guys in Texas. What better place to go than Bone Daddy's.
Better than Hooter's, that's for sure.
Some of the cars that showed up.
Some of the guys who showed up, Damon, Nixit....
Damon was showing off his Cobalt Green TT. He just installed the Aquamist system and also the Racelogic Traction Control. He has all the toys.
A friend of Kyle's. Spot. This white Z31 Turbo is a show winner. As you can tell from these pictures, it is meticulously cared for by the owner. She has 5 different Z31s parked at home.
After a good nights sleep, the first thing we did on day 3 was to go across the street from our hotel to SGP Racing.
Pictures of SGP's service area. Look at all those spare parts, not to mention the one engine that shot a rod through the oil pan. Try to figure out which picture it was. If you couldn't find it, it's the fifth picture.
Pictures of Kyle's drag TT, complete with Ford rear end, and sequential automatic shifter. Check out the custom fabbed and welded rear end.
Pictures of his partner Fred's highly modified Cobalt Green TT.
Some customers' cars.
This black beauty belongs to a fellow Club Z member. Darryl, dropped off his 1996 TT for a complete work-up. The mods are fairly top secret, but if you want more information, please check out his rides page at Club Z.
Of course, Kyle and I got to ride in Darryl's car before he even had a chance to drive it. At this point, it is done and is just waiting for some final tuning and then it will be shipped back home to Darryl in a covered car carrier.
Once we were done with SGP, we found this interesting little auto museum off the freeway.
The Lawrence Marshall Auto Museum
Some of the cars on display and also for sale. Not only is this a museum, but this is also a showroom.
This has got to be worth money. This is a gold album from the Beatles that is also personally signed by the band members.
Interesting picture. Unfortunately, this proves to be a foreshadowing of things to come.
For the next day, we met up with Rich K of z32.org fame. He showed us his newly aquired Cherry Red Pearl TT.
Rich K's Z31 that was just sold.
Funky car. While we were stuck in traffic, this guy flicked a switch and the back trunk automatically opened to reveal the neon sign.
Later on that day, we met with Chris C aka Atti2de of TT.net fame. We chit chatted with him for a while and during this time, he and his wife spent a long time warning us about driving on the freeway at night and how the deer always wander onto the unlit freeway. We were in for a big, and ugly surprise tonight... Thanks Chris!!!! j/k
These are the signs that greet you alongside the freeway. Most drivers take these signs for granted...
While on the freeway, Kyle was driving in the fast lane of a two lane freeway, when we spotted a deer in our lane. Keep in mind that most deer, when they see headlights, freeze where they stand. This deer didn't follow convention. Once Kyle saw the deer, he swerved into the right lane. Almost like it was in slow motion, the deer looked directly at us and turned and bolted into the lane we swerved into. Kyle swerved to the far right and nailed the deer on the driver's side front. As you can tell from the damage below, we were really lucky. If we had nailed the deer head on in the center, we might not be here today. We immediately pulled over and backed up to see if we could find the deer. We couldn't so we figured it hobbled away. We headed to the next exit that had a gas station. From here we called the police and filed a report. Kyle's pristine and mint TT now looked like it was in a barroom brawl. Not very cool.
To add injury to insult, once we pulled into the gas station, what do we see? A sign, that seemed to poke fun at us.
The damage was pretty extensive. You can even see deer ticks dancing around the broken headlight assembly and also see bits of the deer's fur embedded into the hood. The sheriff who came by to fill out an accident report was trying his best not to laugh. After the accident, we immediately called Chris to tell him that he jinxed us, jokingly of course. We couldn't do anything but laugh. He did tell us though, if you see any more blood on the freeway, slow down because big rigs often run over deer and you just don't know where the carcasses are. We ran over three more "accidents" and decided to pull off the freeway and spend the night in a motel. It would be safer to drive in the daytime. =( With daybreak, we woke up and continued on into Arizona. By night fall, we made it to our last hotel before the trip home. Robert, president of the Arizona Desert Z Association, chatted with us for a bit before we hit the sack. After we woke up, we made the trip to Dave's house. He custom fabricates Fiberglass body panels for passenger cars and also race cars. He also custom fabricates many types of aluminum and steel parts, including, but not limited to engine parts and brake kits.
Daytime pictures of Kyle's car.
240Z fiberglass kit. Check out the custom built suspension on this bad boy. All of these cars in his lot were cars that they used to make the fiberglass molds of and to trial fit the kits onto.
Another fiberglass kit.
Porsche 911 fiberglass widebody kit.
Fiberglass Corvette rear end.
Other custom parts that Dave fabricates for a living.
Finally, pictures of the drive back home.
When we got home, we were definitely glad to make it back in one piece. It had to have been one of the most interesting and also sad trips that I ever had to take. I feel for Kyle because we both flew out to Arkansas to pick up this beautiful TT and had to drive it all the way back to California, only to have the accident with the deer. We did however meet some friends along the way. It was a pleasure to meet Damon and the Texas guys. To meet the ones who were responsible for running TT.net. To meet Rich K, Chris, and everyone else. They made the trip worthwhile. Of course, as of this writing, Kyle's car was completely repaired and also had a custom J-spec fascia installed in addition to other little goodies. Next time, let's fly out to look at the car and then have it transported back in a fully insured and covered car carrier.
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