OBSESSIVE 2001 Pontiac Sunfire
I guess I'll start off by answering the question that is on most people's minds. Why a Sunfire? To which I will answer with "why not". My wife needed a car, we shopped around. looked at what was in her price range and we just liked the sunfire more. We didn't care what was most popular or what people would say because it wasn't an import. We just liked the car, it was her first new car. Bought it off the lot in February 14 of 2001. As we sat in the dealership doing paperwork we watched the crash that cost Dale Earnhardt's life. I'm not a big nascar fan but that has stuck with me for some reason. We had worked over 6 different dealers getting them to battle each other to get the lowest price until they wouldn't budge anymore and she drove it home that Sunday. I think it may have lasted a week before I started tearing into it. pulling the door moulding and badges off the car. Pulling the door panels off the car to start sanding and painting the interior. At the time I was heavily involved with car audio and the originol plan was just modify it a little bit so it would look good at car audio competitions.
The interior was what I started on first because I felt comfortable pulling interior panels and making those types of changes. The first go around the interior was blue. after a year or two of that and getting frustrated that I could never get all the diffrent blues to match I went with silver and black. eventulally leading to what you see above. with a hand fiberglassed dash. suede interior and a decent audio system. one built for sound quality over spl.
Exerior wise thing were kept simple for the longest time. more so for the lack of funds. This sport isn't cheap and I didnt want to go into debt building a car, so we just used extra money and worked on it as we could. We started competing in shows and started getting trophies. The suspention went thru several changes from simple springs, to spring and struts, to coilovers then finally to an airbag setup. The engine stayed stock for the longest time until I eventually pulled out the small 2200 motor for the larger 2.2 ecotec motor and boosting it. eventually the body got shaved and the realistic flames were added which draws attention no matter where it goes.
We competed heavily with it, at points going to 20 or more shows in a years time. The origonal car has around 120,000 miles on it. we have driven it to almost every show, it has only seen the trailer a couple of times. We have been to Michigan, Kentucky, Tenessee, Illonois, Ohio, Missouri and im sure a few other states competing. We have met so many great people because of this car and I have learned so much with this build. everything done to this car was done by myself except for the shaving and paintwork on the body. and some uhpolstery work on the interior, but the audio,engine,suspention,interior are all things I learned and put to use what I learned building this. Right now it mostly sits in the garage, it still gets taken out to a few shows a year.
It needs a little TLC but I have been so busy with raising a family and trying to run my own photography business that I just don't have the time or desire to work on it. I have put it up for sale a few times but not a huge market for people who want sunfires, even ones that can win best of show awards, so It will likely remain in our posession for a long time. Its been definately worth it though.
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See you at the track.