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Project 2002: Mission improbable

The problem with working to a rigid deadline is that everything compresses into a very small timeframe as it looms, and the risk is that the quality may suffer. Even worse, it makes overshooting the deadline a real possibility and you end up with both a bad job and a late job. We’re determined to maintain quality, and to do so we have more or less resigned ourselves to the fact that Project 2002 won’t be ready on July 9...

What we do hope to do however is at least have it in the driveway, looking complete, even if it isn’t driveable. So the heat is on and at the time of writing our car was at Zwartkops based APMachining, where the critical work of fabricating engine and gearbox mountings and modifying the crossmember to accept a Citigolf steering rack will take place. APM is owned by Martin ‘Spyker’ Venter, an experienced machinist and fabricator with a motorsport background and he will also make up mounting hardware for the front brakes – using the work completed recently on my green 2002 as the template.

With its Ferodo DS disc/pad upgrade and E30 calipers, it now stops like a demon and Project 2002 car will have the advantage of ABS and rear discs. The key to success is going to be having all our ducks in a row when the car returns to Evolution 2; so we’re chasing Supreme Springs for the 19 mm anti-roll bar they’ve made, keeping pressure on Bilstein to source a missing rear spring, and have given retail partner Autobarn a list of parts that we need. Q ‘n’ A Gearbox in Strydom Park have got their feelers out for a slightly lower (numerically) differential and we reckon that should improve the car tremendously in terms of refinement without sacrificing much in the way of acceleration thanks to our torquey, fuel-injected M44 multivalve...

And after years of removing heavy insulating material from various racing saloons, it has been strange to be putting it back in, and our doors, rear side compartments and rear bulkhead are now fully-lined with stick-on rubber matting from Pro Auto Rubber. This will maximise the impact of our Rockford Fosgate sound system – a brand aficionados consider more desirable than Megan Fox.

Once done at Evolution 2, the car will need to go to Cellsound, then RGMotorsport for its exhaust and engine management then back to Cornights for painting of the wheels, fitment of boot and bonnet and a final polish before Bandit do the pin-striping and partner branding – by July 9. As I said, right now it is Mission Improbable. But as the Dad of the Lad in question, I need to make sure we give it a full go, and if nothing else ensure that on the day James Burford turns 18 there’s a car in the driveway looks something like our vision from a year ago.