Clearing the air:
Dispelling the myths I've heard.

Most personal automobile Websites like mine leave many questions unanswered. Much like a brief conversation with someone, you simply cannot convey every piece of information necessary to tell the whole story. Below is a good example:

A fellow car guy who is not familiar with these vehicles asks me about my car while passing by. Usually something to the effect of:

"Holy shit man, why is this thing so fast?" or
"Holy shit man, what have you done to this thing?" or
"Holy shit man what is this thing?" You get the idea.

I usually try to hit the high points, which I've listed below:
  • 1989 Mirage also known as a Dodge Colt GT.
  • Approx. 1500 made
  • Originally equipped with a 1.6 turbo engine
  • Swapped a 2.0 Turbo engine from a 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse
  • Added a free flowing exhaust, larger injectors, turbo and intercooler.
  • Voila. Runs 11s.
I also give them my Website so they can read more about it if interested and maybe have a laugh or two. The problem I've ran into is that some have felt the need to create fictional items for subjects that are not covered in my Website. I would like to dispell just a few of these myths below. Hopefully this will paint a clear picture of the car's purpose and what makes it fun.

"It's a drag car. It probably wouldn't go 10 miles without overheating or something"
That couldn't be further from the truth. This car is driven between 80 and 100 miles per day, every day. I simply take it to the drag strip for fun occasionally. It gets also 25-27mpg consistently and is a kitten to drive. The beast comes out when the boost guage starts swinging into the double digits. At the track I bolt on a set of small slicks, but this is strictly for my enjoyment. Some people try to go as fast as possible on drag radials at the track. I've tried this with inconsistent results. I'd rather roll into the track, bolt on my slicks, run consistent all day, bolt on the street tires and go home.

"You've got to have nitrous to be running times like that in a 4 cylinder."
Nope. Don't need it. Doing a little research on the strength and potential of the 4G63 Turbo engine will answer this question for me. There is absolutely nothing special about my combination. My entire setup is on the Website in fact.

"You must have spent some serious money trying to make that thing go fast"
Wrongo! I've spent very little money on this car! The engine is 100% bone stock and the bolt-ons I chose are all inexpensive. Currently I've got less than $6000 in the whole project including the price of the car. Not bad for a nice, solid economical and reliable car.

"That car is going to twist in half with that kind of power"
I'm surprised how much I've heard this one. The car does not have a roll cage or any other chassis stiffening mods and the car is fine. Every panel on the car is straight and the unibody shows absolutely no signs of stress after years of daily abuse. Don't get me wrong, any car, (especially a unibody) can benefit from a cage, strut tower braces and the like. I just haven't seen the need to do this.

"I bet you break trannies and axles all the time"
Actually the only thing I ever broke was a 5th gear/reverse shift fork. I guess I threw it into 5th a little too hard (I swear I wasn't racing anyone.) Other than that, the car has been extremely reliable and fun.

"The car may be fast, but it won't be on the road for long"
No kidding, this is the most reliable car I've ever had. I've been driving it for 5 years as it sits now without a hitch. That pretty much sums it up. I did not build this car to run a good ET or two then blow up two weeks later. This comes from datalogging, careful tuning and an eye on the details.

Summary
Any time one goes against the norm in life there will be a whole array of folks who will be happy to list the reasons why it is a bad idea or will never work. The truth is, most of these same people have never had any real world experience on what they are dispelling. They are pulling from a knowledge base that consists of hearsay and speculation, not factual information.

My point? Have an open mind when checking out other's handywork. Do not put them down for trying something different. Instead, applaud them for their results and learn a thing or two from them. More than likely that person will have equal respect for you and your ideas, no matter how off the wall, or completely middle of the road they may be.