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Very Early March, 2005 - The endeavor begins...

March has been an interesting month for me.  It's been one year since I left the management track at my current job and returned to the technical realm.  Reinvention is never easy and retraining myself in order to get back to being able to develop systems architectures has been quite a task.  The ol' brain just doesn't remember things as well as it use to.

Going through this transition, I found myself burning out again and losing interest in pretty much anything technical.  The constant traveling and being away from my family didn't help either.  My current employer also seems to do a good job at taking something that can be fun and challenging and turning it into a grind and making you a slave of it.  The constant reorg-ing, lack of clear leadership and direction within my business group doesn't help the situation either. 

So I decided to discuss my dilemma with a former co-worker who has since left our company a number of years ago and retired before his hair even turned grey.  He gave me some good advice.  He told me that I need to find something to "take me away from the drudgery of work.  Reinvigorate that passion in something that will drive you away from work and help you focus on things more fun, because life should be fun."  Pretty insightful for a guy who gets to play all day.

It took some time for me to figure out something that I could get into, but  I came to the conclusion that it would be kinda fun to restore an old car or buildup something(with the approval of my wife of course).  After about a couple of weeks I decided I wanted to build an old Celica.  Something from back n' the day and I wanted all the mods to match the era from which it came from.  Since I already owned one before though, I didn't want to build the same thing again(even though now I wish I never sold my 77' Celica coupe).  Finding a car that's over 30 years old and in half way decent condition is also a big challenge.  Old Celica's are pretty hard to come by.

What I've found is that 76'-77' liftback Celica's are a bit easier to come by and can still be found in somewhat good condition.  Cool deal.  Something old, something I still like and can still get parts for, and a growing community of enthusiasts interested in the same car.  Not quite the same cult following as the Datsun 510 or Z, but definitely gaining interest and momentum.

Currently I have the radar on two liftback Celica's and hoping to make a purchase in the next two weeks.  In the mean time though, I have been collecting and sorting parts that I plan on using on the car.  My intent is to document the entire project on this website.

March 19, 2005

Won an eBay bid for an early set of Tom's amber lenses for a Celica(RA22).  Unfortunately these won't fit the liftback but they're so hard to come by I had to buy them anyways.  Hey, maybe my next project will be an older Celica coupe.  Bought these off a guy in Australia actually.  Australia is a good place to get Celica parts for some reason.  I love the exchange rates too.  Way better than buying from Japan.

Sometime Mid March 2005

Went to the Toyota Owner's and Restorer's Club mtg in Torrance.  Bad move.  Saw a few old school Celica's and really got me going.  I HAVE to do this project.  Also decided that I want to get a set of smiley bumpers for the liftback that I have yet to buy.  Hooked up with some people from the club who are currently trying to locate a set for me.  Bummer is that they aren't exactly cheap.  I have a set budget of $10k that I'm going to spend on this project.  But that has to include the tools I need to get also.  Junk like a compressor, cherry picker, misc hand tools, etc.  It also has to include all the bodywork and paint AND the car itself.  Did I mention my wife is cool with all this?  Man, I need to take better care of her.  :-)  The deal is I get an old car, she gets a new kitchen next year.  Hmmm...  I don't think I negotiated that deal right.

Sometime early March 2005

The Hayashi Racing Command 700 rims would look pretty cool on the Celica but the ones I have are 13" x 7".  These look pretty cool on a coupe but I think they're a bit small for the liftback.  So I started looking for a set of 15" wheels.  I went through a lot of tuner mags, wheel websites, and eBay but couldn't find anything that fit the late 70's early 80's era at a reasonable price.  But then by sheer luck, someone on eBay listed a set of 15" Hayashi Racing 503 rims for a Toyota or Datsun(4 x 114 lugs)!!!  Man, the odds of this happening are like me winning the Lotto.  Surprisingly, I won the bid and got the rims for around 400 bucks.  Pretty killer deal being that anything old, JDM, and used can run up to a grand easily.  The guy was even local so I didn't have to pay shipping.  The rims badly need some cleanup and polishing but are complete, straight, and even have the centercaps with the Hayashi Racing logo.  Killer.

March 25, 2005

I really gotta sell my 95' Integra GSR coupe.  Not only is it taking up precious space in my garage, I need the cash to pay for my Celica project.  Here's the specs on the car.  If anyone's interested, send email to webmaster@shorelineracing.com.

95 Integra GSR cpe, Black w/ black leather interior
143K miles
Jackson Racing Supercharger
Jackson Racing Fuel Map Controller and Boost Timing Controller
Jackson Racing Fuel Pump and Regulator
Jackson Racing Under Pulley(smaller pulley for increased boost)
HKS Intake kit
HKS Super Dragger Exhaust
DC Sports 4-2-1 Header(cracked)
Exedy Clutch(less than 3k miles on it)
Mallory wires
New distributor
Neuspeed springs
Tokico Blue shocks
17" SSR GPO's w/ missing center caps
205 40 17 Yokohama Parada's
Ingalls front and rear Camber Adjusters
G-Tech timed the car at 13.7 in the 1/4 mile
 
Also have for the Integra:
Stock rims and tires(5 spoke alloys)
Stock exhaust and manifold, intake manifold, all stock pulleys
Brand new Greddy EVO II Stainless Steel exhaust(still in box)
Brand new AEM intake(blue powdercoat)
Brand new AEM Air Bypass Valve(still in box)
Brand new Short Throw Shifter
Brand new DC Sports 4-1 Header(still in box)
Brand new DC Sports JDM Type R 4-1 Header(not smog legal)

March 26, 2005 - Inventory, so what do I have so far?

A home remodel project at mother's house this past year gave me the unique opportunity to go through all that junk I left at her house when I moved out years ago.  Sorry about that Mom...  :-)

Rummaging through the junk, I was able to come up with two incomplete pairs of Mikuni 40mm and 44mm sidedrafts.  Whoa, now that's something you don't find nowadays.  Carburetors.  I also found some old Tom's amber lenses, various manuals, posters, calendars, and an assortment of Toyota nuts and bolts.  Hey, one can never have enough nuts and bolts.  I also came across some old 20r parts which I ended up getting rid of because at the time, I wasn't planning on rebuilding a car.  Lost opportunity on that one, shoot.

Some parts I actually have kept with me all these years.  This is one of those rare moments where I'm really happy I kept all that old junk, even though it takes up a whole heck of a lot of space in my garage.  Waiting for reincarnation are a complete set of 44mm Mikuni's, a brand new 20r Mikuni intake manifold and linkage kit, a set of 3" velocity stacks, a 20/22r Tilton aluminum flywheel, a brand new Isky 20r cam, a 4.3 limited slip rear-end, a new but slightly rusty 20r Doug Thorley chrome Tri-Y header, a new 13" leather wrap steering wheel, a set of 13" Hayashi Racing Command 700 rims, a full gasket kit for a 20r motor, and a brand new set of TRD 22r high-dome pistons.  Gee, all I need is the car!

April 5, 2005

Still haven't purchased a car yet.  But I still have a lock on two RA29 Liftbacks.  Just waiting for the owners to get back with me.

April 7, 2005

Bought a pair of clear cornering lenses for a RA29.  Lenses also came with the chrome lamp assembly.  Really good condition and a sweet deal at 30 bucks for the pair.

Found another pair of RA29 clear cornering lenses in my garage.  Quite dusty but after being cleaned up, they look new.  I don't think these were ever mounted actually.  I remember buying these like 20 years ago when I had my 77 Celica Coupe but never mounted them.

Glad I kept them.  I also sorted through my pile of Mikuni sidedraft parts.  In addition to the complete set of 44mm ones I'm going to use on my project Celica, I also think I have enough spare parts to build a second complete set of 44mm Mikuni's.  I have three old factory 18rg Mikuni carburetors that I'm cannibalizing from for parts.  Be great to find one more, cause I could probably build another pair of 40mm Mikuni's also.  These 44's are sitting on an 18rg manifold that I have.

Found two sets of RA29 tail lights.  Waiting to hear back from seller.

Also scored an electronic distributor, coil, and igniter assembly from a 1980 Celica.  Not bad for 30 bucks.  The igniter alone usually costs an arm and a leg.

A good contact in Australia has located a RA28 front smiley bumper.  It's a bit bent with a crease and needs to be rechromed.  Waiting to hear back from my body guy to see if it's repairable.

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