Motorvation

Hondas

Hondas
Motorvation: with Simon Coulson | Words: Dan Haines We’re off to the land of the rising sun this month with some retro Hondas: a cool coupe and a not-so-cool hatchback with a traditional twist. Civic There are still a few late Nineties Civic (EK) hatches out there, but perhaps finding one that hasn’t been boy-racered is a slightly harder task. We’ve got our own modifying plans and they don’t include bodykits, bean-can exhausts and wheels that stick out of the arches… this one is taking its influences from a much earlier time. That means lime green scallops over a satin black base, matching steel wheels with trim rings and baby moon hubcaps, narrow band whitewalls and a hefty slam achieved with the help of air bag suspension. Inside, we’ve got a full retrim – including a custom bench seat – in green vinyl. It’s so ...

Chryslers

Chryslers
with Simon Coulson Finally, a bit of Mopar muscle in Motorvation! Errr… not quite. Typically, we’re ignoring the obvious and choosing unlikely candidates for our ideas. Here are two Chryslers you probably wouldn’t have put on the top of your cool list. Voyager We’ve opted for the later Voyager here, for no other reason than we liked it a bit more than the earlier rounded model. It’s been treated to a full respray and the addition of some super-retro wood paneling. Next up, our attention is turned to the suspension, where we’ve fitted an airbag system. Inside, you might opt for a retrim in some older-style fabric, but the stock interior would suffice, especially if it’s a stow’n’go model. Car shows, holidays, trips to the dump, school runs and eBay collection missions have ...

Jaguars

Jaguars
with Simon Coulson Who doesn’t love a big cat? Old ones can be a risky purchase, but if you find a good one you can get an awful lot of car for your money. As tempted as we were to bring you lead-sled XJs or cafe-racer XK120s, we’ve opted for a couple of seldom customised, but easily accessible examples of the marque. XJS I’ll be honest, I’ve never really been a fan of the XJS – it’s no E-Type, that’s for sure. But, as you can see, a few tweaks can turn it from a slightly naff antique dealer’s weekend cruiser into a muscular pro-touring inspired street machine. First to go are those clunky bumpers, replaced by some smooth panels and accentuated by a snazzy chin spoiler. Paint is pearl white with a ...

Rovers

Rovers
Best of British? That’s a matter of opinion, I guess, but the bank manager’s favourite is still ripe for the Street Machine treatment. with Simon Coulson P6 Two-door stretches aren’t for the faint-hearted, but when it transforms a staid saloon in to a gloriously proportioned coupe, it might just all be worth it. There’s been quite a bit of smoothing, but still enough chrome to keep a Sixties vibe. Paint is a custom silver-blue mix to accentuate the lines, whilst the interior is custom again, in red vinyl, no less. What’s under that aluminium bonnet? This is where the flat-cappers might get a bit upset… how about a lovely BMW diesel? Get the engine and ‘box out of a 3-series and Rover-ise it with dress-up bits from a 75. Cheeky. Rover 800 Go on then, ...

Fiats

Fiats
with Simon Coulson Welcome back to Motorvation, where the unloved, overlooked or just plain boring cars get to feel a bit special. This month we’re pretending rust isn’t an issue and pointing our virtual pens at some old Fiats. X1/9 Awkwardly named, but with a crispness to the design that only an Italian could manage, the X1/9 is still surprisingly cheap for something so pretty. Sure, it could do with a bit more power – but that’s what we’re here for. Initial thoughts of a V8 (it has been done, I checked!) were thrown out, as it would mess with the legendary balanced handling, but a touch of research (yes, I Googled it) led to a company in the ‘States that supplies a fitting kit to slot in a Honda VTEC motor… that’ll ...

Skodas

Skodas
with Simon Coulson There was a time when the humble Skoda was the butt of all automotive jokes: Skoda drivers were labelled as miserly or just plain weird. Skodas were not cool. It was back in these dark days that Street Machine bucked the trend and put together the infamous Project Bottle Rocket, which divided opinion somewhat at the time. Some loved it (me included… especially as I was running slammed Skodas at the time, too), but plenty of readers struggled get their head around the concept of making something so uncool into something worthy. Times have changed a bit now though… modern Skodas are mostly badge-engineered Volkswagens with a reputation for quality, and, thanks to feature cars like Łukasz Sochacki‘s Rapid, Skodas are now considered a retro winner! Here’s our ...

Volvos!

Volvos!
Simon Coulson has been at it again. This month, it’s the retro Swedish tin that gets the treatment from his illustrative angle-grinder. 245: ‘Boxy but Good’ was the fictional advertising tagline from the film Crazy People – and I think it applies here too. We’ve done the ol’ two-door stretch on this wagon…although we do recognise it’s significantly easier to perform the task in an illustration than it is in the metal! You might be able to find a set of rare 242 doors and save some effort, but I fear it’ll be a weld ‘em up job instead. With that bit out of the way, don’t pack the metalworking gear away just yet, because those arches need a bit of work to cover those big steels. In the engine bay we’ve kept it ...

Too Many Doors?

Too Many Doors?
This month, Simon Coulson is throwing away our prejudices and embracing the more-doors. You can keep your coupes; we’ve got rear doors and we’re not afraid to use them! ’32 Ford There’s something about the Fordors that makes them seem more vintage and – dare I say it – a bit more ‘gangster’. We’ve taken a resto-rod route here, and I’m sure there’d be a few members of the general public who would think this was just a nicely restored old car… Not you lot though, eh? You’ve spotted the ultra low stance and oversize wheels, haven’t you? Those wheels are actually 17s on the front and 18s out back, with low(ish) profile rubber, custom painted for the whitewall look. Under the bonnet, the modernised theme could continue – I reckon a ...

Citroens

Citroens
Motorvation With a few notable exceptions, the word ‘Citroën’ is rarely heard in Street machine circles. Simon Coulson has grabbed two of the eccentric manufacturer’s offerings and applied some tried and tested techniques… 2CV Yes, it’s a Cal Looked Deux Chevaux – why should only the German people’s car get all the fun? You won’t be carrying (unbroken) eggs across fields in this one, but you’ll look exceptionally cool, and that’s what counts. Body mods are kept to a minimum here, although we have given this later-model example a touch of the early cars by paneling over the rearmost side windows, before painting the whole lot in classic VW Dove Blue.  2CV suspension is actually pretty easy to lower (if it’s not seized!), but you won’t get it as low as our picture ...

Roadsters

Roadsters
How many times do we hear that the arrival of a young family stopped the hot-rodding fun? Simon Coulson finds two ways you can keep the fun going, despite those pesky kids! Renault Espace This is our family-friendly budget build. For the price of a second-hand Galaxy you could be rollin’ something slightly more interesting. We’ve started with a Nineties vintage Espace II, which, despite its age, should be laden with all sorts of useful luxuries to keep you and the little ‘uns happy. Engine options range from a frugal diesel to a 24v 2.9 V6, so there’s something for everyone. The body has been mildly massaged for a smoother look and then painted in Stealth Grey with a graphic flourish on its flanks. Wheels are 17 inch items off a later ...

Austintatious

Austintatious
This month, some classic British tin is getting the Motorvation treatment from Simon Coulson. We can rebuild them… we have the technology… Austin 1800 This 1800 ‘Landcrab’ has had a hefty whack with the kustom stick. A two door stretch, chop, slanted pillars and smaller rear glass transform the shape enough to make the car almost unrecognisable. Upright rear lights, in place of the canted originals, create a finned look, accentuated by fender skirts and that extended rear bumper. Getting the old girl nearer to the floor probably involves hydrolastic wizardry that almost no-one understands, but I’m sure the answer’s out there somewhere. Motivation-wise things can stay just as the engineers intended – yes, that does mean it’s FWD! All that’s left is that ‘flaked metallic green paint job and matching window ...

Wagons!

Wagons!
Practical and stylish… you can’t go wrong with a longroof, especially if you’re giving it the Street Machine treatment! Simon Coulson provides a couple of ideas, one traditional and one proving that you can make something cool out of almost anything.    Triumph Herald Estate The Herald has always been a bit of an outlier on the custom scene, but there’s still plenty about, even if the wagons are a tad thin on the ground, and there’s more than a few specialists supplying the bits to keep it running.This one has been treated to some coil-overs and a negative camber rear spring, pushing those wheels – banded rears and Triumph 1300 FWD items up front for extra tuck – right up into the arches. Slap on a set of whitewalls and slosh a lovely ...