One of the philosophies (er, crazy ideas?) of Chump racing is that all the cars are to run with whatever stock, used parts are on the car. And if something breaks, it gets replaced with similar old, used, dirty parts…
So in the best interest of following this rule (after all, we don’t want any penalty laps) and knowing that some spare parts were going to be necessary (like those RR dampers and mounts, other suspension bits) I went searching for a suitable lot of spare parts. And since these cars in semi-drivable condition are so inexpensive, the best way to do this was to simply get a whole other car.
What I picked up was an 1997 325 IS, automatic. Being the same year and another 2-door, (even the same base color), the ‘is’ has almost the same wiring, same basically everything else expect for the engine (the i cars had a chunk more power than the e). A bit pricier at $500, but some good usable parts for us, and other parts to sell and fund the project.
The bad - it doesn’t like to run past idle (I’m expecting an issue with the automatic trans), it has some rust (like the large rust hole in the passenger footwell area) and one gawd awful paint job.
The good - That awful pain scheme would actually be good for Chump… There is usable suspension bits and other usable spares. There are even a few good tires on it (along with 2 very odd and large tires…) And we will most likely take the engine out of this car, along with the entire rear sub-frame (”i” cars also have a better gear ratio) and convert the ‘es’ to an ‘is’.
Or maybe we will just put the manual trans from the es car into this one… I guess it all depends on which one has a more robust chassis. Both have rust. We will find out soon-ish. Either way, Schaut Speed Racing will be fielding a ‘87 325 IS.
And so now we have 2, practically twins. Such a pair. Evokes memories of famous female duos. And considering the past and original intentions of these cars, along with what future plans Schaut Speed Racing has in store for these two, it seems to me that “Thelma and Louise” is the best fit.
So, without further ado, let me introduce:
Thelma is the ‘driver’ es, the better looking of the 2 and destined to grow for the bubbly/fun but standard housewife(’s car) into a spirited troublemaker.
Louise is the ‘donor’ “is”; complete with the unknown, troubled past, but with a good heart and potential (especially to help Thelma come out of her skin).
Time will tell which one will be chosen to become the SSM steed, tearing up the tracks. But do not dispair, since the 2 will eventually become 1, both Thelma and Louise will carry on in spirit and heart.