Car Guy Stuff - Pilot Injection
Diesel project daydreams
Just like you, I confess to being a car guy. I love to rev engines, dump clutches, spin endless donuts, and artificially lower the life expectancy of perfectly good tires. My favorite class in high school was auto shop with Mr. Sprang, and growing up I had subscriptions to as many as 12 car magazines a month. I couldn’t help but to eat, breathe, and sleep car stuff. When I finally got my license to drive, my parents let me have their car—a practical ’87 Honda Accord LXi. Maybe not the stuff of car guy dreams, but a good, solid first car.
While my love of cars didn’t start with the Honda, my passion for modifying them did. I used to find myself at the parts counter on Saturday mornings hanging out and buying things I probably didn’t need. I figured out that if I brought donuts in for the weekend crew (when the boss wasn’t around) and built a relationship with them, they’d extend their 20-percent-off employee discount to me. In fact, it was that car that got me my first car guy job as a parts driver for Norm Reeve’s Honda in Huntington Beach, California.
Eventually, the Accord was treated to new wheels and tires, tinted windows, a nice stereo, and upgraded suspension. Since then, every vehicle, car, truck, and motorcycle I have owned has been modified to my liking. Growing up in a non-car-guy household, I am not so sure my parents understood the passion and energy I put into all things cars. In fact, my mom once famously asked me why I couldn’t just leave a car alone for a change. I am not sure I had an answer for her at the time, but knowing myself today, the simple reason is that if I left it alone, it wouldn’t be mine.
To me—and every other car guy I know—what you drive is an embodiment of who you are as a person, your self-perceived status in life, and an expression of your personal style. In short, a car is an extension of your very self, and it is your ultimate credential as an automotive enthusiast. Whether it is diesel or gas, motorcycle or truck, import or domestic, clean or ratted out, I can appreciate the work and love a car guy has put into his ride.
Being at Diesel Power for a while now and having a couple of issues of Diesel Swaps under my belt, I have been contemplating my next project. This obsession with figuring out what to build wasn’t helped when at SEMA, I was bouncing ideas off longtime Diesel Power supporter Gale Banks. He was excited to show me his company’s new VM Motori–based 630T 3.0L V-6, backed by a state-of-the-art six-speed automatic. With a relatively light weight and an output in excess of 265 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque in street trim, I couldn’t help but think this would be the perfect engine to swap into something deserving.
Currently, the object of my diesel daydreaming is a late-’60s Ford F-150 regular cab, shortbed. Envision building a truck like that, low and mean, with a clean, modern diesel powertrain, and almost 30 mpg. Not only would that be a great daily driver setup, but one that could deliver a ton of fun with the turbo spooled up. I imagine popping the hood for people who wonder why the gas engine is making all those strange noises and answering lots of questions.
Maybe one of these days, I’ll find the perfect donor truck and you’ll see that very project come alive within the pages of Diesel Power. I think it would be the type of project that would inspire conversation and could be appreciated by anyone with a passion for the motorized. You know, a car guy.