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Simplification, renovation, and updates: the Green Beast

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My emerald green 1993 Stealth TT, built by Bob Melton, then owned by Adam Wild, is a daily driver as well as occasional racer, grocery getter, and hauler of stuff.

I first saw it at the 2006 National Gathering in Michigan, where I watched Bob run a 12.43 then turn in a couple more runs in the mid-12's. It wasn't the most lovely car out there, with the worst stone chips I have ever seen on a running vehicle...looked like a gravel truck had exploded in front of it. But it was shiny and clean, was obviously well cared for, and just had that indefinable "personality". It took third place in the AWD Stock MAS category, against some tough competition.

When it came up for sale, in late 2007, I bought it. I flew one way out to Grand Rapids, Michigan, bought it from Adam, and drove it home to Maryland. Making a few stops along the way for amusement and adventure, I got to know my new toy and her quirks. The worst city roads under construction I ever encountered were in Cleveland, Ohio, on the way to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I learned exactly how much clearance the KYB's and Ground Control coliovers had. A meandering cruise through western Pennsylvania and southward, allowed me to get used to the handling and try out the brakes. It would definitely be getting some Stillen pads and stainless steel brake lines, first project, after getting it ready for the notoriously stringent Maryland inspection.

The eurospec 13g's had plenty of pull, and I didn't notice any turbo lag whatsoever. I averaged 28 mpg on the open roads, on the trip back, being reasonably steady with the throttle and keeping the windows wound up. Since it was the first week of January, that wasn't a problem, and the heater in every Stealth I've owned has been great.

The trip home was about 775 miles, but I put about a thousand miles on it by the time I finally got home, between the side trips through southwestern Pennsylvania, Cleveland, and so on. But before I even pulled into my driveway, I stopped at the car wash up the street for a much needed wash and a quick wipedown of the windows.

Then I parked it behind my house, and began outlining my plans for the next phase of this car's life, and the direction I felt most appropriate for its place in my life. Since I tend to keep my cars a long, long time, this needed to reflect not just immediate needs, but to address long term reliability as well as bringing the various components up to date.

The cosmetic issues, the constellation of stone gouges and fading paint on the rear hatch, would have to be secondary to the more utilitarian concerns, at least for now. Fortunately, it needed very little in the way of pressing mechanical attention, but I knew I'd need to sort out the aging wiring and splices, preferably before any real problems occurred.

A trip to the dyno proved it was putting out close to 400hp to the wheels, with just a second gear pull on pump gas. With the S-AFC, Blitz D-SBC, meth injection, an FMIC and other supporting mods, I believe it will easily make 400awhp with a professional tune.

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