A Temporary Hiatus

Before you say it, this post is not a metaphor for pressing the stop button on the proverbial eight track player that is the GT6. This post is however, pressing pause.

Now, I assure you that this pause is only temporary, and for good reason. Not so long ago, one of my best friends very graciously asked me to be a groomsman at his wedding. I was honoured by this request and am both very happy, and excited to accept this humbling invitation. This invitation however, came with one very important caveat; my presence must be accompanied by my 1998 Toyota Celica GT-Four.

This request might seem a bit absurd, so perhaps some context will be helpful. Our group of friends has a passionate interest in cars, specifically the golden era 90’s Japanese sports cars. Our shared collection has grown to be quite impressive, including fan favourites like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Mazda RX7 and the Toyota Century.

The presence of these cars, much like the guests themselves, are an important asset to the wedding as they represent a lot of what brought the lot of us together in the first place. So many of us initially met because of our shared interest in cars, and the journey of each build captures so much of each of our lives shared together. With this in mind, its only fitting to have both ourselves, and our cars together to celebrate such a special event.

My GT-Four is in rough shape.

Is a not-so-distant future, I commuted from Cambridge to Woodbridge every day during the spring, summer and fall months in this Japanese legend. While I don’t regret this time spent behind the wheel, it did take a heavy toll on the vehicle. Paint chips, broken lenses, interior fatigue and mechanical wear are all constant reminders of a much more chaotic (and restless) time in my life.

While we could just pull up in what is currently the definition of Japanese shit box, I’d prefer to have the Celica in some sort of presentable form for the wedding. This takes time, money, and perhaps more than anything, patience.

Patience spawns further than just trying to prepare the Celica for the wedding, it also stomps on the brakes of the GT6 project. While everything good comes to those who wait, the GT6 must reluctantly be put in storage to make room for the GT-Four at Loose Screws. The pause is equally as much of a bummer as it is exciting.

Loose Screws has transformed into quite an inspiring place to work, as you’re constantly surrounded by passion and canvases of automotive art. These canvases vastly differ in form, ranging from Adam and Trevor’s awesome builds which surround my working space, to Adam’s beautiful artwork proudly displayed on our walls.

We’ve even had some fun displaying parts which have not made their way on to our vehicles yet.

My point is that I love spending time there, regardless of the project. The GT-Four is especially exciting as there is a much closer completion date in sight when compared to the GT6. This was the same reason why the CB360 was such a fun vehicle to work on, as getting to an acceptable road-worthy state was actually conceivable.

Now that the bike has been successfully received a safety and has felt the tarmac under its tires once more, it’s displayed with pride in our office area when not in use. I’m confident that the Triumph will yield the same disposition one day.

I’ve been working restlessly on my downtime to resurrect the GT-Four back to its once former glory. As I write this post, the car has received a slew of new or refurbished parts to help clean up the interior and exterior. These include a new license plate surround, backup camera, tail lights, interior panels, Recaro seats, speakers, dashboard, head unit, e-brake handle, reupholstered door cards and dash panels, wheels, front bumper, factory air purifier and a wiring cleanup.

I’m incredibly happy with the result.

I have a plethora of parts arriving from Japan within the new few months which should complete the list of OEM parts which require replacement. My goals for completion are ambitious, as I’m hoping to have the vehicle road / show ready by the end of the year. Really, it comes down to the amount of resources I’d like to allocate towards the hobby. Wanting to progress further in my personal life, it’s a toss up at this point.

Either way, I’m eager to tie a bow on this project so I can once again begin to dedicate some much needed love back onto the GT6. I have lots of plans for the car, including some fun developmental work that I cannot wait to play with. Until then….

Sean

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