Compromise is at the forefront of performance and personal relationships. I say this because the two have recently threatened to converge in my life. For performance, this compromise is best illustrated in the trade-off of response vs. the full-boost output of a big turbo. On the personal side, compromises usually have to do with economics or basic logic.
In this instance, it all comes down to how many cars are enough and where you park them. I want to build a Datsun roadster with SR20DET power but I've decided to drive my 1991 SE-R instead.
I also want a Skyline GT-R...who doesn't? Cost is an issue; being a Japan-only car could make minor problems major. Also, insurance is tricky-more compromises. The Supra. Been wanting one for a long time, but was $8,000 short, so I got a cherry GN. It's nice; less of compromise than one might think.
Now the personal side. My wife Katherine tells me she wants a pickup-an old pickup. We had a '61 Ranchero, but needed something more family friendly (e.g. an SUV). We vowed to get an old-school truck and apparently the time has come. Getting spousal approval to tinker with things automotive is a big step for me. I had a basic understanding of what would and could be done to this imaginary vehicle (a '48 to '52 Chevy 1/2-ton) and within 24 hours I had a streamlined plan.
I checked out all the chassis companies, looking into IFS suspension conversions, rolling chassis possibilities, rear set-ups, air bag suspensions, etc. I found cool gauges that had the period style dials but modern workings, pre-fabbed door panels, disc brake conversions. I was on fire and ready for action. I was born the same year Richard Petty won his first Daytona 500 (you figure out that one) and I've never owned a V8. My first car was a 1967 Camaro (250 cid inline six), then a 1977 Firebird (238 cid V6), then a 1982 Maxima (L28 inline six), then my 1991 SE-R, then a T-Type and now my Grand National. This would be my avenue to the rumpity rump of V8 power.
In my research, I was inundated with carburetor-topped small blocks. This was most depressing because I know d--- about carbs. Where's the fuel injection? I was thinking of an LT1 or even a fuel-injected Vortec truck engine. Then I thought, what about a Grand National engine? It's injected and turbo'd. I want 400 to 500 wheel hp; I'm weird that way.
I realized it would have to be a built engine and if I were going to go to that much trouble, it would be for my GN. Also, these street rod truck guys are style conscious and Turbo 6s don't dress up as nice as a V8. The convergence was complete when I asked myself, "what engine will make 400-500 with ease and look dope doing it?"
The answer: My wife gets her pickup and I get my Supra. A 2JZ-GTE will make 600 whp on stock internals, so my still very imaginary truck would be "detuned" at 400-500. Talk about a can of whoop-ass. The V8 old truck guys will cringe at the sight of a rice burner in that coveted classic Chevy shell. That's cool.
I hope the Supra guys would see the spirit of the project and be cool with it. Ahhhh, I feel better, my blood pressure has stabilized. Till next month, remember: Thinking outside the box every once in a while is good for the soul.