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The Z Transformation pt 5 – Race Ready

By April 1, 2011April 10th, 2011Neil, Racing

passenger side clean

If you’re new to my posts on the Z’s transformation, check out the lead-up here, here, here, and here.

After scores of weekends prepping the Z and even having to take a day off work to get it done in time, it was finally time to send it off to the cage builder. With help from a friend, we loaded it into a trailer and took it to St. Louis. The moment I dropped it off, time seemed to stop, and the weeks crawled as I received scary pictures of the messy process involved in welding huge steel pieces into what was once my meticulously clean baby.


Wait, where is the…

Here comes the cage…

Finished! So what now? Well, there are still a few things left to do. I still have to paint the rest of the cage and the floor, as well as create some brackets for the door handles and switches. Since the car has changed so much now, it will take time to adjust to the new set-up, which will require plenty of  track time. Life has been busy in the Kohler house this year. Freelance business is booming, grad school is being finished, and we are hoping to relocate — all while trying to still have plenty of fun and live life. With all of this, I am not sure how much track time I will get this year, if any. However, my goal is to get the car out a bit at least, and have 2012 be the goal year for getting the car back on the track.

Like any car project, it will probably be forever evolving. The amount of projects and upgrades I would love to do to the car, in addition to all the tracks that I haven’t been on will keep goals on the horizon for many years to come.

This project though was definitely a dream come true for me. I have wanted my own race car since I was a little kid pushing around my little car “knight rider,” and now I have the opportunity to take my hobby to that level. I could not have done it without support from my lovely wife Jessica who puts up with all my silly (read: expensive) hobbies and OCD obsessions. I am truly lucky.

Scott Rhea at Izzy’s Custom Cages did a great job. I will let the pictures do the talking.











The weather is finally warming up, and the days are getting longer, offering perfect opportunities for  more work on the car, and the events that I look forward to all winter. Stay tuned for updates and posts through the spring and summer! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my hobby!