The whole crazy Volvo swap idea went out the window when I caught this on Craigslist:
1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16
I've always wanted to turn one of these into a track car, and luckily I found one that needs love but is in good running condition (for being 26 years old and having over 200k miles on it). Engine idles a little rough, but drives smoothly. Clutch and gearbox seem OK, as does the rear diff (factory LSD!). Previous owner works at a garage and owned this as his project after buying it from a friend (who had it sitting out for a few years growing moss...). His friend also had it resprayed white, but the paint job was done cheaply and is now flaking off. The interior is all there, just not all installed (there's a stack of carpet in the trunk, for example).
The Short List, fixing the existing gremlins:
- Replace valve cover gasket
- Replace air blower motor
- Clean window switches
- Check window motors and regulators
- Replace seeping rear SLS shocks with Bilstein Sports (to match the front)
For long-term plans I'm trying to pick between an Evo I and Evo II body kit, whether to go all-motor or turbocharged, and then what color to paint the car. Both bodies were used on DTM cars and I love how ridiculous the Evo II setup looks...