Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Parker Colorado, USA, directly above the center of the earth
Some additional thoughts.
Some people have a totally different feeling about driving a Solstice as a V8 vrs a straight 4. It has to do with the totality of the experience. It has a different feel which initially is very different from the stock car that you loved before the conversion. The throttle response is totally different in my experience. If like my car the exhaust is designed to be loud, the sound and gut feeing of the car is totally different. It felt to me somewhat dangerous and less forgiving. It took me a long time to become comfortable with the feel and power of the car. Once I got used to it, driving a stock car now feels strange and is less enjoyable but it took a while to become readjusted.
In my case and I believe in at least a few others, the arrival home from the conversion process is the beginning of the rest of the modification process. I ended up modifying the cooling system, the tune, the tires, the brake pads and in the end pulled out the entire interior and laid down thermal / sound insulating blanket. All to make the car more user friendly and functional.
Once you have the car home you need to deal with the fact that you have a lot of money invested in what is basically a 7-8 year old used car. Every time I took my car out of the safe zone of the garage I had a sense of dread about what a dangerous world it is out there. Even if you don't get hit by some moron on the road, there are hail storms, parking lot dings, flying debris on the road etc. When you are in a $15000 car that has grown used gracefully its one thing. When you are in a $50000 car that has had a lot of love invested into it, its a totally different experience. I ended up shopping for agreed value insurance and currently carry replacement cost for the car but prior to that I was basically self insured.
In my case, the car must pass emission tests every two years. Initially that was a serious challenge. Once we got the tune sorted, it has been easy but its another concern.
Now that I am several years into living with the converted car, I am very happy with it and greatly enjoy driving it and showing it off at car shows and other events.
As long as you enter the process with a full understanding you can make good decisions.