944 CORNER – Never finished

Darren MG_5454By Darren deRoos, Provinz Assistant Editor (from Provinz January 2015 page 37)

I f you’ve read this column before you’ll know I’ve been building a supercharged 1984 944 over the past year or so. The last time I wrote about it in “The Final Push”, I was very close to finishing up my year-long journey.

I was days away from potentially firing it up for the first time with its new supercharger set-up. I had been working at a feverish pace to try and have it completed for the last UCR autocross or October DE event, but sadly I didn’t make it out to either. It wasn’t that the car wasn’t running; it just wasn’t finished, at least in my eyes anyway.

You’ll be happy to know the car fired up. I struggled early on with some of the tuning software as it had been sent to me without being optimized for my Turbo injectors, hotter MSD coil and 5 psi of forced induction. A few quick emails to my tuner, a quick download from my laptop to the DME Tuner and voila! It was alive!

The sound is intoxicating. If you’ve ever stood along the front straight at Mosport and heard a Roots superchargerequipped car go by, you’ll know the sound I am talking about. Part jet engine and part screaming banshee, there is nothing quite like the sound of a Roots blower at full song. What a rush!

I can’t help but stab the throttle every chance I get just to hear the scream of my little 2.5L 4-cylinder. Coupled with a four-into-one header, 2.5-inch mid-pipe and full Dansk cat-back exhaust, the sound my 944 makes finally matches the aggressive look of the exterior.

The power is a nice benefit too. I am really impressed with the torque the car makes now. It will easily spin the tires at low revs and it really pushes me back into my Sparco race seat. The throttle response is instant and it happily continues into the next gear. The tires strain to maintain traction, and in the wet forget about it; a disciplined throttle foot is required at all times. I haven’t put the car on a dyno yet, and we all know the street is no place for aggressive driving, so a full test of the power will have to wait until my first trip to the dyno or a nearby racetrack.

The crazy part is, after driving it for a couple of weeks, I realized that to me, the car is nowhere near finished. I’m not sure it will ever be. As an early birthday present to myself, I purchased a mid-rise scissor lift for my garage and after jacking up the car, the list of work I’d like to complete is a mile long.

I realized during these long sessions of me staring at my car, that I enjoy the thrill of coming up with new ideas and seeing those projects through more than anything. But don’t worry, you’ll see me and “Red Pepper”, as my 944 is now known, at more than a couple of DEs and UCR Autocross events.

Recently the car was showcased as Grassroots Motorsports “Internet Hot Rod of the Month” in their November issue. One of the editors had seen my build on the web and contacted me to send some pictures of the car for their magazine. I was very proud of this and it was nice to have my work recognised outside of my peer group. Hopefully one day I can do a full feature article in Provinz.

I’m hopeful and excited that 2015 will bring bigger and better things for me and “Red Pepper”. A smaller supercharger pulley for more power is planned, some aero in the form of a front splitter, a brake upgrade, wheel spacers, a roll cage, and about 50 other mods that are dancing around in my head at the moment.

Will I ever be finished? I hope not.

Happy Cornering!

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