So I took my old 95 Acclaim from this:
Into this over the course of 3 years while daily driving it:
It went through numerous stages on the way to completion.
I first did some rust repair and gave it a quick repaint, not intending to keep it:
It ended up like this, at which it was mostly stock with just an intake and exhaust, custom paint, and Neon wheels.
Doing the intake and exhaust opened up a tremendous amount of top end (probably not tremendous, but extremely noticeable), so that made me start researching.
That’s when things got crazy. I started modifying the engine heavily, which led to blowing up a transmission at 167k. I had the trans built by a local shop, with a high stall converter, extra clutches (heavy duty), and a reworked valve body. With this work done, the car went like crazy. It would break the tires loose on every shift.
I drove it in that form until I got sick of breaking axles (from the high stall/hard shifts) and was searching for more power again. That led to me researching a manual swap. So I found a Shadow donor car and set to work.
I pulled the engine out of the Shadow, put it on a stand, and tore it to the bare block. Rebuilt it using Diamante 10:1 Pistons, heavily ported/polished heads with reground Diamante cams, ported/polished/port matched intake manifold, plenum spacers, heavily ported/polished intake plenum, TB spacer, ported/polished 52mm throttle body, old style caravan fuel rail, ported exhaust manifolds, Fidanza flywheel, and stuff I’m sure I’m forgetting.
I then tore into the A543 5-speed trans. I replaced the gearset with an A568 gearset and used the A568 differential to create a bulletproof trans. I mated them together using a Spec Stage-3 6-puck clutch.
I then installed everything in the car and began doing body work again, as I decided the metallic red was no longer cutting it. I gathered Spirit RT gfx, a Lebaron slat grille, and Clear corner and bumper lights. I also decided to build my own cowl hood for it:
I drove it around like this for a couple months while working 70+hrs a week. Over those couple months I also completely rebuilt the suspension, adding KYB struts, Koni shocks, shorter springs, bigger sway bars, a modified Neon strut bar, and a new track bar. Finally caught a break and finished it:
Added a set of wheels and turned it into the product you saw at the top. I ended up selling her when things got tight a while back. I wish I still had it, that’s why I’m building another. ;)