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Vorshlag on Fast-n-Loud??

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  • Vorshlag on Fast-n-Loud??


    So until Monday we're still on a limited "gag order", so what I can share now is somewhat limited for a few more days. The 2nd part of the build episode for Aaron's E36 M3 challenge car is on this Monday, 3/6/2017, at 8 pm CST. Check it out!

    This Fast-n-Loud shoot deal happened pretty fast. Aaron turned in his notice to Gas Monkey right as they had kicked off a "build off" between Fast-n-Loud and Street Outlaws. They proposed a 2nd build-off for Aaron vs Farm Truck + AZN from the same show, and he jumped at it - and immediately called me at Vorshlag. This was about mid-January of this year.

    As Jason said, we know AK from Pikes Peak, local Cars & Coffee events, Optima events, etc. He's a super nice guy, not an egomaniac like some TV stars, and an accomplished racer and builder outside of the TV show stuff.

    So he told me about the shootout, what events they had planned (2 of the 5 events are all we knew about: autocross and drag race). We had talked before about our winning build for the $2011 GRM Challenge, and I told him what I thought would make the most sense for the Discovery shootout: E36 LS1. He already knew what I was gonna say, heh.

    An in-house E36 LSx build we are doing for a customer, which was filmed extensively for the show - but never shown

    On Friday night he needed to find a car and round up the swap parts immediately, so I told him to call me back in 5 minutes. I found him a cheap E36 M3 rolling chassis and rounded up a swap kit with headers from the car above in our shop. They filmed at our shop Monday morning, so we thrashed all weekend making the shop as clean as possible.

    We had to thrash over 24 hours to finish the dual 3" into 4" exhaust for our customer's E36 LS1, then yank the headers to give to Aaron

    He did get $15,000 from Discovery Channel for the build, but he and the Street Outlaw guys had an understanding that their builds might cost more - obviously labor was not counted, which can amount to a lot. They all have a bit of pull with some vendors and can often get free sponsored tires, wheels and the like. And they both had some "cool parts laying around" that... well.... people at that level tend to have. Like engines, transmissions, etc. No, you cannot build a fast, clean, and good handling E36 LS1 for $15,000 all in!

    But at Vorshlag "We sponsor nobody". He paid real money for the car, our LS1 swap kit parts, and a rushed built set of MCS TT1 coilovers and "Vorshlag stuff" to go with it. He even bought four E46 M3 fenders from us to make the flares to clear 315mm tires. So yea, a big chunk of that "$15,000" was spent here at my shop. Realistically its about $25-30K worth of car and parts, plus lots of labor. And he could lose it all if he doesn't win 3 outta 5 events... but so could Farm Truck and AZN. Neither team wants to lose their investment, or the $15K from Discovery. The challenge is real.

    Aaron already had an LS engine laying around (who doesn't, hehe), some mystery T56 from another project (nobody knows what that bastard "T56" trans really was, but it was weird and caused some "problems"), and he had to compromise on a few items that he could get sponsored and/or built to order super fast, like the wheels & tires.

    We BEGGED him to use Hoosier A7s (see a 315mm Hoosier sitting next to me in the image above - we talked a lot about tires on camera, which you will likely never see), as they are DOT legal and that's the minimum that the two teams agreed to, but the budget just wasn't there so he had to "get what he could get". The timeline was also pretty brutal... he had to build the car in 3.5 weeks (not the 6 weeks said on the show), including custom bodywork and paint (it is a TV show, after all), which is nuts. This is a 6+ month build at most shops, working normal 40 hour weeks. And he built all of it in his home garage, mostly by himself! He bought almost everything we make for the swap, to save time, and we had to rob the headers off a customer's car (who approved) to meet the crazy timeline.

    So yea, the $15K car + parts budget isn't 100% real, but if he loses the 3 outta 5 shootout he loses the car, all the labor, and his engine/trans. So the risk is very real.

    There was 6 hours of TV footage shot at Vorshlag, but we got 3 minutes of air time. Which is to be expected, and I'm happy with how it turned out, in any case.

    We will talk more about the results after the 2nd part of the 2 part buildoff episode airs, 3/6/2017.

    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev

  • #2
    Re: Vorshlag on Fast-n-Loud??

    A couple of weeks ago we recorded a few "Street Outlaws" shows to see the Farm Truck/AZN team's build for the shootout scheduled to happen with Aaron. They started building a G-body Malibu but that went sideways in a hurry and they "punted", buying an old 2nd Gen Firebird race car and slapping some tires on it.

    Buying a finished race car saved them WEEKS of build time and stress, which let them get to California for the shootout days ahead of Aaron. Did they do some autocross or drag strip testing? I suspect so. Who knows.


    1. Aaron actually built a car from scratch in the 3.5 week timeline they had. He was way behind schedule and barely had it put together for the event.

    The "Farmbird" was a finished, purpose built race car the Street Outlaw guys bought. They freshened the motor, slapped that silly camper on the back, threw on wheels/tires and looked like they finished in a few days of work. It was already caged, running and driving, and they just spiffed it up a bit, and added Nitrous. That meant they had much more testing and setup time. That's huge.

    Example: the first year (2010) we did the GRM Challenge in a V8 powered E30, we were in the same boat - we barely got it running mere moments before we threw it into the trailer. We had ZERO testing and actually finished the car in the parking lot of our hotel. Our results sucked (we got like 6th in the autocross).

    The next year (2011) we had ample time to wrap up loose ends on the build. We even held our own private autocross test event, fine tuning the chassis and driver. Changing springs, camber, tire pressures and learning the setup helped us find 3 seconds on a 30 second autocross test course, in a few hours of work that day. Costas drove our car to a dominant win in the autocross event at the $2011 GRM Challenge, and subsequent overall win.

    Testing matters, even if its only a few hours spent. It matters BIGLY.

    2. Aaron was not sure what the producers were going to slap together for the "competitions". He told me that he laid down one stipulation: he would not "Race for pink slips" (ie: give up the car) if the competitions were not quantifiable with timers and emphasized driving ability.

    The 3 events they had were:
    1. Autocross (Aaron won)
    2. Drag race (Farmbird won)
    3. tug-o-war between the 2 vehicles (Farmbird won)

    The Tug-o-war was a silly thing they obviously threw together for the show at the last minute. One of the potential events was a very tight gymkhana, hence why both cars had drift style hand brakes.

    3. The dragstrip run in the E36 looked terrible... a non-prepped track with zero seat time probably hurt Aaron (in a car with IRS and adjustable shocks) compared to the solid axle Farmbird - who's team got to California 1-2 days before Aaron.

    The "main" drag race shootout between Big Chief and Richard's cars allowed for some testing, both before the event and at the shootout before their 2 outta 3 race. The "secondary" shootout seemed pretty rushed and the sites they used might have been poorly prepared. They did a "1 and done" drag race where Aaron spun all the way down the strip. At least he won the autocross, even if only just. The tug-o-war was why neither car was won or lost to the other team - it wasn't what was agreed upon.

    Who knows...
    Last edited by Fair!; 04-18-2017, 11:19 AM.
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


    • #3
      Re: Vorshlag on Fast-n-Loud??

      Originally posted by unnatrl
      It was entertaining. I can't figure out why Aaron bought Vorschlag stuff. While it's nice quality, the price (assuming he paid what anyone of us would) nearly eats up half of his budget.
      Why did Aaron buy nearly everything from the Vorshlag E36 LS swap kit? Surely he could have fabricated any and all of these parts himself, or even bought the cheap Chinese swap kit parts popular with some on this forum.

      Here are three probable reasons...

      1. He had 3.5 weeks to build this car, engine swap + suspension + wheels/tires + cage + flares. He needed everything we make to save TIME.

      Sure, a good fabricator could likely spend 40 hours making a seat of similar headers, another 4-6 hours making proper motor mounts, 5-7 hours making the crossmember, and having all of these items work together with proper clearance and driveline angles takes even more hours. Plus the fabrication parts, materials, and tools. Not to mention years of experience and skill.

      TIME = MONEY. As a professional fabricator Aaron knows that his time is worth "X" dollars per hour as billable time on jobs: $100, $150, $200... he bills out at some dollar value. Everyone reading this that has a job has a dollar value per hour, too - even if they don't think about it. Aaron knew it would take 75+ hours to fabricate these basic engine swap parts, parts that he could buy from us for about $4000 and that he knows works, when that represents $7500-10,000+ in billable time - the numbers just don't add up.

      Our swap kit is made designs proven over a dozen years, using the right materials, with precise CNC laser cut pieces that we TIG weld together in production fixtures. We have sold hundreds of kits, and there's very little risk in using our parts.

      But some people are so cheap that they don't value their time at all, and they don't value quality either. They think they can make swap parts for their build as good or better for "less money", but even the best fabricator making this stuff by hand is going to spend A LOT MORE time than we do (or charge) for the parts we sell. But when you value your time at "$0 per hour" things like this do seem expensive, sure. That's the kind of thinking what gets you tied up into a multi-year V8 swap, with tons of compromises and issues, too.

      And don't try to fool me - I've seen the home built swap stuff in this forum. Most of it is bad. Some of it literally causes me pain.

      Even the best fabricator out there values their time, and when we can do something here at Vorshlag with a "store bought" part - we buy it. This car above was a classic case of this last week: 3rd gen Camaro with an LS + T56 swap. Hooker makes a $300 transmission crossmember that is a bolt-in.

      Sure, we could have made something one-off" in 5-6 hours, but at $105/hour + parts this would have cost the customer double. That's just dumb - we gladly paid $300 for the laser cut, production fixture welded part that is proven.

      2. Our headers are better than anything on the marker. Hand fabricated headers almost never flow as well as CNC bent stainless long tubes. Making these from scratch takes several DAYS of work, and he understands that this is one of the biggest time savers around.

      He also appreciates the increase in horsepower these have over A) block hugger shorties or B) the cheaper, janky looking swap headers sold for this chassis.

      3. He appreciates quality. Aaron wanted to KEEP this car long term, and buying cheap parts or a quick hack-job fabricated bits were going to be the wrong choice, long term.

      Aaron had seen our V8 swaps on many occasions and he personally has lusted for one of these for his own for a long time. While it might have "saved him money" to cheap out and either make or buy cheaper stuff, he was in it for the long haul.

      Originally posted by unnatrl
      Farm truck bought a car ready to go. Seems like one was a smarter decision. Just my .02
      I agree with you somewhat - for a car to win this shootout with its unknown competitions, and having a chance of losing the car, buying some beat up old race car and slapping some tires on it might have been a safer, less stressful decision.

      Again, Aaron has wanted an LS swapped BMW for himself for a long time, and having Discovery channel give him $15,000 to help build it.... that helped make this dream come true, sooner rather than later. Aaron just put his Pikes Peak car on eBay this week, so he is "Racecar-less" and this thing - with a little more time and tuning - can easily fill the void. And be a LOT faster, too.
      Terry Fair -
      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev