By on February 14, 2013
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“It fuel starves on left turns on about… seventy Ohms.”

Now that is not something you hear every day about a “tuner car”, is it?

DRIVE’s Matt Farah checks out a homemade contraption consisting of a late-first-gen RX-7 and a five-liter Ford V-8. (The old five-liter, mind you, not the Coyote mod motor.) “Never a dull moment,” he says, and he’s correct.

The owner, Corbin, is a modern example of a recurring American character: The Kid In The Garage Building His Own Hot-Rod Car. Since we’re in 2013, he’s an awkward Asperger’s case hiding behind sunglasses instead of a James Dean wannabe with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his shirtsleeve, but the dynamic is the same. Built, not bought; invented, not acquired. Watching this video is a great way to wash the taste of the Magnus Walker hagiography out of your mind. Check it out, and leave a comment so the DRIVE team knows you’re watching.

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23 Comments on “This Dorky Kid Is Really Cool, Actually...”


  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Saw this a few days ago. The kid knows what he has everywhere as compared to most of the kids now days. Most can’t tell you how many cylinders under the hood when they are looking under the open hood.

  • avatar
    radimus

    Someone needs to make a video channel about cars like this. Forget the nuclear powered supercars made of 99% pure unobtainium. Stuff like this is much more interesting, I think.

    • 0 avatar
      TW4

      Yeah, this vid really captured my attention when it hit the web a few days ago. Frankenstein hot rod builds by home brewed amateurs have become more interesting than most of the standard-fare professional builds.

      Drive has another video featuring the Bugatti chief of design. He was waxing philosophically about the excess of modern automobiles and how people are comforted by simplicity. The case study was his stripped air-cooled 9-11, which he remodeled himself. Though, Jack takes a shot at Walker, I think MW follows the same basic concept. Re-shaping a tail lamp or scuffing up a piece of homemade leather are far more intriguing (to some of us) than tripling the ECU capacity or piling another layer of superfluous luxury onto a previously-functional model-range of sports cars.

  • avatar
    econobiker

    Kudos to him for staying in the real world and building something actual while most of his peers choose to pursue digital or electronic glory.

    He has more like the UK/European attitude of making due with what you have than the US attitude of throw it away, buy a new one or I can’t do it if I don’t have a complete NASCAR sized shop.

    • 0 avatar

      Most, but not all. I met a guy who qualified for Commercial pilot cert when he was 18. He’s going to fly airliners before he’s old enough to drink. And I’d trust him more than half of the right-seaters who drive CRJs for United Express.

  • avatar
    noxioux

    Corbin got it 100% right. This car is the pure ESSENCE of what a hot rod is supposed to be.

    But that wood’s gotta go. Hafta draw the line somewhere. . .

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    Bravo Corbin,job well done.He presented us with the ‘new’ ratrod and it’s awesome.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    7:11 – 7:15 will make anyone for has ever owned a manual 5.0 liter *anything* chuckle. That’s the sound we utilize when describing a spirited drive.

  • avatar

    As a young whipper-snapper (is 23 still young?) with a rat rod Miata, I am glad to see this. I built my car in my backyard during high school, and learned how to make horsepower using my hands, brain, and a couple of spare engines. The “car guys” I went to school with had their parents buy them pre-modded Mustangs, 350Zs, WRXs etc. You couldn’t ask a single question about what was under the hood of their car without getting a blank stare.

    Older and “wiser” car guys usually make fun of me when I bring my car to autocross, and do not care for any of the custom parts I fabricated to get it working. Instead I usually get told “You have no idea what you’re doing” or “HOW DOES THAT THING EVEN RUN?!”. Their attitude doesn’t change when I’m (often) several seconds ahead of their runs.

    Guess I need an RX-7.

    • 0 avatar
      ToxicSludge

      1st-23 is wayyy young.I’m in my 60′s.2nd-you keep on doing what your doing and to hell with any naysayers.Each part you have to design and fabricate will in time get easier and better.If the ‘older and wiser’ car guys are making fun of you,I would have to say that they may be older,but they don’t sound wiser by any stretch of the imagination.They sound like they are all ‘store bought’ car guys.They fix their cars by opening their wallets and paying someone else to turn the wrenches.Ignore them.

  • avatar
    jco

    i liked how the starter was manually operated. flip the switch until it fires, then turn it off..

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Mmmm, not so sure about the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Geekus Nerdieum can exist outside DSM-IV TR classification.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This is a ratrod? Wheres the cheapo primer and the red wheela with whitewalls?

    Oh right, this isn’t craigslist.

  • avatar
    markholli

    I was grinning from ear to ear through the whole video. I have loads of respect for the guy.

  • avatar
    Variant

    Somebody get Murilee out to meet this kid stat. They are kindred spirits in the “Property-Value-Lowering-Art-Car” department!

  • avatar
    AJ

    Wow! I think that’s my first car… And I thought it ended up in the crusher?

    Really, very cool. I think he needs to work for GM or Chrysler. Lets see what he’d do with an SRT8?!

  • avatar
    MBella

    Absolutely love how he just doesn’t care about anyone else or what they think. Well done!

  • avatar
    espressoBMW

    I must get a shirt like the red one he is wearing!

  • avatar
    rpn453

    “What would it take for you to agree to test drive a car that makes nearly 400 hp, weighs less than a Mini Cooper, and was built by someone barely old enough to vote, in their parents’ driveway?”

    The keys? Doesn’t look like it even needs those. So I guess just some instructions on starting it.

    Awesome car. Sounds great.

    I suppose the major drawback is that it appears he spent about the same as my buddy recently did on a mint 12k mile 2008 RX-8 40th Anniversary Edition, not even including his labor. This RX-7 is definitely cooler though, for whatever that’s worth.

    “My other ride is your mom.”

    Ha ha.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    Love it. He built a modern version of a a Rat Rod, and he doesn’t give a fuck.

    He reminds me of Giovanni Ribisi’s character in the original Fast and The Furious movie…especially the way he talks.


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