CamT's build thread

I hadn't received the tinted ones in time for the video, I've got them off to the side waiting for a few hours when I can install them. The difference with and without tint film is incredible to say the least, particularly up at elevation where I'm at now.

Mileage - this year's been a bit rough, I've probably been averaging a canyon drive once or twice a month since the weather got good. Overall the car probably has something near the 4000 mile mark, been a while since I looked at the odometer.

No plans to sell the car, as I say in the video, every time I strap into it I still get that adrenaline rush; loving every mile with the car when I can find an opportunity to drive it!

Good, glad to hear you did order a set at least. Same with mine, but they're next up to install. I'm excited to have a little darker windows too.

Glad to hear no plans to sell it and definitely can relate. I don't know why, but it is truly a rush when you strap yourself in it. I need more miles though, but have a feeling that's pretty much everyone's thought when owning one. Off to watch, but mainly listen to the short video.
Not dead, still alive and lurking!

Hector (felizguy) and I have been chatting SLCs for a number of years and earlier this year he happened to be in the area and we were able to finally meet face to face. He's been making great progress on his car and about a month ago I worked it out with my wife to take off for a few days to do "car stuff". I told Hector I was coming out to West Texas to visit him and that I wanted to go on a drive with BOTH our cars - I figured the added pressure would turn the heat up on him and keep him moving.

I've put about 6000 miles on my car since completing it, mostly up in the canyons. Each weekend (time and weather permitting), I log about 100-150 miles in the local hills. I've gotten fairly comfortable with the reliability of my car (knock on wood) and the early gremlins and infant mortality kinks seem to have mostly been worked out. Still, an 800 mile drive seemed fairly ambitious. My wife's confidence in my build skills was not nearly as high as mine - she insisted I get one of those emergency beacons so I could call for help should the car leave me stranded in the middle of the desert. I'm a cheapskate so didn't get one, turns out it wasn't needed!

I had debated breaking the drive up into 2 days but that would add an extra day to either side of my trip and I didn't think my wife would be too happy with me taking almost an entire week away so I decided I'd make the drive in one day. I also felt better about not leaving the SLC in the parking lot of a sleazy highway motel (I said I'm a cheapskate!). With that decision made, I confirmed my plans with Hector and we were set! We were even able to talk Howard to stop by for a visit. Unfortunately his car is still waiting for its heart transplant to be completed so it would only be 2 SLCs for the event.

The morning I was to leave I was awoken at about 3am by crazy winds and rain pounding on my house. We've been getting some really crazy weather this season in Colorado and as mother nature would have it, she wanted to make this drive even more exciting for me. My car is not fully water tight. When I wash my car I use a pressure washer to give it a rinse and my typical routine is to slowly open the doors after drying the exterior to let any residual water run off before fully opening the door. I typically have a few wet areas on the floor near my seats, no puddles just some light watering that I usually dab at with a towel.

The rain stopped at about 3:30; I looked at the weather radar and saw that a small rain cloud had just passed by - but there was an even larger one headed our way! I decided I'd need to shove off asap if I was going to beat the larger storm so I grabbed my bags and loaded the SLC. In case I got caught in the rain I packed some blue painter's tape and some extra towels - tape to seal up my passenger side door and towels to soak up any rain that would make its way in. Since my car doesn't have a windshield wiper I gave it a quick wipe-down with Rain-X and figured I would have to park under an overpass or hope the wind would be enough to keep the water off my glass if I got caught in the rain. By about 4:30 I hit the road!

The "small" one that woke me up ...

And the big one coming my way!

The skies above were looking ominous ...

I even took the time to give the car a quick wash - I didn't want Hector and Howard to think I didn't take care of my car, after all.


I had a number of concerns with a drive this long -

1 - I have a cruise control module installed but I never finished hooking it up. I've never actually made a road trip this long before without having cruise control. I was worried my foot/leg would get tired of trying to keep a constant speed.

2 - Back pain. I've found the Tillets to be great seats for my shorter drives but 800 miles in a carbon fiber seat with 1/8" of padding was going to be a real test!

3 - Heat. I've got a slow leak in one of my AC lines; I typically charge my system at the beginning of summer and let it slowly drain down during the course of the summer. By the time I put the car away because it's too cold/wet to drive the car, my AC's still working well enough. It's not often I need to use the AC at its coldest setting. I typically leave my house early in the morning and it's only when I'm heading out of the mountains that I've got my AC blowing cold as the sun's high enough to make things toasty. The forecast for West Texas during this weekend was going to be highs between 98-100 and the last half of my drive would be in those temps. I have the dyed 1-piece windows but I've found it doesn't block/reject heat as well as my ceramic tinted clear windows I originally had.

4 - Night driving. I don't do it. My typical drives have me leaving right about sunrise so I've usually got enough ambient light that headlights aren't a requirement. I'm not a big fan of the lights on this car. I deviated from the factory specs by going with 90mm low beam housings and installed LED bulbs. I retained the factory spec'd halogen high beams.

5 - Reliability. Duh, this is a car I built, of course it's sketchy!

[END OF PART 1] - I seem to be typing a lot and am exceeding character limits ... lol
Last edited:
To my surprise the SLC is an incredibly comfortable car to drive on the highway! Keeping a constant speed wasn't as challenging as I had originally thought. I did have to adjust my pedal position as I hit uphills and downhills but the car has so much power you can roll into or out of the throttle to adjust for load conditions without the speedometer moving more than a mph or two, easy enough to get back to your desired speed without annoying anyone who might be following behind you. That's one of my pet peeves of highway driving - people who can't maintain a steady speed! To avoid keeping my leg tensed for the entire 800 miles I pushed my heel up against the bottom of the pedal assembly (by the pivot mech) and rested the outside of my foot against my footbox. The small friction against my foot was enough that I could basically take the tension out of my foot.


An 800 mile driving session in the Tillet B5s seems to not have bothered my back at all. My suspension's on 2 clicks from full soft (both compression and rebound) at the fronts and 3 clicks from full soft at the rear. I find this to be comfortable for my normal driving to and in the canyons and I haven't touched the dials in years. This also seemed to be just fine for the highway. There are some stretches and states where the road conditions are better than others. Normal expansion joints are absorbed fairly well and didn't bother me at all. There wasn't much I could do for rough roads apart from maybe driving in the passing lane as the left lane seemed to be better in some instances. For large transitions (like when encountering bridges) or for potholes if I could see things far ahead enough I would engage my front lift for an inch or so of added clearance. While the clearance isn't really required (I hardly scraped at all with my 4"F/4.5"R ride height) having the lift up would take the "bite" out of the impact from these larger hits. There were some doozy potholes I hit that I swear broke something but my car continued to track straight and I didn't have a tire blowout (not running run-flats).

A note about steering and wrist/arm fatigue - When driving our German luxo-cruiser SUV on road trips I tend to almost continuously add some amount of steering wheel input. Everything is boosted on this car and the steering wheel isn't even connected to the tie rods (motors and electrical wizardry for that). But because the steering wheel is so light in my hands I think I continually adjust the wheel as my eyeballs tell me I'm not centered in the lane or I may be drifting a little. With the SLC the steering loads at speed are not insignificant. I find the loading to be quite nice when I'm in the canyons. On the highway, my car would track straight as an arrow and didn't wander in the lane at all. Steering input really wasn't required beyond making adjustments for curves in the road. Since there are no rubber bushings in the suspension you'd think all that road surface translating up through the steering system would equate to a shaky wheel - not at all. After 800 miles I found my hands and feet tingled somewhat but nothing a minute or two of walking around didn't eliminate. Canyon or track sessions on my crotch rocket usually resulted in me feeling a lot more buzzy than the SLC did after an entire day of driving. I found my arm rest to be extremely comfortable/useful and at times wished I'd done something similar for my left arm. The side bolster of the B5 seat pushes into my arm slightly when my hands are in the 9 and 3 o'clock position but not uncomfortably so. 800 miles and I was wishing I moved my seat half an inch further back or I had a more substantial rest for my left arm. I'm not running door skins on my car so there's a TON of room next to my shoulder. At times I would reach over and place my hand on the gap between my spider and door, that was OK for getting my arm out of the way from being baked by the sun but wasn't as comfortable as resting my hand on my harness buckle or shoulder strap adjuster. It's surprising how being seated in the same position for over 12 hours makes little adjustments like this very obvious, things I didn't consider when building my car and not noticeable for my normal shorter drives.

The heat was probably the worst part of the entire road trip. The greenhouse on the SLC has a TON of glass surface for the sun's rays to get in. The curvature of the side windows is also just right that they act as a lens, focusing all that light right onto the side of your face - I'd prefer a spray tan if I really wanted to get darker quick. The dyed/tinted windows are an absolute MUST for any street car. I didn't find them to be too dark while I was driving before the sun was up and whatever heat reduction they're providing is significant in comparison to the clear poly standard on our cars. While they did a good job cutting down on the light transmission I'm not sure they're as effective at cutting down the energy as ceramic tint film. I'm not running any kind of film on the windshield and that's a large entry point for heat energy - when the sun was up you could literally feel the heated air moving around in the cabin. I started the morning with my AC temp knob in the middle position and blower setting 1. By about noon I had the system on full cold and fan setting 3 with about 4.5 hours to go with ambient temps at 98F as reported by my phone. By the time I pulled into Hector's driveway I had had enough of the heat. I hadn't actually been sweating enough to create liquid perspiration but I'm sure whatever I did sweat evaporated immediately. It wasn't intolerable, but the cabin wasn't pleasant.

Even my MAPS app told me it was going to be hot!


I placed my windshield shades up to block the passenger side window, this made a noticeable difference on the amount of heat I felt.


Last edited:
Simply put - the AC system is undersized for this car if ambient temps are greater than 90F and the sun's out in force. I could feel a noticeable change in comfort and cooling when clouds partially blocked the sun, when temps were less than 90F, or when the sun had gotten low enough that the atmosphere was cutting down on the amount of energy transmitting directly onto your face.

Driving at night with the SLC wasn't very challenging. I actually found my lights to be sufficient and gave me confidence that I could see well enough. Certainly not up to the standard of modern day HIDs but significantly better than I originally thought. It's a challenge with our cars to get enough light throw because the centerline of the lights is so low. You could turn the lights upwards but then you'd be blinding on-coming drivers. I think I was able to get a decent enough compromise between the two.


Low beams - there's some iPhone trickery going here, the road wasn't as bright as this photo makes it look but it's an accurate representation of coverage.


High beam - some more iPhone trickery going on here, the forward throw is better than this shows. There's definitely a strong yellow tint due to the bulb temperature and it's even more stark when A/B'ing the higher temp LEDs vs halogens.


Overall, nighttime visibility was acceptable. Hector's working on some really sweet Jaguar headlights and I've seen a few other projects incorporating other OEM headlights. I'm sure those will be an improvement over my setup but given my limited low light/nighttime driving the changes I made were a good compromise for me.

The reliability side of things was also pretty damn awesome. There was only one moment when the starter motor turned just a few milliseconds longer than typical and I felt my stomach drop but then the engine roared back to life and all was good. I will say I was very paranoid throughout but the SLC performed exceptionally well.

I definitely had some amount of range anxiety but I stopped frequently enough to top the tank when my gauge would indicate about the halfway point. I never let the gauge go below about 7 gallons indicated.

The attention the car got wasn't any different than what most everyone experiences. It wasn't often that cars overtook me but when they did just about every one would pause for a few seconds to snap a pic or get a closer look at the SLC. There was only one car that seemed to tailgate me fairly closely for an extended period. A romp up into triple digits gave me some time before they caught back up but they seemed determined to stay close to me. Thankfully they pulled off at the next town and I continued on. Otherwise most everyone was fairly respectful and gave me room. There were several instances of cars drifting out of their lanes - I blasted by those once I figured they were back in control of their cars. Passing, even at these speeds, was fairly effortless. The really low gearing of the stock Graz gives you a lot of oomph at any gear and speed.

I guess that's another good topic to touch on - the gearing of my car means I'm spinning at about 3400-3500 RPM at cruising speed (low-mid 80s). That's a lot of noise. A lot of wind noise, a lot of road noise, and a lot of engine noise. I've been driving with my AirPods Max noise cancelling headphones and I've found them to be quite effective. There are some sounds (certain road seams) that they don't filter out as well as my Bose QC series headphones. 13 hours with the AirPods on and my ears weren't sore or sweating - something my Bose used to do. I was concerned about having these weighty headphones on for so long but at the end of the day I didn't find them to be obtrusive or bothersome and the sound isolation they provide made the trip SO SO much better. I also had my latest tunes going which helped with some of the boredom.

Last edited:
After 13 hours on the road and I'd made it! -


Hector's car wasn't quite road ready yet but since planning the trip he's been HAMMERING it every evening and making great progress. I don't know how he tolerates the garage temperatures with ambient temps as high as they are. I know I wouldn't have the drive that he's had to push things as far as he has in this heat.

We took the opportunity to pick Howard's brain on a number of items. We even mustered enough energy to help Hector install his front clip struts.







Color me jealous, I've been wanting a front clip hinge setup for years! Too lazy to make my own ...

How often does one have 2 SLCs in the same garage, pretty cool!


Hector's friend Ted brought his Viper out to hang out during lunch. We spent time admiring how CLEAN this sample is, a very cool car indeed!


Issues, concerns, casualties from this trip ...

The front of the SLC likes to swallow stuff ... I've been thinking about fabricating some kind of perforated cover for the opening. Overall, not bad but may have saved a poor bird from being ingested during one of my canyon drives earlier this year.


I pulled an ounce or two of oil out of my intake system via my Elite Engineering PCV oil catch can. Here's what 800 miles of highway looks like:



The lens covering the "halo" portion of my foglight took a strike which seems to have dislodged and removed the cover. Some crazy glue and it was fixed enough for me. I've got a replacement set coming from eBay for $20.


The worst part - an oncoming semi seemed to have whipped up a rock big enough/quickly enough to cause a windshield crack. Sadness. I pulled over and placed a small piece of painter's tape to prevent further contamination of the crack - advice given to me the last time this happened to one of my other cars.


... and that's it! As I said before, I'm shocked by how comfortable and easy the SLC was to drive on such a long road trip.


I had a great 2 days of talking SLC, watching Formula 1, and eating great food. Massive thanks to Howard for making the trip out and to Hector and his family for their hospitality!


Can't end this post without another cool shot of the SLC. I thought this active flare stack would make a cool backdrop for a photo.

Last edited:
What's the trick for seamlessly embedding imgur photos again?

NVM - figured it out ... now to clean up those posts!
Last edited:

Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Great read! Congratulations on a successful journey In an exceptionally cool car!
Well.. a trip like that makes everyone jealous! :) Great read, always love updates!

I only managed ~400 round trip to Houston in mine and while I knew the risks and expense if had to get towed home, but one of the most memorable trips of my life with alot of it being due to the car and my buddy as copilot. Only time I got to really drive at night for longer than 15min and wasn't bad in town, but interstate gave me anxiety knowing I may not see something in the road in time. I ran JW Speaker sealed LED lights, same OD as the Hellas with the kit just lower profile.

Joel K

What a great post. Building a car like the SLC is one thing, but the people you meet along the way really enhances the experience.

Nice to see you guys having such a great time. Cam, always fun to see you documenting and enjoying your car and also nice speaking with you.
2 SLC visits in 2 months, who am I visiting next?!

Mike (mmopar0521) was back in town and we were able to finally drag my butt down to his neck of the woods (literally, he's in the middle of a forest!) for a visit. His car's still in work so it was mostly catching up and chatting cars. Mike has a trick corner scale setup and we were able to throw my pig of a car onto the scales for a measurement. I was sporting about ~8 gallons of fuel give or take, so maybe a little less than half a tank.

Thanks to Mike for the hospitality and for the use of the scales!

Stepping up to the scales (nervous laughter ...)

She's a bit heavy!! No surprise, I was maybe just a bit thankful it came in under 3000 lbs given how much noise and heat blockers I put in the car. Kinda makes me regret I went with those door speakers, maybe I'll remove them when I make my new door cards ...

Two cool looking dudes with some cool machinery in the background!

Between Hector's blue and Mike's green, I'm starting to collect photos with all the color options! Who's got black, white, and yellow that is near CO? What color is yours @Mahlon?

That's it! No long-winded trip report this time, though the roads leading up to Mike's place are GREAT for driving! Once you get your car all buttoned up it's going to be tough staying out of the canyons Mike!