You will have read previously about the “one off” Startech Crossfire which having disappeared for some years then turning up in the hands of our friend Mark in the West Midlands. Mark wanted to restore the car to its former glory but without the facilities and time this never happened. Then the car came onto the market looking for someone to take on this project. This where our friend Mike stepped in – and always being up for a challenge, he went over to see the car. By this time the car was starting to show many signs of wear and tear, together with some damage areas; its condition on close inspection showing Mike that a lot of time and patience was going to be needed to achieve the desired results!
But, recognising the potential to restore this unique car, Mike got out his wallet and after some very serious and lengthy bartering, brought the car home. This is Mike’s story, one of ups and downs, and a few surprises along the way!
I bought the car on Monday 18th June and having driven the car home up the M5 I was relieved to find she pulled really well with the Startech modified 300hp lump under the bonnet. The car behaved well and did everything it was supposed to do on the journey home.
The first job was to take a good long look around the car and start to make a list of jobs. I had it in mind that I wanted the car on the road for the trip to Brooklands coming up soon.
I had no information on the previous servicing so the first job was to change the engine oil and oil filter, and check oil levels in gearbox and diff. All these were OK and mechanically the car was confirmed as sound – good old Merc parts! Next job, check the brakes. Pads were OK but brakes discs about shot and up for replacing. Not knowing the spec of any special parts added to the car in Germany by Startech, some research was going to be needed. So an email was sent to Startech to identify what parts were on the car, which sounds a reasonable request to me; but not to be – they will not send out information due to data protection. What nonsense! So I have now contacted Chrysler UK who are now obtaining the build details, and the dealer who originally sold the car just shows it as a standard Crossfire. Chrysler UK strikes again!
So after the run to Brooklands it was time to get serious and start to bottom out the body work issues on the car. So off to the paint shop for a quote on both the bumpers, the rear diffuser, rear window diffuser and bonnet. As you can see from the picture below, this meant a of lot of paint – and more paint!
Finally it was time for a visit to the wheel refurb company, who did my SRT wheels. They confirmed that these are split rims made by Brabus, and they can do the job. This now meant that I had to source a new set of tyres as well, as the existing set were well past their sell by date! A full set of Falken FK452’s were ordered 20” for the rears and 19”s for the front!
Well now we are on 26th September, doesn’t time fly when you are enjoying yourself!. The car is back from paint, the engine bay jet washed, the chrome bits removed, the car de-badged and now fitted with 4 new Falken tyres on the nicely refurbished wheels. A bit of a problem with the Startech fitted rear offside wheel spacer; two threads starting to go, but didn’t stop my son Peter from driving the car to Warwick Castle for the September meet. Since bought two new 25mm spacers, fitted them OK but the wheel bolts are too long and touch the brake shoes! Now shortened the bolts and all seems OK.
Next little job is to sort out the nearside screen washer jet which is not working. With the loan of a puller to get the wiper arms off, not too difficult and car will be ready for new MOT on 21st October. Just going back to that list of jobs I made at the start – still need to refurb brakes, new discs, shoes and pads. Not sure which pads to go for yet, standard, reds or yellows. Need to take further advice.