I Finished My Daewoo ‘Race Car’ Just in Time for This Weekend’s Rainbow Road Rallycross
I found plenty of rust to fight, had to re-do some of my own work, and scramble for parts nobody had in stock, but we're ready now.
I am a full-time writer here at Car Bibles, yet apparently, I do not know how to read either a map or a calendar. I inadvertently scheduled my covid vaccinations more than 70 miles from my house, because I misread the map, and I’ve completely overbooked my August because I failed to manage my time, and dates sneak up on me entirely too fast.
I bought this Daewoo at the end of July. That gave me about four weeks to get the clapped-out $800 car ready for the Out Motorsports rallycross I was (and am) planning on racing it in. Then, it rained a weekend. OK, so three weeks. Oh, then I had to wait a week and a half for parts because nobody services Daewoos anymore. Two weeks. Ope, I needed to go see my sister in St. Louis. Suddenly my project time was down to the Barenaked Ladies song — One Week.
I got my one week, buckled down, and tried to get everything done on a Saturday and Sunday. Predictably, I didn’t, I needed more parts, and more substantial repairs (brake lines) would take an entire weekend. Luckily, the car gods took pity on me in the form of a canceled American Airlines flight, chaining me to Columbus for the weekend. Damn, the universe really wanted me and this Daewoo to go rallycross racing!
I replaced the brake lines, put new rotors on the front, fixed the fuel leak, fixed the faulty fuel gauge, and even recharged the air conditioning.
Was it easy? No. The driver’s side rear wheel was completely frozen to the brake drum with rust. I screwed up the brake bleeding process at the eleventh hour, forcing us to do everything over again the next morning.
Everything is done. The Lanos should pass a technical inspection. No fluids are hemorrhaging on the road, it goes and stops safely.
Now, the Daewoo isn’t perfect; the AC works, but the compressor is very loud. I drained and refilled the transmission, but the first to second upshift is still slippy, and the car is loud because the exhaust is swiss cheese. Who cares, though? It should pass tech.
Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about assuring the Daewoo can make the nearly six-hour drive from Columbus to Shenandoah Valley Circuit, Honda’s gracefully loaned me a 2021 Ridgeline. Its 5,000-pound towing capacity should accommodate the Daewoo and car trailer.
Oh, and speaking of poor scheduling, I have a first-timers track day with the Abarth the day before, at a track in the wrong direction. Also, I’ve never towed anything before.
We had one minor hiccup already — I realized that the Daewoo’s tires were not really up to driving, let alone racing, so I had to hustle for some rubber. Once a set of new used tires were mounted, I think finally, I’m ready to run with this car.
If you’re anywhere near the Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia this weekend, you might hear the pained squeals of those very tires at the Rainbow Road Rallycross. Stay tuned for updates on Car Bibles, and find me on Twitter and IG to follow along in the meantime.
Wish me luck!