4. Initial thoughts

So I’ve had the car in my possession for a little over 3 days, here’s what I’ve done:

  • Scraped the crap out of the front splitter moving it down to the lower garage.
  • Removed every scrap of packing tape from the car and wiped off all tape residue (I think they must use the cheapest possible eBay tape available to seal these cars up).  I’m not complaining, better to be safe and secure than not, but I would have sprung for the few extra bucks to get a higher quality tape.
  • Emptied the car out and catalogued all shipped components – I am very impressed, the car is almost 100% complete as delivered.  A slight error in shipping resulted in the car leaving without the side skirts and my passenger side window was scratched up during the packing/transport phase.  I’ve heard a few folks are still waiting for parts of their kit but mine was basically complete save for a backordered rear glass (already on its way) and a few drop-shipped items (1 of 3 items already received). [12/12/16 update: all back ordered and drop shipped components received]
  • Sat and stared at the car.
  • Walked around, stared at the car, and looked at it from just about every angle imaginable.
  • Taken lots of photos.
  • Attempted to jack the car up using my harbor freight 3 ton jack.  I got the car in the air but wasn’t comfortable with how much I had to raise the one corner before I could get a jack in underneath.  With the car empty the loads on the frame aren’t a big deal but with a fully loaded car I’m less confident.  A lift is going to be on order shortly – I’ve found several instances of rationalizing the purchase of a new tool (because I really wanted a new tool) but I think this one leans more toward safety/practicality than to pure indulgence.  As I described the need for a new lift my wife listened with a straight face and agreed this was the best option – she’s pretty awesome like that!
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Not high enough to squeeze the jack under, time to get a lift!

My initial impressions:

The proportions of the car are really surprising – it’s SMALL.  I’ve seen just about every photo and video of this car online but I didn’t get a good sense of just how big (small) this car actually is.  I saw Jack’s partially complete car in Florida and that was the first time I’d seen one of these in person (about 2 months after I’d already sent in my deposit!).  This car is low, wide, and with the CF10s, looks very aggressive.  Can’t wait to get the rear wing on!

Despite being small the interior volume is surprisingly large.  My tune may change once I actually complete the interior but sitting in the empty shell and making vroom vroom engine noises, the cabin feels surprisingly large.  I opted to not go with the door card option so that gives me a little more interior space at the expense of some refinement.

I went with the lowered floor option because I want to be able to accommodate very tall drivers (my father in law is over 6 feet tall).  Unfortunately this means the floor of the car is ~1″ lower at each of the seat locations.  On an already super low car, this means it’s super super low (that’s engineer-speak).  I’m suddenly much more concerned about speed bumps.  I had already accepted the fact that this car would be scraping but geez, this thing is going to scrape!  The lift kit gives an extra ~2 inches of clearance at the front but suddenly this doesn’t seem like enough.  You can play with ride height a little but I’d rather not sacrifice handling for not scraping (within reason).  Will have to revisit my concerns once the car is actually complete.  My daily driver is lowered slightly from the factory ride height, but this car is LOW!  With your butt only ~6 inches from the ground this is going to be a new perspective (literally) while driving.  Sitting in the car and looking out the windows and basically staring at peoples’ knees as they stand next to the car really drives this home.

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Lowered floor drops below CF surface, huge interior!

The body really IS damn good straight out of the mold.  I can understand why some (many?) folks just leave the car in its raw gel coat form and just give it a quick polish.

The factory has continued to refine the product.  Comparing what was delivered against earlier builds, I can see how the factory has made small tweaks here and there to improve the package – a great sign of continuous improvement.  Despite these improvements I believe the kit price has not changed, another great indicator of commitment to quality.

The car looks GOOD.  I always thought it looked great from photos, but in person the car looks awesome.  I don’t really feel the top canopy has a “bubble” look though I can understand why some would feel that way.  Maybe there’s some buyer bias here, but I think it looks great.

In the name of vanity, the carbon tub, wing, and rear window vents are definitely worth the added expense.  They really add to the supercar look and these pieces in particular are beautifully made.

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CF10 wheels – I don’t know why this isn’t a more popular wheel choice.  Now seeing these wheels in person I feel they’re hands down the best wheel option offered by the factory.  The CF5V/F14 feels a bit overplayed and the CF5 a bit plain.  When I first started looking at wheels I was really set on either the CF5 or CF5V.  Apart from the 1500hp car coming together I haven’t seen anyone else go with this wheel option (it was a photo of this car strapped to a dyno that turned me onto this wheel choice).  Tire selection was a bit tough due to the larger rear wheel (20 vs 19) so maybe this is why people have been shying away.  Maybe I made a mistake and bent rims on potholes will give me a different perspective, but for now I’m loving the choice I made here.

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Huge props go out to Fran, Vicki, Kristin, and the rest of the RCR crew for putting together such an awesome product!  Overall it took ~26 weeks from order to delivery but I had already factored in a longer than normal waiting period.  At the time I placed my order the factory was getting slammed with orders so I knew this wasn’t going to be the 16 week delivery that’s usually quoted.  My schedule is such that I’ll have to put the car on the back-burner for a while until I can get the first major phase of home renovation completed before I can really focus on the car.  So until then it’ll be little projects here and there as I’m able to squeeze in some time.

Next project: clear out the garage and organize all the parts, get the car up in the air and take the body off so I can see the sweet frame in all its naked glory.

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Ellie’s not sure using the front end as a slide is a good idea …
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“That orange thing is going to have to move before I can get this into first gear.”
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Boxes on boxes of parts.  Christmas came early this year!  Somewhere back there is an LS3 crate motor!

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