Larry Chen: Darren McNamara’s Group-E Inspired 5 cylinder drift car! Video

Reading Time: 13 minutes
Posted: 2023-09-21 15:00:25
Author: Larry Chen
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Larry Chen Video Transcript

Thank you It’s a star Legion look at that low that’s a blast from the past what is that juice of everything I’m aware we’ll stick that anywhere you like I’ll ride shotgun with you here huh there you go so how long did it actually take for you to get to this point

Well that was at the Auto Sport show in 2016. as a caged chassis rolling chassis with a different graphic job on it but the panels were there the shell was there no drive train or anything so a long time ago what did this start life as like the idea did you always

Want to build an Audi drift car uh well I always wanted an ODS one like it’s my favorite car of all time groupie it’s the coolest thing that there ever was so I always wanted an S1 and then I got to a point at home in the

Workshop and I was like are we going to build an amazing Sylvia and do European competition or are we gonna build something different you know I think a lot of people maybe reached that and then when you build something different you’re sorry you didn’t build a competitive Sylvia and would you build a

Competitive Sylvia you’re bored and you want to build something different so we just started into it started collecting panels and finding stuff it’s really difficult to find bits and pieces but it took a lot longer there was a lot of hiccups especially the engine was a big problem and things like that but

So the last time I was here in Ireland I actually came here 11 years ago I stayed at your place had a chance to check out your operation your shop yeah and I clearly remember you telling me that you had an idea to build something like this right but you know since then

It’s actually come to fruition and it’s sitting in front of us what did the original chassis start as was it like a bear shell it was an Audi Coupe so it would have been the poverty spec Quattro at the time so you could buy the narrow

Body front wheel drive Coupe like a two liter five cylinder even they came with a cabaret or they were that old because if you were to get a S1 it would be so expensive yeah and you couldn’t modify it to the level I model it would be a

Shame you devalue it uh you couldn’t even do it to you or Quattro unless you found a rusty shell somewhere and even at that it would be huge money no I guess six seven years ago it wasn’t that bad no it’s beyond obtainable they’re just priced again so high

So even the coops are rare now to find a front-wheel drive you know one that you could use a good one good Coupe could be 10 000 Euro now you know when they were I think about that for 750 or something 750. so was it a running driving car no

It was kind of abandoned in an industrial State a black cat uh I remember like the tail lights were broken and the taillights are really hard to find and expensive and but it was just kind of abandoned I bought two about one in Dublin then as a parts car

That was quite Rusty and uh the one I bought in Dublin actually was um very early one and they came with the four square lights and then I needed two square lights for the S1 front they use the old small lamp so that’s genuine lamp but the thing

That blows me away is it’s just all custom panels how much of it is actually left how much Audi is actually left just like this yeah roof floor pen um these panels are actually direct copy of the rally car like so they came from Bulgaria from a company called Pro speed

You know that guy he has a hill climb one it’s quite famous on on YouTube it’s a kind of a little bit of a modern interpretation a replica really cool car so I got a spin in his car in Switzerland and from then I was like so

This is the rally car front which is totally as the group E car was that’s the group because so it’s got but things get different here because we didn’t sharpen the car so the group b cast should be 11 inches shorter here but we left the long wheelbase we wanted a more

Of a GT car look and obviously the wheelbase for drifting the short car is horrible two shot so this is actually exactly the same as a Sylvia wheelbase It’s like 99. got it so then this is all custom this is custom so this was a replica of the rally car but it finished

Here and we got it cost extended and shaped that was done in Germany and the back of the car came from Germany and tell you what like there’s some difference in labor costs between Bulgaria and Germany the back was crazy money and the front was actually okay

You wouldn’t mind hitting the front and getting some panels it’s actually not too bad probably doing quite good and then we made this out of three Group B relica Wings because this is the pike speak wing and this is incredibly hard to find and there was a company in Germany doing it

And they wanted checkbook figures so we bought three group e-wings and we chopped it all up and I bought an in-plate a genuine implant a genuine replica so I had the right shape which is very important to me and then we just copied it in aluminum and then we made

Everything work so this is like a hybrid of Group B and Pikes Peak because the it has the group E air divider for the radiator here which comes off with the trunk put the Pikes Peak car took the air in the roof I know too much

You know what blows me away is you had to go through Such Great Lengths to keep the look with the wing you couldn’t have just like custom made something that looks similar no I mean the group B1 has the perfect shape and the little dimples

So it had to be right so we had to get more of them a second one in to chop for the sides and get the the side right and then we had these but we had to get like three or four more to make up a double triple wing

So it had to look great these are the group b operates then they had to be right as well so I’ve seen a lot of replicas and you can tell from a mile after their replica it’s just not right so it’s a quite speakers group E front

Because the Pikes Peak front has that big aluminum air off Island which is I mean I love 80s but that’s two it is like it’s horrible it’s horrible they just stuck it under it was the one Walter rauldron a white one Michelle drove the yellow and white uh rally car

Year before which was a well it was a slightly narrower body it wasn’t the the evolution too that was an evolution one ah so then this actually it actually takes in air yeah right here and from here yep and then what is this opening for so you have the air divider here

That sends half the air up to the underneath the spoiler and half down to the radiator so that’s how the group b rally car was cooled only but the group E rally car had the radiator against the rear of the trunk which we taught was a

Little bit vulnerable in a drift car so we put it at an angle inside and then we fed it with air to stop a low pressure area in front of it so can we take a look at the engine bay of course and I’m assuming that nobody else has

Done anything like this and there’s not any other really famous Audi drift cars because this is just so difficult yeah um I think there’s one in Hungary or something but it’s just it looks like a you are Quattro or whatever um I don’t know what engine is in it or anything

It is a drift car but it’s rear and drive we move the engine back because originally they’re out here yeah it’s like in the front bumper almost I think there are 63 nose weight which is yeah that’s not gonna fly so we moved it back like 18 inches I think which we can

Because we know front drive shafts uh you know just a regular rear wheel drive sequential gearbox then and it actually has a Sylvia rear subframe in it then so which might be you know cheating a little bit the thing for us is we’ve gone to Great lints like the Need

For Speed Corolla and we’ve gone bespoke and it’s more of a pain than anything because you have to have bespoke spares and you run two cows then you carry twice the Spells whereas we run discount that car and all the suspension components are very similar you know so

Like you know we can replace an upright from one car to the other so we actually try now to keep them the same this is the primary vehicle and then we try to keep like the secondary Vehicles so we’ve only won spares package oh wait so

Then this is your s13 yeah so this actually has a s13 mirror yeah that’s 14 rear engine S14 that is an S14 Rim as well the same time pretty much okay and then what transmission is it’s got a scene six-speed sequential at the moment so it’s a it’s not made in Argentina

Actually interesting so and the the engine is uh it’s actually a diesel block so 2.5 TDI block so it’s a tall deck with a stroke or kittness so it’s like 2650 CC it’s got the group b rally car 20 valve head and after that everything else is custom so it’s

Sitting at 635 horsepower at the moment It’s gotta sound so insane I can’t wait to hear this sounds so good I can’t wait to hear this thing uh you’re actually gonna take it out onto track I plan to yeah yeah so it’s no when you’re ready

You know calling it a drift car yeah it’s real for driving we go sideways in it I want to do Sprints in it and hit things and everything eventually but I’ve driven it three to four times so we’ve done a couple of changes for this weekend we’re in the development process

You know it’s not doing a couple of things it’s how we want it’s very difficult to sit out of the 246 into this and go oh this looks so lovely but this thing it’s all over it you know this thing is amazing so and also because this is a personal project It’s

Probably hard for you to find time to work on this because you have so many customer cars now that you’re building for all people all over the world I’m assuming that was look that could have been 50 of the delay in the project you know it was never a priority it was

Never to do a championship it was it was a dream that a lot of people have and it’s very difficult to to complete one of these cars you know this is just so cool I just see where you guys cut all the front is tubed but I love the way

That the intercooler is angled this way because of this turbo setup it’s so cool did you guys make all of this stuff well I actually bought the makings of an engine from Norway out of a guy from Gap bill which you know well and this came

With it out of his tube frame S1 you know the the KRV one or whatever yeah yeah yeah I bought a lot of stuff off of him and this came with it and I wasn’t planning to use it the original plan was for this Channel That’s caught out here

The exhaust was to go down there and down and down the passenger side but we ended up going so far back with the engine and stuff we had to come up with something else so we recycled it it’s not amazingly pretty in some places but we recycled it and we put the garage

Reverse rotation turbo straight outside and this is so cool yeah that it feeds off one exit but it’s cut out and put together like yeah the screamer is tear dropped into the that is so cool I’ve never seen that before I’ve seen it’s quite popular in like uh drag Hondas and

Stuff you know where they just exit through the hood yeah and then if you’re trying to be sexy about it you’re more just to scream her in and it’s different like you can see we just do things to be different I mean this is probably too much volume in here it’s probably silver

Optimal if you want to get gay about it but like it is cool it’s everything is a talking point every inch of it people are you know it’s something different it’s impressive it sounds amazing it’s about trying new things and being unique drifting a five cylinder I know just so

Cool yeah yeah the noise it makes is just so beautiful it’s so beautiful oh my goodness it’s all business in here yeah you even have a passenger seat yeah well I mean this is a Shore piece you know so we want to take people for passage and it’s not a full-on

Competition character the Comcast has no opacity no restriction to what we could do with that but this is you know it has to be take it’s a fun car for other people to enjoy also a lot of people haven’t seen one of these you know so we

Want to bring people for passenger rides and leave them experience and noise that from the 80s that they might never have heard before you know you’ve got to go to Goodwood or something to listen to something like this you know uh and you I could see you had to bring the this uh

The tunnel back so much because the engine is so far back yeah and we actually did we adapted the gearbox to the engine and we put as big of a adapter plate we could make with the longest input shaft to move the weird photo back as well so it is quite back

And the the gearbox is a weird shape so the tunnel is a weird shape um the gearbox is a strange design so yeah it’s a little bit it’s intrusive here a little bit but it fits me fine um enjoy something obviously there’s your oil tank yeah not covered but hey

We dialect real men I don’t care you know we don’t have any leaks yeah I’ll take I’ll take Elite 2500. all Elite 2500 are haltech Loom and everything all tomorrow couple probes can everything so yeah all hell Tech we use haltech and everything we have zero issues with it

Ever we do do it once and it’s done so really happy to view suspension yeah okay I believe it’s all around and how far back is this comparative stock you’re sitting way from my ass is in the exact same place from the center of the front wheel as it is in deca really

Something like pivot Points should be natural got it so that way you can kind of um have the same feeling yeah in terms of how much angle you have you remember something like the Saturn Sky you know yeah with the cheese heads yeah yeah and you’re sitting on the back wheel

And your your pivot over the front you feel like you’re on huge angle when you first drive it but you’re not because you’re just swinging so far and you’re pendulum you know so when we had a clean sheet to start with we just made it natural as we could with the silver

Assault fan Sylvia front kw’s and you know the the seating position we kept it in the same place between the wheelbase silly things like that it causes a bit of yeah it’s close it’s actually very narrow in here like crazy narrow the cage worm too uh is something that you

Guys built no the cage was done by a company called Stone Motorsport in in Ireland so they did the cage for I was at farmer D or whatever steering wheel it’s all steering wheel control so so it’s just there’s your ignition it has uh anti-lag launch everything

It’s got power anymore that is high boost low boost lights and power steering wipers radio back to the pits at the new haltech ic7 Dash and electric throttle for the anti-lag and so then what is that pedal box set up out of it is a custom made hanging

System but it has the the Sylvia breaks in behind the firewall actually in here so it actually has uh it has GTR brakes and it’s just like the Rada car does so we’ve won spares package again for board cars it has the same handbrake has a Woodward handbrake system on the back

Then with Will wood discs a custom setup that I developed under sky and used in the 14 and then I use it in my own cast because my handbag feels perfect to me all the time if I sit into someone else’s car I just it doesn’t feel right so it’s just

What I’m used to so I got it yeah it does a lot of talking to the fuel cells in behind the the carbon fiber there so that’s in the middle and the rear is we can look in the rear if you want it’s radiator you can see the subframe

Mounted and stuff sure let’s take a look at that real quick I have to say you know when I first saw the renderings for this I was like I can’t wait to see it in person I know and after all these years I finally get

To see it and hear it yeah this is just it went on way too long and you know so many messages from people is like yeah yeah but when you think finishing the quantum I’m like oh this thing am I ever gonna finish it and that’s that’s how it goes for

Passion projects you know when you’re you’re you’re funding it yourself yeah and you just want to build something just because you want it to exist and for yourself to enjoy it it’s really that’s how it goes it’s such a difficult project like yeah okay so that just comes off like that

Yeah oh wow okay let’s fill the sails through here you’ve got a jumping point for the battery which is under there uh electronic power steering here in the rear tight forward to the rack what is that from it’s a GM pump so yeah it’s a General Motors pump okay you’ll find

Everyone over here using that now it’s really popular we sell lots of them we have lots of them in the shop so this is horrendous here because I borrowed the header tank for the other car so I just had to stitch one in for this weekend

Right but then how are you like the rear a lot of it is s chassis or all of it is it’s an S chassis sub frame just pretty much the same just slightly modified at the front to fit the chassis and then we use different Knuckles and it’s got a

GTR v-spective at the moment oh wow okay it will have a quick change but I had a GTR V spec there with really strong shafts and stuff so it goes in it it shouldn’t break with the type of power it has so that’s what it has right now

But then like what about the front suspension how are you able to get like the proper angle the front is a Sylvia knuckle with a KW Sylvia shark then we’re free with what we can do with the shock tab so we place that where we wanted it and

Then it is an Audi front subframe and we made custom AMS to reach the Sylvia knuckle then so the only custom part there is the top and the LCA the rack thing comes out where the drive shafts came out of the Quattro where the hole is in the chassis so the

Steering rack which was on the firewall of the Audis is now underneath where you might think it’s common and comes out where the shafts came out for the front wheel drive so cool so yeah well thank you so much for showing us this build

We want to see it run on track and I want to hear it so later on if we can warm it up and you can maybe bounce off the anti-lag or something um it would be cool to see everyone loves that bit Yeah but the anti-like is

Sweet it’s so beautiful just sounds like the 80s the videos you’ve watched on YouTube it’s just oh yeah there it is so good hey thanks for watching if you want to support us directly go to larrychanprince.com I print and sign every single one of these this is the

Perfect gift or it’s the perfect piece of art for your wall foreign Foreign [Applause]