Horsepower Freaks Stage 2.5
We picked up our 2003 stage 2.5 from HPF on May 14th and have been playing with it so much that I didn't take time to write anything about it until now. Before I tell you about the car though in should tell you how much I appreciate Brian Elliott for letting me in on the deal of a lifetime. I have been over every inch of it and it is as close to perfect as a 7-year-old car can come. Also I would like to thank Ray for connecting us back up with Brian to make this all happen (it was great hanging with you at MFEST Ray).
***to skip my long, drawn out history drop down to the "+++++" signs
Krueger car history (notable ones only out of the 20+ cars):
1956 F100, Impala, 996 Carrera, E39 540
Current cars: 2006 E90, 2002 E46 M3, 1997 Ford Explorer (whooohoo), and now the HPF.
Like everyone I have been working my way up the car food chain and became absolutely hooked on sports cars after owning the 996. My wife fell in love with a Phoenix Yellow 2002 M3 in 2006 and I "gave in" and got it for her about a year after getting the 911. I loved the look and interior of the M3 and sold the 911 a few months later (although I do miss it).
We kept the M3 stock except for suspension, wheels, tint, short shifter, brakes, exhaust and 3m. Okay so that isn't really all that stock but I will keep this car forever, as it is gorgeous. It is possible that I may have more pictures of this car than my beautiful wife of over 20 years. My love of this car led me to my purchase of the 2008 M3 (the first one to arrive in Portland). It was pure perfection, black, sleek and powerful. We began our process of pimping it with barrel matched 20's, Meisterschaft exhaust, a European front bumper, and a totally blacked out exterior. I recommend that everyone own one of these cars at some point, as it is one of the most perfect cars made.
I sold the 2008 to an enthusiast out of Seattle area and did not plan on filling that spot in the garage. The economy does tend to affect we salesman folks and I was looking forward to having an extra grand stay in my bank account every month. It was a week before the sale of the car though that my son Alex and I had bumped into Ray at MFEST 4 in Las Vegas, it was here that we learned that Brian was in the process of selling his 2.5 HPF. The sale fell through and we had just found our next exciting drain on our bank account. So just about a week after making an empty spot in the garage it was filled with a double dose of what horsepower had previously filled that spot.
We arrived late on May 14th to pick up the car at HPF, real late in fact as traffic put us there about 20 minutes after closing time. On arriving we still found David, John, Branden, and Chris K. waiting patiently for us to arrive, and still smiling too as I believe they love seeing people excited about their work. We were excited! Brian had shipped the car straight to HPF to have it looked over before the hand-off occurred and with a clean bill of health my son and I dropped it onto Marine Drive, a spectacular straight stretch running along the Columbia River. The rush that comes on as the turbo kicked in was the most amazing thing that I have ever felt while in a car. It's like a fast-forward button was pushed and Alex and I launched forward, shoved back against our seat. The ability to burn out in fourth gear was now a reality and it felt amazing. The Bilstein suspension kept the extremely low ride comfortable and made me think about adding it to my Yellow M3 to smooth out it's lowered ride. We hit traffic and got a chance to test out the Alcon brake kit and while doing the stop and go found out another asset these HPF cars have: in city driving they drive just like my stock M3. There is a perfectly smooth idle while sitting and then as traffic starts to flow the car is not difficult to control, in fact it drives exactly like my wife's stock M3. That is until the tach starts to arch over the 3500 RPM's, and at that point it becomes an animal. The only evidence, before that moment occurs, that you are driving a highly modified performance car is the stiff clutch, the boost gauges, the exhaust note and the odor made when catalytic converters no longer exist.
Alex and I continued our joyous first day of ownership with a few launches accommodated by an empty 4-lane road in an industrial area by our house. With every launch I began to miss my 08' M3 less and less. The slingshot feeling makes for the biggest adrenaline rush that I have ever experienced. The optional traction control that Brian had installed on this car makes for the best use of this horsepower too and it kept me from throwing the car into a pole on the side of our test road. We started making our way home to mama with our faces hurting from the ridiculous grins we had been wearing for the last hour and a half when they were wiped off in a quick hurry. A Portland police officer took notice of the car quickly and whipped a youey with his lights on. He conveniently pulled us over in front of a popular downtown eatery with packed out outside seating, giving the customers a good view of our humiliation and our new ride. Brian had kept the Nevada plates and I had forgotten to get a copy of my current insurance paperwork so when asked for "license, registration, and insurance", I offered "how about 1 out of 3?" Unimpressed, the officer asked if I had any tickets on my record. Three tickets had just dropped off in the last few months so I was able to reply that I had only two current ones on my record. After some conversation with the officer it was clear that I had met a car enthusiast and that it was possible that he might have just pulled us over to check out the car. He let us go with a warning and our devilish grins returned.
In the last week we got a chance to get under the car and look over every inch of its perfection, thanks for keeping it so perfect Brian. The back seat looks like it was never sat in and I believe you may have even washed the souls of you shoes and possibly even your hands every time that you got in. We pulled it into the shop and changed the oil and while there decided to become less noticeable by putting on the set of a stock wheels that had previously had been on the 2002 M3. The next step: become more noticeable by taking it to Portland International Raceway for the Friday night NHRA drags. We will keep you posted on how we do, see you on the forums.
On another note I have a recommendation for Chris at HPF regarding advertising. I had seen every one of your YouTube videos, every magazine ad, every feature article, and every forum description of how amazing the cars are that you have built but still wasn't inspired to put one in my garage. The event that put that inspiration in place was a trip Alex and I made to your shop to look at MSpired's car to take pictures of it torn down for him. After taking pictures of it and talking about my 08' M3 you offered to give Alex and I a ride in a customer's car who was visiting the store. We accepted and Bryan took us out in his stage 2.5 for the ride that convinced us to make the move that we did. When Bryan punched it and it felt like we were in Star Wars and our ship had just gone into "light speed" I knew I had to have one. As a result my recommendation for your new advertising campaign is to build a couple of these cars to tour around to tracks around the country and give unsuspecting passengers a new reason to live. You won't be able to keep up with the demand. I got out of Bryan's car that day and walked back into Horsepower Freaks' store and told David to start looking for a used 2.5 for me or I would have to add the kit to my wife's car.