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Old 05-26-13, 08:05 PM   #1
Hiryu
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Default Murtaya

Documenting the 7+ year process of building a Murtaya, which is basically a lightweight roadster body with a WRX/STi powertrain in it (so AWD, turbo H4, etc.).

----------------------------------
Table of Contents:

Post 1 - Discovering the Murtaya
Post 2 - Build Begins
Post 3 - The Build Continues...
Post 4 - This is gonna take a while
Post 5 - Finishing up...In the UK, at least
Post 6 - First Murtaya hits the U.S.A.
Post 7 - Two steps forward...
Post 8 - Going to pick her up...The first time...
Post 9 - More issues...
Post 10 - A new start. And engine. And transmission. And body.
Post 11 - And Interior.
Post 12 - Going to pick her up...The second time...
Post 13 - More Details
Post 14 - Shakedown
Post 15 - Coming Home
Post 16 - The First Month
Post 17 - BNW 2013
Post 18 - Car Shows, Sunsets, and Evos....Oh My!
Post 19 - Forza Motorsport: Heavy Metal Affliction
Post 20 - Miss September 2014
Post 21 - After Delivery + 1
Post 22 - After Delivery + 3 (and after Journey Start + 10)
Post 23 - After Delivery + 4 (visiting her sister + first stutter)














Mike
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Last edited by Hiryu; 08-20-17 at 12:38 AM. Reason: +Post 22
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Old 05-26-13, 08:06 PM   #2
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Default Discovering the Murtaya

I first heard about the Murtaya on April 11, 2006. Apparently a news reporter released an article globally that was never meant to go outside of the Murtaya's native Cornwall, England. The Murtaya was described as a lightweight, AWD, turbocharged roadster:



After having a few WRXs and STis in the family and falling in love with them but wanting a little sportier looking car, this was as close as it got for me (in the real world).

I contacted the guys in the UK who were dreaming up the car. They were surprised yet excited to hear from somebody so far away. To cut through a lot of story, I got to know them and we started making plans to get me a car. But first, they had to finish the prototype....

This is still one of the most exciting pictures for me: the very first real life pic of a Murtaya body:


They kept sending out pics and updates and before I knew it (well, not at the time, but looking back it seemed fast), they had the public release of the first Murtaya:



Not too long after that, I headed up to the U.K. to check it out and test drive it personally:




After that, I was sure I wanted one. And so my build began...

Last edited by Hiryu; 07-30-13 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 05-26-13, 08:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Murtaya

One of the great things about getting a custom car is that you see it from the VERY beginning...like the first shot of mine, where the monocoque was being built:


Over the next few months I would watch the initial stages of my car being put together as they also tried to figure out how they were going to eventually get it to the U.S. a lot sooner than they had ever planned.




They also found me the incredible donor car: an STi Type-R.


It was an exciting time, but I was soon to learn how slow and tough building a car from (virtually) scratch can be...

Last edited by Hiryu; 07-24-13 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 05-26-13, 08:37 PM   #4
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Default The Build Continues...

But weeks turned to months turned to years...and sometimes even a paint job would seem like it might take an entire calendar to finish up. But despite getting ribbed about my imaginary car by family, friends, coworkers, enemies, homeless people on the street, etc., I was still honestly enjoying it, especially when I got new about any progress, like getting the secondary donor car for the left-hand drive parts (this was an Impreza from Germany):


And the engine, which used the heads and other parts from the main donor car but had a 2.5L bottom end from the USDM STi:


And the interior (or at least the first version):


And, of course, it going in to get it's (first) paintjob:


And after:
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Old 05-26-13, 08:56 PM   #5
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Default This is gonna take a while

Even with the major components out of the way, it became apparent that it was the little things that were going to really take the most time. Besides how to make everything work for a U.S. car, there was also the fact that they were still developing small fixes in the main prototype that had to be retrofitted to my car. But progress continued, and a lot of the time was spent finding cool parts that we wanted to put into the car, like brakes:


Primary gauges:


Auxiliary gauges:


Seats:


Even tail lights:


Little did I know at the time, though...Each and every one of these would change at least once before the process was done.
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Old 05-26-13, 09:04 PM   #6
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Default Finishing up...In the UK, at least

But after several years (I'm condensing this for both brevity and my sanity), she was beginning to finish up.


She had a temporary transmission (she would get her final six-speed after landing in the States):



And a simple, safe tune for the time being:


And it wasn't long (well, actually it was) before she out and being road tested, including her first modeling shots:


Alas, it was time for her to leave her birthplace and go to her new home on the other side of the planet...
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Old 05-26-13, 09:14 PM   #7
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Default First Murtaya hits the U.S.A.

And so it was shipped over here. At least the chassis of the car.


The actual powertrain would end up being sourced from the U.S., so there was still the main assembly to be done. But here it is being picked up by the U.S. Murtaya distributor after getting through customs in Galveston, TX:



And after a wash (still missing powertrain, hence the high stance):


While this was very exciting and it seemed like the end of the road was near, it would turn out to be the beginning of some of the darker times of the process...

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Old 05-26-13, 09:24 PM   #8
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Default Two steps forward....

This is where the issues and the headaches with the car really started to mount. I later found out that customs had taken quite a toll on the ol' girl. First she had her driver's side window shattered by the dock workers so they could get in and get her off the boat when they couldn't figure out how to gain access because of the handle-less doors(despite us having instructions on the inside of the window on how to do just that).

After that, the customs inpsection agent apparently had destroyed the hood latches to gain access to the engine compartment.

We still had to source a transmission, and the one we ended up originally getting had been used in a rally car and had some issues.

Despite these, there was a push to get the car up and running again with the new U.S. components, and I was getting ready to pick it up....

(I know, no pictures this post. Like I said, it was a dark time for the build, and what better way to convey this feeling to you than by having a boring, text-only post? Besides, there weren't too many pics at this point...)
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Old 05-26-13, 09:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Murtaya

wow thats a crazy amount of work! i'm surprised i've never ever seen or heard about the model until now!
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Old 05-26-13, 09:38 PM   #10
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Default Going to pick her up...The first time...

It was finally time for me to go and pick her up, now that she was all assembled with her U.S. parts.

Well, not so fast.


I got there to find out that there were just a few more issues...Like, for example:
  • The exhaust somehow shrunk on the way here and was now four inches too short (?!)
  • The engine wouldn't always start
  • Lights didn't always want to work
  • Shifter didn't fit so well
  • Oh, and the transmission/clutch slipped with anything more than moderate throttle
Those were the major things, but I also noticed how the body and paint had cracked, the interior parts were all a bit off, etc. etc.

So we gave it a good shot at getting her done:


And got lots of help:


But after several days of working on it, I realized she wasn't going to be ready, gave up, and headed back home.


Needless to say, I wasn't totally happy with leaving her behind, but I figured that I'd rather have her done well.
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