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#1619912 - 03/05/2018 22:08 Highly modified 20VT Plus
Nigel Offline
Club member 123
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16820
Loc: Staffordshire
I'm still not 100% sure I'm doing the right thing here, but here goes..... cry

I bought my Moon Grey Plus in July 2010 with just 24,500 miles on it, after my previous Sprint Blue succumbed to rust. Mechanically, the Sprinty was 100%, so all the modified parts were transferred over to the Moonie. I then proceeded to use it as a daily driver for three more years until I realised the costs were too high (I was doing 20,000 miles a year). In 2013 I retired it as a daily driver and used it for weekends and occasional blasts. It is now down to about 1,000 miles a year.

This is surely one of the best-known and best-resolved Coupes on the forum. The way it is now is the result of seven years development in the Sprint Blue and another five years with the Moonie. I set out to create the quickest Coupe in the country (note, not the fastest or the most powerful) by blending huge power with sublime handling and good grip and traction. Those that have been around the forum long enough will know how much effort has gone into this car - stuff like the subframe brace and the Brembo two-piece floating discs are just a couple of examples of me spending time and money to make significant improvements to the car.

Put quite simply:-
  • It will potter around town quite happily
  • It will cruise on the motorway in (relative) comfort
  • It will return 34mpg fully loaded on a cruise to LeMans and back
  • It will run a standing quarter mile in less than 12.5 seconds
  • It will do 0-100 in about 9.5 seconds
  • More impressively, it will do 60-120 in about 7.5 seconds
  • top speed is "unknown", but estimated at 180-190 if I could ever find anywhere long enough to try

The basic details:

1999 Moon Grey 20 valve Turbo Plus
Usual Plus extras such as red-stitched leather Recaros, white clocks, boot nets etc
About 83,000 miles
MOT to March 2019
Full service history, although its due a service and a cambelt right now

Condition - 9/10. It was actually VERY good until I did a charity track day at Bruntingthorpe, during which it got a strong dose of gravel-rash from tailing exotica at 160mph. The front end in particular is looking tired - the front bumper and bonnet are pretty badly stone-chipped and will require paint to correct. The leading edge of the bonnet is bubbling slightly, but is easily catchable. One of the side-skirts has a scuff. One of the rear light rings is bubbling slightly. There are a few very minor parking dings. All of these defects are nothing untoward for a 19 year old car with 83k on it.

The modification list is extensive - this is the list, complete with the cost for the parts only:-

Accralite 83mm high-CR Forged pistons - £800
Cunningham forged con rods - £800
Columbo & Bariani High-lift cams - £600
Ported & Polished head, 3-angle inlet valve seats. - £500
Garrett GTX3071R turbo inc billet comp wheel - £1100
3" downpipe - £160
Downpipe heat wrapping - £50
Longlife 3" exhaust - £300
"Live" mapping - £2000
Siemens 630cc injectors - £200
3.8 bar Fuel Pressure regulator - £50
NGK BKR8EIX Iridium plugs - £60
Walbro 255 fuel pump - £80
ProAlloy induction pipe - £80
Ramair air filter - £60
ProAlloy front mount Intercooler - £450
Helix organic clutch & coverplate - £600
Short-shift - £75
Forge DV006 dump valve - £85
Custom MAF sensor housing - £100
Quaife ATB differential - £600
Blitz SBC-IDIII Boost controller - £300
Vibra Techics 'fast-road' engine mounts - £350
PowerFlex steady-bar bush - £20
Fuel pump direct power feed - £40

Team Dynamics ProRace 1.2 17" alloys - £500
Brembo floating discs - £600
Pagid RS29 front brake pads - £220
HEL braided brake hoses - £75
Osrav KGA shock absorbers - £600
Eibach uprated springs (-25mm) - £150
Novitec 23mm rear anti-roll bar - £80
Custom lower subframe brace - £100
Welded front subframe - £150
Uprated wishbone bushes - £150

Cosmetics / body
Aluminium rear light rings & side repeater rings - £50


Aluminium dial rings - £50
Aluminium speaker rings - £25
Aluminium centre console rings - £30

Clarion FB289RBT head unit - £120
Infiniti Kappa front component speakers - £100
Infiniti Reference rear speakers - £100
PioneerTS-WX11A slimline 200W subwoofer - £250

35w HID headlamps - £75

Along with all the other odds and sods, that's about £13,000 in parts alone. I conservatively estimate that the labour bill (Mostly Motormech) for all the above is at least another £10,000

It has been suggested that I'll make more money by breaking the car for the tuning parts - not a chance! - I want this car to go to someone who will carry on throwing the attention (and money) at it that I've done over the years

To give you an idea of the effort that went into the engine build - standard Coupe 20VT rod and piston assemblies are balanced to within 20 grams of each other. Paul balanced the Accralite pistons and Cunningham rods to within 0.5 grams. Its attention to detail like this that makes the difference between a powerful Coupe and a one with reliable power.

The result of all the engine mods is a peak of 488bhp at 7,200rpm using 1.6 bar (raised rev limiter due to the balanced internals). Torque was 378 lb-ft at 6,200 rpm. The car briefly made over 500bhp on the dyno, but this was a bit close to the limit, so it was backed off to something that would be reliable.

Its also making 200bhp at 4,000rpm, 300bhp at 4,750rpm and 400bhp at 5,600rpm

A gauge of the performance is that at Bruntingthorpe, it pulled away from an Audi RS6 C5, a Porsche 911 GT3 and an early Nissan GTR (admittedly, the GT3 whupped my ass round the corners...)

The handling has to be experienced to be believed. With the Quaife diff, it corners like a RWD car - just feed it in and when the understeer starts, feed in more power and it just pulls round. I've had many positive comments from drivers of fairly exotic stuff about just how well it handles. The chassis spec is the same as the Sprint Blue, in which I won the FWD handling class at Ten of the Best two years running.

Other than the paintwork issues I've mentioned above, the only negatives I can think of are:-
  • Aircon not working - it was working when I laid it up for winter, so almost certainly just needs a re-gas
  • Tyres are, well, tired. They are Toyo T1-R and they are four years old. It really needs something better - if I keep the car, I'll fit Yoko AD08R or Toyo R1-R
  • There are a few squeaks and rattles - just can't be bothered to track them down
  • Cold start can be a pain - it needs 30-60 seconds without touching the throttle before it can be driven away without a misfire - could ideally do with a bit more mapping to smooth it out.

I've also spent a lot of time and effort making the car look close to standard and as comfortable as possible. For example, the entire interior is covered in self-adhesive closed-cell foam to dampen the general road noise. The sound system is very well-sorted, with great speakers, a subtle flat sub in the boot and very crisp and clear sound.

By separate negotiation, I can also include a substantial stock of spares, including:-
  • brand-new OE Plus cam cover - never been fitted
  • Set of OE plus wheels - freshly refurbed - never had tyres fitted
  • Three large boxes of various parts - ECU and lock-set, spare lights, loads of interior plastics and other hard-to-get bits

So - the hard bit - price....

With good paint, I reckon a Coupe with this much performance is worth £15k all day long. Heck, there are standard Coupes (with admittedly better paintwork) fetching £10k+

So - taking the fact that it needs paint into account, I've set the price accordingly at £12,500. I've had a quote for £2k for a complete respray (by the chap that's done loads of Coupes over the years, including an Auto Italia concours winner)

Weirdly, I have very few photos of the car - here's three that I can lay my hands on

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Note - the final image has been doctored to clean up some of the stone-chips

There's LOADS more I can tell to anyone that's interested - I'm happy to possible buyers a passenger ride and even a drive on proof of insurance (and the understanding that if you break it, you buy it!)

Oh God - what am I doing?......

Final caveat - I might get cold feet and withdraw from the sale when I come to my senses

#1620089 - 08/05/2018 00:26 Re: Highly modified 20VT Plus [Re: Nigel]
cherryredbenj Offline

Registered: 22/06/2013
Posts: 18
Loc: west yorkshire

#1620216 - 09/05/2018 15:35 Re: Highly modified 20VT Plus [Re: Nigel]
Nigel Offline
Club member 123
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16820
Loc: Staffordshire
replied smile

#1620295 - 11/05/2018 10:06 Re: Highly modified 20VT Plus [Re: Nigel]
LuisFilipe Offline
Making a profit

Registered: 26/08/2006
Posts: 263
Loc: Matosinhos,Portugal
Your car, for this price it´s almost free, just for all the parts it as, it´s a bargain.

If it didn´t have the steering wheel on the wrong side laugh i would buy it for sure.

It´s the cheapest way of having a 500hp car with style.
picture too large; max size allowed is 300x100 pixels, please resize

#1620849 - Yesterday at 09:26 Re: Highly modified 20VT Plus [Re: Nigel]
Nigel Offline
Club member 123
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16820
Loc: Staffordshire
Is the power level putting people off? I can turn the boost down if nearly 500bhp is daunting - I think it gives about 400bhp on base boost wink

Clearly, pricing a car like this is extremely difficult, and clearly, I have a very biased view of what I think the car is worth, but I'd genuinely be interested to hear people's thoughts on what is putting people off

I really don't want to sell this car on Ebay to someone with more money than sense - it will end up stuffed into the scenery or blown to bits through ragging it to death. If I can't sell it to a Coupe enthusiast, I'll just keep it

What I really need is for someone to test drive it - as soon as they do, they'll almost certainly buy it

#1620859 - Yesterday at 13:32 Re: Highly modified 20VT Plus [Re: Nigel]
Submariner Offline
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 20/12/2005
Posts: 1140
Loc: Kent
I think the issue is modification or at least another person's choice of modification, if you want 500bhp for £13k then it is brilliant value for money.

If you want an unmolested vanilla example of OE spec, less so. A decent basic 20vt is still circa £3-5K, the LE and Plus models perhaps twice that at most; the higher priced car's seem to take a fair old while to sell. Given the average punter sees a 20vt snottter for £1500 on eBay that looks great why would they pay up to x8's for the 'same thing'? The demand may not be there for huge power or big money Coupes for those who want their own journey with a Coupe?

#1620869 - Yesterday at 18:44 Re: Highly modified 20VT Plus [Re: Nigel]
DavidRobot Offline
Club member 2648

Registered: 01/03/2018
Posts: 29
Loc: West wales
My 2p worth is that it’s fantastic value, but ultimately only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. It seems that lots of people what a coupe for a couple of k and therefore all specs are worth the same to these people. I expect that it’ll take a while to sell, if I were in your position I would hang onto it until I got the price I wanted.

I’ve already had numerous people tell me that I was crazy to spend what I did on Nismo’s old coupe, but life is short and I’d rather regret doing something than not!

#1620873 - Yesterday at 20:25 Re: Highly modified 20VT Plus [Re: Nigel]
magooagain Offline
Club member 259
Forum is my life

Registered: 22/10/2008
Posts: 6390
Loc: ked
From a fiat coupe enthusiast point of view ,the feelings must be split.
Coupe purists will not be interested I imagine but from a tuning point of view it's nigh on the holy grail.
The years of dedication and effort let alone money makes this coupe a very attractive buy.
The only negative is that it's Nigel's coupe and it should stay his as its only him that keeps it the way it is.
Anyone else will cloud9 it up.
It's to powerful for the track days I do with mine and it would be dead quickly.

Keep the coupe Nigel.
Enjoy it for as long as you are able and pass it on to your lads when they can respect and handle it.

Waiting for forum photo hosting!