User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#409348
Hi everyone. I didn't want to start this thread when I first got my truck because I wanted to share everything at once. I will be posting in bulk. I wanted to show what i did to the car before I turned it into an ecto. I didnt want it to come off as if I got the truck as is and just slapped stuff on top. I did a lot of alterations to it and upgrades that I would like to share. The ride I am using for my ecto is 2001 Nissan Pathfinder. If anyone knows my work you know that I try really hard to do something different but still aim to please the gbfans. I was looking to build a modern version of the Ecto. What I had in my mind was what if the state took over the franchise? What would there vehicle look like? I also wanted it to look like it could get you where ever you had to go. I wanted it to be rough, yet clean. I wanted to update, not change, the equiptment on the rack (what would each part look like now). So let's get on to the build! Enjoy everyone!


my 2001 nissan pathfinder le
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i wanted to replicate the look that the undercover suburbans here had with there rim set up.
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i had to replace the radiator :(
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here's a shot of the rear before plastic dip
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during the stages
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let's take out that boring nissan badge
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and let's add a cooler one
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swapped out the old battery for an Optima yellow top
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swapped out the stock alternator(110amps) for a beefed up 220amp alternator. MORE POWER!!!!
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took out the stock muffler
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and just painting the tips black for the new dual exhaust set up(magnaflow)
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i only have a shot of the rear drums but i also painted the front calipers
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i took the time and got at all the wheel wells with some degreaser and scotch brite pads and cleaned the crap out.
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then i painted all the wells with Duplicolor Undercoating. like brand new!
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here's the audio set up for the inside
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what i picked up for the outside speakers
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i picked up 4 of these speakers and mounted them to the underbody of the car
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PA system installed
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Just a little touch of RGB, i mean thats what started this whole thing so i had to sneak a little of it in. This is the sticker that was on the rear side window of the RGB ecto1a. I had it scaled and drawn up by a friend who then brought it to life.
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I replaced both front and rear brush guards. I was just going to repaint them, but when i was in the process of doing so i came across too much rust.
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painting the chrome grille lip black
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after market tinted headlights
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looking good so far
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picked up a belt buckle from ebay, chopped the back off and swapped out the badge
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here is a shot of my rear tail light covers. before on the right, after on the left. it just needed to be sanded and repainted
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and after all that this is the result
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Let me know what you guys think so far.
Last edited by XxEctOxX on July 8th, 2014, 1:33 am, edited 14 times in total.
User avatar
By Ecto-Fire
#409364
Beautiful ride!! Those rims give it character. Also love the front badge idea, very very nice
User avatar
By odiemodie
#409394
Good work! Your ride with the upgrades looks very clean and rough an' ready! Love these pre Ecto builds!

Can't wait to see when you start building and installing the EQ roof rack for that cool SUV ghost chaser! :cool:
User avatar
By odiemodie
#409579
I have been a passenger in this beast. It's everything he says and more. The PA system is especially effective at scaring the straights.
Exciting... so exciting... "Scaring the straights"...

The power that you have... and more to come... very exciting... :-D
User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#410447
So now on to the lightbars I chose for the truck. For the rear, I went with a Federal Signal Master SM 8-30 amber halogen arrow stick. I went with the halogens instead of LEDs because the fading effect it has over the LEDs. To me, it just has more character. It was in pretty bad shape and i had to take it all apart and restore it to the best of my ability.

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Me being me, I just wanted it to look different, even if it was something no one can notice. So I sanded off all the raised text on the lenses.
Before
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After
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The boring part where you go from 400-2000 grit.
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End caps
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All painted
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Much better
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PS. a few of the bulbs were busted, so I replaced all of them.

Now, on to the front lightbar. I went with Whelen Edge 9000. I spent some time over at Jonny's place to help Matt pick up a lightbar for Adam's build and I had a chance to "try on" a few lightbars and this is the one i felt that fit the car best. Sadly i got shafted with the purchase. The guy who sold it to me ripped me off. I pretty much bought a lightbar with no lights. I'll explain in a moment.
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This was the condition of the lights. All of them were like this.
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I didnt want to take the chance of running the strobes and see them burst into flames.

Me, doing my thing.
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Damn, that was just years of yuck.
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A lot better
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Oh raised text. Me no like you
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Better
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Yeah buddy!
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Now, after all that hard work of cleaning the aluminum frame, I decided to get it powder coated black. This is the only shot I took before putting it all together but there will be more photos of it soon.
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ieatmousetraps liked this
User avatar
By belldandy4087
#410500
i agree with aj. very nice work.
User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#410618
Matt was acquiring parts to make an ecto, but due to his other projects he didn't have time to do his build at the moment. So i asked him if i can buy his tanks off of him. Thanks Matt :)

They're not going to stay like this for long
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I got bored
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I honestly didn't think they would clean up this well.
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After all that cleaning I dropped them off for powder coating and I couldn't be happier with the results.
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The gauges was a whole other story. Cleaning them up was kind of a nightmare. There were so many nooks and crannies and getting all that billion year old paint off was really annoying, but I got it done.
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I wish I could have left them this way.
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Sadly, nothing is forever. After priming them, I went with the same black I painted the tribute pack with and I wasn't happy with the results. I mean, it's ok, but I'm going to repaint them on a later date.
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Now for the storage tube. It was a real pain in the butt. I kept getting different information all around and from looking at screen shots I went with Schedule 40, 6in PVC. It had an outer diameter of about 6 1/2. I was really scared when I picked up the material because it looked too big, but once it was cut to size and primed it looked perfect.
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Two things about this picture. In the movie wood was used for the caps and that wasn't going to pick up on film. That's why I think they went that way. I am building something that i hope would last a lot longer. So i thought about getting some caps cut out of acrylic. Thats when Tillson chimed in and mentioned a plastic store that wasn't too far from him. So i gave him a scrap piece of the pipe and he went to the store. It was rather expensive but hey I'd rather do it once. As for the other thing in this photo are the handles. I wanted to replicate the ones in the movie as best I could. I couldn't find anything at the local hardware stores so I had to figure out how this was going to happen. I picked up some 1 inch aluminum stock and made measurements to what I thought it looked like. I took the stock to a place that breaks metal and got them made.Yes they could have been a tad longer but it will do.
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Some parts painted.
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User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#410843
So the phone i had with the progress pictures of the wooden mock up of the roof rack is gone. I only have pictures of when it was finished. One fine day, Mr. Burkit came over and helped me scale the original design of the ecto1 roof rack to my truck.
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Izzy likes it.
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There was a point when I really didn't think this project was going to happen. I went to quite a few metal shops and either got rejected or was told they wouldn't be able to work on it until November. When I thought all hope was lost, I went to one last place that I thought was a lost cause. But I was wrong. After a long chat, they came through for me. A cool side note, the company that made my frame, is the same company that made the memorial waterfalls at Ground Zero. So that's pretty freaking awesome.
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When I saw the frame I knew it was game time.
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bands for the oxygen tanks and storage tube provided by Martin.
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Bands for O2 tanks welded
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The truck was sold to me by my father and I know how he is and if he found out I was going to drill holes into the roof of the truck to mount the lightbars he would be very, and i mean very, pissed. So I had to figure out a way to mount the lightbars to the frame, so that everything comes off in one shot. You can't see it in these two pictures but there are two piece's of L bar that stick out from the bottom of the roof rack frame that go under the roof rack rails. I bolted the rear light stick to it.
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Glamour shot provided by Tillson.
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I wanted to add something to the car that I felt would be on a modern ectomobile. I researched a lot of the police vehicles and i really liked the spot lights on the SWAT police trucks and wanted to integrate it into my build. I found these work lamps at my local tuning shop.
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I got the nuts welded into all for corners of the roof rack frame.
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I like
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I was bored.
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I ran across a small issue with the bands. Since I went with the 6inch inner diameter PVC, the outer diameter was about 6 1/2. so the bands i received were too small.
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Martin was very helpful and shipped me a new set to fit my measurements.
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Now, like I stated before, I am not able to attach the lightbar to the roof of the truck. So i had to do the same thing for the rear bar now for the front.
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So, now I can take the entire rack off in one shot.
By 69428scj
#411002
That's some good thinking outside the bun there with those lightbar mounts...
User avatar
By jimbo7
#411003
Your ability to make junk look brand new always amazes me. Top notch work bud!
User avatar
By Boomerjinks
#411005
That's some good thinking outside the bun there with those lightbar mounts...
The "hat bill" rack was what I tried to do with the Outback, but it wouldn't fit under the front crossmember of the luggage rack due to the shape of the roof. This should be an ideal solution and will definitely prevent shit from flying off.
By Midmichigun
#411009
Dude!
You get an A+++ for effort!
And I simply love this build, and where it is going!
User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#411040
Thanks guys for the comments. Another update. After looking at the pictures of the original ecto1 and the ones a year after it was restored, I just figured it was time for an update. Yes, I know, it is what it is, and that it wasn't designed to have close up shots, but thanks to the people of gbfans and their photos, I came to the conclusion that something had to be tweaked. Nothing too major, but just a little sumthin sumthin.

I took this photo from a thread that Kevin posted in regards to the ecto1 a year after the restoration.
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This is something I had to alter. I know others have probably done so already. I went with half inch plywood for the main body of the box and 45's on all the corners to give it that seamless look.

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I apologize for copying and uploading the photo this way. This photo is property of gbfans.com
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Personally, I wasn't satisfied with the cut of the "ribs" on the back part of the roof rack. Like I stated before, this wasn't meant for close up shots, but this was also something I had to change. I went ahead and changed it to a stock 1x1 wood dowel and added 45's on both ends. I also added a 45 border to the wood it sat on. I just didn't like the grain look.
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If you were wondering what those brackets on the left side are, I really analyzed the roof rack and its components and their purpose. I thought of this part of the rack as a battery compartment. Hence, it's heat sinks. I thought to myself what would this look like if the present technology was integrated with it. So, i ditched the heat sinks for solar panels.
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A mock up.
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Yes, I know the fan box is on the wrong side.
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Next on the list for a face lift is the fan box. The original box had a open hole on top where the fan was located. I thought if this vehicle is suppose to take you from point A to point B, you shouldn't have any hiccups. What if you were battling a ghoul and some ecto plasm gunked up your fan? Problem solved with a fan cap. Simple, cool looking, and just bad@ss.
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The six holes you see in the middle of the box are for U bolts so that the box can be one with the frame.
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Adding ribs.
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These support post inside the fan box also have threading on the bottom so if I have to make any changes I can do so.
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Two coats of primer.
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User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#411408
Alright, so I gotta say, as much as I love painting stuff, this is something I just didn't think i could pull it off. The piece is too large and there would be a lot of over spray and the texture would get messed up. So i left it up to the good guys at Action Powder Coating to get the job done right. I couldn't be more pleased with the way it came out.

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I got kind of excited and I just tossed up what ever I had on the roof.
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Even with just one on, I knew it was a good idea. These things are hella bright.
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Test fitting the heat sinks.
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Martin, Martin, Martin, what can I say? It's amazing!
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Brackets for TI box.
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I just used what ever bolts I had at the moment. I'll switch the hardware out later. Just a simple piece of wood with some 45's for support because I felt that the box wouldn't hold up down the road if it was just supported by 1/2 ply.
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Now, I must say, after seeing the TI box after the restoration of the original Ecto1, I couldn't be more let down with their shoddy paint job. I decided to get it powder coated a gun metal grey. I hope you guys like it.
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Right before I attached this piece, I failed to realize that you can see through the heat sink and see the white wall. So I took a minute and gave a quick 2 coats of black to make believe that there's a hole behind it.
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Sorry for the blurry shot.
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It's in. Just gotta caulk, prime and paint.
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Just caulking.
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Tillson sent me to a place in Brooklyn called Leed's Electronics to look for the rest of the stuff for the TI box. He also mentioned a large dale resistor that I should pick up. Well, I did pick it up (the resistor) and I really didn't have a place to put it but, right at the end of the box build, I found the perfect spot.
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It looks a little off because the screws aren't tightened.
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Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that fan box. So since my box is smaller than the original i was having a hard time finding some louvers that would fit. I cant even tell you how many hardware stores I went to without success. I did a little research and found a place in upstate NY that specialize in louver fabrication. I spoke with the guy in charge and five days later, I had a set of custom louvers for my fan box. I love 'em.
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I really hope everyone digs the choices I've made so far. Let me know what you think!
By GhostGuy
#411432
I think it looks great so far. That powder coating must have cost a fortune. I love the giant resistor. You should stick some tubing on it.
User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#412022
Solar panels are in and they work.
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So, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do with the box. Some ideas didn't go over so well with friends and then it hit me, I was sitting on it! I took the pattern from the milk crate I've been sitting on in my garage and tweaked it a bit, and this is what I got.
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Before
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I went with white because I didn't want this to stand out too much. I wanted this detail to be subtle, so why not white on white?
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So, here you can see the new hardware I used to hold the TI box. Nice and flush.
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U bolts to hold the box to the metal frame.
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I wanted a whip antenna really so bad for my ride. But with the way it was all coming together I just want to do something different like always. So I went with a Firestik. I got a Bullbar mount vs drilling into the side of my truck. I really like it.
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Painted the mount black.
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POTS came in.
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I wanted to get some badass looking fog lights. Something I've never seen before. I stumbled across these and had to have them.
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Thanks for viewing. It's been kinda quiet guys, i wanna know what you think!
User avatar
By TankHammer
#412027
I love your take on modernizing the Ecto stuff and your attention to detail and consistency is really awesome. If I had an Ecto project this is exactly how I would want it to go.

I absolutely love the solar panels! What do they power?

Do you have a shot of that flood light turned-on in the dark? I want to see how much light it throws.
User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#412050
I love your take on modernizing the Ecto stuff and your attention to detail and consistency is really awesome. If I had an Ecto project this is exactly how I would want it to go.

I absolutely love the solar panels! What do they power?

Do you have a shot of that flood light turned-on in the dark? I want to see how much light it throws.
thanks tank for the positive feedback. I have figured out what i wanted to power yet. They have a set of alligator clips at the ends so thats a plus.

I'll post pictures of the spot lights soon. Just the two in the front are brighter than my fog lights and headlights combined. Then add the four on top.. ohhhhh man.
User avatar
By XxEctOxX
#412224
This is good quality of work I very like your project and the handle for the storage tube great .
that means a lot coming from you bud. Thanks again for those parts i couldnt be happy with them.

So for this weekend i am going to set up quick connects for my lighting and also a spare battery in the truck for when I'm at shows. wish me luck!
By alphabeta001
#412255
Love it.

If I had the money and the knowledge I'd have to copy your ideas.
ieatmousetraps liked this
By Venkman1984
#417976
By far the most thought out modernized version of what the ecto would be, excellent attention to detail as always. Cant wait to see it in person!
ieatmousetraps liked this
User avatar
By vicryixiv
#418747
This is an awesome and inspiring build. I lost my %*^# when i saw the custom badge. That's such a small but awesome detail that really makes me want to clear out the garage and start painting my sonata white :D
User avatar
By Chace
#418754
This vehicle is the super radicalest. Shame that the dude driving it around is such a major douchhhhhhe.
I thought the same thing at DragonCon! :cool:

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