Marty's Gemini project - MCM garage update
"What is happening with Marty's Gemini?" is a question we get pumped with every week, so now we're going to go through the MCM fleet and give you guys answers to the questions you asked... and a bunch you haven't! This week we'll kick off with one of Marty's most special cars: his 1977 Isuzu Gemini coupe (WATCH HERE).
"The Gemini is in the planning stages while I work out how to tackle the project," says Marty. "After landing the coupe in Australia as a rolling shell (thanks asbestos inspections!) we found there was a bunch of rust to repair. And anyone who has ever owned an old car knows how hard a project gets when you discover the dreaded tin worm."
While many of us would simply tear in and start gutting the GM T-car down to its undies so we could chop the rust out, life is a little more complex when you have multiple projects on the go like Marty and MOOG. With the projects stacked up Marty made the call to put the Gemini in storage and take his time planning exactly what he wanted to achieve with the car - it is a special car to him, and clean examples are both difficult to source today and expensive.
Having owned a bunch of different Gemini models through the years Marty has a good vision for what he wants from the finished car. And don't be expecting a tube frame chassis, CF panels and an engine swapped in from a Mercedes F1 car...
"The path I'm going isn't strictly purity, but it honors what makes this era of car special to me," muses Marty. "I always wanted a good street car with a high-revving NA four-cylinder engine and we can use today's technology to achieve that. When a car is really special it can make the scale of the project blow out a bit because I want it to be really nice and well-finished, but also have very specific qualities."
When your car needs one of everything (and a bunch of rust repairs) there is a lot of project management skills which come into play. Organising trades to work on your car at various stages requires hours and hours of discussion, and pushing to get work done on time so the car is then ready to flow onto the next stage of work, and Marty's experience building cars on MCM means he has a lot of experience, but that doesn't mean he can get something built any time he wants.
"Kicking off a build on a car that you love is so involving, especially tackling building the car I always wanted to back when I was a 17 year-old kid," he explains. "I didn't have the experience, finances or support, to do a build like this back when I had my other Geminis... and I still don't really, I'm just lucky I have people around me who can help make my dream a reality."
"Building the Civic (check it out HERE) wasn't about me building up a car or a build I'd always frothed on," Marty quips. "That car was an experiment of what is involved in finishing someone else's abandoned project. And the answer to that is 'a lot!' - the Gemini requires clear head-space to plan, and to work out what I will use when I do want to take it out; there's no point having a 1000hp car you never use!"
Sourcing parts is also a challenge these days. "You can't get door moulds for a Civic any more, let alone older cars like the Gemini," laughs Marty. "They haven't made these cars in a long time so it can take a lot of searching to find the parts I need, and that is on top of sourcing parts for all the other MCM projects here!"