Project Elantra: Now a Threesome

Recently I came across an article in Top Gear Philippines that featured a guy with three Lancers. I came away thinking it’s okay for someone to own three – nay, four – or more cars that are the same model. A true classic car enthusiast, you say. For me, at least he has parts cars for the Apocalypse.

When it comes to me and my three Elantras, people come away instead puzzled. Heck, most don’t even want to have one Elantra.

But I digress. Regular readers will know that two of them have been here since the beginning of this site. The Racecar is the original Project Elantra, and it has been modded, repaired, abandoned, revived, raced, broken, abandoned, and revived for many an installment of the Project Elantra series. Last time we made it look better with a wide body kit and a new paint job, done in-house at Kuhol Garage.

The B-Car is very much a running and driveable machine, serving as a coding and spare car. It has been made more economical with an LPG kit installation. We even take it racing occasionally. The last time was the 7th Leg of the 2017 Philippine Autocross Championship Series where we picked up a podium spot in one class.

Project Elantra: Sportswagon and B-car

We haven’t yet written about our newest acquisition. But first, an intro. The 2nd-generation Hyundai Elantra was available as a sedan and as a station wagon. It can be argued that the Coupe is also part of the Elantra family, as they share the same platform and powertrain. The Elantra Wagon was an expensive variant when new way back in 1997 or 1998, and so was not in consideration as a family car when we bought our first Elantra fresh off the lot.

Being an Elantra junkie, I had pined for an Elantra Wagon for the longest time. It didn’t help that daily driving a Kia Carens for 5 years made me appreciate the wagon body style over the sedan, which seems very impractical when you need to haul stuff around.

Finally, several months ago, I found an Elantra Wagon within my price range. Naturally, since it was cheap,  it didn’t run. Just like the Potentia. And its odometer reading is more than double the other Elantras combined.

Project Elantra: The Sportswagon meets the Racecar

It’s also the most rusty Elantra I’ve ever seen. It has rear lower side sill area rot, which our existing Elantras also have. But it is more Swiss-cheesed than it first seems. At least it’s light I guess? Plus it shares the same coding day as the B-car and the Potentia, so I have three deadweights that have to be parked on Tuesdays.

We bought it a refurbished alternator, cleaned up the fuel system, and fixed the power windows. It ran after changing the alternator, but we still have to fix its penchant to overheat even on short drives. Hopefully it’s just that squeaking water pump that needs to be replaced. Cross your fingers that we don’t have to replace the engine. Or maybe you should, because we’re planning an interesting engine build if that happens.

Whether or not we build a souped up engine for it, we’re gonna use the Sportswagon to gymkhana events, going back to basics as we continue to pursue improvement of our driving skills. We’ll be modding it very conservatively, but who knows what we’ll do to it eventually. Nonetheless, I expect it to be a fun ride.

While people will look at me funny for amassing a triplet of esoteric conveyances, this article is not for them. This is for the several from all corners of the world that love their Elantras, Avantes, or whatever weird Indonesian name this car has. And besides, wait another 20 years, they may be classics one day. And someday I’ll be an old guy speaking in halting English too.

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