In the small 3500 square foot shop called DeanZ RodZ and Race Carz , owner Dean Laurent is working on one of the most unique and awe inspiring custom cars we have ever come across.
Dean has done a fantastic job at keeping the beautiful lines and shape of the original ghia body intact.
At first glance it is undeniably a karmann Ghia. You cant help however, to notice how low the car sits. At 6'2 the roof of the car barley made it to the waist of the friend I bought with me. This was a benefit of the Air ride suspension. The car looked mean and all business . The only noticeable visible changes where the stretched and radiuses wheel wells ( which have massive 20" and 22" rims and low profile tires stuffed under them) and the viper intake protruding 3" above the hood. Looking closer and you will see that the door handles are gone, replaced by keyless entry and the whole front of the Ghia now tips forward to allow you access to the engine bay. I was impressed with the quality of work done on this ride, it was evident that the engineering was well though out.
Looking into the engine bay you cant helped but be impressed, the V10 looks enormous in the 95" wheel base ghia. Every ounce of space was used ,yet it is surpassingly uncluttered. Lack of a brake booster begged the question " how do you stop this thing" . Dean assured us the master cylinder and other items such as power booster, clutch and reservoirs were located under the dash of the car. We think it made for a very clean and presentable engine bay.
It seems like the more you looked at this car ,the more jumped out at you and made you go "wow thats cool" and 'hey check that out". It would be a mistake for someone to glance at this car and assume they have seen it. The suspension on this car is absolutely gorgeous, billet unequal A-arms up front and IRS in the rear, designed and CNC'd completely in House. Even the IRS center section was the first of it's kind built by dean. When asked what kind of time and effort it takes to make such items dean told us he had 200 hrs in the rear center section and about the same in the rest of the suspension components.
The visual impact of the exterior of the car is breathtaking. This "SideWinder"
The interior is just as impressive. This is not your bare bones race car interior and it is immediately evident that this car was built to be driven more than just a 1/4 mile at a time.
The dash looks like a fighter cockpit. Nearly everything you could ever want to know about the car can be monitored from the drivers seat. Digital gauges give you the basics such as, fuel level, fuel pressure, oil press, volts, water temp, speed ect.. Where they leave off, the in dash Dashdaq II touch screen OBDII system takes over . This innovative unit gives you information of fuel curve, voltage drain, wide Band 02, 0-60 times, 1/4 mile time-braking distance, ect. On the drivers pillar you will also find the new G-tech EGS Tach with shift light and data logger also hooked up to OBDIi. Then the fiberglass custom headliner holds the tire pressure and temp monitor. The whole interior is just killer, even the l.e.d stainless flat toggles are amazing looking and don't look out of place along side the &" DVD/GPS sound system and Air ride digital controls . The seats are custom made, wrapped in black leather and have an adjustable headrest. The car looks inviting and comfortable, at least for 2 small or mid size adults.
When asked about why the car was built, Dean said "This was not my idea, the owner (Jamie Walters) approached me about this build after he was told it could not be done ", I wanted to prove them wrong".
Well, he has defiantly done that. Dean also stated that this car would not be impossible to build without the support of the 35 major parts and service sponsors. The Car is do to be completed this summer and start doing shows in the USA. 3 magazines have already asked about doing articles on the car and people love the idea of such a wild build. If you have a chance please visit deans web site at www.deanzrodzandracecarz.com and check out the pics of the car being built as well as the sponsors who have contributed. I cant say enough about this car and the stunning creation it is. What a refreshing and original work of art.