We can always count on Garage 54 to bring us some crazy Russian entertainment. This time around the episode is special, because the wacky crew lights up our screens not with a Lada, but a snazzy first-generation Porsche Boxster. Or rather, that’s exactly what they want us to think.
There’s a very good reason this particular Porsche looks a bit, how should we say, lopsided? Beneath the (mostly) yellow body panels are – you guessed it – the bones of a Lada. Come on, this is Garage 54. Of course a Lada factors into the equation, and we’ll give credit where credit is due. This build is rather ambitious, featuring the underbody and running gear of a Lada, right down to drum brakes and a tiny 800cc engine up front, generating all of 65 horsepower for the rear wheels.
Gallery: Lada-Based Porsche Boxster
Interestingly, the Lada’s wheelbase is a pretty good match for the German sports car, though some massive wheel spacers were used to match the Boxster’s width but even then, the wheels sit awkwardly inside the wells. The engine position also sort-of works – it sits far enough back to where this, um, Ladster can still be classified as a mid-engine car, albeit a front-mid-engine design. As for the interior, well, there is none, save for a seat, a bank of toggle switches, and the basic controls for shifting, steering, and stopping.
Amazingly, it all actually works. The crux of the video outlines the test drive of this Frankenporsche, which goes about as well as you’d expect. The car is incredibly light (because most of it is missing) and its springs are far too stiff, so it bounces around like your friend’s slammed 1993 Honda Civic in high school. It’s not light enough, however, for the engine to deliver stellar performance. A timed 0-60 run was thwarted by the car not actually being able to reach that speed, but the video closes with a promise (or possibly a threat) of continued development to make this car faster.
This sounds like a great time to pull the 12-cylinder Lada out of retirement.