Oct 13, 2011
Ancaster, ON
2004 convertible
You heard it here first.. URBANIZING...... the act of modifying your car so it can excel in extreme urban driving conditions, in my case Hamilton.

My brother-in-law is now residing in a retirement building deep in the heart of downtown Hamilton. Due to this I often find myself driving on those "streets" and have made the following observations.

1) Most everything is falling apart. It used to be the heavily travelled arterial roads but now it's everything, main streets, side streets, parking lots and peoples judgment.

2) This winter has been so bad that where a concrete roadbase is in place they are shifting, creating 1 1/2" vertical faces that clunk the hell out of your car when you hit them.

3) Roadway around manholes badly patched, or patched with concrete or even worse sticking above the pavement.

4) Lanes nearest the sidewalk being terribly uneven and bumpy. I take the posted speed limit, divide it by two and that's about the fastest you can safely drive while keeping all four wheels on the ground.

5) Nobody cares about walk signs, red lights or using signals, even worse if they are driving a scooter. Attitude is everything.

All in all it's a nightmare to drive downtown,. As much as I would prefer to drive through the always sunny meadows of Ancaster where the only problem is hordes of financial advisors driving badly in their BMWs.. well that's sadly not possible, I have to go downtown.

What to do?

Only one option, it's time to Urbanize the old C5.

Gone are the 305s, replace the 19" wheels with 14" and very skinny tall sidewall tires, that should help cushion the ride. Along the same line I'll replace the coilovers with 78 Oldsmobile suspension (used of course), that should also provide comfort similar to my couch at home.

A 6" lift kit can be adapted from a 4x4 truck to allow me to easily roll over the misaligned manhole covers. Pedestrians and scooter people will be handled by massive rubber bumpers (think what you hang off the side of the dock) that will be glued to the front end.

A faux handicapped parking sticker stapled on the dash will ensure that all parking options are available to me to me.

Manny gave me a good price, and said it can be back in my hands by April 1st. He also promised me a 35% discount if I promise not to bring the car to the Coping Event.

It shall be done, and I'm sure this will be the best summer ever!

it has been a long winter.....
I've been measuring up the dimensions of our 2005 Jimmy. A body swap might just be possible without too much alteration. A '96 LT4 would fit in nicely. HEY!! We Might be onto something here!! This winter really has been going on far, far too long.
Seriously, the roads around here are getting pretty bad too. At the end of our street, people drive with one wheel on the boulevard to avoid the pot holes. And yes, I do pay my taxes. :(
We have to use signals!? I took mine out and replaced it with a "Watch for Finger" bumper sticker to reduce the weight of my car. :rofl:
It's not just your area where courtesy and obeying the rules of the road have gone to crap. Saskatoon is horrible with running red lights and everyone doing whatever they can just to get ahead by one car length. If people just realized how little time they save by being a-holes on the road, I doubt they would slow down but maybe they wouldn't be in such a ridiculous rush either. I've pondered putting the "Sorry for driving so close in front of you" bumper sticker on my car.
And don't get me started on the roads. It seems they were satisfied with how good the roads were in the 80's so they just stopped doing improvements.
LOL Wayne -- Downtown Hamilton was crap last summer when we went to a wheel shop -- I can't imagine how bad it is after a cold, road-eating winter.:rolleyes:

H's roads are worse than ours here in Cambridge and that's saying something. At least we're half-way polite and signpost BUMP! and mean it .....

I can well imagine the roads department running out of such signs very quickly this year ....
Careful coming thru, Wayne -- As you know our roads love Corvettes.:(
I urbanized myself by going to a grand Cherokee srt8, used of course. I am on a budget. lol
Something like this ?

I still haven't got the car, either family issues prevented me from going up, or the taller tires on the 14" steel wheels are giving clearance issues on the front end so we have to take a sawzall to the inside of the wheel wells.

Sadly the brakes won't fit the new wheels so it looks like I may be the only C5 with drum brakes. This is getting to be a bigger problem that Tony's inability to drive his Porsche in the rain :)

Yeah, I know I'm days late for April 1st.
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