As constant followers may have noticed there have been a few updates on an Mitsubishi Evo model popping up now and then. Some maybe have seen this build on forums and perhaps Facebook. But before we talk more about the build lets find out more about the genius behind it.
M: My name is Mike Lawrence, I’ve gone by several different usernames over the years. Some of the really old school modelers know me as GTmike400. I’m 24 years old with a background in engineering, racing, and software engineering.
Motorsports is my biggest passion, while I love being behind the wheel, I’d rather be behind the computer engineering how to make the car faster. I love thinking outside of the box, challenges are more fun to me than having a beer on the beach. It’s kind of a sickness.
R: A real petrol head I see. That’s great to know that you are so passionate about cars and it does show in you amazing builds. So what type of racing do you follow? Or are you the all round petrol head
M: I pretty much follow any series, even 2 wheel action. The only type of racing I can’t really bear to watch is that roundy-round crap they call racing here in America. I’d much rather watch Formula 1, Le Mans, or Aussie V8 Supercar. But really, if it requires petrol and goes fast, I’m interested!
R: haha roundy-round racing. I guess it would be too easy in your books. it’s very clear that you do love your cars quite a bit. Did this love for cars start before model building or after? And when did you start building model cars?
M: I think my love for cars started when I was a small child, maybe a couple years old. My parents bought me a 1/64 scale Hot Wheels race car. That is probably what started it all. From then on I would go to car shows with my dad, or try to find racing coverage on the TV.
I think I was probably 7 or 8 years old when I built my first model. It was a Lamborghini Diablo, Testors die-cast snap-kit. I bet I still have that model actually! Then I went on to build pine-wood derby cars with my dad. It wasn’t till grade 10 that I really started trying to build custom models.
R: Wow so you have been building for quite some time. Since then what has been your favourite build?
M: That is a tough question. I rarely ever finish anything, haha! I have terrible modeller ADD. But one of my favorite builds recently was my Subaru STi WRC turned street.weekend track car. It was flat black with dayglo yellow wheels.
Although, my most memorable build was from when I was 13. I built a 1/43 scale diecast Integra. But that was 11 years ago now. Now when I look at it I see memories and I think, “Wow, I was a total ricer back then…and man my work was messy.” It had gull-wing doors, and a widebody made out of putty. I’ve come a long way since…thankfully!
R: Haha you have indeed come a long way since gull-wing doors. That does bring me onto the next part of this interview. The crazy Evo build… From gull-wing doors to crazy detailed motors. Please enlighten us about this amazing build.
M: Haha, thanks for the kind words. Believe it or not, the Evo build kind of started as a self-imposed dare. I had never built anything out of brass before, so one weekend I grabbed a kit off the shelf and decided I would try to build a brass chassis from scratch. Two weeks later I had completed the chassis. I never ever expected to go any further than that. I had accomplished my goal.
Then I had friends from our local model club tell me I need to take it further and complete it. I decided to challenge myself further, see if I could machine an engine from scratch out of brass, aluminum, and other materials. It wasn’t until I really got into the build that I realized the brass chassis I’d built before on a whim wouldn’t fit the suspension I wanted to incorporate.
So now I am redoing the chassis, building a prototype out of plastic first. I learned that lesson that brass is not easy to fix. Then I will build the chassis out of brass. To be honest, I didn’t ever imagine a project of mine going this insane. It’s kind of a bit out of control, but I like out of control. My friends have nicknamed me “Captain Over Engineer”
R: That’s quite a journey. That just makes the build that extra special. So what can viewers expect to see in the coming weeks of this build?
M: Hopefully a lot more work on the engine! I’m actually machining the front half of the timing cover as we’re doing this interview. I have a few more billet pieces to machine for the engine, like the oil pan and valve cover before I can get started on the chassis. Those should be done over the next few weeks, if all goes according to plan. The engine is a stressed member design, so it will mount to part of the chassis itself. Then its chassis time!
R: Well I know I cannot wait for another update. It’s a real pleasure to see a fellow builder that passionate about a build and to put the time and effort in is really inspiring.
M: Thank you. I’m hoping I can inspire others to see what they are capable of, and its a real pleasure to hear feedback from everybody!
R: We thank you for taking out some time to talk to us. Its been a true inspiring chat and we wish you all the best for the rest of your builds. We look forward to your next update
M: Definitely, I appreciate the time! Take care!