In the early days of car customization, it wasn’t uncommon for a guy to have his car in the garage on jackstands with a pile of parts nearby. You might even see him cutting the body to chop it or channel it. When you think of someone customizing their car these days, that usually brings to mind new wheels, a bolt on exhaust, maybe a vinyl wrap. Not the case for John Lazorack III.
John has owned his Chrysler Conquest, also known as the Mitsubishi Starion (made by Mitsubishi and rebranded for the US market) since 1998. It started when he blew the original turbocharged 4cylinder a couple of years after owning it. Even after rebuilding it with a bigger turbo, John still wasn’t happy with the power. Instead of just swapping in another engine, he decided to do a ground-up build. It would be a car he could beat up at the track and drive home.
After getting a job with the General Motors design team, John went full throttle on the build, swapping in a LS1. BUt that didn’t just mean bolting it in. He wanted a better weight balance, and decided to mount the engine further back, which meant cutting the firewall. It also meant swapping and adapting different steering components. Over the next five years, John learned as much as he could about welding, fabrication, 3D printing and digital modeling.
What you see here is the culmination of almost 20 years of constant engineering and design done to a car not many people are even aware of. John Lazorack, we salute you!
Check out this video posted recently by the Hoonigans.
Also, if you’re on Instagram, you can follow along with his car build here.