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I purchased my 122s through an online auction with BAT earlier this year . I picked it up in San Fransisco and drove it home to Asheville NC with my son. The car had 200 miles, since the restoration. In retrospect it was probably not the best idea to drive an unknown 50 year old vehicle 3000 miles across the country, but we made it with just a loose fan belt (fixed at the top of Donner pass) and a blown wiper fuse. She now has 4,500 miles and I have slowly been working out the various new build issues. I had the opportunity to contact the original builder who was kind enough to send me a digital file documenting the 3 year build process including all receipts specs etc. The fellow was a bit OCD, stating such things as "I found a bit of surface rust on the front which I treated but I wanted to know if there was any more so I ended up taking the whole car apart, there wasn't any." The whole car was either reconditioned or items replaced with new, the parts list was long and expensive.

Although the vehicle had new VPD progressive springs and IPD bushings, the original KYB shocks were retained. I live in a mountainous area and as such handling is as much a fun factor as it is for safety. This set up was too soft and provided little body control. On the advise of other forum members I replaced the KYB shocks with a set of Bilsteins from IPD. This made a marginal improvement but the handling remained vague and too softly sprung often bottoming out. After several email exchanges with Rob at Amazon Cars in the UK (thanks DCTHOMPSON for putting us in touch). I ordered their fast road springs that are progressive in both the front and back and lower the car by 20mm (the VPD were close to a 40mm drop). Upon installation the car was much more balanced, handled transitions well and inspired confidence on wide sweeping turns. Even more impressive was the way the car now handled wash-board dirt roads, even fully loaded with 4 adults. I understand these springs where designed for continental rally races, you can tell they are developed to work well across a broad range of environments. I have had the springs on the car for 300 hard mountain miles and would enthusiastically recommend them.

On a completely different topic: I would like to replace the wheels on the car that have both the wrong offset (15 mm of spacers in the back) and are not really doing it for me in the looks department. I like the thought (price, looks, fit, availability, tire choice) of the Chrysler/Challenger steel wheels but I'm concerned about the weight of a 17" inch rim. Has anyone run these or have other recommendations?
 

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VP Autoparts is back to importing the 5.5"J x 15 Volvo look-alikes, this time from a vendor that supposedly has higher quality. $500 for a set of four. My favorites (sleeper wheels).

The better option for performance would be 5.5 or 6" Minilites or Panasonics. Minilites are much cheaper if you buy them directly from the UK. Midlands, for example, (http://www.midlandwheels.com/Shop/C-174-15.html) will sell you a set of 6" x 15" magnesium look-alikes for about $900 plus shipping (about $1100 total).

Before I forget: Don't forget that you don't have to pay the UK 15% VAT ("Value Added Tax"), which is typically listed in the price. To calculate your price, divide the VAT price by 1.15. In other words, if the price with VAT is, for example, 600 pounds for a set of four, your price would be 522 pounds
 
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