Northern VA Auto Repair


Streetcar to Racecar: Look Cool, Be Cool and Sound Cool!

Turning a streetcar into a racing machine is one of the coolest things we get to do as auto care specialists. Occasionally, a car comes through that screams "Race me!" We were lucky enough to have a 2007 Porsche Cayman S brought in that was in dire need of repairs, updates, and maintenance. The owner wasn't interested in investing in the car, but we were!

About Our Lucky Find

We had a customer come in for a flat tire repair, but all four tires were bald. They were so bad, you could almost see the air through the tires! The right-front window was down because the regulator was broken, and it wouldn't go up or down. The "check engine" light was on, and the customer, who'd had it diagnosed elswhere, told us it also needed a catalytic converter. All-in-all the car required about $4000-$5000 in repairs.

Can anyone take a regular car and do this?

You can upgrade almost any car, truck, or SUV. If you want the vehicle to look and handle better, opt for a suspension upgrade. If you want performance, look for performance software that is compatible with your car. Something as simple as changing out your wheels and tires can make a big difference in style and performance.

What We Started With

2007 Porsche Cayman S

49,000 miles

Standard brakes

Standard suspension

Standard exhaust

What We Upgraded

Bilstein PSS's 16-way adjustable suspension

Lowered the car by 2 inches

Added 50 horsepower

Dropped about 40-50 pounds of weight

Cold air intake and airbox

Bigger throttle body

Michelin Sportcup tires

Brakes – race pads, steel braided brake lines, high-temp fluid

Wheels – fixed and painted

Exhaust – Todd Sager @ AWE Tuning (

Performance Software – TJ Luppa from Vivid Racing (

Rollcage, 5-Point Harness, & Fire Extinguisher – Mitch Piper of Piper Motorsports

Where to Start

If you can't upgrade your vehicle all at once, start with suspension and brakes. Remember, handling and safety are always most important. After you've got those nailed down, you can start in on horsepower. Whether you're ready to start now, or you just have questions and love to talk cars, come on over. Our experts here at Craftsman are always itching to get their hands dirty upgrading cars, and with our 35 years of experience, we can steer you in the right direction.

Time & Money

It took us several weeks to get the Porsche track ready. We weren't done until we had all the safety upgrades in place and we'd painted the roll cage "Craftsman Orange." We chose to invest in top-of-the-line upgrades which topped out around $15,000.

Safety Gear

If you're going to be doing 150mph on the track, you've got to invest in some top notch safety equipment both on the car and on yourself. Piper Motorsports did an awesome job on our rollcage, 5-point harness, and fire extinguisher. Also, never hit the track without a helmet!

Check It Out on YouTube

Did you know that Craftsman has its own YouTube channel? Well, we do, so click on over there to see our video series Streetcar to Racecar on getting this car track ready. (CraftsmanYouTubeChannel)

Where to Race in the DMV

If you've got a vehicle ready for the track, we recommend Summit Point Motorsport Race Track in West Virginia. It's an awesome place to Look Cool, Be Cool, and Sound Cool!