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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well as some of you may have guessed and as some of you I have told privately (thank you for keeping it quiet!) a very bad thing happened to my beloved car....FIRE!
Because of what happened and how it happened I feel I have a duty to let everyone know about some unique and somewhat potentially dangerous things our car has if it catches on fire. I couldn’t say anything earlier because my insurance company was slow and settling with this but we’ve come to a tentative settlement so I can talk about it now.
Basically in May of this year after a whole bunch of mods and also road rash repair my car was beautiful and ready to tear up the track. I had put a modified turbo on there and trying to get some extra power. Anyway it looks like one of the oil lines to it broke (or something we’re not sure) and when I was at the racetrack renting it privately to test out my car all of the sudden there was a pop and tons of white smoke was coming out the back of my car while I was going down the track at 90 miles an hour. I only had a small fire extinguisher in the car and I was about half a mile from the big trailer with all the fire extinguishers and also a water hose available. So I had to make a decision as soon as I saw the smoke I was pretty sure it was a fire because it was such a huge plume but there was no flames yet so I unbuckled my harness grab the door and made my decision either to stop the car get out and try to put it out with my little fire extinguisher or drive the half mile back to the trailer. I chose the latter.
Driving back to the trailer honking my horn keeping an eye on my rearview mirror if I saw any flames I was ready to slam on the brakes open the door and jump out a roll out of the car if I needed to! I made it back to the trailer slow down a bit and then I saw some orange flames I went another 10 feet and jumped out of the car as quick as I could.....total stuntman shit!
My mates could see me coming from quite a ways away and they were ready with the big fire extinguishers and started putting it out. It really wasn’t a huge flame and I certainly thought the fire extinguishers will put it out.
Then it became shocking. The fire would not go out. It would look like it was out but then it kept coming back. I hooked up a hose to the water and was squirting water on it while they were still using more fire extinguishers. But the fire just kept coming back. It was around the turbo area and we had the engine compartment open squirting water and fire extinguishers in there well. we even jacked up the car in the back so we could squirt water from down below. The fire just kept coming back. After about 15 minutes my race shop manager told me to call the fire department. I called them and of course they were slow and went to the wrong address and other stupid stuff and they eventually showed up took their time putting on all these masks and stuff while my car is burning. Then they emptied one whole fire truck and then they had to hook up a second one! Was absolutely incredible the fire that would just not go out!!!!
Now my car wasn’t melting or burning to the ground or anything like that it was just a fire in the engine compartment and underneath the car get into the gas tank which then opened up and there was a bunch of fire under the car. But my car actually looks pretty much intact it just got hot for a really long time it burned for like 25 minutes all the time with water being squirted on it.
After the fire department left I went to undo the emergency brake and it was red hot there was actually still fire in that tunnel in the carbon fiber tub. I pulled off the emergency brake cover and squirted water in there from the hose and heard a hiss. Looks like I finally put the fire out and what was happening is that there was oil on fire stuck in the carbon fiber tub in the tunnel that kept coming back. Also I’ve spoken to some other people that know the car really well and behind the gas tank is kind of a crevice near the carbon fiber tub that’s really hard to get out. I think that hot burning oil was stuck in his crevices and could not be got out and that’s why the fire just kept coming back.
Sad thing was that we were planning to put a fire suppression system and we just never got around to it because we ran out of time!
So although changing a Turbo is not a big deal a lot of people do it but for anybody that does anything like that I would strongly suggest getting a very good fire suppression system with plenty of nozzles that shoot into these crevices.
I wonder if I would’ve pulled over immediately and use my little fire extinguisher if it would’ve put out the fire possibly. But it being so far away from the water and the trailer with the fire extinguishers if it didn’t work my car would’ve certainly burned to the ground.
Right now there’s some salvageable parts on it I think I can buy a wrecked one and with my burnt up car if I buy it from my insurance company I can make one good car out of the both of them. That’s the plan.
I really loved that car it was so beautiful. But like some people.....those that burn twice as bright last half as long.
I am really sad about this but it’s really no different than if I was driving on the freeway and some idiot totaled my car. Plus I didn’t get hurt or burned up! I guess now I can say that I’ve driven a car on fire! All first world problems!
I don’t have any parts to sell or anything like that when the time comes about if I decide to do that I will let people now on here what I have.
And I did a lot of tracking this year anyway my Giulia QV I lightly modded it by lowering it, did a Girodisc iron rotor brake conversion, ECU tune added some camber and a cat back exhaust. The car turned out to be stupid fast! About the same speed as a stock GT3 if driver skill is the same. Its almost most as fast around the track as my 4C was even though it weighed 1300 pounds more! And I’ve tracked it enough that my driving is to the point where I can’t make it go any faster without giving it wider tires because they’re pretty skinny for the car. So I’m looking to put a widebody kit on it and have 305 width tires square on it. I’m also working with Ideal Racing on a new ECU tune that will run on 92 gasoline or E85. The car will be about 700 HP at the crank. Will be faster than a GT3RS!!! And it’s a four-door sedan LOL. I even put some granny stickers in the back windows so when I pass all these 2 door sports cars they have to wave at granny as we fly by them. Yes i’m still terrorassing the racetracks and crazy as a loon!
I’m also doing wheel to wheel racing now with a 2001 Porsche Boxster S. It’s a good car for Racing because parts are available they’re cheap and it’s a quite reliable 250 hp. And being a mid engine light weight car (2700 pounds stripped down and with roll cage) It actually handles very similar to a 4C which warms my heart. I’ve got an enduro race this weekend at Area 27 in Canada.
So next year I’ll have a 700 HP big girl sedan beast that will blow up every car and also have a lightweight 250 HP race car I have to momentum drive.
And also possibly have a new 4C that will look almost identical to my last one. I’ll still keep it street legal but track it too. I don’t think I’ll go into the motor other than camshafts and an ECU tune. And yes I will have a fire suppression system LOL!!!
The 4C really is an amazing car! Absolutely everyone loved that car both on the track and on the street and it was very fast! I look forward to having one again!
As far as car insurance worked I had full coverage insurance and I wasn’t racing the car and it just started on fire so covered. But It’s a real fight proving the value of your betterments on the car. Wish me luck!
I have a YouTube channel with all my videos and I mostly just been posting on a Facebook Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio page.
But I’ve got to tell you I think this 4C forum is one of the best ones around.

Here’s a video from last weekend at Area 27 in Canada. I was up there for my final weekend of the season with my Giulia QV and I was just blowing up everyone and it really wasn’t much fun other than competing with myself but then this blue Corvette showed up! And he was a good driver!! I ended up doing my fastest time of the season on 200 hardness street tires catching him and then he never could catch back up. Boy those tires were singing!!!
Take care!!
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Really glad that you are OK, Tom!
Horrible end to a wonderful car, but I'm glad that you chose to make lemonade and push forward with your driving "career" instead of looking backward at the issues.

Best of luck with it all - you know we're all rooting for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, first time ever I hear of a 4C catching fire.
Combination of burning oil in crevices and also the resin on the tub burns.
We put the car up on a lift afterwards and it was interesting as the front part of the tub was solid but the back part kind of was a crispy surface.
Sometimes they can repair these tubs but it was very hot there for quite a long time I can’t imagine it being safe.
Plus all of the wiring and hoses and everything underneath the car are all fried.
Could be a potential motor swap car.... As long as the tub doesn’t break in half at the apex!
 

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Wow! Very sorry to hear about this, but I’m glad that no one other than the car got hurt. That looks like a pretty sweet Boxster, that has to be fun. Glad to see that despite the issues you[re still out there having fun.
 

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Tom.Glad you were finally able to tell everyone although I knew quite a while ago from our private conversations. The good news is no one got hurt. Things like this happen even to cars only driven on the street. One of those things....perhaps a oil line broke. Often once a car starts on fire it quickly get to the point where it will be a lost cause to try to save it. Between the damage to electronics, smoke damage, fire extinguisher material in engine if it was still running....the car is a total loss. All that plastic is going to feed the fire also. Let the insurance work it out and count the experience as another bump in life. All you learned from your first car will make your next one even better....and you will not have to reinvent the wheel as you have already debugged a 4C to make it a real track monster.
Best of luck in your tracking adventures with the Giulia and Porsche. Hope you continue to keep us informed of your activities...and especially if you decide to build another 4C.
 

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Glad things have progressed on the insurance front, Tom. Nothing seems to hold you back. It’s always onwards and upwards regardless. An admirable quality. Keep us in the loop regarding the Boxster (sweet car) and how the 4C insurance saga turns out. I hope you do get to acquire another 4C and apply what you’ve learned to her. I’ll jump to the Giulia forum to lurk and read about your Giulia. Glad you’re OK and restaurant expansion is progressing well too. Best regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Glad things have progressed on the insurance front, Tom. Nothing seems to hold you back. It’s always onwards and upwards regardless. An admirable quality. Keep us in the loop regarding the Boxster (sweet car) and how the 4C insurance saga turns out. I hope you do get to acquire another 4C and apply what you’ve learned to her. I’ll jump to the Giulia forum to lurk and read about your Giulia. Glad you’re OK and restaurant expansion is progressing well too. Best regards.
Thanks! I think if I have a car with more than lightly modded I’m going to get special insurance through some company like Hagerty. Something that will cover my car for all the mods and also for track use without any question.
Sometimes they have multi car discounts.
Oh my you wouldn’t believe what I had to do with the insurance company like provide all my personal and business financials send tax returns, go to a recorded deposition with a lawyer. Seems like some people try to burn their car up on purpose to try to get money or something. Even if you’re legit and innocent like me it’s still no fun.
It’s fun having the 4C and Giulia QV as both are amazing cars and they go together well if you can get both of them. They both share the Italian electronics quirks! I keep a code scanner in both glove boxes!
But with the Giulia I have a programer who is really sharp and he has coded out all of the little nuisance codes in addition to giving me more power. The stock Giulia can throw some throttlebody limp mode codes and other small things that are really nothing but mine doesn’t and it’s almost like I’ve got the newest better software. I actually have better software than the Alfa techs are providing. Crazy Alfa!
Wife’s 2013 Merc ML63 will run out of extended warranty in April. I need to get rid of it because parts can be just stupid expensive. Recently we had our left turn signal stop working in the front of the car and the only way to fix it was to replace the entire front headlight turn signal assembly that was over $3000!!! Luckily my extended warranty covered it. Not too long ago it would’ve just been a $.69 lightbulb or a $2 flasher!!! But now days it’s all one piece and over $3000!!
I may actually be getting a slightly used Stelvio QV as a back up back up track car LOL. I will lower it a bit and make it kind of a station wagon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tom.Glad you were finally able to tell everyone although I knew quite a while ago from our private conversations. The good news is no one got hurt. Things like this happen even to cars only driven on the street. One of those things....perhaps a oil line broke. Often once a car starts on fire it quickly get to the point where it will be a lost cause to try to save it. Between the damage to electronics, smoke damage, fire extinguisher material in engine if it was still running....the car is a total loss. All that plastic is going to feed the fire also. Let the insurance work it out and count the experience as another bump in life. All you learned from your first car will make your next one even better....and you will not have to reinvent the wheel as you have already debugged a 4C to make it a real track monster.
Best of luck in your tracking adventures with the Giulia and Porsche. Hope you continue to keep us informed of your activities...and especially if you decide to build another 4C.
Yeah it will be interesting to see how much smoke damage there is if I buy the car back from the insurance company. I think everything is pretty much gone as it burned for so long and there was smoke everywhere.
Like you say life happens!
Not too long ago I was up in Canada at Area 27 tracking and I was talking to some motorcycle people who had their trailer with two motorcycles inside of it and all of their tools stolen right out of the parking lot of what looked to be a nice new hotel. I guess what you do nowadays is you have an alarm on your hitch that sends a signal to you if someone starts to try to take the trailer off.
Yeah it’s been a weird year for me. And acquaintance that I really liked and was becoming friends with died in his Porsche Carrera S at the track with me. I was the last person to speak with him and then 10 minutes later He is dead from rolling and barrel rolling about 10 times at 150mph!
Last conversation we were having he was telling me how he could push buttons and make his car handle differently I told him I didn’t really like how that sounded and he better be careful. It seems like he was turning off his traction control for the first time and then instead of baby stepping it up slowly instead he went the same speed as before and was trying to keep up with me! At our local Spokane track which is very fast and very bumpy he made the critical mistake of not knowing how to drive without traction control off, keeping the same speed he’s going before and then he lifted at a bumpy turn. Basically he did everything wrong at the fastest and worst part of the track!!!
I had just got through talking with him I was going to go for a real fast lap. I did a warm-up lap and then as I’m starting my fastest lap at 150+ mph I looked in my review mirror and he’s trying to keep up with me!! I remember thinking that’s odd why is he so close he’s not usually that close to me in speed And then I had to focus on the difficult part of the track and as I’m making the sweeper turn right after that I feel this vibration shaking my entire car. And then I had to focus on the difficult part of the track and as I’m making the sweeper turn right after that I feel this vibration shaking my entire car. I thought something was wrong with my car but then it went away and I kept driving and then I look in my mirror and he’s gone I don’t know what happened but then on the next lap it’s a red flag and then the horror story began.
I didn’t realize it at the time and it took me two or three days to realize that the vibration was his car violently smashing into the payment and the shockwaves traveling forward in my car!
He had no racing seat no harness just a three-point and basically he just got shook to death like a ragdoll! I was quite traumatized for a while honestly. And it was sad because he was the nicest guy and a good driver. But life goes on and that forced me to reevaluate what I’m doing and make some changes and safety. I was able to add a harness to my Giulia which makes it a hell of a lot safer for tracking. Got the Schroth quick fit harness that clicks into the rear seatbelts. I bought the one for the BMW because they didn’t have one for Alfa and modified it to work. i’m very proud of this mod as it has a lot of safety and doesn’t take up any room in the car nor do you have to add a bar and lose the use of the back seat. And I can just unclick it and throw it in a bag in the trunk!
it would be nice to have a roll cage and a racing seat but the harness and Hans device is the most important and now I have those in my Giulia QV.
And then shortly after that my car burns up!
What are year!
Here’s a photo of the harness
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Sorry to hear about your car. It had many miles covered on the race track and no race car last forever.

Looking forward in hearing about your new alfa 4c and it's mods.
 

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jeezzuus, and I've been worried about a stone chip.

It was a lovely car with the mods. Do you think you went over the threshold of what it can do? Hopefully standard cars will never do this?
 

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Tom, I am glad you are okay. I was wondering what was up, as I had only seen Giulia videos lately. Enjoy the boxer! Great little cars.....

On a side note, the fire suppression systems in race cars are designed to give you time to get out, not really put out the fire. I seem to remember that the volume of the suppressant is designed to give you about 10 seconds to escape.
 
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Glad you're OK. Maybe a side project to marry your 4C chassis with a Giulia QV motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Tom, I am glad you are okay. I was wondering what was up, as I had only seen Giulia videos lately. Enjoy the boxer! Great little cars.....

On a side note, the fire suppression systems in race cars are designed to give you time to get out, not really put out the fire. I seem to remember that the volume of the suppressant is designed to give you about 10 seconds to escape.
When I was driving that car on fire.....10 seconds sounds like a pretty good deal!!
 

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Holy shit!!! First, glad you’re good, Tom. Condolences on your car, but I truly am speechless reading about your friend. I am so sorry.
 

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I was wondering where you went, glad your safe. What an experience.


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When I was driving that car on fire.....10 seconds sounds like a pretty good deal!!
Yeah, one of my instructors car caught fire in a Chump race. He said that by the time he got the car stopped the cabin was so full of smoke he couldn't see anything. So everything necessary to get out of the car had to be done quickly and by feel.. Within seconds of him getting out the whole car is in flames.... This is one reason why I want to get a full race car (cage, fire suppression, and the likes...)
 

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Tom my friend, we are all going to miss your amazing 4C. You inspired me to take my 4C to the track and now I need to make some mods to make it safer as I have a lovely family to take care of.

Some day I have to come down to Washington to see your Giulia. Drive safe and keep strong.
 
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