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BerettaFest 2014: Pigeon Forge, TN

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April 2014 COTM

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Mark Burdick 1995 Base 3400/Auto  aka Black Betty  BAM BLAM

293,000 miles.  Ten years. Three engines.  Two transmissions.  One body.  Betty has been with me through good times and bad times.

I got her in 2004 as a 1995 Base Model with the 3100 V6 engine.  It was my Junior year of High School. My Pontiac Sunbird was giving me issues, so it was time to get something a bit more reliable.  The choices before me were a Chevy Beretta or a Ford Tempo, with dreams of a Lumina Z34 that would never happen.  I was not feeling the Tempo, so I started to look into the Beretta.

I stumbled upon and, as well as a few cardomain pages.  A rudimentary Google search found me images of GTZs, GTUs, and Z26s.  After a night of browsing, I had to have this car.  $2000 and a few days later, she was sitting in my driveway.

Although I greatly appreciate the Base/GT body style, back then I was dead-set on the Z04 ground effects.  That led me to my first Beretta friend, Eric Custer.  I bought the whole Z04 ground effects from him, as well as a set of wheels and a gauge cluster.  Within a few months, the ground effects were painted and installed.  Another friend provided me with the sound I wanted via a Flowmaster 40 Series muffler.  A trip to a local junkyard, based of a tip from a friend that a 60k mile Cayenne Z26 was there, got me my Z26 seats.  And finally, an acquaintance in Iowa sent me a solid grille.  Betty was looking pretty slick.

In my Sophomore year of college, disaster, or at least what I considered a disaster, struck.  Betty blew a head gasket.  I brought the Sunbird out of retirement only to blow her head gasket just two weeks later.  I was now stuck driving my grandparents Mercury Grand Marquis and having no idea what I was going to do.

As luck would have it, a 3400 more or less fell into my lap.  I would later find out it was a result of some Beretta-world related drama, however I am still good friends with one of the parties involved.  Parts were gathered, and by the end of the year, I had my baby back.  Eric again helped me out by offering his place as the home of the swap, and my new friend, Scott0999 from the forums was a huge part of making this swap happen as well.  I cannot thank those two enough for everything they’ve done for me over the years.

A few years passed with no major to the car, but over that time I acquired little things like E36 headlights (from Mr. Jonathan Chmura), an MRZ flush-mount kit for my cd player, as well as an MRZ rear shock tower brace, LED side markers, and a set of 17″ Nexo wheels.  I also upgraded the upper and lower engine mounts with a set that came from McGavinZ26′s supercharged 3400 Beretta.  Thinking that she looked a bit goofy on 17′s with stock springs, I made a purchase from Mr. Eric Wood: Eibach lowering springs and KYB front struts.  These came off of his own ’95 Z26 that sadly had to end it’s run due to rust.  It was at this point that I started to develop more engine issues.

This time, I decided I wanted a newer engine, so I chose a 2004 3400 from an Oldsmobile Alero.  Having done the swap already, this swap was simply a plug-and-play.  Eric C. and Scott0999 helped me yet again to do this swap.  I also upgraded to a set of modified S&S Headers, and removed what remained of my A/C (I found out just how much I’d regret that during the trip to Bfest 2013) and my ABS.

I sold my old E36 headlights and upgraded to a set of DJ Auto reproduction units that are glass lensed with projector HIDs and angel eyes.  Simply put, I find this look incredibly sexy on a black Beretta.  I also had a good friend of mine ‘smoke’ my tail lights ever so slightly to pull together the back end of the car.

In one more stroke of luck, I finally destroyed my factory transmission at 280,000 miles. I replaced it with a 60k unit from a 1995 Buick Skylark, and proceeded to destroy an axle with it just last month.  To be fair, the axles made it to 292,000 miles =).

If you’ve made it this far in my babbling story about a car that I love to pieces (literally, you should see the rust), I would like to take the last bit of your time to thank all of the people who have been a part of this car’s life.  Everyone who I have met on, Bstuff, and at Berettafest and Nitrofest.  You all have been one of the greatest group of friends.  Without your help, I would have had not the slightest clue where to start.  I am so proud to own a car with such a unique following.  I was one of those folks who was always going to go to Berettafest, but could never swing it, until one year it was so close that it would have been dumb not to go.  I am now hooked and I will never miss another one if I can help it.  I’m sort of the quiet kid who takes a while to warm up to everybody, but even with all the anxiety I had leading up to that first Berettafest, I never felt unwelcome.

Thank you all, and thank you for picking my rust-mobile to be in the calendar this year, during my birthday month of all months!

March 2014 COTM

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Patrick Mumford 1994 Base 3400/Auto

When I was about 14 or 15, someone from the school I went to had just started driving and had a beautiful teal Beretta GT with the teal mesh wheels. I remember the body lines and the color matching wheels, and I loved the way it sounded! Ever since then, I had always loved them.

I didn’t buy my first Beretta until I was 19, but the car pretty much fell into my lap, a 1989 V6 base model. A friend had one that was her first car, and it was sitting infront of her house with what she thought was a blown head gasket. I just needed a winter beater, to keep my nice car ( an ’85 LTD I was restoring ) off the road. She told me $150 and I could have it. Turned out, it just needed a thermostat! I drove it for about 2 1/2 years, repainted it and did a lot of cleaning up. Thanks to this cheap winter beater, I was able to find the old forum, Bstuff.

I sold the car for a shocking $2500 to buy a Bonneville as I wanted something newer and more reliable. Sadly, I got bored of the Bonneville after a year and bought my ’94 base for $700 which I have owned for about five years now!

She’s been through a lot and doesn’t even resemble the vehicle I purchased that first day of ownership, and currently has 170k on the body with about 3,000 miles on the built 3400. Unfortunately, the individual who built the engine liked his alcohol a bit too much. Needless to say, she’s had to go through almost a complete rebuild. Regardless, she’s still my baby. She’s fast, fun, sharp, and one car I just can’t ever seem to let go of.

Current mods consist of:

Drivetrain -

- 3400 bored .040 over
- heads milled .010 with Corvette yellow bee hive springs
- MSD ignition coils
- Taylor Thundervolt 8.2mm wireset w/ AC Delco RapidFire plugs
- Comp Cams street cam with .480 lift
- FFP underdrive pulley
- A/C delete
- ported upper intake
- TCE 65mm throttle body with warm air intake
- custom cut PaceSetter headers
- full 2.5” exhaust w/ Hooker Aerochamber and Hooker dual resonated tip
- MRZ solid torque strut mount / solid motor mount
- aftermarket transmission cooler

Suspension / Handling -

- Canuck lowering springs w/ Gabriel Ultra shocks/struts
- three (triangled) under hood strut tower mounts
- MRZ shock tower brace
- hollow rear sway bar
- Energy Suspension sway bar links
- 17×7 Enkei EV5′s w/ 225/45′s
- Baer drilled slotted rotors w/ Duralast Severe Duty pads

Interior / Exterior -

- Corsica LTZ seating
- Grant steering wheel w/ Porsche horn button (lol)
- Cutlass Supreme “T” shift handle
- Speedhut chrome gauge overlay
- billet HVAC knobs
- flush mount radio faceplate w/ Pioneer stereo system
- Beretta Indy gfx
- Apache dealer optioned spoiler
- Z26 solid grille
- custom Euro headlights
- projector fog lights
- custom tinted taillights
- 20% window tint w/ windshield tint strip
- in channel AVS Vent Visors
- custom clear side markers w/ LED’s

I know there’s things I missed, but there’s ALWAYS more to come!

February 2014 COTM

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Marc BMAN GTZ  1995 Z26 3400 Auto

I remember when I saw my first beretta and fell in love. I bought my first one in 2001, an ’89 GT, burgundy in color with a testerossa kit on it. A few years later, when the motor went on it and the rust was pretty serious, I purchased a 1990 Z from a good friends of mine who had purchased it a couple of months prior. I paid him alot more than I probably should have but I wanted the car bad. With that, BMAN GTZ was born. I invested about 20 000$ into it, custom BMAN GTZ plates, new paint, wheels, tires, brakes, suspension, custom interior, ect.. Motor went on it when going to store it in 2004 so a rebuild was done in the winter of 2004. About 7000 kms after the rebuild, some lady cut me off, I t-boned her and wrote the car off. I was crushed but vowed to get another. I waited a little less than a year and found a 95 Z26 not far from me, got it for 3700 and began the new project. As a way to honor my old beretta, I transfered my custom plates from the blue car over to this car, even thought it was a z26. The entire interior was torn out minus the dash and custom painted, the seats custom redone, sold the back seat to another member, custom audio setup, custom trunk setup. At the same time as this, I also redid the entire suspension, bought wheels and tires, and so on. I still have a small list of things I want to do but this is her now, enjoy.

BERETTAFEST Awards: Best Custom Interior 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012

Work done:
- 3400 Auto with Wot Tech headers
- custom dual slim fan setup
- custom cold air intake
- custom MRZ strut bar
- custom interior and trunk with blue lighting
- custom audio setup
- 18 inch wheels
- KYB suspension with Eibach springs all around
- Baer Decela slotted and cross drilled rotors and Hawks pads in the front.
- GTU spoiler, antenna removed

Future plans:
- Addco Rear Sway bar
- full paint and repair of any rust
- maybe a 3500 when 3400 goes

January 2014 COTM

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Geoff Morrow 1995 Z26 3400/5-speed

Having grown up loving all kinds of cars, the Beretta struck me as something I could relate with. After several attempts to make a Beretta my first car, I ended up having to make do with a Ford, but not for long. I acquired the Z26 in April of 1999, and have not been able to keep my hands off it since. As most younger people do, there were some low times (stickers, worthless “mods”, a wreck). However, as time progressed, I grew up, and so did my thought process as well as how I planned things out. What has resulted is the car that many of you have come to know and see today. Quite honestly, I’ve had a hand from several people over the years that have helped me get the car to where it is now (whether it was advice, or knowledge, or good ol’ fashioned dirty work). To those of you who have helped in any fashion along the way, I can’t thank you enough. Without your help, the car wouldn’t be where it is today, and neither would I.

The car has gone through a few transformations; it’s not over with yet. I have some things up my sleeve that I’m looking forward to exposing to the community when the time is right.

1st 5spd swapped 94-96 3100 L-body
Fastest N/A V6 BFest 2007
Best of Show BFest 2009 & 2013
Best Engineered Entry BFest 2010