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I figured the 4-point Blackbird Fabworx GT3 I got recently might be worth a short write-up -- No, this doesn't have the 6-point's door bars and, no, it's not the twisted tubular steel sickness that is Moti's new Street Cage (seriously dude, that's ill). It's a more accessible version for the rest of us. My pics & review below. Feel free to add your own.



A LITTLE BACKGROUND...

The very day after I read about Inside Line's "Project Miata" getting a Blackbird GT3 6-point bar, I answered a Craigslist ad for some leather NB2 seats and discovered it was Moti himself (I now sport his track car's old chairs). A short visit to the shop later (and meeting 'ThePass' while dropping his car off for a sweet 3/4 cage!), it was clear this was my new "A" choice. His gusseted X-brace design is pure business and, being fully boxed, offers serious protection and a not-f***ing-about aesthetic I kinda like. The integrated door bars in his 6-point transform the wet noodle chassis, as many here have testified, but compromise ingress/egress just a bit.

"SKIPPING A 6-POINT BAR FOR A 4-POINT? YOU'RE A WUSS, RIGHT?"

Right you are. Since starting this project car, the goal of a stripped no-excuses track car evolved into something more weekday-usable. With the FM suspension and good SoCal weather, the car easily took 50% of my BMW's daily driving duties. It's too fun so stripping it out will wait a year or two. That and being on the threshold of 40 made door bars just a tiny bit too cumbersome for 3-4 day a week use. After factoring female-friendliness in (door bars + skirts = loneliness), I decided to go 4-point now, potentially upgrading it to 6-point later (which is a great option and preserves my self-esteem).



"IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE, WASN'T IT?"

Actually no. If you think about it, a standard ~$500 bar, plus shipping from the East Coast, plus a $150 bolt-in harness bar, plus installation (if you're busy &/or a frequently inattentive mechanic) = Comparable to this, installed by Moti, with a *welded-in* NB harness bar that fits a glass window. Yeah, it's not "cheap" but I needed a little bit of custom lean of the main hoop and I wanted a custom metallic gunmetal powder-coat, so it ends up good value.



"ENOUGH BS, HOW IS THE ROLL BAR?"

Awesome. The welds are beautiful, the tolerances of the install are ridiculously tight and the additional rigidity in the back could be felt within six feet of leaving his shop. No joke. The rear-end is absolutely more planted over uneven surfaces. Seatbelt retraction is remarkably good (a notorious "sticking point" for most bars) but a little care must be taken when pulling it out to buckle in. Once seated, it retracts snugly, just as it should. Best of all, even with the X-brace, gussets and harness bar, it weighed in at only about 43 pounds, thanks to varying the tube thickness. It'd probably be less for those using 1.5" tube (this is overkill at 1.75"). As with most of his bars, it's made to fit under hard tops, which I'm shopping for now.



"I BET VISIBILITY WITH THAT 'X' SUCKS, RIGHT?"

Actually, visibility is better than other bars I've tried -- That upper triangle is where you look through and there's no obstruction in the rear view mirror or over your shoulder. The downside of the X-brace is that it's pretty visible to cops from afar. A CHP officer I know saw it last week and assured me I should plan on receiving additional scrutiny from The Man.



"AND HOW DO YOU FIT?"

I could use a little more recline but that's largely because I'm tall and using unmodified NB2 seats (leather no less, which puts me up higher than my stock cloth ones). These place the taller headrest at the edge of the X rather than letting you recline under it (as with some double diagonals which IMO is not safe). It'll be padded of course but I'm safely below the main hoop when I sit low. The more upright seating position is actually a more "correct" position for driving and, with a little lumbar support, is comfortable enough for long trips, including to San Francisco and back recently. Sure, I'd like another inch or so to lean back but it's fine and I plan to replace these seats with Elise chairs so it's a non-issue. Seat slider travel is unrestricted.



"BUT MOTI IS A TOTAL ****, RIGHT?"

Well there IS that...! No, no, no, I totally kid -- Moti's the single nicest, easiest-going, easiest-to-work-with guy I've come across in two decades of fiddling with cars. I'm going back to BFW for a couple more projects and I wouldn't hesitate to send anyone his way. Which I guess I'm kinda doing.

It took me forever to research and pull the trigger so I hope this is helpful to anyone doing the same!

 

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Roll Bar God
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I'm increasingly happy that I didn't go with a black roll bar. Credit to Moti for twisting my arm.
:D
I have yet to hear from a single person that went with a custom color that they don't like it, I have heard from people who went with the standard Black words of regret about not going with a custom color.

Moti
 
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