I unexpectedly inherited a 2008 Mercury Milan Premier V6. My Mom recently passed away and left it to my brother and I. My brother didn't want it, so I decided to keep it.
It is a really nice example. It only has 45,000 miles and has been garage kept and well maintained.
Now, I wasn't that excited about this car. To me it isn't a bad looking car, but I assumed that it was fitting of the stereotype of being a old man's car. While I'm not exactly young, I haven't broken 40 quite yet. I just couldn't see how I could enjoy this car. Then I started to do some research and discovered that the Milan is on the CD3 platform that is a derivative of the same platform as a Mazada6. Now, the Mazada6 is a car I kinda like. That's good news! The 3L v6 is actually a decent lump with reasonably high compression, variable valve timing, and 4 valves per cylinder. The suspension has potential with double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear.
I should take a minute and back up and explain that I'm normally a BMW guy. I own a BMW performance shop. I have road raced BMWs, Porsches, and MINI Coopers with SCCA, NASA, BMW Club, and Porsche Club. I'm a bit of a Ford Truck fan, especially of the Triton V10, having owned a V10 Excursion and motorhome built on Ford chassis with the V10.
One thing I love is oddities in the automotive world. My favorite car is the 2001-2002 BMW M Coupe, which is a 2 door hatchback that looks like a bread van and is known as the Clown Shoe. It's an odd car that you either love or hate. Here's mine at Circuit of Americas in Austin:
So knowing that I like odd automotive things and the potential for the Milan to be a decent handling car, I thought why not race it? More specifically run it in NASA Time Trials. For those that are unfamiliar, time trials is kind of like autocross, but on a race track instead of a cone course. You are competing for the best laptime, not wheel to wheel to the finish line.
Time Trials is designed for street cars, so while you can do suspension and drive train upgrades, a roll cage isn't required. Thus a car used for time trials can still be used as a comfortable daily driver on the street. This will be my goal with the Milan: Making it competent on the track, but still comfortable for daily use.
It seems that there is a decent aftermarket for the CD338's. So I have suspension options and easy engine bolt-ons. It also seems like there is room for some 245 width race rubber. The biggest problem is the automatic transmission. Being my Milan is a 2008, I don't have a sport or manual mode. Thus I will have to see what can be accomplished with software or possibly convert it to a manual with the transmission from the Mazada6 or the I4.
Now timing on this project may take a while. I'm currently rebuilding the BMW pictured above. I have several months of work left on it, plus I also have a few things left to do on my MINI Cooper time trials competition car. I just thought I'd introduce myself and share my crazy idea.