You are on page 1of 82

Get Raffle Tickets for This

Meyers Manx See p. 25

March/April 2014
www.kitcarclub.com

Room With A View: Four


Seater 23 T-Bucket

Win a Cobra Find a Cure!


Charity Fundraiser for a Shell Valley Replica

See Page 14

Call Today For a Dealer Near You


888.445.5226
USCATERHAM.com
Superformance LLC I 6 Autry Irvine CA 92618 I superformance.com I uscaterham.com I 949-900-1950

CarlisleEvents.com
717-243-7855

TABLE OF CONTENTS
COOL CARS

COVER:
Create Your Own GTM Supercar 38
41 Willys What If? Replica 46
Cobra Vacation Shell Valley 48
Joy Ride Superformance 66
Hyperactive Hyper 8 Westfield 72

TECHNICAL MATTERS

Jaspers Power House 54

DEPARTMENTAL

TRICK PICS:
Light Saber Factory Five GTM 8
Barnyard Beauty T-bucket 10
Surfin Feline 12
Throttle Steering

Brave New World by Steve Temple, Editor 6

FYI: All the Stuff That Fits! 14


Classic Glass: Fun Hugger 64
Club Profiles and Listings 70
Shop Time
By Jim Youngs, Editor Emeritus 76
KCB Mall 80
Sideview 81

Contents page photo: Courtesy Superformance,


http://www.superformance.com
Cover photos: Factory Five Racing GTM at full chat
by Steve Temple, Meyers Manx by Larry Weiner,
Wintec T-Bucket by Steve Temple, Shell Valley Cobra courtesy of Cullen McCann

MARCH/APRIL 2014

KIT CAR BUILDER STAFF


Steve Temple, ................Editor/Publisher
Larry Weiner .............................. Marketing
Deb Murphy, ..........................Art Direction
Tina Temple, ..................Maven of Morale
Ashley and Stellaphant, .............. Furballs
Jim Youngs, ...................... Editor Emeritus
The Usual Suspects (Contributors):
Harold Pace, Joe Greeves,
Austin Price, Dan Burrill,
Juan LopezBonilla
Kit Car Builder Magazine is published
bi-monthly by
SCT Communications, Inc.
1427 Sioux Trail
Reno, NV 89521
All Rights Reserved
Free Subscription at
www.kitcarclub.com

Editorial and Advertising inquires


should be sent to
steve@kitcarbuilder.com

Change means a lot of

THROTTLE
STEERING

A
BRAVE
NEW
WORLD
Welcome
to Your
New
Digital
KIT CAR
BUILDER
Magazine!
6

things. It can be hard, good, quick,


constant, inevitableand all of
the above, too.
With all the stuff happening
here at Kit Car Builder Magazine,
we fall into the latter category.
Thats because were not just converting to a digital format, but also re-inventing this magazine, all
to better serve you, dear reader.
Some of the changes youll
see right away, such as receiving
KCB magazine by email at no
charge. And we kindly ask that
you let your fellow kit builders
and car enthusiasts know about
our free subscription signup,
available on our website
(www. kitcarclub. com).
Other changes will become
more apparent in upcoming issues, as we increase the number
of pages and the breadth of our
coverage. Were truly excited
about how much more content
we can provide on a variety of
levels by going to a digital format.
Granted, some readers have
already expressed some regret
about no longer being able to

hold a printed copy of


KCB in their hands.
And you can include
us in the that group,
too. Were longtime
magazine guys, and
have found it a challenge at times to make
the transition to electronic publishing.
But its hardly the
first time that this old
dog has had to learn
new tricks. I recall the
first time I tried out a
digital camera a decade or so ago (demonstrated to me by KCBs
former editor, Jim
Youngs, ironically
enough). I was leery
of it, and wondered
how it could ever replace film. Yet virtually all magazines, both
The Moment
printed and electronic
After all the effor
involved when m
now depend excluthe same level o
sively on digital photos.
Think of other
changes that youve gone through
in recent yearsthe explosive
growth of cell phones, flat-screen
TVs, Facebook, Google, and automotive technology, to name just a
few.
Rather than mourning the loss
of the printed version of KCB,
wed ask you to be open to the
dramatically enhanced potential
of receiving an electronic magazine. No longer hampered by the
limitations of ink-and-paper, we
can be bigger and better than evermore interactive, with
streaming video, plus much more
technical and visual detail, to

of Truth

rt and hours that went into prepping and painting this "Orangesicle" Cobra body, the intense concentration
mounting it back on the chassis is obvious. Fortunately, it all went smoothly, no nicks or scrapes. Were giving
of care and attention in converting Kit Car Builder to a digital magazine.

name just a few innovations in


the works.
Yet we wont forget our
roots, as noted in this issues
Passing the Torch column by
the founder of KCB, Jim Youngs,
who is now Editor Emeritus. A
lifelong friend of mine and
editorial brother, he was instrumental in creating a magazine title with a loyal readership. His skilled direction enabled KCB to race right by a
marginal competitor (now no
longer being published). He fully supports our new endeavor,
and will continue to have a
voice here at KCB as long as he
wishes. (When he handed over

the reins, I was emphatic that


we werent going to let go of
him.)
Many of you might recognize my byline already, having
served as KCBs marketing director and freelance photojournalist since its inception. Over
the last three decades Ive provided features to more than
two dozen different automotive
titles, and also was the Editor
in charge of web content for
Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Rod &
Custom magazines. My background also includes working
as Director of Marketing at
Shelby American, a rather colorful period of my life that gave

me a whole new appreciation


for all my fellow kit builders.
I should also note that we
have another digital magazine,
also available free. While Pentastar Power is intended primarily for Mopar fans, it has a
wealth of appeal for car enthusiasts in general. You can sign
up for no charge at
www.mrnorms.com.
So stick with us as these
new projects roar into high
gear. Were at full throttle
join us for the ride of your life!
All the Best,
Steve Temple, Editor

Light Saber
What do the letters on this GTM from Factory Five
Racing really stand for? After encountering such
otherworldly illumination, you might think something
like Glowing Time Machine. We consider some other
possibilities in this issues cover feature.
Photos by Steve Temple

Barnyard Beauty
Room with a view. Thats our take on a revision of the classic 23 T-bucket
kit. This rarified four-seater from Wintec lets you share all the fun with a few
friends, cruising down memory lane.
http://shop.wintecfabrication.com

Surfin Feline
Mixing metaphors here,
the oft-imitated Meyers
Manx was aptly named
after a stub-tailed cat.
Even more fitting is the
Kick-Out, Bruce
Meyers final design for
the Manx,
referring to a stylish
move at end of a surfers
ride. But the indefatigable Bruce Meyers is still
hanging ten, as hell be
celebrating his dune
buggys 50th anniversary
with a full schedule of
appearances all across
the country. See
www.Meyersmanx.com
for details.
Photos by Peter Borne

13

Win a CobraFind a Cure!

hat a great combinationthanks to the efforts of


the Ohio Cobra Club (OCC).
Every year this group of 200plus car enthusiasts, drawn
together by their mutual interest in Cobras and charitable causes, donate their time
and skills to build a custom
Cobra replica vehicle and raffle it off to raise funds for the
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Central OH Chapter. To date,
the OCCs hard-working
members have donated nearly $830,000 to CFF.
Throughout the year the OCC organizes many
events to raise money and have fun, all of which
culminate in the London Cobra Show in London,
Ohio. Held this year from June 19 to 22, its the
largest of its kind in the country, with more than
200 Cobras attending, plus parades, a burnout
contest, BBQ dinner, an auction, celebrity speakers, track days, and charity rides. And best of all,
the awarding of a beautifully finished Cobra. (See
hot links below to videos of previous shows.)
This years replica comes from Shell Valley
(www.shellvalley.com), and boasts an array of
goodies: a Ford Racing crate engine, displacing
306 cubic inches (302 bored .030 over), and rated
at 340hp,
350 lb/ft
of torque.
Its backed
by a T-5z
transmission and a
Ford 9inch rearend with
3.55 gear
14

and limited slip. Paint is titanium silver with black


stripes.
Raffle tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at the many shows and events that club
members travel to, as well as purchasing them
online at the London Cobra Show website: http://
londoncobrashow.com
Links to video clips of previous London Cobra
Shows:
2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
feature=player_detailpage&v=1ZEJmnOogvQ
2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
feature=player_detailpage&v=T-Y3xJQhuyY
Dick Smiths 198 Cobra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=Rsr8XBSYCws

Meyers Manx Raffle

Photos by
Larry Weiner

et your kicks in a Meyers


Manx Kick-Out! And
heres a shot at winning one
by buying a raffle ticket. Note
that this contest is only open
to members of the Manx club,
but joining is a simple matter.
The club is open to not
only Manx owners, but also
those whod just like to own a
Manx. Price of admission is
$30, which gets you a sub-

scription to the clubs quarterly color magazine. The raffle will be held on July 13,
2014 at the Big Bear Bash fun
run event in Big Bear, CA
(provided enough tickets
have been sold). Tickets are
$20 each, or an 11-pack for
$200.
The raffle Manx shown
here, with an estimated value
of $35K, is probably worth

much more, since its loaded


with all sorts of hot stuff, and
built in part by Bruce Meyers.
Rather than a traditional VW
Type 1 engine, the Kick-Out
S.S. runs a Subaru 2.5-liter
mill, tuned by Outfront to deliver 170 horses and 166 lb/ft
of torque. Fitted in a shortened VW chassis with Empi 4wheel disc brakes, this engine
is good for blasting from 060mph in 5.2 seconds, and a
1/4-mile spring of 14.2 seconds at 94 mph. Comforts include PRP upholstered buckets that are fitted with seat
heaters, lumbar supports and
massagers. Aside from the
Moon barefoot gas pedal, stereo and Speedhut gauges, the
rest of cockpit is beachblanket basic.
For more information on
the Manx Club, raffle and upcoming tour, go to the source
at http://meyersmanx.com

15

Coyote Blower Kit for


Kit Cars
While the Roadrunner always eluded the Wiley
Coyote in those classic cartoons, that surely
wouldnt have happened with boost from a Kenne
Bell blower. The company has just released a new
line of big, bad, billet Twin Screw Supercharger
Kits for the popular 2011-14 5.0 Coyote Mustang,
GT and Boss 302 engines. These Mammoth Kits
offer supercharger sizes (2.8, 3.6, 4.0, 4.2 and
4.7L) for any power level, from 650 to1800 hp, either stock or modified. Available in show polish or
black satin, all kits come with a huge 4.5-inch Ram
Air Pipe that can be easily modified for kit cars

AHAs 35th Fun Under


the Sun Show

eve been covering the AHA (Association


of Handcrafted Automobiles) since its halcyon days at Knotts Berry Farm, and it has gone
through as many changes as both Kit Car Builder
magazine and the specialty car market in general.
Space doesnt permit recounting them all, but the
latest one is a relocation to Sylmar, CA at the
Nethercutt Museum on April 12, 2014.
The A.H.A. has been committed to giving
hobbyists, enthusiasts, and anyone who cares
about great cars, a yearly outlet for their passions, and we remain committed to this in our
35th year, the club noted in its newsletter.
At the new venue, the Nethercutt Museum
contains over 120 antique, vintage, and classic
Automobiles, and when combined with the
Nethercutt Collection just across the street, adds
another 50 cars in a palatial setting. For more information go to www.replicarclub.com. If you
have any questions, please contact Dean Hornbacher (951)780-9332, Dave Martin (818)5978797 or you can email info@replicarclub.com.

16

and street rods. A larger optional 50+hp 168mm


Throttle Body is also available. Contact:
Kenne Bell by phone at (909) 941-6646, email
kennebell@kennebell.net, or the web:

Getting All Hooked


upWith
Hooker Headers

ooker Headers New Builder Series is


designed to help header fabricators
build their own custom exhaust systems.
For GM LS engines, Hooker offers both 3/8
mild steel and investment-cast, stainless
steel warp-resistant flanges. Proprietary
304 stainless steel merge collector with
Hookers innovative internal attenuation
spear is ideal for not only LS engine builders
but a wide range of engine applications.
For more information contact call the
Tech Line at 270/781-9741 or go online to
www.hookerheaders.com

WWW.SHELLVALLEY.COM

Breathe Easier

f you can imagine a custom intake system, now you can


build it! The U-Build-It (UBI) kit from Airaid includes
everything you need to create a complete system, and all
components are also available individually for maximum
versatility. Whether you are doing an engine swap or have
a custom application where space is tight, the Airaid UBI
Intake System can be adapted to just about any applicaAiraid Carbon-Fiber Cold-Air Hat for
tion. Each UBI master kit and individual intake tubes are
Carburetors
available in 3, 3.5, 4, 5, and 6 diameters. The rotomolded intake tubes feature multiple angles and straights that allow you to route the intake to any desired location in the engine compartment. The UBI system can be used as a stand-alone piece or combined with Airaid premium air filters. In addition, Airaid offers individual MAF adapters for popular
applications, as well as Cold Air Dam Panels for select applications. Also carbon-fiber cold-air hat setup
for carbureted engines is a new option. For more information, visit www.AIRAID.com or call 800-4986951.

IRS Investigation

rt Morrison Enterprises has


introduced a highly sophisticated and durable Multilink IRS
(Independent Rear Suspension)
that can be ordered as an option
on the firms popular GT Sport
chassis or installed in a wide variety of vehicles thanks to its
unique cradle design. The Morrison Multilink IRS shares a design lineage with a number of the
worlds fastest exotic cars, and it
features a rugged center section
from Strange Engineering (S60
unit with 9-1/2" diameter ring gear) designed to handle substantial horsepower. It
provides important
handling and ride benefits over older, fixed
control-arm type of
IRS setups and offers
improved wheel ad-

18

justability. Available gear ratios


range from 3.54 to 5.13, and the
compact package design of the
AME Multilink IRS allows it to
accommodate brake systems
with rotors up to 14.4" in diameter. It is available in track widths
of 55.5", 57.5", 59.5" and
61.5" (wheel mounting surfaceto-surface width). For additional
information go to
www.artmorrison.com, or call
AMEs tech staff toll-free at 800929-7188.

Bugnatti
Pacific

n a whimsical and dramatic contrast to Ralph


Lauren's $40 million-dollar
Bugatti Atlantic, you can
get the Bugnatti Pacific kit
for less than $14K!
Builder Terry Cook is
now offering fiberglass
bodies of the Pacific fastback, both with and without the external "fin" running down the top of the
roof and fenders. Details:
www.delahayeusa.com

www.jasperengines.com

londoncobrashow.com

ohiocobraclub.com

Fish Are Jumpin!

he Catfish is a new two-seat


speedster from Bauer Limited Production. The foundation
is a DOM tube-frame chassis, fitted with a composite body, and
uses the 1990-2005 Miata as its
single-car donor. The Mazda Miata is the most-raced car in the
world, which means that there
are not only many donor cars
available at great pricing, but also
a large aftermarket from which to
find performance parts and tech
advice.
Why call it the Catfish? While
the car designer was given the
task to create a Retro Mod British sports car with flowing lines
and hints to the cars of the Fifties,
he also happened to be looking at
a picture of a catfish for inspiration. If you look closely, the wide
mouth and catfish eyes are a
dead giveaway. Build time is estimated to be a very short 100-150

hours, depending on
modifications and access to help. This quick
build time is aided by a
frame that is made to
literally drop on top of
the engine/suspension/
drivetrain once the Miata unibody is removed
(six to eight hours). The
builder then simply
plmbs and wires the
car, reinstalls the steering and
pedals and mounts the bodywork. The entire kit is available
partially pre-assembled, and includes pre-drilled mounting
holes in the aluminum paneling
so assembly is a snap.
With a street weight of
1,550lbs and horsepower ranging
from 90whp (stock 1990 Miata)
to 265whp (Miata engine with
turbo), sports car to supercar
performance is available. For

those who think too much is never enough, a V8 Ford or Chevy


LSx package will be available
soon. The first car is driving
around the streets of Southern
California now, and only a limited
number will be available every
year, guaranteeing that youll be
the only kid on your block with a
Catfish in your garage. For more
information visit
www.bauerltd.com. Pricing starts
at $13,900.

Car Collectors Bailey 917

new member to the Bailey Cars North


American family is Nova Scotia native David
Peters, a Canadian car collector who has purchased the Bailey 917. David is interested in stepping up the horsepower and possibly competing
in the future North American Le Mans Tribute
Race Series that Bailey N.A. is currently working
on in conjunction with Ted Wenz of Savannah
Race Engineering, along with various clubs and
tracks. Look for this event in late 2014. For more
info, call 914/299-2965 or go to http://
www.baileycarsnorthamerica.com

21

Electrifying Dubuc Tomahawk

e noted the debut of the Candadian-built Tomahawk in a previous issue, with a chassis designed
to accept a wide variety of powerplants. Now the University of Sherbrooke is lending a hand in the study of the
electric version. TM4 is the supplier of the motors and
Gentec is the controls. Gentec installsmost electric circuits
throughout the
province of Quebec, and will provide technical
support to Tomahawk customers.
The unveiling of
the prototype will be in early March at the Quebec International Auto Show done by the mayor of Quebec city.
We want the Tomahawk to be builder friendly
making it the easiest super car kit to build, notes
Dubucs Mike Kakogiannakis notes. The body comes fully mounted and assembled on the chassis without any
bodywork needed, saving hundreds of hours of labor
and thousands of dollars on a paint job. Even the windshield and back glass come installed. The body comes in
a choice of five standard colors, and custom colors are
optional for a fee. Contact: Dubuc Super Light Car, phone
514/264-1359, email: mike@superlightcar.ca, or web:
www.superlightcar.ca

22

Acme Forms New Fiberglass


Production Division

cme Trailer Works now has a new facility, Acme Composites, manufacturing a wide variety of fiberglass products for
commercial and industrial markets. After
the supplier of the Berrien Buggy by Acme fiberglass products stopped operations
at the end of last year, Acme forged ahead
with its own fiberglass facility at the same
site. This new company manufactures both
fiberglass and carbon fiber products, as
well as prototyping, pattern and tool making, serving all facets of the kit and commercial marketplace. Acme Car Company
sells parts for air-cooled VW enthusiasts, as
well as offers restoration and repair services for 1949 thru 1978 Volkswagens, and
specialty vehicles. Custom fabrication and
welding are also offered. See http://
acmecarco.com or contact Dan Mickle, Director of Marketing at 717/774-9450 or
email DMickle@AcmeCarCo.com

www.FinishLineAccessories.com

TIME IS RUNNING OUT


ON YOUR CHANCE TO WIN BRUCE MEYERS
SUBARU-POWERED, 5-SPD KICK-OUT S.S. MANX

Picture yourself in this buggy!

WINNING IS EASY
JOIN THE MANX CLUB AND BUY A RAFFLE TICKET
$ 30 to join club (if youre not already a member)
$ 20 / raffle ticket (buy 10 and get one free)
Maximum number of 6,000 tickets will be sold
The Kick-Out S.S. Manx is valued at $ 35,000
For any inquiries, contact: Raffle@ManxClub.com
Raffle will be held on 7/13/2014 at Big Bear Bash
Entrants need not be present to win
MANX CLUB MEMBER BENEFITS

Register to attend Manx Club events (on both coasts)


Purchase Raffle Tickets
Access to Manx Club Forums
Manx Club Quarterly Printed Newsletter
Enjoy breakfast with Bruce and Winnie Meyers
Club Membership Card

JOIN THE MANX CLUB TODAY FOR YOUR CHANCE TO


WIN BRUCE MEYERS PERSONAL KICK-OUT S.S. MANX
For complete official rules and regulations, visit the clubs website

www.manxclub.com

FFRs Free Wheel-and-Tire Special

actory Five Racings prez


Dave Smith admits that he
might be getting a touch of cabin
fever from the long, cold winter.
Or maybe hes got a case of Spring
fever instead. Either way, hed
like to make it easier for more
people to get started building
their own Factory Fives projects
before Summer, so hes rolling
out one of the coolest (or hottest?) specials the company has
ever offered!
Order either a MK4 Roadster or Type 65 Coupe, and get a
free set of wheels and tires. FFR
has put together 10 sets of its
best-selling 17 Halibrand
Wheels (17x 9 front and 17x

10.5 rear) with some serious


performance rubber, mounted,
balanced, and sent to you ready
to bolt onto your chassis.
As any car enthusiast can
attest, theres something magical about brand-new aluminum
wheels and that smell of fresh
tires. But
even more
enticing is
the idea of
getting
more than
$2,000
worth of
fun as
well, and
with this

special you dont have to go to


the trouble of bringing your
wheels to you local tire shop for
mounting and balancing. FFR
has only 10 sets available to the
first customers to place orders,
so dont wait until the snow
melts! www.factoryfive.com

Peddling a Green Cycle

ightweight dune buggies are a natural fit with


EV technology, and the latest version that
weve come across is a joint project between
Green Cycle Design and Harris Composites. The

electric system operates at 130 volts maximum,


using an AC-50 motor with regenerative braking
and a 100 amp-hour lithium battery pack. Projected range is range is as much as 80 miles, Green
Cycles Ken Clayton claims, and freeway speeds are possible as well. Lee
Harris laid up the body, based on a former Allison Dune Buggy body fitted on
a 1975 VW chassis, with some mods to
the hood and fuel tank for battery storage. I drove this buggy with a gas motor and now the electric motor, notes
Clayton. The electric motor kicked the
gas motor in acceleration and is very
quiet.
http:www.greencycledesigngroup.com

25

On the Nose

arris Composites
announces its entrance into the custom
component car industry
with the launch of its
newest division, Coffin
Nose Customs. This new
company began manufacturing its Coffin Nose
Speedster in late 2013
after purchasing molds
from Speedster Classic
Designs. Based on the
iconic 1936 Cord 810,
the Coffin Nose Speedster is designed from
the ground up as a 21st
century homage to Gordon Buehrigs deco
masterpiece. How did
this neo-retro version
come about?
Ive been fascinated with deco-era cars
ever since I saw a pic-

ture of a Duesenberg at
age two, notes Lee Harris, owner and founder
of Harris Composites.
Speedster Classics did
a great job prototyping
the Coffin Nose and I
feel fortunate to be able
to play a part in bringing this legendary design to a new generation of drivers.
Based just outside
Lexington, Virginia, Coffin Nose Customs and
Harris Composites produce automobiles in a
massive, century-old
former textile factory.
We have been building
and restoring historic
planes, trains, automobiles, military vehicles,
and even carousels here
for years, Harris adds.

headlight mechanisms,
custom convertible top,
custom windshield
frame, Wilwood brakes,
suicide doors, spacious
trunk, and single piece
body with integrated
fenders. A removable
hardtop is under development. Rolling units
are available under
$30,000 while turn-key
models start around
$100,000. For more information, call 540/460
-2436, or visit www.
CoffinNoseCustoms.com

Lingenfelter 900hp Crate Engines

or nearly 40 years, Lingenfelter Performance


Engineering has been known for delivering high
horsepower for high-end, street-driven cars, customizing 1,000-, 1,200- and 1,500-horsepower engines to customers' specifications. Now, Lingenfelter
is expanding its
standard crate engine line with a
powerful 900hp
engine that will be
an off-the-shelf,
stocked product.
"We have never
before offered a

26

So the Coffin Nose is a


welcome addition to
our lineup. Im always
looking for interesting
projects, so the chance
to produce a modern
reincarnation of one of
my all-time favorite
cars was an opportunity
I couldnt resist.
The Coffin Nose
Speedster is built on its
own custom designed 2
x 4 box-steel frame
with four-wheel independent Heidts suspension. Features include:
tilt-forward Coffin Nose
hood, custom pop-up

crate engine combination with this much horsepower," Linfenfelters Mike Copeland points out. "For
this engine, we've used a 3.6L Kenne Bell Supercharger, which delivers much more horsepower potential for an engine that's been engineered to reliably stand up to these power levels."
The new 900hp Lingenfelter Performance Engineering crate engine is fitted with a forged crankshaft, pistons and rods for maximum performance
and durability. It also features GM LS9 heads with
Lingenfelter's proprietary CNC porting program for
improved airflow at GT22 camshaft. Call 260/7242552 or visit www.lingenfelter.com.

A New Finish on Finish Line

Dates for
Carlisle
Import & Kit Nationals

ith the 40th Anniversary of Carlisle Events


ongoing in 2014 and music fans across the
country celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the
Beatles coming to the states, it's only fitting that
the Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals do a little
British Invasion celebration of its own. This
year's event, May 16-18 at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds, highlights British cars as a showcase,
plus hosts live music and the rest of the automotive world as part of this amazing international
automotive celebration.
What makes the weekend event so popular is the
compelling combination of kit and import cars,
the largest of its type in the country. And to create a festival atmosphere, Carlisle hosts live music, a special passport program where guests
traverse the grounds to view the show cars, have
a special booklet stamped, then earn prizes, all
for doing what theyd plan on doing anyway
enjoying the displays. This weekend is also popular because it hosts multiple free seminars with
industry experts, so its a great place for car clubs
to gather and share automotive passions. The
kits on display include replicas of Shelby Cobras,
Porsche Speedster and Spyder, and ever-popular
dune buggies. More information is available via
www.CarlisleEvents.com

28

he Finish Line Accessories family thanks everyone for celebrating the companys recent
grand re-opening. We loved spending time with
some old friends and meeting so many new
ones, notes Jackie Riobe of Finish Line. To those
of you that came out to support us, we sincerely
appreciate you sharing that special day with
us. Finish Line Accessories also expressed
thanks to its business partners, vendors and Cobra Joe Productions for joining the company in
support and helping make the re-opening event a
great success.
FinishLineAccessories.com offers a complete
line of parts and accessories for Cobra replicas. This company prides itself on same-day shipping, customer friendliness, and the largest selection of in-stock inventory in the country. And if
you are looking for a product that is not in Finish
Lines catalog or on its website, the staff will be
glad to find it for you! You can order toll free in
the U.S. at (888) 436-9113 or at (954) 436-9101.
http://finishlineaccessories.com

29

The Right IDEA provide enthusiast builders with

t started with an IDEA to offer


a kit car like no other. As implied by the company acronym
Individually Designed and Engineered Automobile, its not a
replica, but instead means building your own real car, the way
you want it. Conceived by owner
Jamie Dunst, the approach is to

a high-quality frame assembly


constructed of 1 DOM (Drawn
Over Mandrel) steel tubing, combined with a variety of readily
available suspension components. Then just add a drivetrain
from a list of compatible choices
to build your car, your way. Rear
wheel drive, front wheel drive, all

Go With the Flow

variety of Champion Low Profile Series fans


are available from Maradyne High Performance Fans to increase engine cooling, horsepower and A/C cooling at idle. Available in 7-inch
to 16-inch fan sizes all with a depth of 3.19
inches or less the Champion Series offers a low
profile, push-pull fan in a quiet, reversible S-blade
design that eliminates vibration contact and increases airflow. The fans feature sealed motors
that are IP68-certified
dustproof and waterproof. For more information and dimensional
drawings, call Maradyne
at 800/403-7953 or visit
www.maradyneHP.com.

30

wheel drive, independent rear,


four linkwhatever you need to
build your roadster, hot rod, desert runner, drag racer, road racer, or other vehicle you have in
mind. To start your project, spark
your imagination at
www.ideamotorcars.com .

BMW ZGT Rebody

hose high-energy guys at Reaction Research are hard at work on a new ZGT rebody kit for a BMW Z3 donor. The first two
production molds are complete as work continues on the rest of the car. Plug work is expected
to be complete by the end of March, and the
prototype will go to paint sometime in April.
The kit is being designed for a quick, nocutting, no-welding installation, and selling for
a sub-$10k price. Call 480/229-1831 or email
ReactionResearch@gmail.com

31

32

VW Funfest

id America Motorworks is
calling all Volkswagens to
attend a Sweet 16 birthday party! The companys Funfest for
VWs is turning 16 and is pulling
out all the stops for the celebration. Set for June 6-8, 2014, Funfest will once again welcome
thousands of Volkswagens
both air-cooled and watercooled, plus a variety of VWbased kitsalong with their enthusiastic owners as they converge on Mid America Motorworks' corporate campus in Effingham, Ill., some 90 miles east
from St. Louis, to celebrate the
hobby.
I cant wait for June to arrive, because I know it means Ill
get to spend the weekend with a
few thousand of my closest
friends, enthuses Mike Yager,
Chief Cheerleader and founder
of Mid America Motorworks.
How fitting that were celebrating a sweet 16, the year that
most of us received our licenses

and started driving that


first car,
which for
many
was a
VW!
One
of the
premier
VW celebrations
in the country, Funfest for AirCooled VW welcomes enthusiasts from all over the world. The
weekend kicks off with the Friday Night Fun Run, taking participants on a scenic drive before an impromptu parade
where locals greet the VW
crowd. Music, food and a VW car
show follow at the Downtown
Party around the Effingham
Courthouse square.
Guests can look forward to
all new expert seminars, lowspeed slaloms, special VW displays, a swap meet, a Saturday
concert and much more. VW Bus
parking and camping will once

again be front and center on the


show field, along with special
parking for all water cooled
Volkswagens. All registered
guests will be eligible for
"Celebrity Choice" fun judging,
where our VW industry celebs
select Volkswagens that best
portray the hobby.
Enthusiasts can register in
advance for Funfest for AirCooled VW 2014 at http://
registration.funfestacvw.com/
default.aspx or by calling
866/350-4539. Visit the website
or our Facebook page, https://
www.facebook.com/
aircooledvws, for up to date

For Sale: MG TF Replica Company Assets

fter 30 years of making the T Car, Swallow


and TG Sports, Alternative Cars Ltd of New
Zealand has decided that that its time to relax
and enjoy smelling the roses. The size of the NZ
market and the distance from the UK, Europe, and
US markets means that this business is still to realize its full potential. Assets of the company include molds and jigs with full sets of procedures
and manuals for the manufacture of chassis and
body for the TG Sports, an MG TF replica. Full information on the vehicles is available on

www.sportscars.net.nz and contact can be made


by email to: rhooper@ihug.co.nz

33

34

Superformance and Caterham Join Forces

aterham Cars and its iconic Seven will be officially


sold in the USA with a new US
distributor, Superformance.
Primarily known for its Cobra
replicas and GT40s, Superformance is now offering several
variants of the Seven. Increased American interest in
the legendary British
sportscar was sparked earlier
this year, when X Factor celebrity Simon Cowell took delivery of a Seven CSR 260 at his
home in Los Angeles. Superformance will stock primarily
the high-power incarnations of
the car, which have traditionally been more popular in the
American market. Caterham
says a top-level CSR with a
260hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder
Ford engine can hit 60 mph in
a fierce 3.1 seconds. We can't
wait to see these Caterhams
on our streets. The range of
models will also include the
Seven 480 and the new Seven
620R, which will top the US
line-up initially. Sevens will be
shipped to the USA in partbuilt form and sold as rolling
chassis via Superformances
nationwide dealer network for
customers to then complete
the build personally.

In other news, Superformance is also offering a Holley


Terminator EFI Systems on its
Cobra replicas, with unique
features not found in any other street EFI system. These
include throttle-body technology that is currently used in
every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Installation requires
no computer experience.
Simply bolt it on, use the included handheld tuner to answer a few multiple-choice
questions and let the Terminator EFI take control, and the
system self-tunes as you drive.
The system is also upgradable
to complete laptop control
without the need to
purchase another electronic control unit.
Shown here is a Superformance Cobra fitted with Ford Racings
460ci Boss Block, the
biggest small-block
Windsor crate engine

ever, the Z460. With 575


horsepower and 575 lb/ft of
torque, Z460 packs a pumpgas punch on both the street
and on the track. The foundation of Z460 is the legendary
Ford Racing Boss block topped
off with high port/high flow ZHeads. Premium components
from the best aftermarket
companies are used throughout the engine, such as SCATs
forged steel crankshaft and Hbeam connecting rods, forged
Mahle pistons and Clevite
bearings. Every Ford Racing
Z460 engine is hand assembled in the U.S. with performance clearances.

35

Off-Road Runner

rucks have generally


been only a small segment of the kit market, and
off-road rigs less so. But
Fran Hall of Race Car Replicas is out to change out all
that with his new RCR HT2
in the works. Drawing on his
expertise with an impressive
array of racey replicas and
unique high-performance
designs, this trophy-style
truck is designed to have a
120" wheelbase and measure 80" wide. For handling
rugged terrain, the aluminum monocoque and tubular
chassis boasts 16" wheel
travel and a 4-wheel independent, 2" DOM suspension
arms with full rod ends. The
2WD mid-engine setup uses
either Corvette C5 or C6
drivetrain. Other features
include Tilton pedals with
brake bias, quick-disconnect

steering wheel, a full 2" tubular roll-cage structure, and


spare wheel mount. While
the HT2 is intended for offroading, with quickdisconnect swaybars to maximize articulation on rough
grades, a street-legal version
is planned as well. http://
www.race-car-replicas.com

Riveting Subject

anson Rivet
has a new
threaded insert
installation tool.
The RNHT Hand
Threaded Insert Tool is a uniquely
designed device to install blind
threaded inserts (also known as rivet-nuts). This tool is simple to operate and works well in limited space
applications. It also uses standard
socket head cap screws as mandrels. The RNHT tools are sold in
durable carrying case kits that include 8-32 through 3/8-16 or M4
through M8 thread set-ups. Great
for low-volume users including
sheet metal shops, kit builders, and
automotive general repair. Hanson
Rivet stocks a variety of threaded
inserts to compliment the RNHT
tool and a large selection of all
types of rivets and installation tools
and machines.
www.hansonrivet.com.

Upcoming Unique Motorcars Open House


The Weavers cordially invite 9 and 10, 2014. Looking forward
everyone to attend their 21st An- to seeing all their Unique Faminual Homecoming, to be held May ly of Cobras and rods, they will
be following last years schedule.
For those who arrive on Thursday, there will be a gathering at
Top O The River for fellowship
and dinner. The Unique Homecoming will be held at the shop
on Friday from 8:00 am until 3:00
pm, and refreshments and lunch
will be provided. On Saturday

36

morning there will be a meeting


Noccalula Falls for a cruise and
stop along the way for lunch.
Then a return to Gadsden, to take
time to rest and relax then meet
for Mexican food and drinks. Entry forms must be completed by
April 1, 2014. If you have any
questions, call 256/546-3708 or
256/546-2395 or email
unique@uniquemotorcars.com

British-Built BMW
Rebody

he Bertini GT 25, a bolt-on fiberglass conversion kit for BMW Z3, is in its final stages
of development, and scheduled to debut in early
May at the Stoneleigh show in the U.K. Only the
body panels are replaced, while the factory
doors, sills and roof remain. All interior and running gear are also retained from original Z3.
Designed by Anthony Cherry, he says his inspiration came from some of his favorite cars:
Jaguar E and F type, TVR, BMW Z8, Aston Martin, Maserati and AC Cobra.
While the Z3 has a large range of engines, from
1.8L to a 3.2L straight six, V8 conversions have
also been done for BMW Z3s using GMs LS engine. www.BertiniGT25.com

Regal Roadsters Are Battle Ready

egal
Roadsters
builds the first
"Battlebird
Tribute" car
based upon
one of only
three original
1957 Ford
Thunderbirds
that changed
racing history
at Daytona.
Now you can
build your own car that replicates the most rare of all Thunderbirds.
Complete bodies and retrofit
body packages are now available to convert any original Ford
or replica Thunderbird.

Call Chuck at Regal Roadsters 608-273-4141 or email


Chuck@RegalRoadsters.com
for more details.

37

CRACKING THE

What it Takes to Translate a GT

E CODE

TM Into a Supercar

By Steve Temple
Photos by Steve Temple

hile some kit builders prefer to follow the


instruction manual, others throw it out and
follow their own instincts instead. Thats the
case with Steve Knecht and his Factory Five
Racings GTM. While its a fine exotic right out of the box, he
couldnt leave well enough alone, and added an astonishing level
of customization. So much so, that we gave his beautiful buildup
the Editors Choice award at last years Factory Five event in
Huntington Beach, CA. (So maybe GTM stands for Gee Thats
Magnificent! Well, read on and youll see theres another possible meaning as well.)
Why did we take so long to feature such a stellar ride? Well,
we had to wait for the planets to line up, and finally arranged for

a shoot on an uncompleted
stretch of freeway west of Bakersfield, California. It was well
worth the wait, as youll see.
The effort that went into this
project is extraordinary, and
will likely give other kit builders some inspiration for embellishing their own rides.
Beginning at the Beginning
First, though, a bit of background on Knecht, and how he
honed his fabrication skills. A
California native, he has always
been interested in anything
that goes. He started young,
building go-karts, mini bikes
40

and anything else he could ride.


In high school he bought the
family 1970 VW Beetle. Thats
where all that go-kart work
paid off, as he converted the
bug into one hot street car
ahead of the Cal-look craze.
This practice of drawing on early experiences would bode well
for later projects.
After high school Steve
went to work as a tune-up mechanic at a local dealership, and
then moved on to working as a
diesel mechanic. At 23 years
old, Steve decided he was tired
of working for someone else
and wanted to have his own

business. Using the experience


of building his own hot-rod VW,
he opened Volks Works, a VW
repair and fabrication shop.
The Cal-look VW phenomenon
was in full swing in the early
Eighties, and Steve and his crew
turned out some of the VW
show cars of the era. While
hardly a high-end exotic like
the GTM shown here, customizing a Beetle was a good training
ground for a far more challenging endeavor, as many other kit
builders can likely attest.
Over the next five years,
Steve accumulated many car
show awards and magazine fea-

tures with the vehicles that he


built for his customers. Eventually, he decided that he liked
building cars more than managing a business, so he closed
Volks Works to pursue his
personal passions on a smaller
scale through T&S Designs. In
the late Eighties, he got involved in the car audio scene,
and got hooked on stereo competitions, while still building
cars as well.
During this time Steve
married his longtime sweetheart Teri. Starting a family

while working on one car at a


time can be
kind of
tough, so Steve realized
that he needed to expand
his skills and
started doing
computeraided design
(CAD) for his
car projects.
An opportunity came
along to do

some CAD work for a kneebrace company using a $500K


Silicon Graphics system. Talk
about a kid in a candy store!
This would prove to be a pivotal moment in the development
of his customizing skills, because behind that computer
was access to a full CNC machine shop. Steves design and
fabrication capabilities expanded exponentially. Making knee
braces is certainly a worthy endeavor and provided a good
living, but it just didnt fill that
creative need. So his afterhours car projects continued
unabated. Which brings us to
the stunning GTM you see
here.
For the last 20 years Steve
has been doing work on the
side for Frank Hinmon, who
has a fine collection of classics,
kustoms and street rods. About
four years ago he said, Hey
Steve, theres a new kit car I
want to build. Easier said than
done, of course, but Steve had
already built a couple MGTD
replicas and a Sebring kit car in
the past. Even so, with the eclectic taste Frank has in cars,
Steve was a little hesitant about
taking on GTM.

41

Lightning Strikes
Fortunately there was someone building a GTM in Bakersfield at the time and Frank took
Steve over to look at it. The second Steve saw it, he knew that it
was going to become the fulfillment of a lifelong passion, since
he had always wanted to build a
car from scratch. He felt that no
matter how cool you make an
existing car look, its still just a
modified car. Theres nothing
like the feeling of accomplishment of assembling an entire
carnot to mention taking it to
an even higher level of finish.
Frank had only two conditions: You cant paint it blue or
pink. Okay fair, enough. There
are plenty of other cool hues to
pick from on the color wheel. So

Steve and Frank struck a deal.


Steve would bring his years of
building experience and a full
machine shop to the build the
GTM, as long as Frank would
write the checks. In retrospect
Frank got the best end of the
deal because while there is
probably nearly $50K total investment in this car, compare
that to four years of long nights,
weekends and weeks of vacation time. Easily 4000 hours.
But no complaints. After all,
Steve would finally be able to
indulge his automotive impulses
to an unprecedented degree
and then some.
Let the Build Begin
The GTM kit arrived on April
of 2009, but Frank had been
busy long
before,
doing what
he does best
(finding the

best deals, since hes in the real


estate business by trade). He
purchased a salvaged 2004 Z06
Corvette for $7500, and found a
company that would remove all
the parts we needed for the
build and keep the rest of the
donor car in trade for the labor.
The engine only had 17K
miles on it, but was stripped
down to the long block so highflow heads and cam could be
installed. Frank also found a
low-mileage G50 gearbox for
$3500. With all the major components ready and waiting
when the kit arrived, assembly
to the go-kart stage went pretty fast (note how all those early
experiences can add up).
All the suspension parts
were fully disassembled,
smoothed and powder-coated
chrome metallic, and the aluminum panels powder coated Argento Grey after drilling and fitting. Chassis detail went to the
extreme, with features such as
every bolt measuring 1/4 inch
or more beingdrilled and
tapped so a custom billet nut
cap could be secured with a SS
button-head screw. The same
button heads hold on all the aluminum panels. After the suspension work, engine, transmission
and exhaustwere installed, the
chassis was taken to Ted Harrison of
Quick
Racing
Products

way he wanted, so he determined


that the only way to get the look
he wanted was to fabricate a single-piece front end and hood.
Another area that he felt needed addressing was around the
door windows, especially in the A
-pillar area. So he fabricated a set
Body Building
of window frames for the glass to
Meanwhile, Steve was busy
seal into. The door frames remaking the body look just the
quired the rear-quarter window
way he likes them, smooth and
area to be reshaped to continue
curvy. It had been briefly installed the flowing lines. So he fabricated
on the chassis to trim all the mov- some fully functional, fresh-air
ing parts, ensuring that everyscoops to fill the gap behind the
thing fit, and to make the modifi- doors. Speaking of scoops, Steve
cations that could be done only
had also fabricated one for the
with the body mounted. Steve
roof after lowering it one inch to
thought the tilting front end was allow a larger air flow into the enpretty cool, but didnt think he
gine. But his original scoop design
had the skill to
just didnt do it
make it open and for him. Out came
close or fit the
the Sawzall and a
Easier said than done, of course,
but Steve had already built a
couple MGTD replicas and a Sebring kit car in the past. Even
so, with the eclectic taste Frank
has in cars, Steve was a little
hesitant about taking on GTM.

Factory Five roof scoop went in


instead.
Since Steve and Franks vision
for the car was to be a street supercar, and the factory vents in
front of the front tires and behind
the rear tires looked more at
home on race cars, they decided
to fill them in. Also, the front nose
opening was deemed too big so it
was reshaped smaller. The air intakes behind the doors were
deemed too small so they were
enlarged.
Neither Frank nor Steve
thought the taillights or headlights were up to the level of finish they were trying to achieve, so
Steve designed and built some
custom headlight buckets that

included angel eyes and LED accent lights. Tail lights were custom fabricated to use all LEDs.
The exhaust was routed out
to the custom openings in the
lower corner of the body. The
license plate opening was reshaped to tie in with the taillights. The stock diffuser was a
little too aggressive so it was cut
down and fit into instead of
onto the body. Any respectable
supercar needs a wing and front
spoiler so those were also custom fabricated to finish off the
look.
Interior Design
With most of the major bodywork done, it was time to move
inside. Since they opted to put in
the C5 instrument panel, a custom dash with a working glove
box was required. Three different versions were tried before
choosing the current model. Steves tenure with car audio came
in handy for designing and fabricating a custom interior that
would hold a 1000-watt sound
and AV system.
That meant fabricating custom door panels to incorporate
door pulls andJL Audio six-inch
mids and one-inch tweeters.
And also designing and building

44

a sealed enclosure for the eightinch JL audio subwoofer that resides in the center console. The
center console also holds all the
LED switches, Pioneer double
Din head unit and RFID
pushbutton starter. At the back
of the console is another cubby
for assorted items such as cleaning supplies.
All interior panels are made
of .030-inch aluminum, covered
in Landau foam and red, gray or
black leather. They all clip in
and can be removed. Custom roll
bar covers were fabricated and
covered in gray vinyl to complement the gray velour headliner.
With most of the fabrication
was done it was time to remove
the entire interior and pull the
body off the chassis for final
bodywork and paint. For painting, the body was put back on
the sanding buck. The doors,
front hood and engine lid were
hung. Steve sprayed on one coat
of sealer and two coats of the
red base coat, and then three
coats of the red pearl coat inside
and out, plus two coats of clear.
Everything was color sanded to
600 grit and then the doors
hood and engine lid were hung
in their respective holes.

Next, the graphics were laid


out and sprayed. At that point
everything was pulled back
apart so the graphics could be
continued through the door
openings and everything would
be sprayed with two more coats
of clear, inside and out. After a
couple weeks, everything was
color sanded to 1000 grit, then
2000, cut with a cutting compound and finished up with a
polishing compound. The body
was then reinstalled on the finished chassis.
Details, Details
With the body safely back on
the chassis it was time for final
assembly. This is the most fun
part of the build for Steve. It's
also when the laws of physics no
longer apply. Fresh paint can
cause a tool that was simply
dropped on the other side of the
shop to magically bounce and fly
horizontally. Is it anti-gravity or
magnetism?
The entire interior was lined
with a layer of thermal protected Hush Mat. Then all the interior pieces were reinstalled.
Doors hung, hood fitted and engine lid attached. When installing the glass, Steve discovered that the rear window just
didnt fit the contour of the car quite
right so a piece of
polycarbonate was
cut and fit. Billet
grills were designed
and fabricated to fill
all the openings in
the car.
After everything
was on the car and
the ride height set,
it became apparent

that if the car was to be driven


at the level that looked the coolest, a front end lift was going to
be needed just to get out of the
driveway. So back to the computer and Steve designed a lift
system that could smoothly lift
the nose two inches in about
three seconds flat.
Further details were added
at the time of assembly like
Blue LEDs in all the grille openings under the hood and engine
bay. An engine cover from V
Raptor provided the starting
point for a custom air cleaner
cover to be fabricated that ties
in with the side scoops to provide fresh air to the engine.
Believe it or not, all of the
preceding description is actually a Readers Digest version of
what went into this car. Like
most projects, once you start
modifying one thing, it leads to
ten others and so on, Steve admits. But that was the thrill of
building this car. There were no
boundaries. It was always my
dream to be able to build a Super Car from scratch just the
way I wanted, without having to
worry about budgets, customer
expectations, timelines or any
of the other factors that limit
creativity.
But more important than an
example of personal expression
is the personal connection involved. I also have to take a
minute to thank my dad Clifford
Knecht, Steve notes. He has
supported all my goofy ideas
since before I bought my first
car from him all those years
ago. He was always there when
I needed something done. Because of this car I was able to
spend many hours with my dad

that I
wouldnt
have
had if
not for
this project.
In
addition,
I also
have to
thank
my wife
Teri
who was always supportive and ready with a
sandwich or anything.
Lastly, another bonus
this build has brought to
his life is meeting some of
the best people through
the GTM forums.
It was so great to feel
like part of a build team,
he adds. I have friends
all over the world that
were in the same trenches as me. We
worked as a team
to defeat the
challenges each
of us was trying
to overcome. It
was just one
more thing that
enhanced the entire build experience.
So besides
Gee Thats Magnificent,
Knechts spectacular GTM also
stands for something else
Great Team
Members!
SOURCE:
Factory Five Racing
(508) 291-3443
http: www.factoryfive.com

READERS
RIDES

Willys What

hat if the
Stone Woods
Cook iconic
1941 Willys
gasser had not been restored
and put in a museum? Instead,
what if that car had been put in
a barn and forgotten since its
1961 Indy win at the Nationals.
What would it look like? What
would the condition of the body
be?
Before answering those
questions, I must tell you that I
always loved that Stone Woods
Cook car, relates Bryan Marshall. I loved the lettering, the
light blue paint and the look.
So how did he go about recreating it? I started out by developing a book of all of the pictures I could find of the car, then
building a model of the car and

46

looking for the right parts, he


notes. I traded for the body and
frame and went to Billy Price of
Outlaw Fabrication in Jeffersonville, Indiana for the build.

In October of 2012 Marshall


showed him his book, model,
and budget, and parts and the
what if became what next?
I kept telling the guys at
Outlaw that I was going to
paint the car with a four-inch
brush when we got the build
done, says. As the body and
frame got closer and my parts
research slowed, I started to
practice with a hot-glue gun
on cardboard to mimic welds.
I wanted to make welds and
patch panels in the fiberglass
body, in order to fool people
into thinking they were looking at a rusty, patched, metal
car.
Marshall used lots of thinner
and that four-inch paint brush
with aluminum-colored paint

t-If Replica

for the base coat. He learned


from the work on cardboard
that if you apply it in swirls it
looks like machine sanding
marks. Then primer, then the
blue topcoat and start sanding.
When the right look appeared I detailed it with rust
and paint blemishes with acrylic paint, he reveals. For the
last step I sprayed the whole
car in satin clear, and used
WD40 for wax, as it gives it a
finished sheen. The result?
My car buddies called it
hillbilly steelcuz it aint real!
But would it pass muster with
seasoned street rodders? After
Bob Lathery of Jeffersonville,
Indiana lettered and striped the
body, Marshall debuted the car

at NSRA Nationals in Louisville


on August 13th.
It seemed to work, as many
car guys argued with me as to
it being a real metal body, he
laughs. So our what if was
realized when many of the hot
rodders were taking pictures
and saying, What the Hell? So
what if we fooled our buddies? We say hillbilly steel. It
aint real but its real cool!

Contributed by Juan Lopez


Bonilla,,
www.kentuckycobraclub.com
47

READERS
RIDES
Having a
Wonderful
TimeDont
You Wish
You Were
Here?
As told by Cullen McCann
Photos by Steve Link and Randy Walker

bought my Cobra replica as a bare


frame and raw body in January 2008 at
Shell Valley headquarters in Nebraska,
and purchased the parts and pieces directly from the company as time and
money provided. I worked on it for a
couple years, then took a couple years
off, distracted by other projects, and
then a couple years ago got back on it
heavily. I built the entire car myself in
my workshop except for the paint and
body of the fiberglass and the engine
short block. All other work was done

48

COBRA V

VACATION

myself over the time span of


about five years, including wiring, assembly, sheet-metal work,
component fitment and assembly, interior, etc.
The build scheme is intended
to be inspired by a vintage racing theme, yet with some design
liberties to enhance performance, handling, comfort and
modern graphic twists, such as
the 17-inch wheels, Windsor
motor, and braking upgrades.
The other specifics of the car
are fairly straightforward with
the Shell Valley kit. Front suspension is a tubular Mustang II
front end (strut rod eliminated),
with rack-and-pinion manual
steering.
The motor was a core purchased locally and built up from
scratch by Brand Racing Engines
50

here in Mustang Oklahoma. The


block is a 69 model, highnickel 351 Windsor stroked to
about 397 inches, thanks to a
392 stroker crank, along with a
little overbore. It has a solid roller cam, Scat crank, and Brodix
Track 1 heads with 2.08/1.60
valves. The intake is an
Edelbrock Super Victor with
a Quick Fuel 750 mechanical
carb, regulator and pump. I use a
turkey pan on it for aesthetics,
but it probably provides minimal heat block or cold-air isolation.
Of course when it comes to
kit cars there are no rules, but
some will note that the car is a
big-block bodied Cobra with a
Windsor motor in it. The turkey
pans were also unique to the big
-block motors, even though the

mill that I chose was more commonly found on small-block Cobras back in the day.
Its cooled by Shell Valleys
aluminum radiator and has never even acted like it wanted to
get too hot. I have a very highvolume Flexalite shrouded electric fan with programmable
temp control and automatic
shutoff on it, and a coolantbased thermostat (not a temp
probe in the radiator fins).
Also under the hood is Canton Oil Pan, Melling HV oil pump,
and Lakewood scatter shield.
The transmission is a wide-ratio
4-speed Toploader, mated to a
3.73 gear in a Ford 9-inch, narrowed to fit the desired track
width.
Rear suspension is handled
via a triangulated 4-link with

Shell Valley adjustable length


link arms. The rear differential
is a Ford Trac-lock, and it has
31-spline Currie axles. The
wheels are 17-inch Vintique
Wheels, and Shell Valley provided OEM-based 4-wheel discs
and QA1 Coilover shocks.
The interior is strictly Shell
Valleys black vinyl seats and
carpet. I covered the dash myself and fitted it with Autometer
Cobra gauges to get a look that
was affordable and also fairly
consistent with the period gauges. The steering column is from
Ididit, also available through
Shell Valley, and fitted to it a 15inch wood-trimmed wheel.
The paint and body was prepared by Paul McCann at Barely
Street Legal Street Rods, here in
Oklahoma City. The paint is a
color-matched custom mix from
DuPont to match PPGs Guard-

man Blue with bright white


roundels, black pinstriping and
a satin-black nose stripe. The
nose stripe was inspired by the
FIA original team race cars, and
was selected to give the car a
racing theme that was not as
common as the traditional racing stripes.
The car is very rigid and
handles great. When Brand Racing built the engine, it made 460
horses on the engine dyno, and
since the car theoretically
weighs only around 2300
pounds, its very quick. I had a
5.0 Mustang (actually several of
them) that ran 12s in the quarter with 375 to 400 horse and
3400 pounds, so by powers of
deduction the car is very fast
and that motor still pulls at seven grand. The rear tires measure 335/35R17, with
285/40R17 on the front, and Im
currently running Kumho Ecsta,
which seemed to strike a nice
balance between performance
and cost on the street car.
As for future plans, someday
I might change to fuel injection,
but Im not sure about that. Im
also considering a front sway
bar, NASCAR style but it seems
to handle quite well without it.

Larger brakes are on the list as


well. Shell Valley offers a larger
front rotor that Im anxious to
try as well, although its seems to
stop pretty good now anyway.
I have several other projects
in the works, including an original authentic Sunbeam Tiger, a
1971 Bill Stroppe Baja early
Bronco, another street/trail
1969 early Bronco and my 67
Chevy Nova that Ive had since
high school. As for the Cobra,
Im just thrilled to enjoy it and
drive it whenever I can. Its like
a mini-vacation every time I get
behind the wheel and stomp the
throttle.
Also, a bit about me. I am 37
years old, married with two kids
in Yukon, Oklahoma. I work for
a large architecture firm in Oklahoma City. My father and I were
Cobra fans and I have my father
to thank for my appreciation for
the car. Most important, I have
my wife Britney to thank for
supporting a childhood dream
coming true.
Cullen McCann
Yukon, Oklahoma
http://www.shellvalley.com

51

YOUR SOURCE FOR


VINTAGE MOPAR FEATURE STORIES

LATE-MODEL MOPAR FEATURES


JEEP AND RAM FEATURE STORIES
TECH TIPS & HOW-TO INSTALLS
MR. NORMS DODGES & HISTORY
SHOW AND EVENT COVERAGE
DISCOUNTS: PARTS, ACCESSORIES,
MR. NORMS MEMORABILIA & MORE

SPECIAL GIFT FOR


KIT CAR BUILDER READERS

WWW.MRNORMS.COM

To demonstrate using
Jaspers reman drivetrain
components in a kit project, the companys
associates installed one of its 375hp Ford 351W engines
in a Cobra replica. The mill pumps out 400 lb/ft of torque at 4100 rpm,
spins JE Flat Top pistons, and is topped with Trick Flow heads and an
Edelbrock Performer manifold. The engine is mated to a Jasper Richmond 5-speed trannie, backed by a Jasper 8.8-inch, 3.27:1 rearend.

DRIVETRAIN
SERIES
By Steve Temple
Photos by Steve Temple and
Courtesy Jasper

ne obvious truth
about all kit projects is
the need for a
drivetrain. After all,
most kits come without an engine and transmission. But not
just any old lump will do. You
spend a lot of time and money
getting your car on the road, and
you dont want to get stuck by
the side of the road due to malfunctioning mill or troublesome
trannie.
Thats where Jasper comes in
with a wide range of options.
Since 1942, this company has
been offering remanufactured
engines and transmissions that
meet or exceed factory specs.
And now more recently has introduced performance packages
and an Authentic Custom
Drivetrain Division. While the
latter should be of particular interest to replica kit builders
looking for a period-correct engine or transmission, well first
focus on the companys remanufactured (reman) products, and
then cover Jaspers special program for more performance and
authenticity.

engines (or transmissions) and


rebuilt or used engines (or
transmissions)? Theres often
some confusion about rebuilt
versus remans. In the early days
of the kit industry, used or rebuilt engines and transmission
were fairly common, whether
for a new project vehicle or repowering an existing one. Thats
not so much the case these days,
as evidenced by the popularity
of new crate engines. But you
dont have to go to that extra expense for virtually all-new components, and still can get a
drivetrain with a full warranty.
For the sake of clarity, as Jasper notes, used engines are typically pulled directly from a vehicle, usually in a junkyard, without any cleaning or inspection.

The mileage might be high and


the level of maintenance low,
possibly a pig in a poke, as the
old saying goes (referring to a
low-quality item concealed in a
bag).
A rebuilt drivetrain is a step
above a used engine, as it involves cleaning, inspecting and
replacing worn-out parts. But
some serviceable parts might be
re-used if theyre still within the
manufacturers wear limits, and
the drivetrains overall quality
can vary with the skill of the rebuilder.
A reman, however, is a different deal, in that it makes the
drivetrain as close to new as
possible, with most wearable
parts automatically replaced by
Jaspers experienced technicians

Rebuilt Versus Reman


First off, whats the difference between remanufactured
55

Jaspers main shop floor is a sizable operation covering 367,000 square feet in Jasper, Indiana, with more than
1500 employees.

(note accompanying photos on


how they handle a Ford 302).
They carefully inspect all core
material, verifying that it meets
original equipment specs and
tolerances. New replacement
parts are made with the same
production processes as original
equipment. And best of all, Jaspers reman drivetrains are covered by a nationwide warranty.
To get an idea the scope of
this companys experience, it
handles remans for enormous
volumes of drivetrain components (about 57,000 gasoline
engines per year, along with
68,000 transmissions and 9,500
differentials). So youre dealing
with technicians who are very
familiar with just about every
While Jasper is well known for
its remanufactured engines,
the number of the companys
reman transmissions actually
exceeds them in total volume
56

type of drivetrain a kit builder


might need.
Upgrading to a Jasper
Authentic Custom Drivetrain
Upstairs from this massive
operation is a newer, limitedvolume (350 to 400 units per
unit) area devoted to rescuing
treasured, collectible powerplants (plus transmissions and

differentials) from the brink of


oblivion. Called the Authentic
Custom Engine Division, its
staffed by veteran technicians
who have an appreciation for
the pride and satisfaction that
accompanies classic and collectible car ownership, and painstakingly bring back drivetrains
from a near-death state.

Need a Ford 9-inch or other rearend for your kit project? Jasper has a
wide selection of remans available.

When an engine such as this Ford 302 arrives at Jasper for remanufacturing, the first step is disassembly.

The process consists of a


numbers-matching build,
original paint, testing and,
(for an up-charge), valuable
documentation of the remanufacturing process. That way,
should a premium-grade Cobra replica or other collectible car ever be sold, the owner can prove the lineage and
meticulous care that has gone
into the project, preserving its
value.
This optional documentation package lists in exhaustive detail the bill of materials, specifications, dynamometer reports and detailed inprocess information, including photos. In other words,
just about anything you would
like to know about your engine as it goes through the
companys extensive and precise steps. This information is
available 24/7 via a web page,
or can also be e-mailed during
the hand-building procedures.
We should note, however,
that for high-performance engines, the warranty differs
somewhat in miles and years
of coverage, but the point is,
whether its a basic Ford 302
or a 427 side-oiler, Jasper has
you covered. Which is a good
thing to know, considering all
the time, money and effort
that goes into a buildup.
:

All internal components are thoroughly


degreased and then cleaned in a hot
tank.
57

Heres the rusty block before treatment.

And how it looks after getting cleaned up.

A deck plate braces the block during cylinder honing.

The valvetrain is carefully reassembled by


hand.

All reman engines are tested after assembly to ensure


theyre operating within factory standards.

Either reman pistons, or new ones if they dont meet spec,


are re-installed into the cylinder bores.
58

The rotating assemblies are checked to make sure


they meet or exceed factory specs.

Magnafluxing reveals any cracks or casting flaws.

SOURCE:
Jasper Engines and

Transmissions
www.jasperengines.com

Once this 302 passed with flying colors, its


bagged and secured to a shipping pallet.
59

All engines going through Jaspers Authentic Custom


Drivetrain division are thoroughly documented and
dyno tested.

A couple flights of stairs above the main shop area is


Jaspers Authentic Custom Drivetrains & Performance Division,
where veteran
technicians carefully restore and
remanufacture
older drivetrain

The condition of the engines


when they arrive at Jasper
varies, with some looking totally beyond repair.
Inset: Careful documentation ensures that all parts of
a classic engine are accounted for, and recorded for
posterity.

A metal tag bolted to the heads and block stays on tight during tank cleaning
in a heated chemical degreaser, so all the components are numbers matching.

Special Care for Really Special Engines

If specific bolts and fasteners


can be reused, they are kept in a
steel basket with the engine for
a thorough cleaning. If new, replacement parts are made in the
same production processes as
original equipment. Testing is
performed to manufacturer
specifications and original production standards.

Magnafluxing (magnetic particle


inspection) reveals any cracks
or flaws in the casting of the
blocks.

Every head is resurfaced to exact dimensional tolerances and the surface


finish is carefully monitored for proper
sealing with the block.
Cylinders are bored and torqueplate honed to exact specifications. This eliminates cylinder
distortion after the head is bolted and torqued to the block,
which can otherwise result in
engine blow-by.

Valve seats and guides are machined to exact specifications,


or replaced to assure correct
valve alignment and seating
and optimum engine performance.

Crankshafts are machined to precise


tolerances, with no odd size bearings or
journals, and thrust surfaces are micropolished for smooth engine operation
and reduced thrust-bearing wear. After
machining, oil holes are chamfered to
improve lubrication.

Jasper tests every reman engine with recorded inspections of temperatures, oil pressure, vacuum and compression, and also black-light inspected to verify there are no oil leaks.
61

Cylinder surface finish and


size are closely monitored for
accuracy and consistency, in
order to ensure smooth piston
travel and engine performance. The block-to-head mating surface is closely inspected as well, and resurfaced as
required for proper seating of
the gasket.

All of the components that


arrived with the engine are
kept together in a tray on a
designated cart.

The owner of this 427


Chevy was on hand
for pushing the start
button on the dyno
panel to fire up his 67 427 Chevy. Inset: Dyno
numbers and powerband curves document the
engines output. While the horsepower numbers are slightly less than original (due to the
camshaft selection to suit driving preferences),
but torque numbers are higher.

Connecting rods are gauged to within a half a


thousandth inches, and machined to the standard
diameter of original equipment, and also checked
for bend and twist.
Align-honing the main saddle bores of the block.

Assembly of all engines are handled by


ASE-certified technicians, and quality is
backed by SPC (Statistical Process
Control, basically a measurement of
consistency). For most passenger cars
and light-duty trucks, the parts and labor warranty is three years and 100,000
miles, whichever comes first. But a
class 2 engine (indicating higher performance) has a one-year warranty or
16,000 miles parts, and sixmonths/8,000 miles on labor coverage.

62

Fun
Hugger
A Buggy With a Difference

By Harold Pace
Photos courtesy Chris Herr and
Geoff Hacker

The explosive popularity of


the Myers Manx in the 1960s
caused many fiberglass entrepreneurs to produce their own
take on the dune buggy concept.
Leo Lyons was a long-time car
guy who had built one-off cars
with Kustom Kings George and
Sam Barris, and wrenched on
race cars with his bud Dan Gurney. In 1968 he introduced the
Fun Hugger, a glass-bodied
buggy built on a full-length VW
chassis.
I was at a race in the
1960s, recalls Lyons, when
they brought out some dune
buggies to show them off. A
friend of mine asked me why
they had to shorten the chassis.
It made more sense just to build
the body to fit a standard
frame. (Ironically enough, a few
years ago Bruce Meyers came
out with his own full-length ver64

sion of his much-copied Manx.)


Lyons was soon in the buggy
business, building Fun Huggers
at Leo Lyons Equipment in San
Bernardino, California.
The styling was fresh and
distinctive, not a splashed-off
copy of a Manx, and featured a
sweeping wraparound tail. I
designed it myself, explains Lyons. I couldnt afford to pay
someone else. The body was
also more involved than most
buggies, molded from a number of panels that were
bonded together to
form a stiffer and
lighter unit than
most one-piece
molded bodies.
The Fun Hugger was designed
to be easier to assemble than buggies that required
a shortened floor
pan. The $395 A
Kit was the cheapest version, and

included only the basic body.


The B Kit added an integrated
windshield/roll bar assembly
and the mounting hardware.
The pricier C and D Kits added side panels and an engine
cover. One price advantage to
the five-passenger Fun Hugger
was the ability to use stock VW
seats front and rear, since most
buggies required aftermarket
bucket seats. VW headlights,
taillights and wiper assembly
were also used.
Lyons offered numerous

options, including a rear roll bar,


two roof designs and 14 solid
and metalflake colors. Lyons recalls that he sold about 200 Fun
Huggers from 1969 to 1970, before their market demand declined. People just stopped buying them, Lyons recalls. Noting
one possible reason, I got started late on the fad.
A RARE SURVIVOR
While the Fun Hugger is no
longer in production, it would
not be forgotten. Six years ago
Chris Herr was looking for a festive car to play with both on and
off-road. He had looked at Manxstyle and Berry Mini-T buggies,
but when he spotted a flamed
Fun Hugger on eBay he fell in
love. I had never seen anything
like it, says Herr. As a man with
a family he also appreciated the
utility of having a back seat. It
was a true four-seater, and the
sprung VW seats were more
comfortable than most buggy
seats.
The buggy was very clean,
with a nice blue flame job in
front. Herr made a few changes,
including cutting the top back
for more ventilation and fabricating diamond-plate side covers to keep the body sides free
of dust and grime. The sides

were originally fiberglass, but


they were always dirty so I
made new reshaped metal sides
that keep it cleaner, he explains. His family also put the
roof rack to use carrying coolers
and supplies.
The buggy runs a stock 1600
VW and has been very reliable,
so Herr has confined his repair
work to repainting the interior
and replacing the carpet. The
Fun Hugger has had lots of use
over the years. Herrs extended
family of siblings and in-laws
owns a number of other buggies
and modified VWs, and have
made numerous day trips as a
group. To see a pack of buggies
fly by in rural Indiana would
have to get some attention!
Herr and Lyons were recently introduced by Geoff Hacker of

Forgotten Fiberglass fame


(www.ForgottenFiberglass.com)
, a fascinating web site devoted
to older kit cars. Hacker had
hunted down Lyons after buying
a radical custom Mercury that
Lyons had built in the late 1950s
with Kustomizers George and
Sam Barris. Hacker was pleasantly surprised to find that Lyons had tried his hand in the kit
car biz, and an internet search
turned up Herr and his Fun Hugger. Thanks to Hacker we were
able to come up with some history on one of the pioneers of
the buggy era, and a surviving
example in excellent condition.
If any readers know of other feature-worthy classic glass out
there, let us know.

65

JOY RIDES
From Corvettes to a Cobra

As told by John Masick

y love for cars starte

older helped my fath


mechanically and in

glasspack mufflers, m

classic parts and pieces, and the cars w


waxed.

ed as a child, and as I got

her maintain his cars both


appearance. They had

moon hubcaps, and other

were always clean and

About 1960 we had a neighbor with a Corvette who wanted


me to keep it clean and waxed. I
would drive it to my house and
get very excited to do a great job
on it,and when it was done, I
was allowed to put some miles
on it as part of my pay for my
work on it. I would do this service a couple of times each year
and I could not wait for the next
time. My love for sports cars had
begun.
I went to college and was
scheduled to graduate in May of
1968 and had plans to buy a Cobra when I got out of school and
had a job. However, I got drafted
in January of 1968, and went to
Vietnam. When I finally returned home, I finished my education, but AC Cobras were no
68

longer made and I was


afraid to buy a car that was
no longer made, plus they
were a little over $7000 at
that time. So I bought a
1971 Corvette 454, as it was
only about $5500. I kept
that car for 33 years until
someone talked me out of it.
I have sold industrial air
compressors for most of my
working life. One day I sold
a unit to Glasers body shop
and I noticed they had several old cars that they had
restored and looked like
new. I mentioned to Aaron Glaser that I had always wanted an
AC Cobra. He asked if I knew
Terry Riebel, owner of The
Dreamcar Company, Inc., as he
builds and services AC Cobras. I
called and later met Terry and
his wife, Julie. We had a great
conversation and looked at his
Cobra. He then asked if I knew
Woodsey in southern Illinois.
Terry said he had a Superfor-

mance replica for sale. I soon


called Woodsey and set a time
to meet. As soon as I saw it I
could not resist buying it. I was
the color I always wanted,
white stripe and it never had an
engine in it. It was brand new!
The net effectTerry, his
wife Julie and I went back to
Woodsys place, I bought the
Cobra and we trailered it back
to Louisville.
There was a
lot of discus-

sion on the engine and I listened to Terrys comments and


experience. I then bought a
302ci Ford engine from Performance Engineering, which was
stroked to 331ci and equipped
with a 750 Quick Fuel Carburetor. It was dyno tested at a little
over 500 horses and I heard it
run before it was installed in
my Cobra. Terry then installed
the engine, with a little help
from me, and my dream came
true.

Photos:
Juan Lopez-Bonilla
Kentucky Cobra Club
http://www.kentuckycobraclub.com
Builders:
www.superformance.com
www.thedreamcarcompany.com

69

CLUB
PROFILE
Snake N
Eggs
Real Folks
Having Real
Fun at the
Kentucky
Cobra Club
The Kentucky Cobra Club had its
first Snakes n Eggs gathering of the
2014 Season, marking 11th Season of
KCC. A total of 30 plus members
showed up, even in the cold February
weather, with a few replisnakes, Mustangs, Porsches and civilian cars. In

89 FIA Registry
Dave McDuffie
5 Beaufain Dr.
Sumter, SC 29150
Assoc. of Handcrafted Automobiles
Mike Dresbach
17520 High Country Cr.
Gavilan Hills, CA 92570
909/657-0422
www.replicarclub.com
Arizona Kit Car Club
Dan Tideman, Pres.
www.akcc.biz
Avenger/Valkyrie Registry
Ben Scheller
402 South St.
Berlin, PA 15530
70

discussing the upcoming events of the


2014 Season, heres one in the works:
A trip out of state to visit our
Brothers and Sisters of the North Alabama Cobra Club, hence the following
words, paraphrased from The Wizard
of Oz (with a bit of twisting):

Youre Not In Kentucky


Anymore
This would be their first cruise
out of Kentuckyhopefully with no
tornadosheading to Florence, Alabama on April 25-27 April. We have
been invited to visit by fellow mem-

814/267-3748
Aztec 7 Registry
Chris Guenther
6230 Quay St.
Arvada, CO 80003
Capital Area Cobra Club
Wash. DC, MD & VA
www.capitalareacobraclub.c
om
Chicagoland Replicar Registry
http://
www.chicagolandreplicarass
ociation.com
Club Cobra
Brent Mills
414 Lybarger St. NE

bers in north Alabama. The planning


is well along and the adrenaline is
already flowing. Nope, you dont need
a passport, but they are Southern,
even more so than Kentucky, so plan
to bring a smile. Get 2014 started on
the right foot, use all eight cylinders,
and carve your initials into the clubhouse wall. Twisting another yet famous line, this one from Kilroy in
WWII, KCC was here!
For more info, check out: http://
www.kentuckycobraclub.com

Olympia, WA 98506
www.clubcobra.com
Deep South Cobra Club
www.dscc.us
Devin Registry
www.devinspecial.com
Georgia Kit Car Assoc.
David Boatright
2560 S. Hairston Rd.
Decatur, GA 30035
404/981-4143
Glen Pray Cord Group
2011 S. Cedar St.
Broken Arrow, OK 74012
918/251-3500
felixdegeyter@yahoo.com

Grand Touring Sports Car


Assoc.
Earl Harper
42501 Malbeck Dr.
Sterling Heights, MI 48314
586/731-1842
www.gtsca.com
Gateway Cobra Club of St.
Louis
Chuck Grbcich, 6stingcobra@prodigy.net
Mark Earls,
mearls@sbcglobal.net
www.gatewaycobraclub.com

Great Lakes Cobra Club


Terry Anway
810/397-8476
Greater St. Louis Kit Car
Club
Dan Doerer
314/576-5856
http://
clubs.hemmings.com/
frameset.cfm?club=gslkcc
GTO Replica Register
www.GTORR.com
Handcrafted Automobiles
of Minnesota
David Gageby
20120 Hillside Dr.
Cocoran, MN 55374
612/416-2212
Houston Kit Car Club
Jorge Matias
17718 Windy Point Dr.
Spring, TX 77379
Jacksonville Replicar Club
Mike McManus
8091 Pierre Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32210
904/781-2210
Kansas Kit Kar Klub
Jay Scovell
P.O. Box 160
405 N. Osage
Edna, KS 67342
620/922-7325
Kelmark GT/Karma/
Magnum GT Forum
kelmarkgt.com
Kentucky Cobra Club
Juan Lopez-Bonilla
2432 Crittenden Dr., Ste 201
Louisville, KY 40217
502/635-5711

Manta Enthusiasts Group


David Savage
www.mantacars.com
dsavage@mantacars.com

Northern California Kit Car


Club
James Wagner
650/341-0211
www.nckcc.com
Ohio Valley Kit Car Club
Dennis Motter
634 Stoneharbor Ln.
Maineville, OH 45039
513/683-3790

Mid-America Cobra Club


P.O. Box 11202
Shawnee Mission, KS 66207
www.midamericacobra.org

Ohio Cobra Club


Bill Dyer
614/348-0689
www.ohiocobraclub.com

Mile High Cobra Club


Al Bockman
ad303@yahoo.com
www.milehicobraclub.com

Oklahoma Kit Car Club Tulsa


www.oklahomakitcarclub.vp
web.com

MGTD Replica Club


http://www.tdreplica.com
The Manx Club
www.manxclub.com

Rocky Mountain Handcrafted Automobiles


Chris Guenther
303/425-6807
aztec7fan@yahoo.com

New Jersey Replicar Club


http://
njreplicarclub.proboards.com/
index.cgi

Sebring/Cimbria Kit Car


Club
Joseph Domanico
6 Dixie Dr.
Bel Air, MD 21014

Nevada Replicar Assoc.


Jeff Wenger
8635 W. Sahara Ave. #614
Las Vegas, NV 89117
702/617-3300
www.nvreplicar.com

South Florida Cobra Registry


3593 SW 173rd Ter.
Miramar, FL 33029
954/436-9101

Kellison Web Page


www.kellisoncars.com
Lake Snakes Cobra Club
(Northern Ohio)
www.lakesnakescobra.com

Northeast Ohio Kit Car


Club
Paul Dicola
655 Atwod Dr.
Talmadge, OH 44278
216/633-6554

Squire SS-100 Club


Art Stahl
11826 S. 51st. St.
Phoenix, AZ 85044
480/893-9451
Squirepal@aol.com

Speedster Owners
www.speedsterowners.com
Spyder Owners
www.spyderowners.com
Superformance Owners
Group
www.secondstrike.com
The Mera Registry
Rodney Dickman
10227 Caddy Ln.
Caledonia, WI 53108
Western Pennsylvania
Specialty Car Club
Anthony Menzietti
11725 Althea Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
412/243-7540
The Bug Club
www.the-bug-club.com
Deserter Owners Group
Bob Elliott
e-bimelliott@comcast.net
www.deserterownersgroup.
org
National Sterling Owners
Assoc.
www.nationalsterling.org

EDITORS NOTE: Please


send club news, photos,
and website addresses
to:
steve@kitcarbuilder.com

www.kentuckycobraclub.com

Kentuckiana Hot Wheels


Terry Brown
14305 Wooland Ridge Dr.
Louisville, KY 40245
502/245-6346
Kellison Registry
hedfield@charter.net

71

READERS
RIDES

HYPERACTIV

An Amped-up
Super Seven,
Swedish Style

eres a new level


of Super Seven,
called the Hyper
8. The car started
out as a Westfield SE replica,
which is about 15 percent smaller than todays Westfield SEiW.
It is also 15 percent lighter,
which is significant, as you will
understand after reading the following.
A good friend of mine wanted to create a Seven which took
advantage of the development of
the Seven concept made by Mallock [a race car builder in the
U.K.Ed.] in their fantastically
fast Clubman cars. (Obviously
minus the aerodynamical features and the slick tires.) His

72

name is Stefan Mumm, and he


began designing and building
the Hyper 8. After a while his
Clubman racing took too much
time from building the Hyper 8
and that is when I took over to
finish the car. I also added some
ideas of my own, which Stefan
and I had very vivid discussions
about. Somehow we always
came out with solutions combin-

ing our sometimes rather imaginary ideas.


The clubman cars are reengineered Sevens with lots of
development in order to make
them fast, really fast. The Hyper
8 is a reverse-engineered Clubman. I couldnt find a Seven
which was built like that, despite
the obvious advantage of doing
so.
The engine is moved as far
back as physically possible (190
mm) and moved slightly to the
right, since I sit on the left side
while driving. This makes adjusting corner weight easier. The
engine is also a structural part of
the chassis. Since it is in the car,
why not use the rigidity of the
engine to improve frame rigidity? Also, a solidly mounted engine will not rock back and
forth, a very important, but

VE HYPER 8

overlooked way to improve the


handling of a car.
The front suspension is
heavily modified, with inboard
dampers working via fulcrums
and pushrods, providing 100
percent linear spring characteristics. Using pushrods also enables adjustment of corner
weight without messing up the
spring rate. The springs are preloaded and there is zero droop,
resulting in very precise control
of camber during heavy cornering.
The steering rack is relocated from in front of the wheel
center to behind, which has several advantages. A major one is
easier adjustment of Ackerman
angle, a very important way to
enable change of how the car
will steer into corners. Moving
the steering rack backwards also improves weight distribu-

tion.
The steering rack is a bespoke Titan rack with the exact
measures to give zero
bumpsteer. It is also tighter
than any modified Escort rack,
usually used in Seven cars. The
feel of a cars steering is utterly
important and with this totally
lash-free unit, you can feel even
the slightest tendency of tire
slip and correct it even before
you start skidding.
The rear is a
live axle. That
might sound a bit
old-school, but by
using a Mumford
link, the roll center is extremely
low. This is a very
important part of
the Clubman
concept. A very

low roll center on a live axle


eliminates the need of a limited
slip unit. Limited slip units interfere with the handling of a
car, since locked-up rear wheels
creates understeer, or oversteer
if you use too much power exiting a corner. And an open differential will not affect the chassis
dynamics.
The Hyper 8 has almost 200
bhp and weighs 615 kilos, with
me in it. Exiting corners with
the pedal to the metal is totally
hassle free. It just rockets away,
leaving surprised competitors
behind.
The original four-link rearend has been elongated from a
mere 150 mm to 800 mm in order to minimize roll steer. Some
people prefer a bit of roll steer, I
dont. The four-links mounting
points are adjustable in order to
enable TAM, if it would be necessary. (TAM = Trailing Arm
Magic). None of the above mentioned advantages are achievable with an individual rear suspension.
The parking brake is usually
exactly where your elbow wants
to go while changing gears. It is
also in the way when you want
to reach the driveshaft. So the

73

Hyper 8 has an electrical parking brake, which also moves


weight backwards. The motor
itself weighs in at 500 grams
which is less than a normal
parking brake lever. Thanks to
the lack of a lever, the cover
over the driveshaft is now easy
to remove.
The body is easily detachable. It can be done by one person, since the main body weighs
in under 10 kilos. The scuttle is
fixed with only two Dzus quick
fasteners with Mickey Mouse
ears (like a wing nut.) Very useful if you need quick access to
the electrical system.
The bonnet, scuttle and main
body use only Mickey Mouse fasteners, so the car can be undressed in about two minutes,
without using tools. Serviceability is a big advantage on a race
track where time is of an essence. The detachable body
makes the car very serviceable.
The body has been widened 80
mm in order to make room for
the very long four-link arms.
The nose cone has a built-in
frame which forces air through
the radiator, instead of having
that frame mounted around the
radiator. The bottom of the nose
cone is cut out to prevent air
from being pushed underneath
the car.
74

The bottom of the car is completely flush. It is even riveted


with countersunk rivets. The
engine has been raised slightly
in the chassis to allow for the
flush floor. The floor covers the
entire underbody, providing less
turbulence under the car. The
result is stability even at 200
kph. The floor is 25 mm wider
than the body, creating a
splitter that is usually not allowed in certain racing series.
But technically it is not a splitter, since it is the cars floor,
which just happens to be a bit
wider than the body. The splitter prevents air from seeping in
under the car, and also helps to
create stability at high speeds.
The car was built with one
very particular mindset. (Save
weight. Whatever you do, save
weight.) It weighs in at 545 kilos, which is rather OK considering the iron engine block and
iron gearbox casing.
On the first track test it
pulled 1.4 G in flat corners and
was absolutely rocketing out of
corners, thanks to the Mumford
link. The best thing is that the
Hyper 8 is road legal.
Kind Regards,
Peter Marup
Oxie, Sweden
website: http://hyper8.se

Hyper 8 Tech
Specs:
Westfield SE chassis heavily modified.
Ford Focus ST 170 engine
with Suzuki GSX throttle
body
Megasquirt ECU
Quaife Rocket dogbox
TTY Superlight flywheel
with aluminum clutch housing
Sintered clutch, hydraulically managed
Wilwood floor-mounted
pedals with balance bar.
Radtech radiator
Ford Escort live axle with
Mumford link and four-link.
Siltech billet aluminum uprights
Widetrack front suspension
with pushrod suspension.
Protech aluminium dampers
Aurora race spec rose
joints. (No rubber joints anywhere.)
Titan steering rack
Snap-Off quick-release with
Momo suede steering wheel
Electric parking brake
Fully detatchable body
Schroth harness
Yokohama 048 SS tires,
185/60R13
Carbon silencer (3.5 kilos)

www.kitcarclub.com

SHOP TIME

PASSING
THE
TORCH
Some Thoughts
on Leaving the
Editors Chair of
Kit Car Builder
By Jim Youngs, Editor Emeritus

fter founding Kit Car Builder


Magazine more than a dozen years ago,
its time for me to take a break. Ive
earned my retirement many times over,
so Im turning over the reins to somebody that I trust to take good care of this
labor of love.
Your new Editor Steve Temple and I
go back nearly 30 years as friends and
coworkers, and have even traded magazine jobs more than once during that
76

time. We have each written and photographed for the


other in Editor and freelancer capacities and are once
again kind of swapping roles.
Our friendship and working relationship actually
predates the kit car subject matter as we both arrived
here, in a sense, by water. That is to say we both got our
editorial feet wet in the boating world. My first magazine
job was at Trailer Boats Magazine in 1974 and about
1986, after a memorable press luncheon at the Miami
Boat Show where I met Steve, we hired him away from
Sea magazine.
I suppose the big why question of this latest change
deserves an answer. Answering that requires a look back
to a period before the founding of Kit Car Builder. This
story is really more about an editorial partnership between Steve and myself in reporting on handcrafted cars
for the past 23 years, ever since Steve took the helm of
Petersens Kit Car magazine in July 1991. My first freelance story for him appeared in the following
(September 1991) issue.
I guess the bottom-line answer to the above question is that Queen Bee (an affectionate nickname bestowed by Steve) and I have reached a point in our
lives where we want to join the parade of the 10,000
baby boomers a day easing into retirement. As weve
learned from our friends in this same state, you become much busier than when you punched the time
clock (though Ive never actually had 9-to-5 employment). The busy apparently comes with doing some
very rewarding activities that you never really had the
time or energy to accomplish while employed full time.
Which will include some writing and photography of
cool stuff, but devoid of the administrative aspects of

apparently
hobby at the time, with a rather
word of my
dim bulb of an editor at its
wheel, this unexpected oppordeparture
spread quick- tunity seemed like a natural
challenge to me. But starting a
ly through
our little cor- magazine from scratch and takner of the au- ing on a venerable title like KC
tomotive
backed by a giant publishing
and distribution machine like
world. Dan
Campbell,
Source Interlink seemed rather
then owner
daunting for under-financed neof PISA Corp., ophytes like us. Wed have to be
clever and deliver something
a kit manuthat a huge, sluggish corporafacturing
tion couldnt.
company,
The clever part of that equacalled to say
tion came about rather innohe could use
Jim and Carolyn Youngs founded Kit Car Builder more
than a dozen years ago. She earned the title of Queen
cently on our part, but proved to
some help
Bee from your new editor for all her hard work and
be instrumental in our success.
with a new
great humor in presiding over this publication.
As long as our newsletter rebookfilling pages in a magazine.
mained as the voice of a club, we
publishing venture hed started.
So, the rest of the history of
didnt pose much competition to
He needed someone to edit a
KC, so the publisher allowed us
this Temple/Youngs kit car part- new Kit Car Buyers Guide, plus
to advertise in the magazine and
nership, which ultimately led to
he had an idea for a national kit
even rent their subscriber list
my 12+ years at the helm of Kit
car club. Thus, the National Kit
Car Builder magazine, continued
Car Club and its newsletter, Kit several times to promote the
club. In effect we snuck in the
with me freelancing a lot for Ste- Car Builder was born.
ve during his five-year stint at
Considering that only one kit back door of the big doghouse.
So, by the time we anKC. His departure to work for
car magazine was covering the
the creator of the Cobra himself,
Carroll Shelby, coincided with
Carolyns job transfer back to
SoCal (from Colorado). I got the
job opportunity then to sit in the
still-warm Editors chair at Kit
Car, to guide that magazine for
about five years, through three
publishing company ownership
changes and the demise of Kit
Car Illustrated magazine. Then I
was unceremoniously
discharged, or whatever word
the Source Interlink brass used
when they informed me that my
services were no longer required.
As I ruminated about what
Posing in the KCB booth at the Carlisle kit show in 2008 (from right to
might come next with regard to
left): Jim and Carolyn Youngs, Steve and Tina Temple, (on their honeyhow I could earn some income,
moon, no less!), and Carolyns sister Judy.
77

nounced that Kit Car Builder


magazine was going into national newsstand distribution
(August 2003 issue) we had
enough traction and a reasonable number of subscribers to
place KC on notice that we were
serious and here to compete.
What we offered from the get-go
that they couldnt was a much
better productall-color, all the
time, plus better-quality paper
and great photography and writing from knowledgeable industry
vets.
It took several years for us to
see a negative impact on our
competitor, but we put a large
dent in their operation even as
they followed our lead of producing an all-color magazine.
So frustrated by the inability
to compete, then-editor Eric
Geisert of KC even resorted to
writing his 2006 swan-song editorial with veiled character assassinations toward me personally. Though he didnt use my
name, (which narrowly protected him from some litigation for
defamation), he referred to
someone spreading rumors of
KCs demise as ravings from
lunatics, drunks, or both. and
a tired old crank with a chip on
his shoulder. Okay, maybe he
got the crank description correct, though I was a lot younger
then. But as youll see, those
rumors actually turned out to
be true.
Upper managers also unsuccessfully attempted to hamstring
manufacturers by trying to get
them to give KC exclusives to
keep us from beating them to the
punch. That didnt work either
and by March 2009, after propping up a trifecta of brain-dead
79

editors, they threw in


the towel and closed
down a magazine that
had been in continuous operation for 28
years.
I could have retired
right then and there,
having accomplished
my personal vendetta
for Source letting me
go. But I didnt, choosing instead to be the
only voice for the kit
car hobby, a role that
Steve Temple has deRelaxing at a later Carlisle show (from left to
cided to continue with
right): Harold Pace (a longtime contributor
an exciting new digital and friend), Steve Temple and Jim Youngs.
format. As my personEditor of this new digital venal story demonstrates, change
isnt always easy, but can lead to
ture.
I also have to give a shout out
some really good things, and this
new approach bodes well for
to some awesome freelancers
whove been contributing improviding even better coverage
pressive words and photos for us
of the kit market. And I plan to
still be involved as my time and
for most of the last 23 years
Harold Pace, Dan Burrill, Joe
your new editor allows.
Greeves, and Iain Ayre.
Well, thats the fascinating
Steve encouraged me to rebackstory of a very fun time in
my career. Producing Kit Car
late some of the tales of kit car
fun and adventure here, but I got
Builder was certainly a labor of
a little carried away with KCB
love. Ive said it many times behistory. So the wild stories of the
fore, that for a journalist to start
and manage his own magazine is
stimulated leather bra, along
with false accusations of untojust about the best experience
ward behavior by me toward a
possible.
photo model, the unfair editorial
I also must give credit where
treatment of Factory Five Racing,
credit is due and we couldnt
have achieved the success we
the 3:00 a.m. phone call informenjoyed without the contribution ing me of a Lambo that wouldnt
of some very talented guys. Not
be ready for a photo shoot, the
exposed untrue Native Amerithe least of which is someone
with whom Ive shared a load of
cans building kit cars story, and
laughs, a memorable trip to Engother such craziness will have to
wait for another time. But Im
land, buckets of beer, lots of
bowls of chicken corn chowder
sure Steve will be giving this
at Carlisle, tales of Carroll Shelby tired old crank some editorial
space in upcoming issues.
(and other colorful miscreants),
and whose name appears as the

KCB MALL / KCB MALL / KCB MALL / KCB MALL / KCB MALL / KCB

Countach and Chupacabra


Bodies & Tube Frame
Chassis for all Mid-Engine
Cars
80

Orange is the new black, growls Batman. (Or maybe the Joker got the
better of him and repainted the Batmobile in clown orange.)

Got a weird or funny photo to share? Please email it to Steve@kitcarbuilder.com and well come
up with a caption if you dont have one...

Photo by Steve Temple