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Massive U.S.

and UK Car Events

July / August 2015

Can You Tell Whats Underneath?

Massive U.S. and UK Car Events

July / August 2015

Can You Tell Whats Underneath?

Vette Parts
in a GT40
Original Racer

Lets Go
Surfin Now
in a Meyers
Caterham 620R

Cockpit in a
Classic Coupe


Call Today For a Dealer Near You
Superformance LLC | 6 Autry Irvine CA 92618 | | | 949-900-1950


Amazing Makeovers:
Whats Underneath the Italia SWB.............................22
Vette Parts in a GT40 ................................................... 52
Lets Go Surfin Now
in a Meyers Manxter!.................................................... 76
Ultra-Rare Original Racer: SR2 Corvette................ 98
Customized Cockpit in a Classic Coupe.................120
Screamin Supercharged Caterham 620R............144


Scarce Spyder GT........................................................... 32

Belaro: The Chevy That Shoulda Been................... 60
Rock West Racing Spyder............................................ 86
FFR Cobra Roadster Better Than Original.......108
GB Zeros Brit Kit with Miata Mechanicals..........126


Carlisle Nats Rumble.................................................... 38

London, Ohio Cobra Show........................................... 66
VW Funfests Sweet 16 at Mid America.................. 94
Unique Snake Fest.......................................................116
A Stoneleighs Throw Across the Pond.................134
In Da House at Factory Five......................................150


Throttle Steering..............................................................8
FYI....................................................................................... 12



Car Builder Staff:

Steve Temple Editor/Publisher
Larry Weiner Marketing
Deb Murphy Art Direction
Tina Temple Maven of Morale
Jim Youngs Editor Emeritus
Car Builder magazine
(formerly Kit Car Builder Magazine)
is published bi-monthly by
SCT Communications, Inc.,
1427 Sioux Trail,
Reno, NV 89521
All Rights Reserved

Free Subscription at
Editorial and Advertising inquiries
should be sent to

Cover photos by Austin Price; insets by Steve

Temple and Caterham 620R by;
Contents page photo of Caterham 620R by


Amazed by
Thoughts on an
Upcoming Donor

hile our cover image

shows off one makeover in
particular, plenty of others are
featured herein as well. Note, too,
that this makeovers in general
actually cover a wide range of
car builders approaches, not just
body conversions. In some cases a
makeover might be limited to just
the cockpit, as shown in a couple
of Readers Rides Cobras in this
issue. In other cases, the engine is
the surprising addition (though
not necessarily as absurd as the
blown Hemi-powered Maxi
Cooper on our Sideview page.)
Looking back on the two
decades or so that Ive been
covering the kit and specialty
vehicle market, Im always amazed
by all the creativity and innovation
of car buildersalong with some

pretty crazy concepts as

well. It would take a book
to cover them all, but here
are a few highlightsand
VW-based rebodies,
not just dune buggies, are
the grandfather of most
of todays makeovers. Of
course, Bruce Meyers is the
Mac Daddy of them all with
his Manx dune buggy, and
more recently the Manxter
(one of our other cover
cars). We still come across
the occasional Avenger or
Jamaican or Sterling, such
as at this years Carlisle
Nats, but replicas of
Porsche 356 Speedsters are
the mainstay model of this
type of makeover. Within
this category, Subarupowered versions on a VW
pan are becoming more
For a time, funky Fieros
were the foundation of
various mid-engine exotics,
usually replicas of either
Ferraris or Lambos, but
those are a rarity now.

Instead, weve seen some

enterprising car builders
switch to either the Toyota
MR2 or BMW Z3 as a
platform, and occasionally
Camaros and C3 Corvettes
as well. Seems that the
sheep in wolfs clothing
approach just doesnt cut
it todays market. Whats
underneath matters as
much as whats on top.
Which brings us to
the subject of a Miata as
a donor. Weve touted the
virtues of its mechanicals in
the past, considering that
its the best-selling sports
car in the world. Used
ones are readily available
and virtually bulletproof,
and the engine and roller
skate chassis are relatively
easy to incorporate into a
wide variety of projects.
Most of them use the older,
NA (1990 to 97) and NB
(98 to 05) models, but
we recently checked out a
newer Miata, a 2015 model
(the NC, 2006 to 13) as a
possible future donor, and

to compare it with the earlier

We came away impressed
by the NCs butter-smooth
manners and frisky
performance. As many Miata
enthusiasts observe, while
its a better car than the NA
model, its not necessarily a
better Miata. How so?
Well, cost for one. A new
2015 NC listed for more than
$32K (but older ones can be
had for less than half that),
while used NAs are a dime a
dozen (in a good way).
The foundation of the
NC, however, is substantially
improved over the NA and
NB, which are very similar
cars that mostly share the
same chassis and engine with
a body change and other
smaller updates.
The NC Miata runs on a
shorter, modified version of
the Mazda RX-8 chassis, and is
slightly wider and taller than
the NA and NB, and stiffer
as well. And it has a larger,

2.0-liter engine. The result is

a more sophisticated look and
feel in keeping with its loftier
price tag.
The first-gen Miata
was never about high
performance. Its more about
agility and driving enjoyment.
By comparison, the NC
feels much more powerful.
(Even so, in a lightweight kit
application, such as the GB
Zero featured in this issue,
the NB drivetrain worked just
Obviously, the power/
weight ratio is the key. In
the NA Miata, every horse
produced has to pull about
18 pounds of car, while in a
2009 MX-5 Miata, each horse
has to haul only 15 pounds
of car. Thats a significant
improvement; plus, the
MZR 2.0 engine in the NC is
torquier and revs quicker,
so all told, the newer car
definitely scoots better. While
most car enthusiasts would
point out that every Miata is

basically underpowered,
with the NC, not so
much. Either way, the
aftermarket provides a
number of power adders
for all Miata models,
should that be a concern
for a specific project car.
As for the
transmission, the NCs
6-speed transmission
feels slicker and
smoother than the NAs
5-speed transmission,
which has a stiffer, more
mechanical quality,
especially at lower revs.
Overall, both transmissions
serve well and are proven and
durable, even if the NCs unit
is a bit noisier (but would
hardly be noticed with an
aftermarket exhaust, a likely
upgrade on a project car).
Even though the NA
and NB come up short in
some areas in comparison to
the NC version, a great many
more aftermarket chassis
and engine upgrades for
early models are currently
availableif youre willing
to spend the money. But the
NC ultimately might be a
better donor without doing
any mods at all, depending on
the type of project and your
performance expectations.
In the end, its your personal
expression of creativity, which
is what an amazing makeover
is really all about.
Steve Temple


Superformance and Lingenfelter Team

Together on Corvette Grand Sport

ingenfelter will now be offering engine

packages for Supeformances Corvette
Grand Sport. Ken Lingenfelters personal
Corvette Grand Sport has already shipped
to him and soon the car will be fitted with

Wanna See This C7?

eres a cool concept

for the new Corvette
C7 Stingray, sent to us
by Drew Richards of ACS
(Applied Cad Solutions).
No details on the components and pricing are
available yet, but well
keep you posted. You can
check out his other cool
Corvette conversions at:


a GM LS7 with LS3 Heads and Holly Dual

Quad Fuel Injection, delivering 600 hp and
600 lb/feet of torque.


Two Titans of Performance

Join Forces Again

urstan iconic
name known for
the finest shifters in the
world, and some of the
most sophisticated and
seductively attractive
muscle cars ever built. Back
in the day, Hurst enjoyed
great success building
limited-edition vehicles
such as Hurst Olds 442,
the Chrysler 300 Hurst and
the lightning fast Hurst
S/C Rambler Scrambler,

just to name a few. But any

retrospective must include
one of the most feared
street-and-strip machine
ever built: the asphalt
shredding Dodge A-Body
terror, the 1968 Mr. Norms
GSS 440 M-Code Dart.
In the fall of 67, hot off
of his success creating the
383 GSS Dart the previous
year, Mr. Norm, the Hi
Performance King from
Grand Spaulding Dodge in

Chicago, decided to ratchet

up the little fire breather
by installing the 375hp
440 Magnum from the
Charger R/T. Fitting the 440
big block into the A-Body
was so easy that Mr. Norm
instantly knew that he had
another home run on his
hands. The challenge was to
get them built in quantity.
The question of who to
choose to build the GSS 440
Dart was easy. Mr. Norm


had been working
with Hurst since
1965, successfully
selling the
entire product
line though the
center at Grand
Spaulding, and
often installing
them on customer
cars in the service
department. Norm
called Dodge
division VP Bob McCurry
and suggested that Hurst
perform the conversions.
A phone call to George
Hurst, and the rest, as they
say, was history. In short,
Chrysler shipped new 383
GTS Darts to Hurst where
they were converted into
440 GSS Darts, and then
sent to Mr. Norm at Grand
Spaulding Dodge. The
440 GSS Darts were an
overwhelming success, and
today, they are among the
most collectible muscle cars
ever built.
Fast forward 40 years.
When the new 2008
Challenger debuted, Mr.
Norm and Hurst both
created personalized
versions of the modern-day
incarnation of the much
loved early 1970s E-Body.
Much like the cars they
offered in the late Sixties,

many of the new Mr. Norms

GSS Challengers were
powered by fire-breathing
Hemi engines.
At the end of 2010, Hurst
ended the vehicle program,
but the spark for exciting
vehicles with the unique
Hurst theme was far from
extinguished. Earlier this
year, at SEMAs MPMC Trade
Conference, fate intervened.
Larry Weiner from Mr.
Norms met with longtime
friend Nate Shelton of
Hurst. At the meeting Nate
showed Larry samples of
a comprehensive array of
new Hurst products that
were nearly ready to be
released. Just like in the
mid-sixties when George
Hurst expanded the Hurst
product line beyond manual
and automatic shifters into
custom wheels, disc brakes,
line locks and air shocks,

Hurst was about to expand

the product mix once again.
Obviously, a new
Challenger could be the
perfect showcase for all of
these new Hurst products.
From a visual perspective,
the Hurst Heritage GSS
Challenger lives up to its
pedigree in every way. In
a salute to George Hurst,
the colors chosen for the
first new Challenger were
his favorites; Bright White
with contrasting Hurst Gold
stripes. But while the colors
are traditional, the Hurst
Heritage GSS is thoroughly
modern. The foundation is
a new 2015 Challenger R/T
Scat Pack equipped with a
392 Hemi and a six-speed
manual transmission.

Form and function

intersect with the addition
of a racing inspired Mr.
Norms Speedway Splitter
with adjustable Heim
joints that mirrors the
shape of the Speedway
Rear Spoiler. The design
of both incorporates
Hellcat-like raised ends
that accent recessed center
sections. Additional exterior
enhancements include an
SRT-8 hood thats retained
with functional hood pins
and lanyards that are
identical to those used on
the vehicle that was the
spiritual inspiration for
the new 2015 Challenger,
the original 71 Hemi
The already robust


chassis of the
Challenger is
further improved
with Hurst
lowering springs,
coupled with the
increased grip
offered by a set
of BF Goodrich
G-Force Sport
Comp 2 directional
Z-Rated tires. And
what could be a
more appropriate
complement to
the rolling stock
than a set of Hurst
Stunner Wheels. But, rather
than an off the shelf set,
the Stunners on the Hurst
Heritage GSS Challenger
have been triple chrome
plated, and the unique
diamond shaped insets
in the spokes have been
trimmed in Hurst Gold. One
of the few options on the
Hurst Heritage GSS, these

wheels really add visual

impact to the Challenger,
setting it off in fine style.
At the front, the open
left inner headlight signals
the addition of a Hellcat
intake tube that feeds
the matching air box for
increased cool air delivery
to the potent Hemi engine.
Exterior accents include the
legendary Hurst emblem
on the front fenders, with

Tom Weber Paint and Body

in Cobra Kit
Tom Weber


Hurst Heritage GSS lettering

just beneath it. Out back, a
set of polished stainless steel
exhaust tips with the Hurst
logo provide an undeniable
hint that this is no ordinary
Challenger. In another salute
to those that came before,
a Hurst Equipped badge is
proudly mounted on the
rear spoiler, and serves as a
subtle warning to would be
posers that they might want
to reconsider challenging the
Hurst Heritage GSS to a duel.
Inside, the Hurst Heritage
GSS features a full custom
leather interior that is a big
step above any Challenger
interior that weve ever
seen. For starters, the
highly bolstered Recaro
style front buckets and rear
seat are swathed in soft,
supple Katzkin Tuscany

leather. The top
surfaces of the seats
are covered in pearl
leather, accented with
contrasting gold top
stitching, perforated
inserts and set off
with black carbon
wings. Completing the
cut above interior,
the iconic Hurst
logo has been neatly
embroidered into
each of the seat backs.
No Hurst vehicle
with a manual
transmission would be complete without
a Hurst Shifter, and the Heritage GSS
Challenger is no exception. To insure
quick, precise shifts, the six-speed Tremec
transmission benefits from the installation
of a Hurst Billet Plus Shifter. And in a
nod to its storied past, the Heritage GSS
is equipped with an original-style, Hurst
logo flat chrome shift arm topped with a
white cue ball knob with the shift pattern
engraved on the top. Other interior details
include Hurst logo carpet mats, a Hurst
Heritage GSS Unique Serial Number Dash
Plaque, a Mr. Norms Start/Stop button
overlay and a chrome GSS emblem on the
center of the dash.
The Heritage GSS Challenger is an
exceptional modern muscle car that
showcases the best of Hurst and Mr.
Norms parts and accessories. The result
is a thoroughly modern muscle car that
incorporates the combined virtues of
two iconic brands that have been closely
aligned with Ma Mopar for over half a

century. The Hurst Heritage GSS Challenger,

like the Hurst and Mr. Norms cars that came
before it, offers the best of both worlds:
exciting performance, matched with refined


Late-Breaking News on the

London Turn Key Nationals

ooking for an event

in July to attend? The
London Turn Key Nationals
will be held on July 24 to
26, benefitting Wounded
Warriors. This is the second
year for the show.
The car show takes place
at the Madison County
Fairgrounds, located at
205 Elm St, London, Ohio.
This year the fairgrounds
will be unveiling several
new buildings, along with
acres of lawn, to be used
by car show participants.
Attracting car enthusiasts
from across the United
States and Canada, the

London Turn Key Nationals

is open to open to all makes
and models of muscle cars,
hot rods, and race cars, and
expects to have upwards of
400 vehicles in attendance.
This years raffle car
is a 1932 So-Cal Roadster
tribute car from Brookville
Roadster in Brookville,
Ohio. The car will have a

Boss 302 engine, AOD

Transmission, Ford
9-inch rearend, knock
off So-Cal wheels, and
So-Cal straight axle
front end. The So-Cal
Tribute livery will be
painted by Jeff Nelson
at Celina Custom Auto
com. You can purchase
tickets for this years car at
several events throughout
the year and the London
Turn Key Nationals. Tickets
are also available on line
at www.turnkeynationals.
com. Or for more info, call

Coming Next

Factory Five



From widebody fenders to complete body kits!

Velo Rossa Spyder


Subtle Z

280YZ 480.229.1831

Service and Quality Second to None
Voted Best Cobra Replica by Kit Car Magazine
Awarded the Good Manufacturing Practices Award by AHA
Featured build up on the DIY Network
Cobra is a trademark of Ford Motor Company. Unique Motorcars products have no connection with Ford.

taking your ride
to the next level
The new VDO PRT 10,000RPM Tachometer adds
style and performance
to your ride. Featuring
configurations for 4, 6
and 8 cylinder engine
applications, its available
in a brilliant white dial face
with silver bezel and an
intense black onyx dial
face with black bezel.
Through-dial lighting
delivers excellent visibility.
PRT features a resettable
shift point and built-in shift
light indicator, an adjustable
mount for multiple mounting
options and positions and
a 4-wire hook up for fast
See the complete line at:

VDO - A Trademark of the Continental Corporation


CO2127 CarBuilder_PRT_Tachs_ThirdV_7-8-2015_v1.0.indd 16/23/15 4:55 PM

230 E. Broad Street Gadsden, AL 35903

(256)546-3708 or (256)546-2395
Visit us on the Web

Race Car Replicas



Mk I


Race Car Replicas
31795 Groesbeck Highway
Fraser, Michigan 48026


Business hrs..Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Tel; 586-329-1573
Fax; 586-329-1574

Horse Whisp

Patiently Training a Miata to

a Prancing Exotic


o Become

As Told by Jim Simpson

Photos by Austin Price and Courtesy of
Simpson Design

Editors Note: A definitive

example of the Ferrari dualpurpose design is its 250
GT SWB. That is, a car
that could be driven to the
racetrack, win its class if
not the the race overall, then
driven home. Developed in
the late Fifties, the models
official debut was at the
Paris Auto Show in 1959.
The SWB designation
referred to its short
wheelbase of 94.5 inches,
nearly eight inches shorter
than its predecessor 250
GT models. This reduction
improved both handling
and cornering speeds,
enabling the little two-seat
coupe to achieve a storied

competition career.
Today this
classic is far too
valuable to be
driven daily on
the street. Yet
the berlinetta
(fastback) shape
is so iconic and
compelling, it
needed a second
Thats where Jim

Simpson stepped
in with Miata-based
car with what he
refers to as retro
styling (not an
exact replica,
but with lines
derived from the
Pininfarina Ferrari
250 SWB ). Hes
done a number of
other Miata body
conversions over

the years, but this

particular project
was far more
involved. What
follows is a short
history of the birth
pangs he went
through to build
a couple versions
for two different

he SWB project was

originally commissioned by a gentleman
overseas, we spent around
two years creating the
body, and building the first
All of the glass in the
first car was custom made
for the project, with the
exception of the small vent
windows in the doors. Only
the first car got a custommade windshield, and the
red car is actually fitted
with the third-generation
(NC) Miata windshield.
Interior modifications
were quite different on
both cars, although the

area behind the seats

was all built to resemble
the rear cabin of an SWB.
Originally both clients
wanted alloy wheels,
but changed their minds
and decided they wanted
wire wheels. Dayton Wire
Wheels custom built the
sets of wires for us.
Both clients wanted
stock mechanicals so
they could have Mazda

reliability, as they both

plan to drive and enjoy
their cars. While I have
somewhat over simplified
the process here, building
one of these cars is a
monumental task and hence
this is something that we
will only do to order, and
have no interest or plans
to sell components. Even
the grilles and surrounds
are handmade for each car,

and requires an amazing

amount of time and effort.
The bumpers on the red
car are actually Ferrari 250
SWB and were purchased
by our client, we only had
to do slight modifications
to be able to use them on
his car. Fact of the matter
is that we got the bumpers
after the body was made
and had already been
mounted to the car.

The front end

of the car requires
mostly unbolting
factory parts, while
the rear requires
major cutting and
reworking. Lots of
hours spent making
steel to build this
The red car
was a result of the
blog post showing
pictures of the
first car being
built in the shop.
The gentleman
who purchased
the second car
came over and saw
the progress on
the first one and
commissioned us
to build that car for
him. Good news for

us is he is fairly local.
One of the major
differences is the
windshield, as noted above.
We had a nightmare of a


time with that, and my

warning for folks wanting to
do a car where they have to
scratch build a windshield
is be patient and realize it is

going to cost a small fortune

and take much more time
than you ever dreamed.



Simpson Design

More than 170

Factory Five cars built
in the last 19 years

Pro-Builder with
a Full-Service

Custom Street &
Race Suspensions
Stack & Throttle
Body EFI Systems
Plus: Body & Paint

Gordon Levy
(520) 494-2745

Deluxe Builder Package: $13,495

Standard features include:

Race-bred tube chassis using C5, C6

Body fitted and mounted to chassis
Doors installed, swinging and latching
DOT safety glass windshield installed
Rack and pinion steering, quick-release column installed


2597 Townline Rd. / Madison, OH 44057 / (440) 983-7190

Available now, che

eck your dealer for inventory!

Own a legend today!




er Bite

One That Eventually

Makes You Smile

As Told by Troy Rieder

live in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada.I
have always been a
Corvette guy.When
I came across Factory Five
in 2005 after the company
had just announced the
Spyder GT, a topless version
of the Type 65 Coupe.I
was in love with the shape
as it resembled my 1970
Corvette, which I had
previously sold to finance
my business.
Money was good now so
I wanted the Spyder.Factory
Five said (and rightly so)
that this was a difficult car
to build and not for the firsttime builder.So I bought
the Mk 3 Cobra Roadster
instead and joined a
tremendous family of fellow
builders.In the meantime,
Factory Five quickly shut
down production of the
Spyder after 39 units in
order to make room and
time for the upcoming GTM
But the Spyder was
always in the back of my
mind, and unfinished kits
came up for sale ever now
and then. But they were
always US-based and getting
a used kit into Canada
would be problematic.
I was aware of one
kit in Canada that was
partially built with no
forward progress for
many years. I contacted

him and made him aware

I would purchase his kit if
he was interested. In June
of 2013 after five years
of hounding I purchased
the unfinished kit.It was
a complete roller, but my
vision for the car was
completely different from
what was sitting in front of
me. Despite the previous
owners claim of only 40 to
50 hours to complete the
car, everything had
to be re-done.Some
350 hourslater, the
only original things
onthe car were the
radiator and the fuel
cell.The plan was
to recreate my 1970
Corvette design:
Daytona Yellowwith
Black (Baldwin era)
Being in Northern
Canada, getting the parts
and products I wanted for
this build was difficult and

expensive.Doing the Cobra

was easy and fun.The
Spyder is another beast
altogether. After discussing
with a number of Factory

Five builders and suppliers,

Gordon Levy of Levy Racing
was my go-to guy. Levy
Racing supplied the engine,
suspension, brakes and
most things mechanical.He
and I also worked together
to complete the paint and
interior finishing.
I brought the Spyder
down to the Factory Five
cruise-in at Huntington
Beach, California in April
of 2015.I spent a number
of days prior to the show
cruising Mulholland Drive
and other roads above
Malibu. The Spyders
handling saved me a
number of times as I was
in over my head on a
couple of blind corners and
At the show, I had a
busy time answering
questions and talking to
fellow builders and the
general public, with many

commentssuch as, What

is it? and Ive heard of it,
but never seen one before.
I also chuckled inwardly
at two comments: Why
did you cut the roof off a
Coupe? Seriously?How I
like to respond: I like the
looks and its easier to get

in and out. After all, Im a

big guy and I could never fit
in a Coupe.
The Huntington Beach
show couldnt have ended
better for me.Famed
designer Peter Brock and
Dave Smith presented me
with the Best in Class Type
65 Coupe Award.Being the
50th anniversary of Peter
Brocks Shelby Daytona
Coupe and having him at
the show and presenting
the award was incredible.
I still have a smile on my


Gordon Levy Racing



Model: Factory Five

Spyder GT, #30 of39
Engine: Levy Racing
SBF, Boss Block, GT40
Heads 385 hp/365 lb/ft
Inglese 8-Stack
Management System
Centerforce Clutch
TKO 600
3:55 Gears, Torsen

15:1 Flaming River
Manual Steering
QA1 Pro-Coil Shocks
Levy/Wilwood 6-Piston
Manual Brakes 13
Fronts 12 Rear
18 TSW Mirabeau Rims
Nitto NT01 Tires 27535-ZR18 Fronts; 31530-ZR18 Rear
Leather Cobra Monaco
Ultra Lite Carbon Fibre


Carlisles Rumble is Way More Than Just S


Stormy Weather

Text and Photos by Steve Temple

hile Brits
might scoff
at a few
during their kit nats in
Stoneleigh, at the Carlisle
Kit & Import Show, held in
central Pennsylvania in the
dodgy month of May, weather
is everything. As long as
theres a window of sunshine,
open-top roadsters will sprout
up like daisies all over the
show field. A few sprinkles,
though, and theyll run for
cover. Fortunately, there was
enough fair weather to keep
the cars and crowds a comin
for what is the considered a
key event in the show season
for specialty vehicles.
While some attendees
grumbled about the reduced
number of manufacturers
displays, we certainly found
plenty of show cars to keep
us busy for all three days.
The comparatively smaller
turnout of companies doesnt
seem to accurately reflect
the kit business in general,
as weve heard a number
of encouraging reports that
production is in full swing.
Perhaps theres still some
apprehension, as many
manufacturers are still
wary from the downturn
experienced a few years
ago. And maybe the show
management finds that this
niche market is more of a
challenge to promote than

So many Speedsters, so little time

mainstream categories such

as its Ford, Corvette and
Chrysler events.
Whatever the reasons,
we always look forward to
attending, and invariably
find some intriguing new
offerings. Perhaps the most
unusual came all the way
from Spain, the road-course
ready Silver Car CM, and
off-road buggy, the Silver
Car ST. These motorcyclepowered racers, which weigh
less than half a ton, has been
sold in Europe for many
years, but is just now hitting
our shores, and a street-legal
version is in the works.
All told, we were able
to squeeze in a number of

shoots despite the

inclement weather,
even if we had
to use a bit of
ingenuity to keep
our powder dry.
We also spotted
several unusual
imports, and came
away with a hopper
full of cool car
features, so stay
tuned for upcoming
issues and check
em out.
Carlisle Events

ABOVE: The bike-powered Phoenix from

the U.K., featured in a previous issue, is
now up for sale. Its said to be the only
one in the U.S.
RIGHT: Dozens of Special Editions 904
have been delivered, and well be featuring this scarlet one in an upcoming

The Denmat twins have

been refining their Manxster, and also have other
projects under construction.

Exomotive offers both street and race-ready

versions of its Miata-powered, MEVs made in
the U.K. The comp models substantial rollcage
was developed by Kevin Patrick of Exomotive.

Ken Clayton (left, in white shirt) of

Green Cycle Design let us take his
electrified dune buggy for a brief spin.
It shows some promise as a frisky,
niche vehicle that can easily hit freeway speeds, with a range of 45 miles
(assuming you can keep a light touch
on the accelerator). He plans to offer
his EV powertrain to a number of specialty-car builders, along with a motor
for recumbent bikes.

You gol darng varmit! Not just one, but three versions of
this racer.

The Manx club showed up in force.

Factory Fives typical display area had a Lotus

and some classic Rolls Royces instead. We
hear that this firm moved to Carlisles Ford
show instead.

The indefatigable Bruce Meyers, of Meyers

Manx fame, was on hand to support the Manx
club, sign autographs and share a few quips.

Henry Reisner of Intermeccanica (right), had

a few Speedsters at the show, powered by
either a VW Type 1 or a Porsche 911 engines,
and is now offering a Subaru-powered version as well.

Got neon?

Heres a tech tip for dog lovers. Chase is one cute pup, but his owner wisely added some
blue painters tape on the top of the door on his Shell Valley Cobra to protect the paint from
some scratches.

An Avenger makes a comebackand we dont mean the movie versionalong with a Jamaican.

Acme is busy building VW-based buggies

these days, and offers an Empi-reinforced
pan for its Berrien buggy. (Note the structural beams added to the perimeter.)
The modified bug below battled its way up
Mt. Washington.

Some canary-colored racers filled up the Pavilions on the show grounds.


Superformance dealer John Cropper of Cobra Performance, Ltd. had both a 427 turnkey-minus and completed
289 Cobra on display. The latter is his personal car. He
feels the 289 has plenty of power as is, and points out that
the wire rims might not hold up to the output of a stroked 351 Ford.

Silver Cars offroad model has the look of a moon


This truncated conveyance is a Tango

200. Well, it might look a little strange,
but it sure is yellow.

Heres a Unique Cobra with an unusual

wood-grain cockpit treatment.

This striking 427 Cobra from ERA holds up well, even after
30-some years on the road.

ERA found that its 289 Cobras have become nearly as popular as its traditional 427 S/C.

Fiero-based faux Ferraris arent as

common as they once were.

A wide variety of import cars offered a counterpoint to all the domestic muscle cars on display.


Lambo repros always draw a crowd. The purple one,

built on a junked 86 Fiero purchased for $300, took
seven years to complete.

A raspberry-colored Shell Valley Cobra from Brad and

Kim Cramer lit up the show area.


A ForwardLooking Ford
GT40 From
Active Power


Text and Photos by

Steve Temple

ollowing on the
heels of our

between GT40 repros

and Fords new GT
concept in our previous
issue, we came across
an intriguing combo
of old and new from
Chris Ardern at Active
Power. While weve
hailed the Le Manswinning design from the
Sixties, clearly theres
been a lot of progress in
automotive technology
since then. Even though
Ardern touts the appeal
of reliving those glory
days, his GT40 replica
shown here isnt mired
in the past.
Instead, it employs
parts from modern,
readily available donors,
such as the Corvette C5
and C6 alloy suspension,
the result of countless
hours and dollars
worth of engineering

development. In
addition, Ardern
admits that going to
a Zero Scrub Radius
technology for the
tubular chassis
required at least the
17-inch wheel, but the
benefits far outweighed
the limitation of wheel
size. (Zero Scrub Radius
simply means that the
kingpin axis intersects
the ground at or near
the center of the tire

But using
components is not
simply a matter of
bolting them on and
heading down the road,
since the weight and
chassis configuration of

a GT40 are dramatically

different. As Ardern
explains, In the early
phases of development,
a friend and mentor
John Truman, whom
I worked with at
Stoddard Porsche, was
advising the project,
he relates, He made
the suggestion to get
Jim Griffith, a local race
engineer, to redesign
the suspension
geometry. He took
the geometry of the
3200-pound, frontengine Corvette and
eliminated much of
the anti-squat and
anti-dive to conform to
the 2300-pound, midengine configuration of
the Active Power GT.
Fortunately, Ardern
knew how to make
the new design work,
since he has substantial
experience with
building component
cars, going back more
than two decades on
a variety of platforms,
including Willys and
the Urban Gorilla
HMMWV replica. He
also understands how
to facilitate a project.
Based his contacts

with customers, We
learned what the builder
wants from our years
building Willys hot rods, he
notes. The most desirable
package is the complete
fitted body mounted to a
powder-coated chassis,
with the doors fitted hinged
and latched and the glass
Body fitment can be one
of the most challenging
aspects of a buildup,
requiring specialized
skillsand a lot of time,
too. We simply follow
the same format as our
Willys, offering our builder
package with the brutally
time-consuming fit-up work
already done when you pick
up your car. This is a big
consideration for anyone
shopping the component
car market planning a new
In addition to using
newer Corvette suspension
components fitted with QA1
coil-overs, plus a Porsche
G50 transaxle, the Active
Power GT also improves
upon the originals complex
bundle o snakes headers,
by using a simpler, more
direct flow pattern.
The header system is a
set that came from the jigs
we contracted Stainless
Works to design, Ardern

explains. But with one

limitation:. These headers
are limited to the 302-based
block. Now hes getting
calls for Fords 351 and
Coyote engines and both
require unique headers.
We are finding that its
easier to custom-build each
header system to order.
Thats what we are doing.
Ardern points out that
the 351 has an 1 1/4-inch
taller deck height than
the 302, and with the
180-degreed configuration,
the spacing on the headers
changes so the 302 headers
dont fit the 351. Then
theres the added issue of
firing order.
The original GT40 used
the 289 firing order, he
says. But when working
with the modern Windsorbased block, there is the
HO firing order to consider.
Many engine builders use
the HO Cam with hydraulic
roller lifters.
The principle behind
the design of Arderns
180-degree headers is to
create an even scavenging
effect from the collector.
Each firing order requires
specific timing as far as
the exhaust collector
But wait theres more
If that doesnt complicate

things enough, the new

Coyote has its own distinct
firing order altogether.

Ironically the Coyote has

the same firing order as
the Flathead, he notes. But
thats doesnt deter Ardern
from accommodating
custom requests, and hes
anticipating handling other
engines in pipeline as well.
Just ask Karl Schuetz, the
happy owner of the Active
Power GT shown here. He
recently took delivery of the
car at the Carlisle Nats in
May, after a two-year wait.
Hes no newcomer to the
replica scene, along with
using an eclectic mix of
parts, as he owns a Cobra
with a 383 Chevy and fivespeed Tremec trannie, plus
a four-link Ford 9-inch.
While hes really happy

with his Cobra, and

personally handled
several modifications
on that car, he was
smitten by the shape
of the GT. Having
a background as a
residential contractor,
hes partial to green, so
he had Ardern apply a
late-model Jaguar hue.
Other personal touches
include recessed, pushbutton hood latches
from Quik-Latch
Products, for a sleeker
look, along with fourinch-round, rubbermounted 44LED
truck taillights (which
require a special flasher to
activate). Ditto for the front

directional lights.

While Schuetz
acknowledges the help he
received from Ardern and
others, he pitched in to
handle wiring and other
details such as Lizard Skin
sound deadening. After
finally got behind the wheel,
he was ecstatic about the
performance: It rides
and drives like a charm. I
couldnt be happier! But in
addition to enabling him to
relive the glory days of the
GT, it offers a new reality,

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Reality Check

The Belaro -- The 57 Belair that Chevy

Might Have Bult 40 Years Later on a
97 Camaro
As Told by Joe and Hazel Andersen


y first car was a

57 Chevy 2-door.
I have always had
a special love affair with
these cars.
My brother and I also
loved racing. So we built
race cars. We raced for
several years and we
won many trophies. I was
lucky enough to win two
championships and missed
a third championship by
only seven points.
When my wife Hazel was
expecting our first child I
hung up the racing suit and
helmet. On one condition:
If I sold everything, I could
use the money to buy a
57 Chevy. I was surprised
when she agreed. We drove
that 57 Chevy for 22 years,

raising our family and

enjoying taking the kids to
car shows.
Finally the day came that
I sold the old yellow 57.
But I still had the fever57
My desire now, however,
was to build a 57 restomod.
In looking for a car with
updated suspension and
modern technology for
reliability, I came across a
designer, Bob Hess of Easy
Rods who makes rebody
pieces that have the look
of a Fifties classic, but the
modern technology from
the famous 4th-generation
Camaro (Editors note:
Hess also offers a
body conversion for a
Thunderbird that looks like

a modernized 49-51 Ford).

Anxious to start on the
build of this car, my wife
and I traveled to North
Carolina to see one of
Bobs completed cars. After
looking at this custom car, I
was hooked on building one
of my one. It wasnt long
before the body pieces were
in my shop in Salt Lake City,
I started off with a
very clean 1997 Camaro
convertible.Frankly, that
was a challenge, cutting
up a perfectly good 30th
Anniversary Camaro. Even
so, I had high hopes that
what I could see in my mind
would turn out as good in
real life. But Im an elevator
mechanic, not a body-and-

paint guy.
After removing all of the Camaros
bumpers, fenders, hood, and rear taillight
assembly, and cutting a small area from the
rear quarter panels, I found that if just the
top of the trunk was removed, the bottom
half could still be used with the original
trunk hinges and lifting shocks.
I pre-fitted all of the new body panels,
taking the time to make all the pieces line
up almost perfectly. All the panels on the
Camaro were ground down to bare metal,
and the two-part epoxy (supplied
with the rebody package) bonded
the new body panels into place.
In addition, I added a 2 1/2inch true dual exhaust, with
stainless steel, slant-cut tips. I also
updated the front brake system to
Brembo, and upgraded all rubber
bushings to polyurethane. For the
suspension, I installed two-inch
lowering springs front and rear,
and changed the front and rear
sway bars to Hotchkis Sports.
Under the hood I fitted the GM
3800 V6 with air box from SLP
Engineering and a K&N air filter.
The rims are 17-inch 2 CRAVE
wheels. The door handles are shaved, and
have electric poppers.
My longtime Long friend Phillip Bonomo
(owner of Filz Customs) did an incredible
job of making all the lines of the new panels
arrow straight. The car was painted inside
and out with Sherwin Williams Ultra 7000
series two-stage paint in Barcelona Red
Mika (2000 Lexus), along with six coats of
ultra clear, then completely cut and buffed
to an unbelievable deep luster.
After this beautiful paint and body work
was completed, all the glass was updated,
new carpet and a new black top were

installed. Todd Kirby of TK Customs did

his magic of waving his magic air brush
and creating a one-of-a-kind chrome look
on all the front and rear bumpers, plus
custom paint work on the side stainless
and logos. Looking closely and you can see
the reflection on the front bumper, made to
look like it is a shadow from the grille.
In fact, I remember one person was
looking at the car and kept waving her
hands over the front bumper. My wife
asked me, What is that lady doing? We
were parked under this big tree. She could
see the shadow of the grille on the front
bumper, but couldnt figure out how the


shadow was being cast on

the bumper while parked in
the shade.
There are also shadows
along the side mirrors on
the stainless trim. Even the
taillights reflecting onto the
rear bumper areincredible.
Tiny details like bolt heads
can be seen. Looking at the
rear bumper you can even
see the blue sky and clouds.
People will do a doubletake every time, looking
to see if it is real chrome
or air brushed to look like
chrome. Some people have
all the talents.
Now that the Belaro is
finished we take it to car
shows and cruise nights all
over the surrounding states.
Most people love the car
and the concept of blending
old with new.
A few things bug me,
though. People want to
touch it. They want to run
their hands on the paint

would build
if they ever
decided to
do a retro
build of the
most iconic
cars ever
built, the
57 Belair.
person got
a little mad,
so I told her
here today at the car show
likes different car makes
and different colors, but if
we all liked the same kind
of car none of us would be
here. Besides that I didnt
spend any of her money.
We enjoy this custom
built car as we should be
driving it to shows. But
sometimes we put it in a
trailer if the weather along
the way is going to be bad
or the event is a few days
long. We hope you enjoy
admiring this beautiful
creationor maybe a
better word would be a
beautiful Deception?

to see if it is really painted

on or if its real chrome.
Most men can control
their emotions or at least
ask first, but women, they
sneak over and rub their
hands on it and then just
walk away.
Some people think that
it is a sticker or some kind
of printed vinyl.People
like the shadows and the
reflections painted all over
the car. The taillights are
the best I think.
I have talked to a few
people who dont like it.
One lady just asked me,
Why? I said Why what?
She said back to me, Why
would you or anyone spend
money on something that
isnt real?
I just tell
them it is
Easy Rods
real. It is just
a updated
version of
what I think

Superlite Cars

Coupe (SL-C)
Superlite Nemesis

31795 Groesbeck Highway
Fraser, Michigan 48026

Business hrs..Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Tel; 586-329-1573
Fax; 586-329-1574

London Re

Photos by Juan Lopez-Bonilla


Overcoming the
Rains, This
Cobra Show Still

or 11 years now,
the Ohio Cobra
Club has been
attracting all sorts
of charming snakes, this
year for a three-day bash
held on June 25 to 27. While
a fun and fabulous event,
underlying it is a serious
effort to raise money for

registered in all. The

Kentucky Cobra Club
showed up in force to lend a
hand as well (note sidebar).
On Thursday evening the
rains parted for the cruisein at the Submarine Shop, a
great way to start the event.
Tents popped up at the
hotel parking lots, and folks

The next day started

with an overcast sky, and
a chilly new cruise was
added to the Amish Village.
In anticipation of wet
weather, the autocross at
the Circleville track was
moved up to Friday, and the
Factory Five Racing team
took to the Circleville track

fighting cystic fibrosis.

And this years charity
effort culminated with a
surprising finale.
Despite having to brave
some wet and clammy
conditions, the initial
turnout of cars was still
strong with 177 cars on
hand out of some 185

rekindled old friendships

and checked out the
upgrades on all the Cobras.
They also got the the first
glimpse of the 2105 raffle
car, a 20th anniversaryblack
Superformance. By sunset,
the OCC announced that
nearly all of the raffle
tickets had been sold.

to kill some cones. Karen

Salvaggio, owner/driver of
the Warrior Princess, was
present as well, and drove
many of the Cobras.
By two oclock the
skies opened up, and it
poured rain all through the
afternoon and evening. So
Friday nights cookout and


cookie contest was held

under the tents. Salvaggio
shared her amazing life
adventures in wrenching,
teaching, driving and the
races she has been in, with
some 200 wins.
Saturday morning even
more cars started to arrive
at the Speedway station to
line up for the parade to
London. An assortment of
102 cars made up of Cobras,
Daytonas and GT40s staged
together in a fine drizzle,
and by 9:00 am the Show
officially got underway,
with a local sheriff leading
the way.
In London the sun
popped out as the Cobras
roared in, vendors were
all in place and the wind

was picking up. Main street

started to dry out, it was
still chilly in the high 50s
who would have guessed in
June? Around 10 oclock the

last raffle ticket sold.

The charity ride-along
line on Main Street was
starting to grow, but the
pavement was still damp,

so the rides were pushed

back for a time, as Main
Street had water coming
up through the pavement.
At noon it was decided to
allow the brave drivers to
give charity rides on the
slick pavement at 25 mph,
with 113 rides given before
the rain came back and they
had to stop.
Under the tent Saturday
night the BBQ was hot, and
attendees stayed dry. The
Speakers for the evening
were Superformances Todd
Andrews and Factory Fives
Dave Smith.
The 2015 raffle car, a 20th
anniversary Superformance


Cobra, helped the Club sell a

record 10,000 tickets. This
enthusiastic participation
allowed the OCC to write
a check to the local Cystic
Fibrosis chapter for
$111,000bringing the
Ohio Cobra Clubs total
donations over the years to
more than $1 million!

So who got to drive

home the raffle car? Joe T.
from Cleveland. Next years
car was also announced:
Factory Five #1 20th
Anniversary Mk 4. So dont
miss out on all the fun next
year, come rain or shine
and a chance to win a


Ohio Cobra Club
Kentucky Cobra Club


Club Sandwich

hile the London Cobra Show is

sponsored by the Ohio Cobra Club,
many attendees are welcome as well. In

fact, it seems that all of North America

fitted under the canopies of the visiting
Kentucky Cobra Club. Well, not exactly,
but with standing room
only, attendees could
shake hands with Calgary,
Los Angeles, Florida,
Ohio, Illinois, and North
Dakotaand the list goes
Old friends and
many new ones
wandered into the
KCC umbrella of
camaraderie and

decided to stay. Even the shows guest

speaker, Karen Salvaggio (of Thunder
Valley Racing), pulled up a chair and
stayed a while. The clubs switchboard
rang off the hook with people asking if
there are any more free memberships.
Of course there are! Bring your
enthusiasm and a smile and you are
good to go.
The KCC visited the Air Force Museum
at Wright-Patterson AFB on Friday,
which is so big, members would have
liked to take their cars inside.An just
like the KCC, theres no admission
Adding to this very special event, one
of KCCs very own, founding member
Monika Jackson, a native of Germany,

took the oath of US citizenship on Friday

morning in Louisville, Kentucky. And
the next step after the ceremony saw
Monika and Sam racing to join Cobra
friends under the KCC canopy. What is
more American than that?
It rained a bit (or maybe a lot) but
rarely on the calvacade of Cobras. Wet
weather never seemed to dampen
smiles or bother the festivities. The Ohio
Cobra Club exceeded all standards this
year, cooking up a festival of fun and
contributing handsomely to the war on
cystic fibrosis. Kudos to all the Cobras!
But as always, it was all about the
people.Vince Lubbers &Juan LopezBonilla

Turn-key Commission

Manxter 2+2
Professional assembly for your n ex


t adventure


Cape Cod, MA

774 487 7826

Kathleens Story

How a Meyers Dune Buggy Pro


oject Became a Life-Changing Experience

[As Told By Kathleen & Tom


n 2002 I came across

a magazine article
of Bruce Meyers
unveiling a prototype
Manxter. I thought about
how fun it would be to
own a dune buggy like
my husbands, Tom. I
approached him with the
article and asked him, If
I come up with the funds,
would you help me build
a buggy? His immediate
reply: Yes!
I was hoping he would
say yes, but at the same
time, I was shocked that
he didnt even hesitate,
or question anything. He
had two requests: that I
had to help with the build
(which was what I had
asked initially) and another
request Ill talk about later.
I didnt know it at the
time, but I was about to


embark on a
odyssey that
would change my
First, I began
the process of
ordering the kit
from Meyers
Manx. There
were design
decisions, both
for the engine
and chassis. Tom
was my guide
through the maze
of choices. I began
to tap into his vast
knowledge of VWs
to create a vision
of my buggy.
On a trip to to
California to assist
a family member
for a month, I
went to a Manx
Club breakfast and met
Bruce and Winnie Meyers.
I returned with them to
their home
and was
able to take
and paw
over the
and look at
the way it
was built.
I had the
to talk with
Bruce and

about the prototype, my

buggy vision as an East
Coast dweller, and to see all
the color choices available
through Meadowbrook
Glitter. That opportunity
not only provided me with
information about the
buggy, I met two amazing,
down-to-earth people who
quickly became friends.
While waiting for the
Manxter components
to arrive, Tom and
I spent about nine
months harvesting a
Beetle, ordering parts
and building a rolling
chassis. I developed a

new admiration for him

as he guided me through
the process. Then, (bugle
sounds here) the kit arrived
and the real fun began! We
spent another nine months
working in the garage,
building the Manxter.
I have now met others
who have done this, but
at the time I didnt know
another woman who had
done a hands-on build.
Everyone I knew had a
husband who built or
restored a buggy or VW and
the wife drove it. Since then,
there have been several
women deeply involved in
their own builds, which I
During the process of
building the buggy, Tom
and I each developed a
deeper understanding and
appreciation for each other
as we worked together
to problem solve. Until
building this buggy, Tom
has always been the chief
mechanic and I was the
helper he dragged into the
With this buggy, though,
I was no longer an unwilling
assistant, I wanted to work
on the project. Tom knew
the steps for changing this
kit into a street-legal vehicle
and kept the build on target.
I was able to design the
look I wanted for the buggy.
We were both amazed at

some of the different skills

we brought to the build.
If we were stuck on a part
of the build, we walk away
and both think about it and
later return to the garage
with our thoughts. I was
surprised the first time I
came up with a solution
and Tom indicated that my
solution would work. It
spurred me to look at the

build as something that I

had greater influence over.
At this point, Tom would
probably tell you he created
a monsterin a good way.
I was elated when we
fired up the engine for the
first time! With the Manxter
now up and running, we
went to DMV and another
hurdle was overcome, as
late that same day I had


a registered and insured

vehicle. The sense of joy
from having done this
was overwhelming, but it
didnt compare with the
joy I shared with Tom.
His love, knowledge and
perseverance brought us to
a day that Ill never forget!
Looking back on the
project, while planning
and building the Manxter,
I had the opportunity to
visit several businesses
and choose what I wanted.
I went to PRP and chose
my seats and fabric. I was
also able to see a seat being

constructed. Tom and I also

went to Headwinds and
chose the style of headlights
with the owners assistance
and were lucky enough to
get a tour of the shop where
I was able to view the
machining process. I was
thrilled to see these and
have a better understanding
of the way these items were
During the course of
building the Manxter, Tom
and I met several people in
the dune buggy community
through the Internet. Little
did we know we would
have the
opportunity to form
friendships and
over the
We have
had many

adventures in the Manxter

over the years.
Getting back to Toms
second request mentioned
at the outset, in 2005, I
fulfilled a promise to go on
the Hot Rod Power Tour,
and drove from Connecticut
to the Chicago area to meet
another Manxter owner.
The Power Tour began
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
and ended in Kissimmee,
Florida. We found out
what it was like to drive
in thunderstorms and a
tropical depression and just
how wet everything in the
buggy gets!
That experience
prepared us to take another
trip the following year to
the Manassas Bug Out on
Memorial Day weekend,
to meet a group of buggy
owners and on to the
Texas Buggy Blast to meet
more buggy owners. It was
amazing to meet others
and talk with them about
their builds and style
buggy and share what we
had done. In 2007, we
drove to Big Bear for the
annual Manx Club event.
I was astonished to see a
huge buggy community
when we arrived there.
What fun! The variety of
people and buggies was
mind boggling.
On the way home from

this 6000-mile trip, we

experienced a catastrophe.
The 1915cc VW engine had
a valve spring snap into
three pieces and put a rapid
end to our buggy drive. We
rented a U-Haul truck and
brought the buggy home in
With a lot of nudging

from Tom and others, I

replaced the engine with
a 2.5L Subaru engine from
Outfront Motorsports.
(Easier said than done,
Tom points out, as it took
all winter to convert
from air-cooled to water
cooling, among many
other modifications.)

Even more changes were

made years later, such as
a Mendeola transmission
and suspension, requiring
a new build with each
change. Now the buggy
has awesome power and
handles much better. This
summer, I plan to drive the
Manxter on a cross-country
tour with some Manx Club
members which will be led
by a couple from Canada:
Vincent Parisien and France
Building this Manxter
and the adventures it has
taken me on have changed
my life in many ways. It
has bonded me to my
husband and given me a
new admiration for him. I


tackled a huge project and

was able to complete it with
his guidance and assistance.
I met the Meyers, who
are grounded, salt-of-theearth people. Bruce is a
treasure trove of stories
about his life experiences.
He has given me an
experience of a lifetime.
(And he even personalized
my Manxter, as his
signature under hood is a
reference to a joke about
how an Irishman gets his
wife in the mood.)
While at Manx On The
Banx, I gave him a small
sign that said, A single
dream can launch the


journey of a lifetime. The

same dream that gave him
the vision of creating the
Meyers Manx, and took him
on an incredible journey,
has given me a fantastic
journey of my own, a

journey with love, friends,

excitement and adventure.

Meyers Manx

Kathleens Manxter Technical Specs

BODY: Meyers Manx Manxter 2 +

2 body finished in Crystalina metal

flake with optional vented side pods,
Headwinds 4 Concours Rocket
headlights with matching front turn
signals and rounded 73 VW Bug style
taillights. Underside of body, roof
and dash coated with Canadian Blue
gelcoat instead of standard black
at time of manufacture to provide
contrasting color. Ron Jon surfboard
mounted on roof with custom matched

INTERIOR: PRP suspension seats

done in English wool, velour and
naugahyde. Nardi steering wheel,
Flaming River steering column, VDO
gauges, cup holders, Julianos seat
belts, roof support padding, dome
lights and light-in-site prism to see
traffic lights. Watsons Street Works
Modular Wiring Kit.


Super Beetle pan modified

with Mendeola A-Arm front
suspension with rack & pinion
steering, Mendeola coil-over
rear suspension and provisions
for Mendeola 5 speed transaxle.
Boyd Coddington Blaster 5
wheels with Ford bolt pattern,
16 X 7 front & 17 X 10 rear.
Hankook Ventus Sport K104 Tires
205/55ZR16 front & 255/50ZR17
rear. CB Performance 4 wheel
cross drilled, slotted, nickel

plated disc brakes with Ford bolt


TRANSAXLE: Mendeola XD5 with

3.88 R & P, .7 5th and limited slip

differential, heavy duty geared starter,
Porsche 930 CV joints and Sway-AWay axles.

ENGINE: Outfront-built Subaru EJ25

with new closed deck block, JDM twinturbo heads, Garrett T3/T4 Turbo, EMS
Stinger ECU. Approximately 300 hp
(STI equivalent). Kennedy Engineering
Stage 2 228MM clutch. Ron Davis
Racing custom radiators. Rock Valley
12 gallon SS fuel cell.
For pictures of Subaru conversion,
go here -
For pictures of the original build with
all VW parts, go here - http://www.

Imagine nding this treasure in an old secluded barn...

Hand Made
100% Aluminum Body

Barn nd at $3.4 million o regular price!

Quite possibly the world's most accurate & authentic tribute car.
A continuation Spyder!
The body is an all-aluminum, handcrafted work of
art. We use original 1955 engines and transmissions as well. This car will
not sit in the stable for long so put on your race goggles, throw out that
GPS and hit the road or the track in the same authentic style that James
Dean found so exhilarating and addictive. This is a time capsule that you
can drive!
See video
or or
See video
(888) 619-3910
Duplicated from
f Original Cars #0086 & #0090.

A Formula Vee
Champ Finds a
Mid-Engine Dream

My Blue

By Steve Temple
Photos Courtesy of
Rock West Racing

hats the next best

thing to driving a
comp car on the
street? How about a nicely
finished repro of a Fiftiesera Porsche racer?
Thats exactly what Bill
McDougall achieved with
his RW Spyder from Rock
West Racing. A long-time
sports-car enthusiast and
road-course racer in the
Northwest, and a Formula
Vee winner back in 1980,
he has a decided preference
for a mid-engine chassis
setup. I like the layout
and handling, he notes,
speaking from years of
track experience.
Also speaking from on88

the-road experience, he
eschews the unpredictable
manners of an authentic
550, having dealt firsthand
with the rear tires tucking
under during hard braking
in an old Beetle on a twisty
Idaho road. So he went with
Rock Wests De Dion rear
upgrade, having visited
the factory in Socal a halfdozen times to check on
the buildup and include a
number of other custom
touches as well. While
hes used to working on
his own cars and Formula
Vee racers, he came away
convinced that Rock West
should handle the buildup
on the chassis.
As Rock Wests

Chris Kingery explains,

This suspension type
eliminates the torsion bar/
spring plate/swing axle
suspension of the original
car and replaces it with a
dead-axle positioned by
parallel links and a Panhard
The suspension action
is controlled with coil-over
shocks, in this case Eibach
springs, with Fox shocks
in the rear and KYBs in
the front.One of the key
features of the De Dion
suspension, Kingery points
out, is that the two rear
wheels stay in alignment
with each other no matter
the road condition or the
cornering forces.There is

no camber change. Overall,

that means asignificant
improvement to road
holding and handling,
and it is easily adjustable
(tunable), while still having
a very period look.

Drawing on his
competition background
even further, McDougall
wanted an engine with
some punch. But a custom,
high-performance VW

Type 1 was more expensive

than his budget allowed,
so he chose a built crate
engine from SCAT VW.This
2200cc long block is fitted
with a midrange cam and a
high-volume oil pump with
remote oil cooler and filter
system, along with dual
Weber 40 IDFs and MSDs
electronic ignition.
Rock West Racing had
the engine tuned and runin on a chassis dyno, and
it put out 95 horses at the
wheels, and 127 lb/ft of
torque. Unlike a high-strung
race motor, the engine idles
very easily and is quite
tractable around town,
but puts you back in the
seat when romping on the


adjustable-position pedal
assembly, roll bar and
a 911-style fan shroud
kit.While McDougall
selected the shroud for its
visual esthetics, as it just
looks so cool on a midengine Spyder, he also feels
it offers better cooling
What else did McDougall
request?The wheels
are painted Polar Silber
as are the hubs, but
with a little black tint
added. Prior to paint the
wheels were deburred,
smoothed and relieved
of the hubcap clips.The
roll bar is removable and
is painted Polar Silber
also. The cockpit sports a

throttle.Since McDougall
plans to cruise throughout
the Northwest on winding
two-lane roads, maximizing
torque in the low- to midrpm range was the goal.
The completed car with
a tank of fuel weighs in
at 1,507 pounds, so this
output offers a respectable
power/weight ratio.
Backing up the SCAT

powerplant is a prostreet unit from Rancho

Performance Transaxles,
set up for a mid-engine
application and using a
cable shift mechanism.A
taller fourth gear was
installed for highway
Other upgrades from
the RWR base car include
4-wheel disc brakes,

4-point seat harness

and the shoulder
belts are fixed to a
chassis member that
traverses the top
of the firewall.The
mirrors are the special
conformal racing
mirrors, similar to
original, that are
manufactured at Rock
West Racing.
Lastly, the blue
paint is a PPG color
that he personally
selected, a bit nontraditional he admits,
but goes nicely with
the maroon interior. Overall,
he feels it looks just about


Rock West Racing



Insurance Coverages Available:

Mid America
Throws a Bash
for Beetles and
VW-Based Body

t the Funfest for AirCooled VW 2015,

the theme for this
16th year of celebration
was Cars & Stars. And lived
up to it, with guests like
Bruce Meyers, Tory Alonzo
and more to celebrate the
Volkswagen. Graced by lots
of sunshine and beautiful
weather, spectators and
participants traveled from
more than 20 states to share
their VW passion. Known
as the premier Volkswagen
celebration in the U.S.,
Funfest for Air-Cooled
VW was jam-packed with
activities, including a Friday
Night Fun Run, Celebrity
Choice judging, a 3-day
Swap Meet, Expert Seminars
and an awesome Saturday
Night Concert.
Aside from Volkswagens
on display as far as the eye
could see, the Saturday
highlight was Drew
Baldridge taking the Funfest
Amphitheater stage. He
performed hits from his
latest album, Crossing


t Sixteen

County Lines Vol. 2

and threw in some
classic favorites,
entertaining both VW
lovers and Effingham
Earlier in the day
VW enthusiasts were
treated to an Expert
Panel, consisting of
Manx dune buggy
Creator Bruce
Meyers, VW Club of
America President
Shell Tomlin, The
Bug Movie Producer
Tory Alonzo,
Automotive Author
John Gunnell, VW
Expert Restorer
Darby Milnor and
our own Chief
Cheerleader, Mike
Yager discussed the
VW hobby.
The ever-popular
Celebrity Choice
Awards featured
a custom silver
medallion trophy,
showcasing the Cars
& Stars artwork,
with a special gold
medallion for the
Chiefs Choice Award.
Winners parked
in the specially
designated Winners
Corral once their
VWs were selected.
The Friday Night
Fun Run included
some 300-plus

VWs cruising through

scenic Effingham County
before transitioning into
a parade to the Effingham
Courthouse. Once there, the
Effingham Convention and
Visitors Bureau welcomed
the crowd with live music,
food and drinks.
The Fun Dome was
home to an array of the
latest VW apparel, home
and lifestyle items. At the
same time, the Install Dome
was buzzing the sounds of
installations as VWs were
upgraded and improved

for happy owners. Our

Experts On Hand answered
questions on performance
and enhancements.
Seminars were also a
main attraction at Funfest
for Air-Cooled VW, with
guests gaining knowledge
on the Meyers Manxs
place in racing and its
impact on the automotive
world, buying and selling
trends within the hobby,
a work-in-progress sneak
preview of The Bug Movie,
interior restoration and
bolt-on performance. Other

highlights of the weekend

included the Low Speed
Slaloms and Exhaust Wars
Sound Off, the Funfest Selfie
Station and the paint bus.
For highlights of this years
event, check out https://
Plans are underway for
Funfest for Air-Cooled VW
2016, scheduled June 3-5.

Mid America Motorworks

The S

How the SR-2 Preserved the

Production of the Corvette

Text and Photos by Steve Temple



orvettes and
customizing go
hand in hand. Just about
every one ever built gets
some sort of enhancement.
Corvette owners just cant
seem to let well enough
aloneand for that we
applaud them. This practice
dates back to the earliest
models, the 56 SR-2 being
a prime case in point. But
the intent of this car was
not simply to satisfy the
stylistic whims of a single
owner, but to ensure the
future of the then-new
model. The SR-2 was
pivotal in preserving the
production of the Corvette,
as initial sales were dismal.
Why so?
Well, the power and
handling of the early


models just didnt live up

to the Corvettes stylish
looks. Zora Arkus-Duntov,
who would eventually
become the Chief Engineer
of the Corvette program,
was instrumental in
improving the performance
of the C1. Working with
engineer Ed Cole (who
would eventually become
Chevys general manager,
and later president of
GM), they started with the
Sebring Racers (called SR
for short, but never SR-1),
followed by the SR-2 highfin model shown here. The
significance of these cars
cant be underestimated, as
its often been said that they
actually saved the Corvette.
Duntov knew all too
well that early versions
of the first-gen Corvette
lacked street cred. An

anemic six-cylinder was

the standard engine, while
the groundbreakingand
ground-poundingsmallblock Chevy V8 that Ed
Cole developed was merely
an option in 1955 (but
fortunately offered at his
behest), Duntov realized
that the Corvette needed
a massive injection of
testosterone in order to
overcome its waning sales,
and the SR designs had
the cojones. These cars
transformed the image
of the Corvette from an
inconsequential car at the
start of 1956 to a worldclass competitor by the end
of the 1957.
Looking back, the time
in which these racers were
born was dramatically
different from today. In
the mid Fifties, Ike was

beginning his second term

in the White House, and
the ink was just drying on
Congres-sional approval
of his Interstate Highway
System. Imported cars from
Europe were little known,
and Japanese ones even less
In financial terms, GM
was bigger than most
countries, twice the
size of the next nearest
corporation (Standard
Oil), and was building
more than half of all cars
sold in the U.S. at the time.
From this heady corporate
climate came the four
Sebring Racers. Lessons

learned from these cars

were incorporated into the
SR-2, which was fitted on
the same basic chassis, but
markedly enhanced.

The first of three SR-2s

built was for Jerry Earl, son
of GM vice president Harley
Earl. Prior to this project,
Jerry Earl announced


he was going to race a

Ferrari 250 MM, but his
father rightly viewed that
as unacceptable choice.
So he commissioned a
competition Corvette for
his son. Chevy already had
the 1956 Sebring Racers,
but Harvey Earl had his
designers create a hotter
looking Corvette for his son
to race.
Since it was specifically
built for track duty, the
car was much lighter than
a production version by
some 700 pounds, totaling
2300 pounds, with doors
weighing only 10 pounds,
and the hood 20 pounds.
The hand-built body
measured about 14 inches
longer than stock in the
front, and initially featured
a low dorsal fin that was
largely for cosmetic effect.
Later on it was replaced
with a more functional high
fin, influenced by the Jaguar
D-Type of the same era.
On the front of the

cockpit are twin rounded

windscreens, and an aeroshaped nacelle behind the
drivers seat covers the roll
bar, with an access door for
the fuel-filler cap. Headlight
fairing cones were fitted
for track duty, protecting
the lamps from road debris,
and the louvered hood is
secured with aircraft-grade
Other unique features
consist of air ducts for
cooling the front brakes,
and the aluminum side
scoops in the body side
coves were functional as
well. Quite unlike the ducts
in the upper rear quarters
of the new C7, the rear
brake air vents run from
the rear of the cove through
the length of the car, with
connecting passages within
the door jambs.
A build order from the
Chevrolet Engineering
Department, submitted
to the Experimental
Shop & Garage on June 1,

1956, detailed a number

of chassis upgrades for
a pair of SR-2s, which
would eventually become a
regular production option
(RPO 684) in 1957. They
included heavier springs
and swaybars, bigger shock
absorbers, quicker steering,
Positraction, cerametallic
brake linings in finned
drums, and wider wheels.
The latter were
Halibrand magnesium
knock-offs. They were
wrapped with Firestone
Super Sport Tires and
racing tubes, and measured
67.0 x 15. Other SR-2
chassis elements consisted
of a bolt-on quick steering
adaptor, and at the rear,
five-leaf rear springs
and Houdaille dampers.
Additional changes were
made to the exhaust,
radiator and transmissions,
with slight variations
between the first two SR-2s
built, so first one could hit
the track right away.

In addition, two-inch
offset air ducts in the
front fenders fed into the
engine bay. Engine work
was handled by famed
mechanic Smokey Yunick,
who stroked and bored the
original 283 engine out to
336 cubic inches. It also
served as a test bed for the

then-new Rochester
mechanical fuel-injection
system. A 36-gallon fuel
tank gave the car an
extended range to minimize
pit stops.
The car was first
raced by Jerry Earl and
Dr. Dick Thompson, The
Flying Dentist. It was
later entered at
Nassau Bahamas in
November 57 by
Earl and Bill France,

to be driven by Curtis
Turner. It won one of the
preliminary production car
heats, but in the main event,
while running with the top
cars, he went off track and
received a DNF.
After Nassau, this
car was eventually sold
to Jim Jeffords in 1958
and became the Nickey
Chevrolet Purple People
Eater (the first of four,
after being repainted).

Jim Jeffords went onto

become the 1958 SCCA
B-production national
In 1958 the car was sold
to Bud Gates Chevrolet
in Indianapolis, Indiana,
who raced it during 1959
and 1960, whereupon it
was then placed on his
used car lot for sale. Vern
Kispert continued the SR2s competition career, drag
racing it as the Terror of
Terre Haute.
After several years of
hard use, the SR-2 war
horse eventually was put
out to pasture, ending
up for sale in front of
a salvage yard in Terre
Haute, Indiana, with an
asking price of $5000.
This illustrious example of
Corvette history appeared
to be heading to an
ignominious end.
Fortunately, Gene

Marquis rescued the car

from oblivion, keeping
it from 1969 until 1986,
as it underwent a slow
restoration. During this
time, the SR-2 had a Tracobuilt, 283ci bored out to
301 cubes.
After several months
of back-and-forth
negotiations, the SR-2 then
went to Rich Mason of
Carson City, Nevada. Rich
is a long-time Corvette
enthusiast, having owned
more than 50 of them
over the years, with
several classics still in his
collection, (along with a

2015 Z06 Stingray and

Kirkham Cobra replica).
Why track down the SR-2
in particular? I wanted
a vintage racer, he
explains. And this one is
so significant in Corvette
When he purchased
the car from Marquis, the
body was only slightly
battle-scarred, but painted
red and with black Ford
Thunderbird seats in
the cockpit. He switched
out the seats for originalspec, lightweight Porsche
buckets, and added blue
leather upholstery to the

The matching body paint
is a color thats slightly
darker than the original
pale blue color on the low
fin version, but not quite as
dark as the later high-fin
Since the Traco engine
was getting weak, he
dropped in a dependable
327, stroked to 333, and
added a second air meter
to the mechanical fuel

injection. Its not an exotic

motor, he points out. I just
wanted it to run well on the
All of Richs
conscientious efforts
paid off over the years.
He vintage raced it every
year and won the 1987
Monterey Cup for excelling
in both performance and
presentation. Unique to this
SR-2 is a reverse lockout
button in the shifter, which

likely dates back to its early

development. The interior
also boasts the original
wood steering wheel, and
a column-mounted 8000
rpm tachometer that was
missing when he bought
it. That item is an original
unit from a 57 Corvette,
very hard to find, he says.
And expensive too.
Mason and his beloved
SR-2 parted ways in 2013.
Now owned by a good
friend, Greg Boehme, its
is a popular favorite on
the show circuit. While
relishing all the attention
it still garners, they both
profoundly appreciate the
significance of the SR-2 in
Corvette history.








Better than
the Original?
A Lawyer Makes a Case for Owning and Driving a Replica

As Told by Neil B. Katz

ike most car guys my

age (I just turned 59), I
fell in love with the AC
Cobra as soon as I saw it in the
Sixties, and dreamed of owning

one (despite being raised in a

Chevy family). When I was in
college, they were selling for
about $20,000, and I thought
as soon as I became a lawyer I
would be able to afford to buy

one. But when I finished law school they

were about $35,000 and I thought OK,
maybe after two to three years I should be
able to buy one.
Of course kids began to arrive a few
years later, and I bought my first house,
and suddenly a Cobra was $50,000, then
$100,000, et cetera, et cetera. I quickly
realized I would probably never own one.
So, I settled for more reasonable fun cars
to own, restore and drive including several
MGs, a Cortina, a Rambler Marlin, a bunch
of Corvairs and my longest-owned car, my
66 Eldo Convertible that I have had for
over 24 years. For 12 years I owned my best
show car, a 57 MGA in absolutely pristine
condition, basically a trailer queen rarely

One day about five years

ago, though, my brother, who
lives in Las Vegas, was out
with me on a rare drive in the
MGA, and I was lamenting
the fact that while I loved the
car, it was getting a bit boring
to own since I was afraid to
drive it.My brother then told
me about a Factory Five MKII
Cobra that he saw the prior
week at a cars-and-coffee
gathering in Vegas, and that

the owner/builder might

be interested in selling.
A lightbulb went
off:Why not own a replica
car?It has all the features
of the original (almost),
and isnt that what really
matters?Plus I could drive
it all the time.
Anyway, I called the
owner and went to see the
car the next weekend, and
of course loved it.I would
have bought it on the spot,
but my wife, the more
sensible one in the family,
insisted that I sell the MG
first. The Cobra owner
said he had no problem
waiting a month or so.
Since I was asking more for
my MGA than I had ever
heard of before (and the

car was worth it), a month

of marketing turned into a
much longer timelike 12
Meanwhile, the Cobra
owner sat patiently by
and it was a great joy
being able to finally call
him with the good news. I
bought the car in January

2010 and had it shipped

by covered carrier to my
house, where it arrived on
a Friday afternoon. The
next day it rained so I could
not drive my new car, and
it proceeded to rain every
weekend for the next seven
weeks!The car just sat in
my garageso frustrating.

Finally, almost two months

later, the driving began.
I have now taken the car
on multiple weekend
vacations and Cobra events,
and regularly do canyon
runs in Socal mountains.
I drive the car almost
every weekend, weather
I try to maintain the
car in the best condition
possible in term of paint,
engine compartment and
interior, and have added
a few upgrades since
acquiring the car. The
dashboard is now covered
in 2011 Bentley Continental
leather (I bought scrap


leather from the Bentley

dealer in Beverly Hills, and
also used Bentley leather
for the seat piping and
matching shift boot.) The
door panels
are custom
made, one-off
using handpicked and
finished ash
wood veneer
and leather
matching the
As for the
paint, recently
I had the entire
body wetsanded with
3000 paper,
followed by
four rounds
of different
levels of
pads, and
finally a

Modesta coating. Now the

car looks brand new, much
better than when I first saw
it. Even so, its still a driver
to be enjoyed, the opposite
of my MGA. And while I
have given some thought
to replacing it with a new
Corvette convertible, there
is simple no substitute for
the sound and the feel of
the car, and the universal
reaction from the public.
From kids to grandmothers,
everyone knows this is a
special car.

Factory Five MKII
Roadster (built in 2003
in Las Vegas, with no
donor car or used
parts; only all-new
Ford Factory Racing GT40 Crate engine; GT-40
Aluminum intake, 410hp
at engine, 320 rwhp
Kenne-Bell polished
aluminum twin-screw
Billet steel
90mm Mass
Air Meter/

BBK 4-1
polished stainless steel
side exhaust
Tremec TKO 5-speed
tranny with mid-shift kit
and King Cobra clutch
Motor Sport 3.55:1
rearend with SVO
aluminum cover
Flaming River rack-andpinion steering
P/S polished 15
Halibrand style wheels

Fluidyne Aluminum


Factory Five Racing

Celebrating 50 years of
the Shelby Cobra 1965-2015


Own a legend today!

As seen on

Snake Fest
Throws a
House Party

wallows return to
Capistrano every year,
and salmon swim
upstream to their spawning

grounds. Something
similar happens at Unique
Motorcars in early May.
A few dozen Cobras
showed up for a threeday celebration for the
companys customers.
It started on a Thursday
night, where they met at
Top of the River for dinner,
with nearly 100 friendly
folks sharing a meal at the

restaurant. The Open House

started officially on Friday
morning with 40 cobras
and one Daytona Coupe
(custom-built using the
firms roadster chassis). The
Weavers of Unique served
everyone lunch and the
factory tour continued until
late afternoon.
After a Friday night
dinner at The Fishmarket

in Gadsden, just down from
the host hotel, everyone
met at Noccalula Falls on
Saturday morning for a
cruise to Guntersville State
Park, about a 1.5 hour
drive. They enjoyed lunch
at the Gridiron in Boaz then
returned to the shop. The
event finished up Saturday
night with margaritas and
Mexican food at El Tapatios.

So eating, drinking
and driving Cobras
is that a good time or

Unique Motorcars





This Shell Valley Coup

As Told by La

a Driver

pe is No Trailer Queen

arry Turoscy

fell in love with

cars in 1958 when
as an eighth grader
I saw and heard a
58 Chevrolet Impala. Later
on, during my college years
(1962 to 1966) I followed
some of the best sports
cars ever made: Porsche
904 GT, Corvette Stingrays
(and owned two of them),
Ford GT40, Shelby Cobras,
Ferrari Daytona and 275
GTBs. The Shelby Cobra/
Ford versus Ferrari wars
of the mid Sixties were
perhaps the greatest racing
battles of all time for me,

especially since American

muscle eventually won the

I thought the most
beautiful car ever built was
the Shelby Cobra Daytona,
although Carroll Shelby
seemed not to like the
cars. When he scrapped
building them to help Ford
win their battle against
Ferrari, I thought it was a
big mistake. He should have
made a road car out of the
Daytona like he did with
the roadster, because the
Daytona was much more
practical. It was lockable
and enclosed for driving
in all weather. It was the
reason why I waited until
a replica of the Daytona
was made by several
manufacturers to get into
owning one.
By the year 2004

I had done enough

research on several of
the manufacturers of the
Daytona replica to choose
Shell Valley as the company
to complete a turnkey
car. That firms version
seemed to be the closest
to the original racing
Shelby Daytona. Unlike
the original, however, my
particular car runs a 400hp
351 Ford Windsor engine
with a Tremec 5 speed
transmission, and the
suspension is modernized
as well, with coil-overs at all
four corners.
I considered building it
myself, but at the time I was
(and still am) Director of
Engineering for a company
with 60 employees, and
after putting in 60 to 70
hours a week, I did not

have enough time to spend

building a vehicle. I have
since turned many of my
former duties over to other
The car was finished
in the year 2005, and of all
my sports cars the Daytona
gets the most attention
when driven or parked
where people congregate.
(My other cars have
included a Porsche 928, and
69 Corvette Stingray, and
currently I own a Ferrari
Testarossa, Lotus Esprit,
and 68 Corvette Stingray)
Over the years I have
made several changes to the
Daytona. Since I wanted
a car which I could drive
frequently, I wanted a
more functional and better
looking interior. I always
liked wooden interiors
on classic sports cars, so I
tore out all the inside vinyl
panels and the dash and
replaced them with red oak
wooden panels. I also added
a wooden center console
with cup holders and places
for keys, etc.
I decided to use a
hardwood and oak is
relatively easy to cut,
shape and stain to provide
a much classier interior.
The wood was available at
any Lowes or Home Depot;
0.25 panels for the doors
and portions of the center
console; 0.50 panels for

the dash with 0.25 for the

glove compartment.
I stained all the final
wood panels with English
Chestnut stain, which
worked well with the
interior. It is tough to tell
the wood is oak. Although
I am a Civil Engineer, my
father was a carpenter, so
I learned wood working
when I was as young as
eight years old helping
my Dad, and I have a fairly
complete wood working
The console was
relatively simple: design
and build a functional unit
in the shop and then attach
it to the body (AutoCAD is
great for design alternates).
I added a better shift knob
than the plastic that came
with the car.
The door panels were a
little bit tougher, because
I decided to use individual
vertical panels secured with
stainless steel bolts rather
than one panel of oak
plywood. Individual nuts
are embedded in 0.75 thick
white pine wood boards
bolted on the inside of the
doors. Aligning the interior
vertical panels with the
nuts was a nightmare, but
I bitched my way through
it. (bitch it in was an
expression that I learned
from my father, who
survived a D-day landing on


Omaha beach and did not

take crap from anybody).
The door handles were
made of 2x2 oak studs,
shaped by hand for the final
product. Because of the
additional weight the door
attachment hinges had to
be readjusted for proper
door closure.
Using patience, I
removed the existing dash,
which consisted of a thin
fiber glass panel, vinyl
coated, and also all the
gauges, tach, speedometer,
heater, light and wiper
switches. I very carefully
marked each wire which
remained inside the vehicle
and each connection point
on the gauges, etc with
masking tape (use a good

pen with indelible ink on all

the connection numbers on
the tape). This really helped
in final assembly.
I epoxied two 8 x 0.5 x
6 oak boards together and
then overlaid the old vinyl/
fiber glass dash on the
wood. I marked the edges
and the hole locations of all
the switches, gauges, etc.
Then the outside perimeter
for the new wood dash had
to be cut, and all the exact
size holes had to be cut for
all the gauges and switches.
The only change I had to
make was that the hole over
the steering column had to
be revised to allow the new
dash to slide up and around
the steering column (the
existing wires did not have

enough slack to allow the

new dash to slide over the
steering column) leaving a
hole at the top of the dash
over the steering column
(see photos). I fixed this
by running a 0.25x 0.5
oak strip along the top of
the new dash and added
a shaped piece of wood to
cover the hole.
After I was sure all the
gauges and switches fit
properly, I removed all the
gauges and switches and
placed stainless steel nuts
(similar to the door panels)
to wood pieces bolted to the
frame behind the wiring of
the revised dash. There was
not a lot of room for the
thicker dash and the added
glove compartment.

The dash was then

stained and the gauges and
switches reinstalled and
rewired in the dash. The
dash bolts into six nuts
along the top of the new
dash. The rigidity of the
wood keeps everything in
place, which was not the
case with the thin fiberglass
dash. Wooden side panels
were added to replace
the fiber glass side panels
which tended to bend
or flop around when air
entered the vehicle during
The car also has a
heater and air-conditioning

system, so that it can be

driven at all times during
the year in the Northeast
weather conditions (since
I live near Allentown,
The Carlisle show was
the first I ever attended,
and I was surprised how
many people trailered
their Cobras to the show.
I wanted a car that was a
driver rather than a trailer
queen, and I have been
driving it for the last 10
years. I basically put about
1,000 miles on each of my
four sports cars each year.
I do more work on the

Cobra than the other cars.

There is always something
that I thought would be
more practical or work/
look better. It will be very
difficult for me to part
with this car as I get older,
realizing that having sports
cars will most likely mean
selling them in the next
several years as I downsize
living quarters. However, I
will never regret owning
and drivingthe Cobra

Shell Valley



International F


Building a
Lotus 7-Style
Replica in
As Told by Paul Barnes

first became aware

of the Lotus 7 on

the TV show The

Prisoner, starring

Patrick McGoohan,

who drove one in the

opening title sequence.

I lost track of this car
type for many years
until after building
a 34-foot sail boat,

motorcycle and parts

of a kit airplane. I

went in search of my

next form of vehicle to


Through my adventures
with aircraft building I
met a now close friend
who worked for the Lotus
Formula 1 team in the
1970s. Knowing my search
for a car to build, he pointed
me in the direction of Robin
Hood sports cars which
at the time was producing
a 7-style kit. But again
another event overtook
my car building ambitions,
until a few years ago when
I went in search of Robin
Hood sports cars again. An
internet search resulted in
me finding out that Robin
Hood Sports cars, through
a change in ownership,
had been transformed into
Great British Sports Cars
which is now offering an all
new 7-style car.
On a trip to the UK I
visited the factory, took a
test drive and was hooked.
I asked my friend who had
originally turned me onto
the Robin Hood to visit the
factory, and also give me his
impressions. With his nod
of approval of the car, I took


the plunge and ordered the

kit through the then newly
appointed US dealer Brian
Ball Motorsports.
Brian had not yet
established an inventory of
parts in the US, so I waited
a little longer until all the
parts I had ordered were
assembled for shipment
from the UK. Brian now
stocks starter kits and
a selection of parts in
Golden Colorado, to enable

finishing the car.

While I was waiting
for my kit to be shipped
form the UK, I purchased
a wrecked 2000 Mazda
Miata MX5 from Craigslist
and stripped it of the
parts needed to complete
the car: engine, gearbox,
rear differential, front and
rear uprights, brakes and
steering column. I was

able to sell most of the

remaining parts from the
Miata again on Craiglist so
that my total investment in
donor car parts was around
I took delivery of my
crate of parts from the UK
January 3, 2014. Opening
up the crate and laying all
the parts out for inventory, I
found the kit complete and
work started later that day
and continued nights and
weekends for the next year.
I had a goal to have the car
compete for registration
January1, 2015 and be first
in line at the DMV January
2, 2015 for my Special
Construction Number of
Sequence. Then Id be able
to drive the car to the 2015
Long Beach Grand Prix
where my sailboat is kept.
The car went together

very smoothly. The

factory in the UK, Brian
in the States, and an ever
increasing network of
builders provided great
support (there are a
multitude of Blogs and
YouTube videos that
previous builders have
The chassis consists
predominantly of oneinch square steel tubing
with a stressed steel floor
in the cockpit. I opted for
the factory powder-coated
GT model which is a little
wider in the cockpit and the
lowered floor to provide
even more room.
The suspension
components are round-steel
tubing, and one of my first,
out of the box jobs was to
press the nylon bushings
into them. The front and

rear wings (fenders), the

nose cone, dashboard and
optional rear diffuser can
all be ordered in one or a
combination of nine colors
or carbon fiber.
The rest of the parts
needed to complete the
car can be found on the
companys component
website www.kitspares. and ordered through
Brian Ball Motorsports,
many of which are now
in stock in the USA. The
chassis and body of the car
is a fairly standard build.
I did have a few areas of
concern, however. Living in
sunny Southern California,
I wanted to make sure
there was ample cooling
for the engine. As a result, I
installed a 13-row Setrab oil
cooler and fully baffled the
radiator to the nose cowling

to ensure all the air coming

through the front grille
passed through the radiator.
I also had the hood louvered
at a local hot rod shop.
But there was a bit more
involved in improving the
cooling system. The Mazda
1.6 and 1.8L engines from
the Miata were originally
used in a front-wheel drive
Mazda before being used in
the rear-wheel drive Miata.
To line up with a radiator
the cooling system on the
front-wheel drive car had
the coolant entering the
block low on one side and
exiting high on the head
on the other side. When
the same engine was used,
though, in the rear-wheel
drive Miata, the coolant
entered the engine at the
front, with the majority of it
exiting from the head at the
front. Only a small portion
passed all the way through
the head to exit at the rear
for the heater core.


So I modified the cooling

system to provide better
flow through the engine
by going back to the frontwheel drive coolant route,
with the intake at the
front of the engine and the
thermostat housing and exit
at the rear of the engine.
This change required
fabrication of a custom
coolant re-route tube down
the left hand side of the
engine which incorporated
the system fill and pressure
The fabrication of
this bypass, as well as
many other modified
parts, was done with the
help of Lenords Custom
Fabrication in Fullerton,
California. It is difficult to
tell how many of my cooling
system modifications were
required, but I have had no
cooling issues, even on the
hottest days in stop-and-go
traffic or up mountain roads
at sustained high power

settings. Taking a page

out of my aircraft building
book, I fabricated stainless
steel hard lines and braided
hose for the entire fuel
system, definitely overkill
but I like the look and
wanted to apply some
aircraft features into the car.
Other examples include
aircraft engine baffle
material around the
radiator to seal it to the
nose cone in the same way
an aircraft engine is baffled
to direct airflow and to
ensure that no cooling air
is wasted.I used an aircraft
low-pressure fuel pump at
the rear of the cartopump
the fuel from the main tank
car to the front header
tank which feeds the highpressure fuel pump. I also
anodized every piece of
aluminum, including all
the body panels. I used an
aircraft structural adhesive
to attach a lot of the body
panels, thats why you see

no rivets externally on the

car.And I used countersunk
aircraft solid rivets
wherever possible rather
than pop blind rivets.
The stainless steel
exhaust system was bright
ceramic coated to further
help control heat in the
engine bay. Even though
generic, fully adjustable
coil-over shocks could be
used on the car, I opted for
the ATR shocks produced
by Great British Sports Cars.
Having never driven a
7-style car before, I didnt
know what to expect as
far as performance and
handling. On my first few
drives, when I started to
open up the performance
envelope, I was surprised
by the cars responsiveness
and handling. After talking
to several other 7-style car
owners I came to realize
that this was normal for

this type of car (since I had

learned to accept the mushy
unresponsiveness of todays
modern product cars).
The car uses the stock
Miata brakes which, given
its 1200-pound dry weight
(about half of what a
Miata weighs) is plenty
of brake for the car. The
engine produces around
140 bhp which puts it
power-to-weight ratio at a
respectable 12 lbs/hp.
The dash was
fabricated using USA
sourced Autometer Cobalt
gauges with an electronic
speedometer, using the
stock Miata transmission
sensor, water temp, oil
temp, oil pressure and
fuel level gauge and a
clock in the lower dash.
Also in the lower dash is
a digital voltmeter that,
when the power is off,
blends in well with the

black leather upholstered

center console. Part of
the enjoyment of building
a car is all the different
skills which you have the
opportunity to somewhat
master, sometimes through
trial and error. For instance,
the center console required
research on upholstery
techniques and material
in order to get the desired
Even on partially
complete cars, installation
of any subsystem or
complete running cars
are both available from
Great British Sports Car. I
opted for the lowest level
of factory preassembly,
as I enjoy the process of
the build, researching
the assembly details and
locally sourcing some parts,
whereas I understand
others might opt for the
factory to perform some

of the more complicated

and involved system
installations. Either way
the pride associated with
rolling down the road in
a car constructed by your
own hands brings a great
deal of satisfaction. And at
freeways speeds it makes
you really think about
double-checking the torque
on all critical bolts after the
car had been run for a few
hundred miles.
On one of my early test
runs I found a particularly
bumpy road. While on this
road, with nowhere to pull
over, I started to notice the
passenger side front wing
was rotating while the
wheel it covered remained
in its normal position.


Not able to
pull over, I
slowed down
and hoped
it would
not start to
rub on the
front tire.
I found a pull-off point,
jumped out and broke
out my flight test tool
kit and tightened the top
control arm bolt to the
correct torque. Since then I
have only had to re-torque
a couple of other bolts
as the car seated in.
Lenord at Lenords Custom
Fabrication, who has
modified or built several
cars, told me that in his
experience, if a problem
is going to show, it it will
usually be within the
first 500 miles. After that
you should be okay, an
experience which appears
to be holding true for my
The engine is controlled
by a UK built, Emerald ECU

which is available from

Great British Sports Cars.
I purchased the ECU with
the flying leads, prewired
connector which required
that I fabricate the engine
wiring harness. There is
a factory Mazda wiring
harness now available from
Great British Sports Cars
which provides a plug-andplay engine system.
With the goal of
having the car ready to
register January 1, 2015
I started to research the
registration process in
California well ahead of
the time. I first discussed
the process with the
California Highway Patrol
a year before when I had
them run the VIN numbers
on the Miata donor car
before I purchased it. The
California Department
of Motor Vehicles
takes appointments
approximately three
months in advance.
So after regularly
monitoring their web site,
I was able to make my first

registration appointment
for 8:00 a.m. on January 2nd
2015, when I needlessly
showed up at 6:30 a.m. with
the car on a trailer. I would
have been okay showing
up at 7:45 a.m. with the
appointment I had, but
excitement got the better of
I presented the car
to them and was given
a referral to the CHP for
inspection and VIN number
assignment. I visited the
same CHP office and officer
I had talked to a year
prior, and after reviewing
the minimum vehicle
equipment requirements,
received a new VIN number
for the chassis. I then
went back to the DMV for
my special construction
number of sequence, one
of 500 that the state of
California issues each year
for vehicle which have
been built be their owner.
This number is mailed in

the form of a certificate

which is then presented
to a California Bureau of
Automotive Repair smog
referee for verification that
the car meets the emission
requirements that govern
it. These requirements
very depending upon year,
make, model and type of
engine and what type of
permanent registration that
is being applied for.
Then it was off for a
brake and light inspection
at an approved repair
facility. The last step in
the process was then to
return to the DMV with all
the signed-off paperwork
and certificates where
the car is then titled and
registered. This process,
even though from the
outside is well documented
and appears daunting,
went very smoothly due
to the pre-visits, complete
documentation, and
familiarity with the process

from blogs, etc. on the

subject. It is valuable to be
familiar with the process
as the people especially
at the DMV may not have
been through the process
before, so having all the
forms ready and filled out
will help when they ask for
So four weeks after
starting the registration
process, the car was fully
registered, licensed and
insured. By the time the
Long Beach Grand Prix
came around I had over
500 miles on the car and
confidently drove it to and
from the race. Most people
who see the car ask What
is it? my normal answer
is: A lot of fun! both to
build and drive.

Brian Ball Motorsports, LLC

Just Across the Pond is the UKs
Biggest Kit Show of the Year
Text and Photos by Richard Bird, Rachael Longstaff and Rob Hawkins

Body conversions from DNA, Turismo, Roy Kelly, Bertini, VXF and Tribute made for an
impressive lineup, and have far fewer hurdles to overcome when putting them on the
street in the UK.

he National
Kit Car Show
at Stoneleigh
in the UK is
always a major event, and
often requires the full two
days to see everything
thats on display. Held over
the Sunday and Monday
of the first Bank (public)
holiday weekend in May,
many visitors make a long
weekend of the show,
arriving on the Saturday
night in time for kick-off
the next morning and to
avoid the long lines of
Richard Bird of Nubodi
Automotive had his work
cut out for the show. He
had a freshly finished
Tribute Kobra (featured
in a previous issue of CAR
BUILDER) and his wifes
Maserati-styled 300S to
exhibit alongside other
Tribute models. The crowd
of people wanting to ask
him questions rarely died
down, so even though I
asked him to help out and
take photographs, he never
stopped all weekend. He
had hoped to be able to
photograph and catalog
all the cars at the show,
but soon realized this was
never going to be possible,
even with help from
employee Wayne RickardWorth.


Rachael Longstaff of
Roadrunner Racing was
equally optimistic about
being able to take plenty
of photographs. Shed
driven to the show in the
supercharged SR2 (and
returned home in it), and
never stopped all weekend.
If she wasnt taking photos,
she was helping out on the
Roadrunner stand.
This years show
was packed with
manufacturers kit cars
and specialists inside
the exhibition hall and
equally full of owners

cars in the club fields.

Inside, the latest Z3 bodypanel kit from Tribute
was on display (known
as the 250SWB coupe),
which aims to recreate
the short-wheelbase
Ferrari 250. In fact,
panel kits seem to have
become a popular IVAfree option within the kit
car market, with the likes
of DNA, Turismo, Bertini
and the aforementioned
Tribute Automotive all
displaying some stunning
transformations. Best in
the show was probably the

Popular sight at Stoneleigh is Westfield doing donuts.

DNA West Coast based on a

Mercedes AMG donor.
Elsewhere, Ultimas all
new Evolution could be
seen inside and the club
fields had a mouthwatering
lineup of customers
cars. There were project
cars everywhere you
looked. Take a look at the
accompanying photos to
see a taste of what was
there. And keep in mind
that the Stoneleigh show is
only a stones throw away
for U.S.-based car builders.

Roof tents are popular not only for overland expeditions but
also camping at car shows.

Ferrari 308 GTB replica with a mid-mounted Rover 3.9-liter V8.

The striped graphics on this Tigers camshaft cover

were done by Hydrodippers.


The Hustler was a Mini-based project designed in 1978 by Aston Martin Lagonda
designer William Towns and later developed
into a kit by his Interstyl design studio.

A color-coordinated, teardrop-shaped travel

trailer is light enough for this Hudson.

JH Classics MR2-based Dino replica is now

made by Tribute Automotive.

JZRs are one of the longest standing trikes

and still made in Lancashire.

French JMC body fits onto a Westfield and costs

$6300 (not including shipping to the U.S.)

Richard Eyre personally handled the buildup of his Lambo Murcielago replica.

Stig Lunde from Norway has

extensively modified this Ginetta G33 with
a tuned five-liter Rover V8, uprated chassis,
wider bodywork and 12-inch wide wheels on
the rear.


ABOVE: Mazda MX-5 and Ford-based Zeros from GBS are equally popular (note full feature
elsewhere in this issue).

BELOW: The show field was jam-packed with spectator cars.


A variety of VW-based beach buggies are becoming exotic and collectible.

LEFT: Pride and Joy polishers added a

shine to the exhibition cars.
ABOVE: Tribute Automotives stand
had a long lineup of body-panel kits
that have largely been built by Nubodi
BELOW: A snakeskin Kobra that was
recently completed by Nubodi Automotive sold at the show.


This restyled Quantum H4 looks modern and

slick with a hint of Ferrari.

The Jaguar straight six powering this Ronart

tops out at 5500 rpm.

The MEV club had an impressive line-up of

Rockets, Exocets, tR1kes and more.

Roadrunner OC had a spot for the first time

at a show.

A stunning line-up of Stratos replicas from Hawk Cars.


The British Are ComingNo, Theyre Here

And Driving a Cracking Caterham 620R

rikeywere chuffed to
bits about Caterhams

620R. Calling it jolly good

just doesnt do it justice.

Were gobsmacked! We could go on and

on with even more British slang, but

something might get lost in translation.

As writer George Bernard Shaw once
quipped, England and America are

two countries separated by a common

language. So well just get down to

brass tacks, to use a Texas expression,

and focus on the stats.

Text by Steve Temple

Photos by

What weve got here is a

car that weighs only slightly
more than an order of fish
and chips, yet its full of
beans. (Okay, we promised
no more expressions from
across The Pond, but thats
not gonna happen.) To be
specific, the full-up weight
is a mere 1210 pounds.
And the engine is a 2.0-liter
Ford Duratec, with a
supercharged output of 311
horses. Were somewhat
mystified by how Caterham
crammed a blower into the
constricted engine bay, but
no matter, the supercharger
works superbly.
The result is a roadgoing version of Caterhams
R600 racer: exhilarating,
enthralling and elemental.
Climbing into the carbon
fiber cockpit feels akin to

pulling on a pair
of Speedos, but
we jumped right
in. The steering
rim is smallish
and mounted on
the wrong, er,
right side. But we
got used to it
real quick.
Besides the
highly skewed
ratio, the car
has a six-speed
gearbox with

straight-cut gears,
so comparisons with
superbike performance

are entirely apt. The shifts

are hard but immediate,
loud yet decisive. Theres

no slush in this gearbox. It

clunks like a dump truck,
and hauls trash like theres
no tomorrow.
First gear is good
for over 60 mph, so this
maddest of all Caterhams
can hit 60 mph in less than
three ticks. Even more fun
is shifting without lifting
the throttle or depressing
the clutch, so you bang
through the gears like firing
off a machine gun. Blimey.
(We had to take method
that on faith, though, as this
was a customer demo, and
we didnt want to cock it
up just to get a few more
We expected such
a light, low car to get a
bit wonky at speed, but
it tracks like Santa Fe
Superchief, and sticks to
the apexes like a limpet. Its
a cheeky little scamp that
can handily embarrass all
sorts of exotics roaming
the freeways of Socal. But
its really in its element
on winding country roads
lined by hedgerows, thanks
to wide-track wishbones up
front and a DeDion rearend
with a limited-slip diff.
Either way, if Patrick
McGoohans errant spy
character in the British
TV show The Prisoner
had been driving a 620R
(instead of the similar,
but far less powerful,


Lotus Super Seven), that

weird balloon chasing
him around wouldnt have
gotten anywhere even
close. Its the sort of car
that makes you want to
hop out of bed each day to
relish your drive to work
(assuming you dont take
some tempting detours and
entirely skip going into the
Superformance is the
exclusive U.S. distributor for
Caterham, which is a good
fit, considering all the other
thoroughbred performance
machines to be found in its
stable (Cobras, GT40s, and
Corvette Grand Sports).
What the Caterham does is
take the design philosophy
behind these iconic cars
to an outlandish degree,
pairing down poundage
even further, while
enhancing the power
output to heady levels.
Its a potent, intoxicating
concoction, one that shant
be missed by car guys
whatever side of The Pond
theyre on.





Factory Five Pulls the Wraps

Off a New 818 Coupe and 20th
Anniversary Mk4 Roadster

ast year, a new

289 Cobra model
debuted at
Factory Fives annual
homecoming event.
What was in da house
at this years company
BBQ? Well, besides a
stunning assortment of
the companys Cobra
roadsters and coupes,
plus mid-engine GTMs
and 33 Fords, there was
an exciting unveiling of a
third version of the 818
(in addition to the street
and track versions). This
Subaru-powered world
car was originally
intended to be available
as enclosed vehicle, but
that option was delayed
a bituntil now (see
Also, in celebration
of its 20th Anniversary,
FFR revealed a new
special edition of its Mk
4 Roadster, featuring
the very latest in
technology and parts.

The package includes a powercoating on

the frame, footboxes, and wheelwells, along
with a 2015 Mustang IRS, Koni doubleadjustable coil-overs, Wilwood brakes, 18inch Halibrand wheels, custom logo gauges
with a GPS speedo, polished exhaust and
bumpers, and other premium trim items.
Manufacturing is limited to 20 serialized
kits, and the first one is being given to the
Ohio Cobra Club to help raise money for the
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Besides these new offerings, customer
Ralph Button dramatically demonstrated
the longevity and durability of his FFR, as
he has put some 600,000 miles on his FFR
Mk 1 Roadster. Now thats one long hauler!
Factory Five Racing


Details on FFRs New 818 Coupe

s noted on FFRs
website, the design
is based on the same
818 tubular spaceframe,
but incorporates a new
removable hard-top coupe
design with an inner liner
and air duct for a roof
scoop, plus an interior
bulkhead, power side
windows, rear glass hatch
and rear glass quarter
windows (using DOTapproved glass). Also new
on the Coupe is arevised
front end with different
fenders, and 3D-printed

headlamp buckets, and a

modified headlight design,

nose, and grille. FFR says its

new 818 Coupe will begin
shipping later this
summer, with a
target production
date of August 1,
2015. Pre-orders
are available for a
deposit fee of $99.
FFR wisely
decided to make
the hardtop
available as
a retrofit for
existing roadster versions,
so 818 owners can
purchase the upgraded 818

Coupecomponents. The
hard top is being offered

at an introductory price of
$2,499. Once production
officially begins later this
summer, the price
of the hard top will
increase to $2,999. As
of this writing, there
isnt a final price on
the new 818C nose
yet, but the 818C kit
with the both the new
nose and hard top
will start at $12,990.


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