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Win This 520hp Chevy V8

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March / April 2015

Before / After

Restoring an Original
Meyers Manx

Win This 520hp Chevy V8

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March / April 2015

Before / After

Restoring an Original
Meyers Manx

Rare American
Specials
Discovered

Minion Pro

Proles on
Optima
Challenge Cars

Grand
National
Roadster
Show

THRILLS, NOT FRILLS

Call Today For a Dealer Near You


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

www.alloycars.com

info@alloycars.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS
COOL CARS, SHOWS & COLLECTIONS

Grand National Roadster Show....................................28


Banks Power Twin-Turbo T-Bucket ........................ 38
Deco Rides Pacific.......................................................... 64
Intermeccanica Kubelwagen...................................... 76
Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge.................... 82
Abendroths Specialty Car Collection...................... 88
Supercharged GBS Zero.............................................106
Petersen Museums Secret Vault.............................116

READERS RIDES

Aston Martin Repro...................................................... 60


Cobra-Style Z-Car.........................................................100

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Buildup Products from SEMAs Media


Conference....................................................................... 48
Meyers Manx Resto.....................................................128

DEPARTMENTAL MATTERS

Throttle Steering..............................................................8
FYI....................................................................................... 10
CB Mall............................................................................142
Sideview: Tuh-Mater.................................................. 147

MARCH / APRIL

2015

Car Builder Staff:


Steve Temple Editor/Publisher
Larry Weiner Marketing
Deb Murphy Art Direction
Tina Temple Maven of Morale
Jim Youngs Editor Emeritus
Denis Snow Editorial and
Advertising Manager, 310/614-2799
dsnowmarketing@gmail.com
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
www.kitcarclub.com
Editorial and Advertising inquiries
should be sent to
sctemple55@yahoo.com
Cover photos by Steve Temple and courtesy
of Mike Ragonese, Edelbrock and
Optima Batteries

THROTTLE
STEERING

So Many
Cars,
So Little
Time

hen somebody finds


out what I do for a
livingbasically taking
pictures of cars and writing
about theminvariably the
response is, Wow, that must be
fun! Well, yes and no.
While I enjoy going to car
shows to check out cool new
projects and seeing the latest
buildup products, along with
attending track events and testdriving cars, its also a lot of
work. Not that Im complaining,
but digesting all the information
and processing volumes of
photos can be overwhelming at
times.
8

Take a look at the


range of material in this
issue alone. Everything
from prowling around
the Petersen Museums
hidden vault of rare and
bizarre cars, to profiling
street-performance
machines roaring on
the track at the Optima
Challenge.
Then theres
astonishing workmanship
on display at the
impressive Grand
National Roadster Show.
That was a welcome
respite after several days
of meeting with dozens of
aftermarket companies at
SEMAs media conference
to gather info on a wide
range of new products,
featured in this issue.
During my visit to
Socal, Mazda loaned me
a 2015 Miata for buzzing
around town, so I could
get more familiar with
what will no doubt prove

As a Norcal counterpart to the Grand


the Sacramento Autorama offered its
for a full feature.

to be popular donor car


for future projects. While
there, I also went to A&A
Corvette in Oxnard to
drive a supercharged
C7 Corvette Stingray.
Dropping the hammer
in that over-achieving
ride proved to be a
chiropractic event, to
put it mildly. The intense
contrast between the
fun-and-friendly, 167hp
Miata and the ferocious
800hp Corvette was
dramatic, like going from

A&A Corvettes supercharged C7 Stingray delivers a torrent of


power, rolling proof that too much is just about right.

d National Roadster Show in Socal,


s own delicious displays. Stay tuned

sipping bubbly champagne


to pounding down shots
of 100-proof Wild Turkey
bourbon.
I also stopped by the U.S.
offices of Superformance
for a brief preview of the
first production version of
its Corvette Grand Sport.
I was hoping to see how
it stacked up against the
supercharged Stingray
that I drove, but it was
still getting dialed in for
an eager customer, so that

The Optima Challenge had all sorts of cars on the track, but with one
thing in common: theyre sizzling street-legal machines.

will have to wait for an


upcoming issue. And we
also plan to compare the
new Ford GT with a V8powered GT40 replica.
Sometimes it takes some
dogged persistence to
track down material for a
magazine.
Right after that trip,
we also checked out
the stellar offerings at
Sacramento Autorama,
along with featuring a
private collection of littleknown specialty cars.
Thrown into the mix of this

Even though the 2015 Miata will be replaced by a new design for 2016,
it still turned heads on the freeways of car-centric Socal. We plan to dig
into the details of this marvelous car as a potential donor, since previous
model years have become so popular for a variety of buildup projects.

issue are some unusual


car features, such as a
twin-turbo T-bucket, and
another bucket car, a
replica of the Kubelwagen.
Going to the luxury end of
the spectrum is the classy
Pacific from Deco Rides. Of
course, we cant cover them
all in person, so we always
appreciate when you, dear
reader, send us photos
and info on your personal
projects. (Note the features
on the Aston Martin and
Z-car-based Cobra. If youd
like to show us your car,
mail me at sctemple55@
yahoo.com)
So nobody can say
theres isnt a lot of diversity
in the house. Its all good,
but it seems like half the
battle is deciding what
to leave out. But theres
always next issue. CB
Steve Temple

FYI

Enter to Win a Chevy 350

o celebrate 60th anniversary of the Chevy


small-block V8, Edelbrock
is excited to kick off a
sweepstakes to win a 520hp
Chevrolet 350 with Edelbrock top-end components.
These include an E-Force
Enforcer EFI Supercharger system, Performer RPM
E-Tec 200 cylinder heads,
Performer-Plus camshaft,
Victor Series water pump
and finally, Edelbrocks
exclusive Classic Series
finned air cleaner and valve
covers. They have been
polished to a mirror finish

for a show-quality look that


will look great in any project car or truck.
Edelbrocks Enforcer
crate engines provide a
precise combination of
Power Package components
matched with an E-Force
supercharger system. This
350 cubic-inch engine is
built from a brand new
GM ZZ4 short block with
4-bolt mains and a 1-piece
rear main seal. It features
a forged steel crankshaft
and powdered metal steel
connecting rods with hypereutectic aluminum pistons.

Subbie-Powered
Speedster

fter nearly a full decade of building


liquid-cooled 356 replicas, Intermeccanica has now introduced a second-gen
version using Subaru power
plants. These include the 2.2 L
normally aspirated for European and Japanese markets,
along with the 2.5 L normally
aspirated and 2.5 L Turbo for
North American markets. The
Subbie setup required an allnew engine mounting, cooling system and
a proprietary exhaust system for the 2.5
L engines. Additionally, theres a 5-speed
option, using the Subarugears rear engine/drive converted transmission. Be10

No purchase necessary and


enthusiasts can enter from
February 7 until May 5,
2015 at
www.edelbrock.com

sides much higher power output, other


benefits of this new drivetrain setup are
the ability to carry more luggage and a
50-percent larger fuel tank thats mounted further forward and lower within the
steel perimeter chassis resulting in lower
center of gravity and better weight distribution. www.intermeccanica.com

FYI

New Features at Carlisle Kit & Import Nats

ark your calendars for


the 2015 Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals. This
years show runs May 15 to
17, and features cars from
more than a half a dozen
different countries and
regions. As a special feature in 2015, Asian cars will
be the focus as part of the
Passport Program.
Not only that, CAR
BUILDER Magazines editor
Steve Temple will be hosting a seminar: Practical
Tips for Picking Your Next
Project Car. Heres your
chance to meet and greet
the editor of the only U.S.
magazine covering the kit

and specialty-car market.


And if you have a project
car for feature consideration, let him know about it.
The Import and Kit Nationals have been a long
standing staple at the Carlisle, PA Fairgrounds, running annually since 1986.
This years show turns its
spotlight not only on cars
from the Pacific rim, but
also hosts thousands of cars
from across the Pond, both
the U.K. and Europe. Joining
cars from abroad will be a
unique selection of kit cars,
as well as dune buggies.
Bruce Meyers, who is the
originator of the dune bug-

gy and also a loyal Carlisle


fan, will be a part of this
display.
When the cruising fun
cools, cars at Carlisle are
parked by country of origin
and done so in a manner
that best highlights each
countrys automotive production. There is a special
indoor invitational display
and a dozen car owners
who chose to have their
ride further evaluated and
given the white glove treatment via the Standard of
Excellence judged show
field.
In addition to the car
displays are dozens of car

11

FYI

clubs that bring an added


level of enthusiasm to the
show. Those clubs, combined with more than a
half-dozen live music acts
and hundreds of free prizes
via the Passport Program
make the event a truly fes-

tive weekend.
Club participation is
growing in 2015, as many
new clubs plan on attending. Those new clubs include German car brands
such as Porsche, VW and
BMW. With German cars

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.

230 E. Broad Street Gadsden, AL 35903


(256)546-3708 or (256)546-2395
Visit us on the Web at: www.uniquemotorcars.com

12

being featured in 2016, this


years show is a great way
for the new group to get acclimated to such a fun-filled
event.
Carlisle also offers autocrossing so guests can
push their rides to the
limit on the custom-made
course. Further, a slew of
swap-meet vendors selling
the pieces and parts needed to restore or enhance
an imported classic give
the weekend even more
strength. Joining them are
some of the top vendors in
the kit car hobby, making
Carlisle a go-to destination
for parts and merchandise
shopping.
Additional special guests
can be found at Carlisle too.
Historically, they include
significant contributors
to the import and kit car
hobbies and can be found
at Carlisle presenting seminars, providing clinics,
meeting fans and more.
In the coming weeks and
months leading up to the
show, those names will be
announced via the Carlisle
Import & Kit Nationals web
page and Facebook pages.
Registration is also now
open for those looking to
secure a vending space,
sell within the car corral or
simply show as part of the

always eclectic show-field


layout. As an added bonus,
a 10 percent discount is
available for anyone hoping
to show a car and registers
prior to the April 13 GateN-Go deadline.
Carlisle Events is a partner or producer of 13 annual collector car and truck
events. Events are held at
the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds
(Carlisle, PA), Bloomsburg
Fairgrounds (Bloomsburg,
PA), Allentown Fairgrounds
(Allentown, PA) and the Sun
n Fun Complex (Lakeland,
FL). The season schedule
includes five automotive

swap
meets of
varying
size, four
auctions,
as well
as individual
specialty
shows
featuring Corvettes,
Fords, GMs, Chryslers,
trucks, imports and kit
cars and tuner and modern
customs. Founded in 1974
by friends Bill Miller and
Chip Miller, events hosted

FYI

at Carlisle attract more than


a half a million enthusiasts
annually from all corners of
the globe.
www.CarlisleEvents.com

LOOKING TO TRICK OUT YOUR Z?

ZTrix

From widebody fenders to complete body kits!

Velo Rossa Spyder

ZGT (BMW Z3)

Subtle Z

280YZ

www.ztrix.com
www.ZTRIX.com 480.229.1831
13

FYI
First Production Model of Superformance Grand Sport

e stopped by the
offices of Superformance in Irvine, CA in late
January to check out the
first production model of
the companys Grand Sport
Corvette, and came away
impressed by the fit and
finish, much improved from
the prototype we featured
previously. But it still needed a bit more time in the
oven, so Superformances
Lance Stander asked us to
hold off on a test drive until
it gets completely sorted
out. Well, weve waited
a few years already, so a
couple more months wont

matter. As soon as we visit with the first customer,


well circle round with a full
feature, and also share our
observations on a few other
cool offerings from Super-

Custom Car Cover

or 50 years Covercraft has been providing car enthusiasts with custom patterned vehicle covers to protect both the
exterior and interior from the elements
and damaging UV rays.
This company has over
80,000 patterns in its
library and offers 13
fabrics to choose from
to ensure a perfect fit
and protection for the
car youve worked so
hard to build. And for
one-of-a-kind vehicles,
Covercraft has an as-

14

formance, such as the GT40


Mk 1 and a Cobra with a
supercharged Coyote engine.
www.superformance.com

sortment different body style dimension


sheets. Just complete the easy-to-follow
directions to get the measurements needed
for a true custom-made cover.
www.covercraft.com

Buy a $20 raffle ticket


and a chance for you to

20th Anniversary MKIII By


Powered by

$20 Raffle Ticket

The Ohio Cobra Club


is a 5013 Non Profit Corporation

Drawing is
June 27, 2015
At The
London Cobra Show
in London, Ohio

Purchase ticket by
scanning QR code at right
or purchase on-line at the
London Cobra Show website below

www.londoncobrashow.com
Net proceeds will be donated to the
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

www.jasperengines.com

FYI

VW Legend Returns to VW Funfest


B
ruce Meyers, creator of the
Meyers Manx Dune Buggy,
will be a special guest at Mid
America Motorworkss Funfest for Air-Cooled VW. It will
be held on June 5-7, 2015 in
Effingham, IL. Meyers is fresh
off a tour celebrating the 50th
anniversary of his creation,
the Meyers Manx Dune Buggy.
By designing a lightweight
dune buggy using fiberglass
and a VW frame, Meyers
revolutionized the world of
off-road racing. Meyers Manx
grew in popularity and has
become the most copied vehi-

cle in history.
This will be Meyers third
time attending Funfest for
Air-Cooled VW. In addition
to leading expert seminars,
Meyers will be a Celebrity
Choice judge. Meyers will be
available to sign autographs
and visit with VW enthusiasts
throughout the weekend.
Funfest for Air-Cooled VW is
an annual celebration, bringing together thousands of VW
enthusiasts from around the
world. The event includes a
kickoff Fun Run, expert seminars, headlining entertain-

ment, awards and much more!


There will also be special
parking for all dune buggies
that attend Funfest.
funfestacvw.com

lonestarclassics.com
17

FYI
Beginners
Goblin

ooking for a first-time


project? Thats the idea
behind the Goblin, developed by Doyles Fabrication,
a family-owned CNC shop
that makes repair fittings
and tools for aircraft. Using
the same process as making
a tool for the aircraft business, the companys first
step was to pull the main
components from the donor
car (a Chevrolet Cobalt) and
model them on the computer. The chassis was then
designed around the Cobalt
engine, subframe, seats and
other reusable donor parts.
The goal was to create an
affordable, entry-level kit
for the first-time builder by
drawing on Doyles experience in precision machining
and fabrication, and dealing
with the tight tolerances
involved in aircraft components. When everything
fits, it is much easier for
the customer to build. For
$4999, the customer receives a kit that has the
minimum needed to make
a drivable Goblin. For those
that want to cover up a bit,

18

there are two versions of


the car available with fiberglass and aluminum body
panels and fenders. The City
Goblin ($6999) includes all
the lights and mirrors to be
street legal while the Track
Goblin ($7499) comes with
a roll cage, rear spoiler
and race seat mounting

hardware. Any of the three


configurations can be customized with the companys
online kit customizer tool.
The current prototype is a
City Goblin kit with an optional spoiler. To purchase
that version of the kit would
cost $7,200, plus a donor
Cobalt (about $1,400 on

this particular vehicle). With tires, new


brake pads, fresh
fluids and an oil filter, the prototype
cost $9,450 to build.
Doyles goal is to give
the customer an easy
to build and fun to
drive mid-engine car
for under $10,000.
http://dfkitcar.com

Stand By Me

ts just good sense to


check out an engine before fitting it into your
project car. The Easy-Run
Engine Test Run Stands
simplify starting-up and
testing engines. These
high-quality, fully adjustable stands are engineered
for universal applications
with a variety of mounts for
most domestic and foreign
engines. An adapter kit enables mounting of an automatic transmission as well.
The rugged, welded steel
tube frame is said to safely
handle as much as 1000
horses or more. Available
preassembled, the Stands
come with a position adjustable gauge and switch
panel, cooling system,

electrical system,
battery tray with
battery and starter cables, starter
solenoid, and fuel
tank. For safety,
the fuel system is
placed away from
the battery and
exhaust, while the dash
panel and optional throttle
control can be operated

from either side of the engine.


www.easy-run.net

Tom Weber Paint and Body


Specializing
in Cobra Kit
Bodies
Tom Weber
Owner
513-907-3550

ALL MAKES
AND MODELS
SERVICED
NATIONWIDE
ALL MAKES
AND MODELS
SERVICED
19

FYI

Supersonic Educational Tool


W
www.KoolMat.com

hat has over 3,500


components, plus
a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet

20

engine thats normally


found in the Eurofighter
Typhoon, along with a
cluster of Nammo hybrid
rockets? And a 550bhp
Supercharged Jaguar V8
for pumping the oxidizer
into the rocket? The Bloodhound supersonic project
car.
These engines are fitted a titanium-skinned
upper chassis with a carbon-fiber monocoque and
canopy with 50mm thick
windscreen, plus 22,500
aerospace-grade rivets,
each hand-fixed. Driver
Andy Green and assembly
instructions are included.
The Bloodhound is on
track to challenge the Land
Speed Record later this
year in the Kalahari Desert,

South Africa, and ultimately hit 1000mph in 2016.


While it might become the
worlds fastest landspeed
car, going fast is actually
not its main role. The focal
point of this project is to
inspire the next generation
of scientists and engineers
by showcasing these subjects in the most exciting
way possible. Over 5,700
UK primary and secondary
schools, and thousands
more around the world,
use Bloodhound materials
in class and science clubs.
http://www.bloodhoundssc.com

Snakes on a Plain

ell, not exactly on


a plaintheyll
actually be in the hill
country at the 16th annual Texas Cobra Club
Spring Meet, being held
March 25-29, 2015 in
San Marcos, TX. More
than 125 cars are registered (some non-Cobras too) with over
185 drivers and guests
attending. A welcome
party is schedule for a
Thursday evening and a Texas-sized tailgate party is on Friday evening. Drivers
can test their driving skills at the Harris
Hill Raceway during the day on Friday.
Numerous impromptu cruises through the
Texas Hill Country will be held every day.

FYI

The evening will conclude with a sit-down


banquet dinner on Saturday evening, with
raffles and door prizes. Joining the event is
the Ohio Cobra Club to raise money for The
Cystic Fibrosis charity.
http://www.texascobrameet.com

ACTIVE POWER GT

DREAM # 592

Classic Roadster

Deluxe Builder Package: $13,495

Standard features include:

Classic style, modern engineering. Coach-built 356 re-creations with air cooled,
liquid cooled, or 911 power. Turn your dream into reality. It all starts with a call.

INTERMECCANICA
Fulfilling dreams since 1959

www.intermeccanica.com

604.872.4747

Race-bred tube chassis using C5, C6


suspension
http://www.activepowercars.com
Body fitted and mounted to chassis
http://www.activepowercars.com
http://www.activepowercars.com
Doors installed, swinging and latching
DOT safety glass windshield installed
Rack and pinion steering, quick-release column installed

ACTIVE POWER, INC.

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

21

FYI
Printed
Cobra

uilding on the Strati,


a running, fully 3-D
printed vehicle completed
in the lobby of the 2014
SEMA show by Local Motors, the Department of
Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
pays homage to the classic
Shelby Cobra. Researchers
printed this Cobra replica
at DOEs Manufacturing
Demonstration Facility at
ORNL using the Big Area
Additive Manufacturing
(BAAM) machine, which
can manufacture strong,
lightweight composite parts
in sizes greater than one
cubic meter. The approximately 1400-pound vehicle
contains 500 pounds of
printed parts made of 20
percent carbon fiber.
Our goal is to demonstrate

22

the potential of large-scale


additive manufacturing as
an innovative and viable
manufacturing technology,
said Lonnie Love, leader
of ORNLs Manufacturing
Systems Research group.
We want to improve digital
manufacturing solutions for
the automotive industry.
The team took six weeks to
design, manufacture and
assemble the Shelby, including 24 hours of print time.
The new BAAM system,
jointly developed by ORNL
and Cincinnati Incorporated, can print components
500 to 1000 times faster
than todays in-

dustrial additive machines.


ORNL researchers say the
speed of next-generation
additive manufacturing offers new opportunities for
the automotive industry, especially in prototyping vehicles. You can print out a
working vehicle in a matter
of days or weeks, Love said.
You can test it for form,
fit and function. Your ability to innovate quickly has
radically changed. Theres
a whole industry that could
be built up around rapid innovation in transportation.
On the vehicle shown
here, the drivetrain is a

100kw electric motor, with


suspension parts from a
Cadillac in the rear, and

aftermarket Mustang in
the front. As such, the performance is still a ways off

FYI

from an original Shelby: 0


to 60 mph in approximately
five seconds, 75 mph top
speed, and a 30-mile range.
So its more of a test bed at
this point, as ORNL plans to
use the car to explore new
drivetrains, power supplies
and controls, enabling a
working automotive laboratory for a very low cost.
http://web.ornl.gov/sci/
manufacturing/media/
news/detroit-show/

Transaxle for Coyote Engine

ith the availability of the Porsche G50


transaxle drying up, theres clearly
a need for alternatives. Porsche has been
using the Aisin transaxle in its cars now in
recent years, and the wrecking yards are
full of them, notes Chris Ardern of Active
Power. He feels this transmission will be
the choice of the mid-engine crowd for
years to come.
We take the rear engine transaxle and
flip it, he explains. This accomplishes two
things: The rear engine configuration now
works as a mid-engine setup without opening up the gearbox, and we automatically
get the axle angles where they need to be
for the low GT cars.
The 997 Porsche Aisin box is also a cable
shift design right from the factory so converting to cable shift is no longer required.
Its win-win all the way around, he adds.
The other point is the Ford Coyote crate
engine. He feels that when building a traditional engine, it can be a challenge to get as

much
performance
that
comes
standard
right
from
the
factory
in these modern high-performance crate
engine programs. The Coyote is exceptionalsteel crank, steel rods, superior oiling
and four valves per cylinder. Its really hard
to beat it. Ardern is working with Kennedy
Engineered Products to develop the adapter to mate the Porsche 997 Aisin Transaxle
to the Ford Coyote as part of our Coyote engine kit, also included in the Coyote option
are 180-degree stainless headers.
http://www.activepowercars.com/home/

FYI
Bonding
Moment

e came across an interesting alternative


for panel fastening from
David Culp of C.R.S. which
offers the CapeFear7. Heres
what he shared:
In the early 1990s while
building a Factory Five Kit
Cobra I promised
myself that my next
kit, be it customer
or my own, I would
not drill, de burr and
rivet again. Having an
aviation background,
I was familiar with
structural adhesives
used in commercial
aircraft construction.
The adhesive we chose
was from Fusor Products
because the company had
a training class in our area
and we were familiar with
the products.
Today there are many
choices of structural adhesives, so whatever one you
choose, be sure to match
your needs and give yourself ample work time with
your selection. We bond
bare metal to bare metal on
the CapeFear7 CF7, following the adhesive manufacturers recommendations.
First we clamp and drill

24

alignment holes into the


corners of the sheet metal
and frame tube. We then
mark the bonding area
onto the sheet metal to be
bonded to the frame tubing. Using a one-inch (size
of tubing) flapper sanding
disk on the sheet metal and
80-grit disc on the tubing,
we prepare the marked
area for the bonding.
Just prior to laying the

adhesive on the area to be


bonded, its cleaned per
manufactures instructions.
We assemble our clamps
and plywood clamping
surfaces. We then apply a
-inch bead of adhesive on
the center of the tube surface to be bonded and insert rods into the alignment
holes in the sheet metal and
frame. Using the guide rods,
lower the sheet metal onto
the tubing, which should
give you perfect alignment
of the panel. If for some
reason it is not aligned,
slide it (but do not lift and

break the bond) to get the


alignment you want. Now
slide the plywood clamping
surface on, still using your
aligning rods and clamp.
Most adhesives have small
glass balls in them to keep
you from squeezing out the
adhesive no matter how
hard you clamp and let
cure.
If you are doing panel-to-panel, like foot wells,
I do use pop rivets
at the corners and
long C clamps with
wood and angle iron
clamping surface to
apply pressure. If we
cannot use clamps
a rivet about every
four inches applies
enough pressure for
a good bond with the
Fusor Products we use.
In the six years of using adhesive we have had
only one panel fail after
five years and over 48,000
miles. Our very first floor
panel, we lifted a corner
to get alignment, the area
came loose (note above
warning about lifting).
Since this is our test car I
just sealed the area with
silicon to prevent rust and
the remaining area has not
failed in 55,000-plus miles.
http://www.capefear7.com

FYI
RCR Expands Lineup

esides repros of classic competition


cars, Race Car Replicas has been busy
developing a line of innovative designs.
These include the Nemesis tandem
two-seater, powered by a VW 1.8L turbo (diesel optional); the Moab off-road
truck, powered by an LS-series V8 (other
V8s optional); the GT-R with an aluminum semi-monocoque chassis and either
Ford or
Chevy
longitudinal drivetrains; a
GT40 Mark
IV (the
only replica of this

model available anywhere, RCR claims),


GT40 (both Mk I and Mk II), and the Apex
(based on a Mitsubishi Gen-2 Eclipse, powered by a VW engine). Also under construction are replicas of the Jaguar D-type and
the exotic mid-engine XJ13.
http://www.race-car-replicas.com

Street-Legal GBS Zeros Now Stateside

s we were completing a
feature for this issue on
a GBS Zero from the UK, we
received confirmation that
the first Zero is now street
legal in California. Built by
Paul Barnes, he is also going
to help the second Zero customer with his submittals to
the CA DOT. And Brian Ball of
Brian Ball Motorsports LLC,
importer for the GBS Zero, has nearly completed his two demonstrators (one race and
the other for the street) as well. We plan to
provide coverage as soon as theyre done.
http://www.bbmotorsports.us
25

www.factoryfive.com

TRULY

Wowed by Car Builders Creations at

GRAND

t the Grand National Roadster Show

By Larry Weiner and Steve Temple


Photos by Larry Warner and Steve Temple

hen it
comes
to
topnotch car events,
the GNRS is truly in
a class of its own.
Well known by its
moniker, The Grand
Daddy of Them All, 2015
marked this shows 66th
consecutive year. Prestige
has surrounded this show
since it first began in
1950, and the chance to
win the Americas Most
Beautiful Roadster (AMBR)
competition attracts the
best builders from all over
the world who compete for
this coveted award.
This year saw a record
18 cars competing for the
AMBR prize, an amazing
number of vehicles,
especially when you realize
the incredibly demanding
standards needed to win. As
we walked through Building

4 at the Pomona, CA
Fairplex, where the AMBR
contestants are displayed, it
was obvious that everything
about the show had
increased. From more cars

in every class, to increased


vendor participation both
inside and out, this event
was simply bigger and
better than ever.
One clarification is
needed: even though the
name Grand National
Roadster Show might lead
some people to assume
that it is just for roadsters,
nothing could be further
from the truth. In fact,
the GNRS has a proud
This 27 Ford from Kraut
Brothers Racing is no mere
showboat. It holds a topspeed record of 247 mph at
Bonneville and El Mirage.

30

Bob Wingard of FII Roadsters continues to make


the most of the unused
Shelby Series I aluminum
frames (about 70 or so were
left over from the short
production run of the car).
His latest effort features
an aluminum, Cobra-style
body with a fuel-injected
427 W small block V8, rated
at 565 hp and 520 pounds
of torque and fitted to an
aluminum torque tube and
ZF aluminum 6-Speed transaxle. Designed by the late,
great Peter Bryant, the chassis features aircraft-grade
composite honeycomb floor
and side panels,
and boasts twice the
torsional rigidity (52
Hz) of most sport
cars, yet weighs 254
pounds. The cockpit
is finished off with
aircraft-style gauges.
http://fiiroadsters.com/
fii/

history that celebrates not


only roadsters, but street
rods, race cars, customs,
muscle cars, low riders,
rat rods and even unique
motorcycles. In short,
the GNRS is an event that
appeals to nearly all kinds
of car builders and auto
enthusiasts.
Walking through each
of the nine large buildings

at the Fairplex revealed an


amazing variety of vehicles
on display. One of the
trends gaining in popularity
is the gasser movement.
Gassers were everywhere
at the GNRS this year, from
prewar Willys coupes to
shoebox Chevys, along with
a random smattering of
other makes. All had been
converted to straight axles
with nosebleed stances
and fiberglass flip noses.
The recent boom in the
popularity of these Sixties
throwbacks is nothing short
of overwhelming, so we
expect that many more are
being built right now.
Another really strong
trend in evidence this
year at the GNRS was the
extensive use of vintage
Hemi engines in a wide

Austin Speedshops lavender


custom made the scene.

http://www.austinspeedshop.com

31

Hailing all the way from


Sweden, Robert Hoffmans
30 Ford was built with an
800hp Hemi by the aptly
named Red Hot Attraction.

http://www.redhotattraction.com

range of vehicles. While the


Hemi has long been a staple
among hardcore rodders
and racers, its presence
as the engine of choice
for street rods continues
to grow. They may be big
and heavy, but lets face
it, theres nothing more
impressive than a Hemi
under the hood (and even
more so with no hood to
cover it up!).
Caterhams U.S. Distributor,
Superformance, showed
off the wild 620R. Currently
available in only a righthand drive configuration,
its claimed to be the fastest road car ever made by
the company. Based on the
highly successful R500,
the 620R runs the same
2.0-liter engine, but now
supercharged it to deliver
310 horses in a super-light
carbon fiber chassis. So
theyve basically taken
something really fast and
made it even faster.
http://us.caterhamcars.com

32

As an example, Larry
Olsons traditional fullfendered black and flamed
1933 Ford won the AMBR
Award. Built by the talented

Bobby Alloway, the choice


of motive power for the
winner was a fully dressed
early Dodge Red Ram Hemi.
And the AMBR winner
was only the beginning of
Hemi-powered cars on the
show floor. There were lots
of wicked Willys gassers
powered by blown and
injected Hemi engines,

along with dozens of street


rods and muscle cars
dotting the show floor in
each building, many of
which sported valve covers
with the famous Chrysler
Fire Power script.

Yet another trend that


is gaining popularity at
the GNRS, along with
some of the other leading
shows, is the presentation
of high-end cars under
construction. Even though

Yes, Hemi engines powered


lots of vehicles at the Grand
National Roadster Show
this year, including Larry
Olsons fabulous 1933 Ford
roadster. This jet-black,
full-fendered beauty sported
traditional flames and went
home with the Americas
Most Beautiful Roadster
award

not finished, they provide


an excellent behind the
scenes showcase of the
workmanship that goes into
these vehicles. Car builders
can catch a glimpse of what
these cars look like prior to
completion, and perhaps

My name Jose Jimenez. Well,


at least the Jimenez Brothers,
and the engine in this 32 Ford
is a Cadillac.
http://jimenezbroscustoms.com

33

glean a few tech tips.


For instance, a
spectacular post-war
Chrysler Town and Country
four-door sedan was being
modernized with a latemodel Mopar driveline,
and rolling on set of 50s
vintage Kelsey Hayes wires
and wide whites. Gorgeous
wood, paint and chrome
are harbingers of whats
sure to be a jaw-dropping,
fat-fendered cruiser. Whats
really cool is that when
its done, the Chrysler will
look nearly bone stock,
effectively camouflaging
the mods hiding just under
the vintage sheet metal.
The only clue will be the
substitution of the Kelsey
Hayes wires for the steelies,
Chrysler script hubcaps and
trim rings, and it will take a
knowledgeable enthusiast
to catch that detail because
they sure looked right on

The brilliant Sun Seeker 32 Ford pickup has a Brookville


body and leather interior by the famed Sid Chavers

Jomac Enterprises fitted


this metallic-green 32 Ford
with a 425hp LS2 and a Jaguar IRS.

34

An under-construction show
car was The Mulholland
Speedster, a customized 1936
Packard convertible. Built by
Troy Ladds Hollywood Hot
Rods, this bare-steel beauty
had numerous mods and will
be nothing short of spectacular when it is completed and
debuts at the 2016 GNRS. Lets
hope the lovely model in glam
attire returns as well.

the car.

Another of the under


construction cars at the
GNRS was a 1936 Packard
convertible. Dubbed the
Mulholland Speedster,
this bare-metal Packard
garnered plenty of
attention,
especially
when a
female model
graced the
display,
adding a
touch of

1940s film noire to the


imagery of the vehicle. Built
by Troy Ladds Hollywood
Hot Rods, this beauty was
well on its way to being
ready for paint, although
it still had Cleco fasteners
holding the door skins on.
This Packard was a great
example of a high-end
coach builder style car, and
well be looking forward to
seeing it next year at the
Roadster Show when it will
be completed.
All in all, the 66th Annual
GNRS was nothing less than
spectacular. If you havent

James Hetfield of Metallica


had Rick Dore build Aquarius, an aluminum custom with
pontoon fenders that really
lets the sunshine in. It features
a 34 Packard Art Morrison
chassis with Accu Air suspension.

35

been, mark your calendar


for next year. Its well worth
the trip. CB

SOURCE:

Grand National Roadster


Show
Phone: 877-RODSHOWS
www.rodshows.com

If the Worlds Wildest Willys could talk, it would probably have some
really great stories. This car had a long and celebrated career that
spanned decades. And unlike most Willys that are powered by a
Hemi, this gennie sixties gasser was running a blown 426 Plymouth
Wedge

36

This post-war Chrysler


Town and Country restomod was one of several
under construction show
cars on display at the
GNRS. The paint, wood
and chrome, along with
a modern powertrain left
no doubt that this is one
fat-fendered sedan thats
well on its way to being a
100-point show car when
it is completed

This 1932 Ford Rivet Roadster, owned by Larry Christensen of


Colorado, and built by Pinkees Chassis, is powered by a 392
first-gen Hemi with stack injection.
BELOW: Another Terry Cook creation from Deco Rides (note feature Tribute Rods, elsewhere in this issue), built by Schraders
Speed and Style.
www.decorides.com
http://www.schradersspeedandstyle.com

37

n
i
t
s
e
Temp
o
b
r
u
T
n
i
w
T
,
e
Gale-Forc

t
e
k
c
u
a T-B

s
k
n
a
B
e
l
a
G
Output from

Text and photos by


Steve Temple

hile street
rods
and big
power go
hand-in-hand, this car takes
that approach to its logical
extreme. And we mean really
extreme, as in Lee Sklars 23
T-bucket. Its more engine
than car.
Starting with the sled, this
flexy flyers chassis weighs
only slightly more than a
potato chip. Up front, its
dressed with hairpins and
race-only Radir rims. (But no
brakes, right in keeping with
the old rodders sayingyou
first figure out how to go
fast, and later worry about
stopping.)
At the rear, the Jag
independent is damped with
TCI shocks and dressed with
a quick-change cover from
Mr. Roadster. The Deist chute
bag actually holds a car
cover, but the wheelie bars
do keep the nose down on
hard launches.
Speaking of dropping the

hammer, you cant overlook


the obvious power potential
of that gleaming lump
between the rails, a smallblock Chevy from Banks
Power bristling with a pair of
twin turbos. Is this guy nuts
or what?
Yeah, its a wing
and a prayer all right,
Sklar admits. But
then again, hes never
followed a conventional
course in life, having
made a successful
living as a session
musician playing bass
for the likes of Phil

Collins, Jackson Browne,


James Taylor, Clint Black and
many other musical celebs.
At last count, hes laid tracks
down on literally hundreds
of albums.
But what about laying

tracks with his T-bucket?


Well, hes done that as well.
At a rod show in Long Beach,
CA, some trailer-queen
T-bucket took home the
trophy, but that rig wasnt
even a real driver. To give
his congrats to the owner of
the carbut more to make a
pointSklar fried the hides,
flashing a sly grin through
that bushy beard. Youd think
Rasputin had just rocked the
show, the way he rolled out
of there.
Hooking up the
massive Mickey Thompson
Sportsman meats takes some
finesse and feathering on the
loud-pedal. After all, even
at a streetable six pounds of
air pressure, theres more
than 500 horses belching
out those stubby exhaust
headers. Fortunately, its
backed up by a compduty slushbox from A-1
Transmissions.
Keeping this hot engine
cool is a polished brass
radiator from Darold
Wellbaum, along with an oil
cooler cleverly painted to
look like a license plate. He
also recessed the firewall
and cut out the passenger
door in the fiberglass tub of
this repro 23 T.
Previously Sklars 78 355
Chevy V8 was armed with
a 6-71 blower topped by
four DCOE 45 Weber carbs.
Banks Power modernized
this mill for the T-bucket
with a Unilite distributor

ignition and an Accel EFI.


Even with the
computerized
tuning, you
cant spot the
electronics
right off,
because the
check-engine
light and
laptop port
are hidden
under the
plush buttontufted seat.
I still wanted to keep
that old-time look with
dual throttle bodies
and the injectors
located above the
butterflies, Sklar
explains. I had to
hide all the wires to
create the look of a
carbureted engine.
Banks fabricated and
routed all the shiny
stainless lines and
plumbing for the
fuel, brakes, boost
and nitrous tank.
To handle the extra
volume of air from
the pair of puffers,
the Comp Coms
valvetrain has a wide
lobe separation and
a special Banks grind
on the bumpstick that
closes the intake as late
as possible, with very
little overlap. Rhodes
fast-bleed lifters ensure
a smooth idle on the
engine, but rev it up and

the oil pressure overtakes


the bleed rate for variable
cam timing.
So when you stomp on
it, watch out. As Sklar notes,
For anybody drivin it, you
dont want to loan them any
money. When you get on it,
youd better hold on.
What does it take to
produce that kind of power?
For more details, we visited
with the engine builder,
Banks Power (note sidebar).
This company is known for a
wide range of performance
upgrades, everything from
muscle cars to 220mph
pickups fitted with a diesel
(yes, diesel) engine.
With me, its always
about power, says Gale
Banks (no surprise there!).
We were able to pick up
200 hp more with the turbos
over the Roots-type blower.
Combined with the fuel
injection, the turbo set up
is hugely more street-able,
and the idle characteristics
are far superior. Frankly,
with these advantages and
the substantial fuel economy

gained, a turbo set up would


be perfect for any street rod.
Gale Banks really
emphasizes rigorous testing
on all of his companys
performance upgrades. For
the twin-turbo program, we
had one engine called the
mule. Thats because we
kicked the livin crap out of
it, he laughs.
Since this setup is a
whole nuther animal from
most street rod mills, we
decided to dig a little deeper
into the Banks approach.
Weve all heard the wisdom
that theres no substitute
for cubic inches, but cubic
inches of what? Is it cubic
inches of engine that count,
or cubic inches of air in
the combustion chamber?
As Banks points out, its
obviously the latter.
To allow for even more
boost, should Sklar go really
crazy, the compression ratio
is only 7.5:1. So consider
this, if Sklars engine were
dialed up to 15 psi of boost,
it would effectively double
the size of an engine. That

means 15 psi of boost


will make a 350-cubicinch performance engine
seem like a 700-cubic-inch
performance engine.
Actually, thats not
exactly accurate15-psi
boost more than doubles
the performance an engine.
It does this for two reasons:
first, the internal friction of
the engine remains largely
the same regardless of boost,
so the extra power from
turbocharging is almost
totally available to power the
vehicle.
Second, the boost in the
induction system actually
helps push the pistons
down on the intake stroke.
In contrast, on a normally
aspirated engine that intake
stroke creates a pumping
loss (negative torque).
Traditional street rodders
may point out, though, that
the turbochargers create
exhaust backpressure,
increasing the pumping
loss on the exhaust stroke.
This is not the case if
the system is carefully

engineered with only a


minor exhaust restriction
for the dual turbos, so that
boost pressure always
exceeds exhaust system
backpressure. Putting
it simply, in terms of
performance, a good twinturbo 350 V8 will turn
your engine inside out.
Bigger engines add power,
but turbocharging bigger
engines really gets the job
done.
Happily, theres more
good news associated with
turbocharging a small-block
Chevy V8, and almost all of
it comes down to durability.
The performance industry
offers a variety of highstrength cylinder blocks in
both iron and aluminum.
Thicker main webs and
four-bolt main caps are just
what a turbocharged engine
needs.
Also, a small-block
Chevy uses five head bolts
or studs surrounding each
cylinder to help secure head
gaskets. And of course, the
aftermarket has a variety of

premium head gaskets too.


Then there are other heavyduty parts readily available,
such as forged crankshafts,
forged connecting rods,
forged pistons, special piston
pins, and premium rings and
bearings.
Of course, the smallblock Chevy V8 also benefits
from a wide variety of
high-performance cylinder
heads, intake manifolds, and
valvetrain pieces. Simply
stated, nearly everything
that improves airflow on
a normally aspirated
engine will also

improve total flow on a


turbocharged engine.
The next good news is
that extreme-duty drivetrain
parts are readily available
for rear-wheel-drive
vehicles with V8 engines.
This includes clutches,
transmissions, u-joints,
differentials and axles. Most
of this was developed for
drag racing or circle track
racing. Such strength and
durability is important when
dealing with real power. For
example, a 350-cubic-inch

V8 running at 20-psi boost


is capable of roughly 900
lb/ft of torque.
Of course, in a
lightweight T-bucket, you
dont need to go that far.
Well, in Sklars case, you
never know for sure. Even
though he plays music for
a living, he proudly admits
that hes a car guy first and
foremost. Over the years his
rides have included a 37
Lincoln Zephyr, 39 Hudson,
39 LaSalle, 50 Coupe de
Ville, and 38 Ford panel, among many
others. So while he lays down some licks
for a living, its all to lay down those slicks
on the street. CB

SOURCES:

Banks Power
www.bankspower.com
TCI Engineering
800/984-6259
www.totalcostinvolved.com

Double Trouble All Over Again

or all those rodders and other


car builders whod like to go to
an either greater extreme than Sklars
T-bucket, check out the twin-turbo
setup currently available from Banks
Power for small-block V8s.
If a guy wants to hot rod a
Corvette or other project car, weve
got a streetable, 1150hp, fuel-injected
small-block Chevy, Banks notes.
Note that this 375ci mill will fit every
Corvette model through 1982, along
with a host of other rides.
What sort of setup do you get for
$38K? It starts with a 4.125-inch bore
block, custom-built by Dart to Banks
specs. Cast from a high-nickel alloy,
its reinforced with splayed main caps and
ARP head studs.
A 3.5-inch stroke crankshaft is the heart
of the 6.15L/375ci Turbo engine. Cut from
a non-twisted 4340 forging and precision
balanced, its designed to handle power
levels well in excess of 1100 horses.
Forged pistons are custom machined to
provide an 8.5:1 Compression Ratio needed
to optimize street and strip performance, as
well as the necessary valve clearance. They
feature a 1/16, 1/16, 3/16 ring pack, which
is uniquely located for better sealing and
longer ring life. Connecting rods are 4340
Forged H-beam rods with 7/16-inch ARP rod
bolts.
The Banks turbo engine uses a solid roller
Comp Cam with a Banks custom lobe design.
The lightweight lifters actuate custom length
5/16-inch pushrods as well as the Jesel
Shaft-mounted Roller Rockers. The camshaft
is custom ground to make the most of the
cylinder heads airflow characteristics.
This head design evolved from many
hours of research at the Banks Race Shop.
The result is the optimum 23-degree

aluminum head for use with the Banks


Twin-Turbo System. It features custom CNCshaped intake and exhaust ports, as well as
a unique combustion chamber. The heads
house 2.080/1.600 Severe Duty Valves,
Banks 1.470 double valve springs and 10
chrome-moly retainers, uniquely configured
for optimum output and durability.
Feeding the heads the massive amount
of air needed to make 1150 horses are highflow turbochargers, custom-built by Banks
with a precision-balanced inconel turbine
wheel and shaft assembly. The efficiency of
the Banks compressor design helps to reduce
inlet air temperatures to acceptable levels.
And with an optional Sure-Shot water-meth
injection system, you can eliminate the need
for an intercooler (or run one as well, if so
desired). The airflow enters via a Banksdesigned pressure chamber with an integral
shuttle valve and a billet throttle body. Both
sit atop an Accel Pro-Ram manifold, which
is CNC port matched to fit the Banks highperformance heads. Is that double trouble or
what?
45

Available now, che

eck your dealer for inventory!


Own a legend today!
www.Superformance.com

800-297-6253

A Banne
Displaying the Latest in
Buildup Products From
SEMAs Media Conference

overing the SEMA show in Las Vegas


is akin to wading through a sea of
humanity. In contrast, the follow-up
Media Trade Conference known as MPMC
offers totally different format. Its more
like speed-dating with the automotive
aftermarket. Held in late January at the
Embassy Suites in Santa Ana, CA, this
event consists of three days of individual
30-minute meetings, specially selected
from as many as 100 different racing and
high-performance parts companies. From
our conversations with key executives and
industry experts, we were able to quickly
glean out specific items of interest to car
builders in taking their projects to the next
level of performance and appearance.
Some of our fellow editors joke that it
feels more like a Pavlovian experience, with
bell ringing to announce the beginning and
end of each meeting. Yet this comparison
applies in another way, since the products
we come across at MPMC can help your
project car run with the big dogs!

SOURCE:

SEMA
http://www.sema.org
48

Carbon Intake

he Carbon TRic integrates an air-towater intercooler into an exotic-looking carbon and billet intake manifold for
improved packaging and performance in
boosted applications. This uniquely sculpted plenum is constructed from high tensile
strength carbon fiber in a high-temp epoxy
matrix with foam coring. Bonded with aerospace structural adhesive to precisely machined billet, the intake forms a clamshell
housing for a premium Bell Intercooler with
custom end caps. Sized to support 1200 hp,

er Event

the intercooler can optionally be configured


for alternative power levels.
A single forward-facing throttle allows
for easy integration and controls. The top
and lower plenum can individually be
reversed on the engine for various sensor,
port and throttle orientations. Carbon TRic
intake manifolds are available in multiple port configurations and are built to order. Custom port and

intercooler configurations are possible


as well. This particular application is
shown here on the
1100hp Falcon F7
supercar.

www.performancedesign.com
http://falconf7.com

49

Corvette C7 Liquidto-Air Intercooler


Intake Manifold

ingenfelter Performance Engineering


now offers a liquid-to-air intercooler intake manifold for turbocharged or
centrifugal supercharged 2014-2015 C7
Corvettes with the LT1 engine. Featuring an innovative, low-profile design that
fits under a stock C7 hood and integrates
neatly into the engine compartment, the
new Corvette engine intercooler builds on
the previous success of products Lingenfelter created for Gen
3 and Gen 4 engines.
The intercooler
(Part #L260060114),
designed to replace
the OEM manifold, is
a two-piece aluminum manifold with
an integral intercooler core which provides reduced pressure drop, increased

Heim-Mount
Coilover

esigned for the unique needs of


street rods and muscle cars, these
Bilstein aluminum monotube shocks
feature race-style spherical rod-end
mounts both top and bottom. This
setup allows the shock to pivot more at
the mounting points through the entire
suspension travel. Measuring only .7

50

power output and reduced weight. Provisions for port fuel injectors allow for
additional fuel delivery beyond what can
be supplied by the OEM direct injection
system. The auxiliary injector provisions
can also be used for nitrous or alcohol
injection.
The low pressure drop design provides increased power and boost for 800
to 1200 hp applications, and even higher
if using ice in drag racing applications,
said Graham Behan, chief engineer, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering.
www.lingenfelter.com

inches wide, the Heim mounts also


are narrower than traditional bushing-style mounts, allowing these
shocks to fit in tighter spaces. Precision rolled threads provide easy
and accurate spring adjustment,
and these coilovers are available
for front and rear applications.
http://www.bilsteinus.com

Supercharging GM E-Rod Engines

delbrock has expanded


its Universal E-Force
Supercharger systems for
GM LS engines to now include two new systems for
use with GM E-Rod crate
engines. These new Edelbrock Universal E-Force
Supercharger systems
are intended for use with
GM Performances LC9
(#19258004) and LS3
(#19244805) E-Rod emissions-legal, Gen IV, smallblock crate engines. They
include all of the necessary
components to increase the
performance of these engines, while maintaining the
E-Rod emissions-legal status. These systems are ideal
for use on 1996-and-earlier
vehicles and kit/project

cars that require emissions


testing.
Edelbrock Universal
E-Force Supercharger
systems feature 12 long
runners for maximum lowend torque and better drivability. System (#15426) is
claimed to produce 599+
hp at the flywheel and 547+
lb/ft. of torque. As a positive-displacement blower, it can
provide
instant and
reliable
horsepower with low
boost for
minimum
stress on
the engine, all in

a compact design that fits


under most hoods. These
systems require the use of
a universal heat exchanger (sold separately). Each
system includes a handheld
module for uploading the
emissions-legal tune to the
GM Parts Engine Control
System.
www.edelbrock.com

Mechanical Fuel Pumps

new line of high-output mechanical


fuel pumps is now available from
Quick Fuel Technology(QFT). Designed to
withstand continuous high-rpm operation
and free-flow at
110 GPH, they
can satisfy the
demands of
most carbureted engines.
QFTs mechanical fuel
pumps are
made from
heavy-duty

aluminum castings for light weight and


increased strength. They are very user-friendly with internal fuel pressure regulators set at 6.5 to 8psi. The pumps main
body can be clocked (rotated) to accommodate various plumbing connections.
QFTs mechanical pumps are currently
available for small- and big-block Chevys;
Ford 289, 302 and 351W; Ford 429 and
460; and small- and big-block Chryslers.
All pump inlets and outlets are tapped for
3/8 NPT, except Chrysler models that have
inlets and outlets tapped for 1/4 NPT.
www.quickfueltechnology.com

51

Engine Swap Meets


L
ooking to modernize
your Chevy S10 with
a hot LS engine? Or even
modify a Mustang with a
Chevy engine? Trans Dapt
has expanded its lineup of
V8 Swap-In-A-Box kits.
Why use an S10? This
compact pickup
is very popular
among enthusiasts, but it lacks
one thing: V8
power. So Trans
Dapt began making its popular
S10 V8 Swap-ina-Box kits many
years ago.
Now, Trans
Dapt has made its
S10 V8 kits even
better with the addition of
the all new LS-engine Swapin-a-Box kit for the 2WD
1982-2004 Chevrolet S10.
The LS engine is just about
the hottest ticket on the
market when it comes to
engine swaps. Thanks to its
light weight, small size, and
amazing power potential, it
has become the go-to engine for hot rodders, racers,
and off-roaders alike.
Swapping these popular
engines into older vehicles,
however, has typically required a certain amount
of fabrication skill and a

52

significant financial investment. To minimize these


challenges, Trans Dapt
joined forces with Hedman
Hedders and Hamburgers
Performance Products to
take the guesswork out of
the LS transplant with its

new S10 V8 LS Swap-in-aBox kit.


The LS Swap-In-A-Box
starts with a set of Hedmans Pro-Touring MidLength headers featuring
1 1/2-inch primary tubes
and a 2 1/2-inch collector for efficient flow and
maximum ground clearance for lowered trucks.
To make sure the engine
is properly aligned, the kit
includes Trans-Dapts LSswap engine mounts, which
the LS-swap headers were
designed around to ensure
that they fit right the first

time, and come with mounting pads and hardware.


Rounding out the kit is
the Hamburgers LS-swap
oil pan which keeps you
from needing to change or
modify the trucks factory
crossmember by relocating
the LS-engines
oil sump to the
rear of the vehicle
with an extended
oil pickup tube.
The Hamburgers pan is also
shallower than
most factory LS
oil pans to further
improve ground
clearance.
Trans Dapts
S10 V8 LS Swapin-a-Box kit is also available for S15 trucks, and
the Chevrolet Blazer and
GMC Jimmy Hedman Huslers Muscle rods line of LS
swap products also offers
kits for installing an LS
engine in classic GM A, B,
F, G and X-body vehicles,
Tri-5s, X-Frames, Ton GM
trucks/SUVsand yes, even
Fox-body (82 to 93) Ford
Mustangs.
www.tdperformance.com
www.LSswapkits.com

Twin Turbo Camaro


F
or the past year, the
Granatelli Twin Turbo
Kit for the 5th generation
Camaro (2010-2014)
has been dominating the
road and drag strip alike.
Using twin PTE6265 billet wheel turbochargers,
this system is capable of
producing 1250 horses
at the flywheel on a built
motor. Yet its refined and
docile enough to produce
600 rwhp at just 7.5 lbs
of boost on an otherwise
stock LS3 engine.
The turbine inlets and
outlets are V-band mounted to ensure proper rotation and still produce a
solid, gasketless mount,
along with eliminating
the risk of loose nuts and

bolts near
the turbo inlets
and outlets. The
all-stainless steel
design
includes
high-temp
thermo
coating to
provide
long life
and reliability. Large front-mount
Bell core Intercoolers
offer divorced 3.5 inlets and a single 4 outlet to ensure maximum
restriction free airflow
to the engines throttle
body. Granatelli calls this

system a true complete


kit, with every nut, bolt,
washer, screw and zip tie
included to complete the
installation.

www.GranatelliMotorSports.com

Wireless Mini Shift Light

roform now offers a wireless Digital


Programmable Shift Light and Diagnostic Tachometer Combo (Part No. 67006C)
that is simple to mount and easy to install,

with a 3-wire hookup. Measuring only 4


long, this 3 LED light will signal the racer
when its time to shift while being small
enough to fit into tight places and offer an
adjustable display brightness. Not only
does this digital shift light give racers an
edge, it can easily detach from its mount to
be placed on the dashboard so the tachometer digital display can be seen while tuning
a vehicle, turning what was once a two-person job into a simple and quick task.
www.proformparts.com

53

QA1 Goes Hollywood

A1 has teamed up with Troy Ladd of


Hollywood Hot Rods to release traditional-looking, adjustable shocks for street
rods. In keeping with Ladds Respect Tradition motto, the Hollywood Hot Rods
Series shocks are offered both front smooth
body and rear threaded body and made of
chrome-plated aluminum for show-quality
appearance. For a nostalgic look, the front
smooth body shocks have a chrome plated, bell shaped dust cover. Drivers can also
get ride height adjustability with the rear
threaded body shocks. A low profile slotstyle adjuster allows 36 options of rebound
adjustment with a comfortable compression setting. This inconspicuous adjuster
tailors the shock for any setup, weight,
spring rate and driving comfort to fit the
needs of your hot rod or custom car setup.
www.QA1.net
http://hollywoodhotrods.com

54

Emissions-Legal Tuner

eed more power and


performance, but wary
of the consequences of
using a programmer thats
not certified in California?
Hypertech, known for its
high-performance engine
tuning products, has taken
the worry out of the sale
and use of power programmers in California with its
new Max Energy 2.0 Power
Programmers. Certified as
emissions legal in the Golden State (and the rest of the
U.S., too), the Max Energy
2.0 optimizes engine tuning

for maximum horsepower,


torque and performance.
New features include the
ability to reprogram the
tire-pressure monitoring
system (TPMS) threshold
when using larger than
stock tires, a larger backlit
LCD screen for easy navigation, plus quick, simplified
installation, tuning and
feature changes. Hypertech claims the unit provides increased fuel economy as well, with users
reporting gains of two to
four mpg. Whats more,

CARB-Legal Headers
for GM LS E-Rod

atriot Exhaust Products now has a


CARB (California Air Resources Board)
Legal header for GM E-Rod motor swaps.
This unit (Part No. H8080) replaces the
factory cast-iron manifolds with a tubular
header that retains the factory catalytic
converter position to maintain legal emissions compatibility. This Patriot header
is said to be the only CARB-legal (CARB
EO #D-57-29) header on the market for
the E-Rod Swaps into any 1995-and-older
vehicle. This piece will accommodate stock
factory steering setups, and most aftermarket conversion suspensions as well, and can
be used with most aftermarket motor and
transmission mounts designed for the LS1/
LS6 engine transplant (like Patriots own
SK100 mount kit). Its extra ground clear-

there is absolutely no difference in horsepower, torque


or performance between
Hypertechs California-certified power programmer
and those available for sale
outside the State of
California.
http://www.hypertech.com

ance makes slammed cars drivable, and


also simplifies installing an above-frame
rail exhaust system. Included is a welded
oxygen-sensor bung in the collector for
fuel-injection applications.
www.PerTronix.com

55

Improved Windsor-Style Small Block

orld Products has


revised it small-block
Ford castings to make the
blocks even stronger and
easier to build. Available
with a 302-style 8.200
deck
height or
a Windsor-style
9.500
deck
height,
the Man
OWar
blocks are
packed
with performance
enhancing features.
World
has upgraded
the iron
to a 40,000psi alloy and
added material to the main
webs. The front web is now
.080 thicker and the center three are increased by
.030. World also changed
from 1/2 main cap fasteners to 7/16 ARP fasteners,
leaving more material in the
webs in order to strengthen the main web structure
further.
The 8.200 block is a
direct bolt-in for 5.0L Mustangs (and of course Cobra
56

replicas using this same


engine) and is compatible
with OEM heads and exhaust systems. The 9.500
block works with all the
351 Windsor-style compo-

nents. Both have siamese


cylinder bores with thick
walls which can be bored
to 4.200 and extra thick
decks with six head bolts
per cylinder for secure gasket clamping. The cylinder
barrels are extended into
the crankcase at the bottom
by 1/2 to provide superior piston support with
long stroke crankshafts.
The 8.200 deck blocks
have clearance for a 3.500
stroke crank and 9.500

deck blocks are clearanced


for a 4.250 stroke. Billet steel or nodular iron
splayed 4-bolt main caps
are fitted, with dowels and
stepped register and ARP
fasteners
(bolts for
nodular
caps and
studs for
the billet caps).
World
blocks are
equipped
with a priority main
oiling system which
delivers oil
to the main
bearings
first for
reliable lubrication at
high rpm. The oiling system
has been revised to reduce
restriction and improve oil
delivery to the mains.
www.worldproducts.net

Corvette Components

oes your project car use Corvette


suspension parts?SpeedDirect now
has fabricated aluminum trailing arms
for C2 and C3 Corvettes (1963 to 1982).
Designed to replace the heavier stock
arms, these significantly lighter units feature an offset design for better and wider
wheel clearance, and eliminate suspension binding with a bearing front pivot,
resulting in more consistent handling.
SpeedDirect offers other suspension
upgrades as well, such as a coilover Corvette conversion, and a new lightweight,
cast-aluminum differential cover. Its the
manufacturer of Steeroids Rack & Pinion
Conversion Kits, Shark Bite suspension
components for C2-C3 Corvettes (1963-

82), as well as Vector Series handling


components for classic Mustangs.
www.speeddirect.com

Making Connections

he new Pro-Compact Series from Jiffy-tite offers


all the benefits of its Quick
Connect fluid fittings, but
without the valves, giving
users a new way to quickly connect and disconnect
fluid fittings in applications
where a valve isnt necessary. Ideal for applications
with limited spaces (not

uncommon on many car


builder projects), the new
Pro-Compact features the
no-tools technology behind Jiffy-tites signature
quick-connect fluid fittings.
They easily connect and
disconnect by hand in seconds without the need for a
cumbersome wrench. Comparable in size to AN-sized
fittings on the market today, Jiffy-tites
Pro-Compact Series
and other fittings are
compatible with virtually any fuel, oil, water
and transmission applications. Because no

tools are needed to change


Jiffy-tite quick-connect fluid
fittings, users can avoid
many common problems
associated with fluid transfer including: stripping,
cross-threading, over-tightening or forgetting to tighten the fittings. Jiffy-tite
Pro-Compact series fittings
are available either straight
or angled (45 and 90 degrees), and can be ordered
in either the black or gold
anodized finish.

http://motorsports.jiffy-tite.com
57

www.kirkhammotorsports.com

Alternative Route

A Veteran Car Builder Takes the Road Less


Traveled in a Miata-Based Aston Martin Replica
As told by John J. Thomas

fter retiring
from over
45 years in
the automotive industry, I
realized I needed something
to keep me out of the house.
Since we spend the summer
in Wales and winter in
Arizona, I started looking
for a car that I could start
building in the UK, and then
60

ship to the States. There


is a good range of kit cars
available in the UK, but it
was important to find one
that uses a readily available
U.S. donor.
The MEV Replicar caught
my eye as an alternative to
the Cobra and Seven-style
cars. The Aston Martin DBR1
had been in the news, as
one of the four originals had
sold for a record $32 million.

(At the 1959 LeMans, the


DBR1 took First and Second
place overall. The driving
duo of Carroll Shelby and
Roy Salvadori won First, and
the next nearest competitor
to the Second place DBR1
was 25 laps behind!) Not
only that, the year 2013 was
the centennial of the Aston
Martin brand.
Even though the MEV
Replicar (inspired by the

Aston Martin) is available


here in the U.S. from
Exomotive, I wanted to
start the build in the UK so
I ordered the kit directly
from MEV. One issue that
arose was that the Replicar,
like the original, is righthand drive, but thats not a
problem for me, as Im used
to shifting with either hand.
The only essential RHD
parts that are needed
from the MX5 are the front
subframe and steering rack,
with plenty available on
EBay UK. Even so, I decided
to obtain a complete MX5.
Rusty MOT (Ministry of
Transport)-failed cars are
available at very low cost
in the UK. I also wanted to
familiarize myself with the
Mazda, and a good way to
learn about a car is to take

one apart.
I had contemplated
building the car to a
complete rolling chassis,
but figured I would get a
running donor with less
rust in the U.S. I would need
a U.S.-spec engine and EMS
anyway, and shipping an
engine from the UK involves
a lot of EPA paperwork.
So after all the chassis
metalwork was completed,
along with the RHD front
subframe and controls
fitted, and all the brake, fuel
and tank vent lines made up
and fitted, the whole thing
(plus the wire wheels) was
loaded into a large crate
and shipped to the US West
Coast.
The voyage from the UK
to California takes about a
month, and it was held up

READERS
RIDE
in U.S. customs for about
ten days as the paperwork
had not made it clear that
this was car partsnot
a complete car that did
not need DOT and EPA
approvals.
I discovered that used
Miatas sell for a lot more
in the States than the
UK, but I found a 1994
California M-spec model
mechanically sound and
well maintained, but with
a beat up body, very ragged
top and interior, broken
windshield, etc. I didnt feel
bad about breaking it up (I
hate to scrap a viable car).

The teardown of the donor


car and unpacking of the
shipping crate, a project
in itself, was done at our
daughters place in the
California High Desert. The
car was assembled to the
rolling stage and shipped
to our Arizona home and
construction completed in a
two-car garage.
The car is currently
running, with completely
stock Miata mechanicals.
The original Mazda
suspension is surprisingly
compliant, with soft
primary steel springs and
elastomer bump stops
providing firm secondary
springs. Im planning to
lower the car somewhat,
get more rebound travel
on the suspension to help
braking and traction.
Power wise there is a
wide range of performance
upgrades available for
the Miata, and of course a
V8 will fit into the engine
compartment just fine, but
I think it would need a rear
transaxle to maintain some
sort of balance. More in the
spirit of the original DBR1
would be to fit an inline six
(such as a Toyota JZ) with
a transaxle (maybe from
Corvette, or Alfa Romeo).
Usually when you reduce
the weight of a vehicle by
about 40 percent, the stock
springs are way too hard,
62

but the Miata uses a soft


primary steel spring and
backs this up with a firm
secondary elastomer bump
stop. However, the rear
shocks on the MEV Replicar
are close to being topped
out, and Im planning to
drop the rear of the chassis
by about 40mm and front
by 20mm.I would like to
keep OE shocks and
springs, and the
auto-trans Miata has
the softest springs,
so I am trying to
source a set of these
and shorten them to
get the ride height
right, then look at
aftermarket bump

stops.
Regarding my
background, as noted at the
outset, Ive been in the auto
industry for many years
on both sides of The Pond.
I started work at a BMC
dealer in the UK straight
after school just as the Mini
was becoming popular.
The old guys in the shop

wanted nothing to do with


this odd car with the engine
in sideways, so I got all the
Mini work.
Then I got a job with
Broadspeed when they
were racing the Minis.
We were doing a lot of
performance conversions
including the Broadspeed
GT. I got to work on a lot
of interesting cars, Aston
Martins, AC Bristols, Jags,
etc.
I also was involved in
go-kart racing with a couple
of British Team drivers.
Great funI could build the
engines and chassis, drive
the van, setup the pits
everything! Got to visit a lot
of places in Europe, as long
as they had a go-kart track.
My work on two-strokes
led to involvement in offshore powerboat racing,
a big contrast to the
ultra-competitive world
of go-karting. Back then
powerboat racing was very
much a party sport!
I had been building kit
cars and started selling
Ranger and Magenta kits,
based on 1100 to 1300
Austins, and complete
cars including six-wheel
and twin-engine versions.
In the 70s I was working
on engine fueling and
emissions with GKN and
SU carburetors, when I got
a call from my old contacts

at Broadspeed to come
and develop the engine
for the racing XJ12
Coupes, a great job
but frustrating when
BL pulled the plug
just as we got the cars
competitive.
I decided to get
away from race teams
and set up shop doing JRT
(Jaguar/Rover/Triumph)
work, mainly blueprinting
Triumph Stag and Sprint
engines as well as the
building and selling the
kit cars. The farm where I
had my shop became home
to a couple of American
speedway ridersso much
for getting away from
racing!
A speedway bike must
be the simplest competition
vehicle, single cylinder
engine with a clutch and
chain to the rear wheel,
no brakes or suspension.
Yet its surprising how
much time you can
spend prepping them for
competition! Involvement
in speedway racing led to
my heading to California.
The 80s was the era of
electronically controlled
carburetors, and a
California carb-rebuilding
business hired me to setup
testing systems for them.
That job lasted until fuel
injection started to become
universal.

In 1988 Land Rover


started selling the Range
Rover in the U.S. Range
Rover North America
started with a small staff
and we all did several jobs.
I was the Western field
engineer and technical
trainer, but we also
supported vehicle launches,
expeditions, off road driver
training, etc. When we
opened the West Coast
training center, I became
a full-time tech trainer
which is what I did until my
retirement in 2007. Which
obviously left me plenty of
time to indulge in this new
project, my MEV Replicar.
Once it was up and running,
I took a trip to Oatman,
Arizona and cruised on old
route 66. Now theres an
alternate reality: a replica of
a classic British road racer
with Japanese mechanicals
taking a classic American
route! CB

SOURCE:

Exomotive
http://exomotive.com
63

The
Lowdown on
Deco Rides
High-Prole
Designs
By Steve Temple
Photos by Steve Temple and
Courtesy of Terry Cook

or those car
builders
who arent
into art
history, art deco
refers an elegant
style of decorative
design that
emerged in the 30s
between the World
Wars, when rapid
industrialization
was transforming
culture. Of
particular relevance
to car builders
is its embrace of
technology. That
movement aptly
describes Deco Rides

Tribut

te Rods

as well, a company
founded by former
Hot Rod editor
Terry Cook (who
also now hosts a
massive car event
called Lead East).
While he reveres
modern technology,
he merges it with
traditional themes
in remarkable and
innovative ways.
This artistic
bent is actually a
form of protest.
Looking back at
the early history
of hot rodding and
customizing cars,
rodders were once
outlaws. But just
as tattoos were
initially considered
emblems of a
rebellious and antisocial attitudeand
now have become
a popular form of
body artso too
have many street
rods.

Hot rods like


32, 34, 37 and
40 Fords are
absolute things
of beauty, but
when I go to big
rod runs and see
literally hundreds
of them, they all begin to
look the same, like Xerox
copies of rods built 50 years
ago, Cook notes. I crave
any car that has the right
look, but at the same time is
fresh and different.

That means stirring


up a whole new recipe:
hot rods combined with
classic automotive styling.
What inspired this unusual
combination?
One car in particular
comes to mind, a
Vanvooren-bodied Bugatti
Type 57 C, built for the Shah
of Persia. He was especially

66

struck by its enclosed


pontoon fenders, along with
those sweet little items
the brightwork, the trim,
the sculpture.
All of them put together
became an epiphany
for Cook. Thats what
changed my life, those
kustoms built by European
coachbuilders, he recalls.
Coachbuilt cars for
concours events from 35 to

39, that was the apogee of


automotive styling.
As much as Cook wanted
to put a different spin
on them, he wouldnt
dare tamper with their
originality. I never could
afford to own a Delahaye
or Bugatti; and if I could, I
wouldnt cut it up.
Instead, he put a fresh
twist on his old favorites:
Were dragging these

1930s classics into the


21st Century with a hot
rod flavor, gusto and verve.
In doing so, were paying
tribute to these great
stylists and craftsmen, he
insists. I call them Tribute
Rodswe start with a
classic and then smoke it
over.
Which makes for opulent
rods with a sizzling sense
of style, mutant stuff,

Cook quips. His layering of


disparate flavors is actually
a somewhat common
technique, at least in a
general sense. As many car
designers admit, theres
nothing new under the
sun, just different mixes
of familiar lines with
classic appeal. Whatever
their origins, his creative
concoctions have whetted
the appetites of numerous

collectors over the years,


and gained him the
worldwide notoriety. How
he got there is as unusual as
his cars.
Although initially a car
magazine editor by trade,
he harbored a not-so-secret
yearning to become a
designer and builder. (After
all, what car guy hasnt
felt likewise, sketching out
dreams on a note pad?)
The inspirations for his
designs are numerous, from
European coachbuilders
to numerous automotive
museums to renowned
designers.
Jean Bugatti and Georges
Pauline are two of Cooks
four favorite designers,
with Russian Jacques
Saoutchik and Italian
Guiseppi Figoni being the
other two. And he admits to
spending countless hours

67

poring over magazines,


books and web sites on hot
rods and other swoopy
automotive shapes. All told,
he has a definite preference
for marques like Auburn,
Bugatti, Cord, Delahaye,
Delage, Deusenberg,
Maybach and Talbot Lago.
To me the best-looking
cars were built in the midand late 30s, before the
slab-sided look arrived,
back when fenders were
distinct and separate design
elements.
So where did Cook begin?
He started out with some
simple ingredients back in
1990 with a postcard of an
810 Cord that he bought at
the Auburn-Cord-Duesie
Museum in Indiana. He took
it home and chopped it and
dropped it with an X-Acto
knife and Scotch tape.
Together, with influence

68

from the work of Joseph


Figoni of Paris, it inspired
him to buy a 41 Hupp
Skylark. That was the seed
that blossomed to become
his company Deco Rides,
along with some other highflying endeavors.
His first car, the aptly
namd Scrape, took more
than four years to complete.
Working with Ramsey
Mosher of Rams Rod Shop
in Dover, Delaware, he
started out with a design
from E. L. Gregory, a 39
Lincoln Zephyr, and grafted
on the nose of a 40-41
model. While some purist
collectors groaned at
the thought of this cross
breeding, other Zephyr
fans applauded his efforts,
and in fact inspired Cook to
combine these two design
elements into a phantom
car that never existed in

production form.
Building the car required
a different chassis, a
78 Caprice wagon he
purchased for $350, and
stripped down to the
frame. To achieve that
signature stance, he hired
Dave Cronk, who Zd the
frame at the flywheel area
and lengthened it to fit the
Lincolns wheelbase. With
the new rails sitting flat on
the floor, he lowered the
body onto the rails so it
straddled them at ground

level, and then


welded the whole
thing together.
With the ride
height now set at
rock bottom, the
trick would be
to lift up the car
enough to get it
to drive down the
road. Thats where

Mosher took over,


literally from
the ground up,
consuming four
years and 4,000
hours to complete
the car under
tight wraps.
The saga of
what went into
this project has
been told in

Cooks own words with


great detail and fluency.
Scrape went on to have an
astounding effect on all
who saw it. He recalls on
two separate occasions
the car received standing
ovations as it pulled into
the spectator area. And one
those wild applauses took
place at an event where the
competition included megabuck classic and exotic
sports cars.
While some of Cooks
creations sell in solid
six-figure territory, (Bob
Petersen, who founded the
auto museum bearing his
name, purchased Scrape
for $275,000) he had the

foresight to make molds


off the body of the car
he had designed so he
could reproduce coupes,
and a new convertible,
in fiberglass composite.
He went on to produce
more than 100 bodies by
his last count, which have
sold all over the world,
from Moscow to Dubai to
Australia.
Even with all the
accolades and demand for
his designs, hes never let
it go to his head. As one
example of his sense of
whimsy, note the outboard
engine emblem on Scrapes
engine cover.
Evinrudethats
a joke, he chuckles.
Everybody takes their cars
too seriously. Scrape has a
small-block Chevy with just
a two-barrel carb.
Another lighthearted

nod is in the name of


his Bugnotti roadster.
This reference to the
Bugatti name, along with
a simultaneous negation
of it (not a Bugatti), is
more than just a play on
words. Its also a subtle dig
towards Bugattis corporate
parent Volkswagen
and its attitude toward
reproductions.
Cooks irreverence
is obvious as well in a
mocked-up magazine cover
on his web site: Sheep
Rodder and Lemmings
Motor News, a sarcastic
comment on the conformity
he decries in the rod
industry. He should know,
considering his longtime
experience in the field,

69

and his hard-earned street


creds.
Cook didnt start out as a
globetrotting designer. His
early days in New Jersey
consisted of joining hot
rod clubs, writing for local
drag-racing magazines, and
working as a flag starter at
a local drag strip. He had
a passion for dragsters at
one time, but after seeing
two racers killed on the
track right in front of him,
he changed gears, toiling as
a scribe for Car Craft and
later serving as editor of
Hot Rod for a couple years.
Those gigs led to some
other publishing ventures,
but after they stalled, he
founded an automotive
70

event called Lead East


the Worlds Biggest 50s
Partywhich is still held
every year on Labor Day in
Parsippany, New Jersey.
Evidently car show
management was more
successful than publishing,
as it allowed him to

produce Scrape. But Im


a few cars beyond it now,
he admits. I have a limited
attention span. Hes been
going through an evolution,
and now has an affinity for
phantom coupes. He still
has a soft spot for kustoms,
though. Scrape is the

epitome of a my kustom
era.
Taking that design to
whole new level is a Sedan
Delivery version, which
transports a customized
chopper bike inside, styled
to match the car. The
bikes front wheel serves
as an armrest between the
driver and shotgun front
bucket seats. With a frontwheel drive platform that
eliminates the differential
hump in the rear
floorboard, a motorized
ramp can be used to get
the bike in and out of the
vehicle. The motorcycle
is rolled onto the ramp,
strapped in position, and
then the ramp and bike are
automatically retracted into
the car at the touch of a
switch. The rear door then
closed automatically using

linear actuators.
Cook says a car dealer
from Dubai purchased the
car at the 2010 Pebble
Beach, where it was simply
parked outside the fence,
within sight of a crowded
walkway. Even though
he considers this event
to be the highlight of the
year, Cook occasionally
encounters some resistance.
They turn up their noses
at hot rodders, he laughs,
shaking his head. But he
was recently vindicated by
a select group of collectors:
Ive been invited to join the
Delahaye clubI thought
Id be burned at the stake.
The Bella Figura
Bugnotti coupe also
debuted at Pebble Beach
to rave reviews. Produced
by Cooks other company,
Delahaye USA, this carbon

fiber creation was inspired


by the classic Type 57S.
While never intended to
reproduce a real Bugatti,
its a tribute, like other
Cook cars, in this instance
to Ettores son Jean. Under
development for more
than a year using digital
technology from Revolution
Design Studios, it employs
a vacuum infusion
process from carbon fiber
specialists 3 G Services Inc.
The result is a carbon fiber
finish where the weave of
the cloth is evident through
a clear coat.
For those who prefer a
more conventional finish,
however, theres a choice
of a painted body of carbon
fiber and composite, or all
composite. Available as
turnkeys or the bare body
and rolling frame for the

A true hardtop with no-B-pillar, this Delahaye USA kit was inspired by Jean Bugattis Type 57S coupes, but with a
strong hot rod influence. An aggressive California Rake and big n little tires combines classic European late
30s styling with down n dirty American Hot Rod Influence.

build-it-yourself enthusiast,
the models available
include a coupe, a drophead
coupe with folding
convertible top mechanism
or a targa-top version.
The ever-restless Cook
has a number of other
projects in the works.
There are a dozen cars
in my head, he reveals.
One thats moving ahead
is called the Sultan,
inspired by the astounding
artistic expressions of
Saoutchik. Working with
John Caswell, an honors
graduate of the famed Art
Center College of Design in
Pasadena, California, Cook
had him design a massive
17-foot long roadster
with elongated, metallic
spears sweeping down the
sides. The extraordinary
bodywork is going to
be handled by Marcel of
Custom Metal (who has also
72

done work for automotive


luminaries such a Boyd
Coddington and Chip
Foose). And its custom
chassis features Corvette
C5 running gear, along with
a BMW V12 engine. Why a
Bimmer?
Im not gonna put a
freakin Chevrolet in my
carthen its just another
street rod, he exclaims.
Im trying to build cars that
exude class.
Do they ever. And thats
right in keeping with his
company philosophy.
Named as a tribute to Emil
Delahaye who started
manufacturing cars in
Tours, France in 1879,
Delahaye USA has no
connection with the original
Delahaye GFA (Gnrale
Franaise Automobile).
Until that firm went out
of business in 1954, it
produced some of the most

elegant cars of all time for a


golden era lasting some 75
years.
Today, Delahaye USA
pays homage to worlds top
coachbuilders and carrying
on their classic tradition,
recreating their most
breathtaking, delicious
designs of all time. Drawing
on a talented team of
craftsmen and engineers,
the company can build
even higher quality cars
today than most French
coachbuilders of the 1930s.
That makes them not
only a tribute, but also a
substantial enhancement
of the some of the most
remarkable cars ever
created.
One of the latest is the
Pacific, a play on words,
since it was inspired by
Ralph Laurens famed
1937 Type 57S Bugatti
Atlantic. While by no means

Ralph Lauren only has three Bugattis, but they are all impeccable. One of his incredibly beautiful Bugs is his
Gangloff (German coach builder) Drophead (a folding-top car with roll-up windows in the doors, fixed A-pillars
supporting the windshield as opposed to bolt-on windshield posts, also known as Cabriolet). Delahaye USA has
been working for more than year to develop a Gangloff Drophead 37 Bugatti Type 57S in fiberglass for its debut
early this year.

a precise reproduction of the Atlantic, this


conformity. There are no ruleslet your
restyled tribute to the 57S is faithful in spirit mind roam free. CB
to Jean Bugattis design, with a traditional,
pre-War shape supported by modern
mechanicals.
The Pacifics custom steel-tube chassis
SOURCES:
measures 127 inches, ten inches longer
Petersen Automotive Museum
than the 1937 original, for a bigger cockpit.
(323) 930-2277
And the drivetrain is all BMW, a fuelwww.petersen.org
injected 4988cc 12-cylinder engine mated
www.decorides.com
to an electronic four-speed automatic
http://delahayeusa.com
transmission.
Underpinnings consist of a tubular-beam
front axle and a nine-inch Ford rearend with
leaf springs for softer ride. The wire wheels
are 3.5 x 19 shod with 3.50/4.00-19 radial
tires up front, and the rears 5 x 20 rims are
wrapped with 4.75/5.00-20 radial rubber.
The stainless steel tubular seat frames,
close copies of those from the Atlantic,
are upholstered with a richly decorative
brocaded fabric trimmed with colorcontrasting welting. The doors, dashboard
and remainder of the interior are trimmed
in glove-soft leather and Mercedes Benzquality carpeting. Power windows, brakes,
TERRY COOK
steering and air conditioning are standard
Long Valley, NJ (908) 876 9100
(items never available on the Atlantic).
My whole deal is to build a just a few
www.delahayeusa.com
www.delahayeusa.com
www.delahayeusa.com
great cars, Cook sums up, eschewing

73

Celebrating 50 years of
the Shelby Cobra 1965-2015

800-297-6253

www.Superformance.com

Own a legend today!

As seen on

ACHTUNG
BABY
Intermeccanicas
Kubelwagen
Repro Commands
Attention
As told by Henry Reisner
Photos and Intro by Steve Temple

hile 356
Speedsters
continue to have an enduring
appeal, with Intermeccanica
producing several premiumquality repros, theres a lesserknown model designed by
Dr. Ferdinand Porsche thats
available in replica form as
well. Called the Kubelwagen
(literally bucket car for its
namesake seats), it initially
served as the German rough
equivalent of the Allies WWIIera Jeep. While much lighter in
construction, and largely based
on the VW Beetle, the Type
82 proved to be an enduring
design as well.

76

When compared with


4WD vehicles of the same
era, the Kubelwagens the
2WD setup handily outperformed them in nearly
every test. Most notably,
thanks to its smooth, flat
underbody, the Kubel would
handle like a motorized
sled, when its wheels were
sinking into sand, snow, or
mud.
The U.S. military,
after conducting its own
tests on several Type
82s captured in North
Africa, acknowledged its
speed, simplicity, comfort,

ease of manufacture and


maintenance. (Even so, a
later military manual noted
that U.S. Jeep was still a
superior design.)
Given the virtues of
its design, the Kubel was
re-introduced in 1969 for
use by the German Federal
Armed Forces, and in
similar civilian dress as the
VW Thing in the U.S., the
Trekker in the U.K., and the
Safari in Mexico (though no
parts were interchangeable
between these modern
designs and the original
configuration).

How did
Intermeccanica
bring back
the Kubel
in its lineup
of Porsche
replicas as
well? Thats
an interesting,
multi-national
story in itself.
Well let Intermeccanicas
Henry Reisner
relate his side
of the story at
this juncture:

s for how
the Intermeccanica Kubel
came to be, this
was a project and
idea brought to us
by our Japanese
importer Masaki
Horii in the mid
1990s. My father,
after having
tossed this idea
aside for a couple
of years, was
able to secure a
financial commitment from
the Importer
for partial
funding of the
tooling. Once
this aspect was
discussed, we
took a trip to
Seattle to meet
the owner of
an original
restored Kubel.

This visit was pivotal as it


was immediately obvious
what a cool vehicle the
Kubel is.
My fathers memories
of the Kubel from his
childhood were more
attached to the political
and military aspect,
so very negative, but
the vehicle itself won
him over. Following this
experience we found the
premier Kubelwagen
restorer in Michigan, Dave
Crompton.
After some discussions
with him with respect to
the possibility of locating
an original to copy, it
was determined that
a restored Kubel was
not the same thing as a
restored 356. It became
clear that the lumps and
bumps were part of the
restoration charm, but not
something we wanted in
our reproduction.
We then located
original blueprints for the
Kubel, as well as many
original detail parts and
a significant collection of
photo images, and started
in the fabrication of first a
chassis prototype. It was
based on the same design
parameters as our 356
reproduction chassis, but
designed to fit the Kubel

79

size and shape.


Once the prototype
chassis was completed
a master (plug) for the
body was built on top of
the chassis. From here
solutions were developed
for doors to allow for
the use of DOT legal
locks. Trim items like the
windshield frame, top
frame, side curtains we
developed and tooled.
The challenge with
the Kubel at the time was
that, unlike the 356s,
there was no restoration
supply industry to
turn to, for purchasing
components. Each trim
part had to be found from
sources or made from
scratch. The development
process took over a year,
one of the best years ever
working with my father!
(On a personal note, I
was basically born in this
business, started working

part-time
with my
father at
age of 12.
I started
full-time
the summer
I turned
16, and
took seven
years to
finish my BA in Political
Science from University
of BC while working
at Intermeccanica. I
took over as owner
and president of
Intermeccanica in 2001
when my father passed
away. My mother Paula
Reisner is my business
partner to this day.)
Getting back to the
Kubel project, once it was
completed and the first
few started to be delivered
in Japan, our importer
found great success with
the press there. For a
couple of years
every Monday
morning when
we arrived at
the shop there
would be new
orders waiting
on our fax
machine. The
downturn in
the Japanese
economy

unfortunately affected
the sales of this as well
as other Intermeccanica
products in Japan, and
the untimely death of our
importer also had and
continues to have a
profound effect on the
sales of Intermeccanica
products in that market.
Even so, to date about
60 Intermeccanica TYP-82
Kubels have been built,
and you will find them in
all corners of the globe
from Mexico to Hawaii to
Spain and France, with
one in process now for a
customer in the UAE. The
magic of the Kubel starts
with the amazing Dr.
Porsches original design
and is enhanced by the
bridge-like chassis and
improved suspension,
brakes and power of the
more modern VW aircooled mechanicals.
contributed by Henry
Reisner

Speaking of
the mechanicals,
Intermeccanicas version of
the Kubel uses a fiberglass
body mounted on a tubularsteel perimeter frame.
Drivetrain and suspension
components are from 6672 VW T-1 (micro bus).
We took a brief spin in
the rig, fittingly near the
U.S. War College in Carlisle,
PA, with a de-commissioned
Howitzer aimed our way. As
noted in the initial testing of
captured Type 82, the ride
and seating of this replica

version is indeed
comfortable,
although more
so, thanks to
Intermeccanicas
modernization
of the design. While the
acceleration is moderate at
best, the handling is smooth
and predictable, and right
in keeping with all-terrain
intentions of the original
design.
The owner of this
particular car, Brooks
Walton, is a second-time
Intermeccanica customer
who has a summer home
on an island in Puget
Sound, Washington. The
Kubel is ideal for this rural
setting with lots of nonpaved parts of the island

for touring and exploring.


While Porschephiles like
him will no doubt continue
to put the 356 Speedster at
the top of their bucket list
of preferred cars to enjoy,
its clear that this wellengineered Kubel replica
belongs there as well. CB

SOURCE:

Intermeccanica

http://intermeccanica.com

81

Running the Gau

Optimizing a Daily Driver for the Optima U


By Deb Murphy

Photos courtesy of Optima Batteries

ack in early
November, the
Las Vegas Motor
Speedway was the scene
of what could best
be described as a car
builders Valhalla. More
than 100 street-legal
cars, both domestic and
imported muscle, along
with station wagons and
vintage pick-upsand an
odd assortment of wolves
in sheeps clothing
competed for top dog at
the Optima Ultimate
Street Car Challenge
(OUSCC).

auntlet

Ultimate Street Car Challenge

Danny Popp claimed his second OUSCC championship in his 2003 Corvette Z06, beating out Brandon
Ranvek by 0.4 points. Popp clinched the top spot with a win in the Hot Lap event, turning in a 1:43.593.

Variety spices up the Challenge during the Hot Lap competition as restored classics battle it out with modern
muscle at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge championship in Las Vegas.

The cars pounded


through a two-day
gauntlet accompanied by
a soundtrack of engines
growling to redline.
About the only thing
the motley collection of
qualifiers had in common
was their street-legal status.
Of course, each of them had
to have already excelled in
one of a dozen or so OUSCC
regional events to get to
the championship round in
the Nevada desert. While
all of the participants could
have legally driven to the
competition, each pushed
that technicality to its limits,
maxing out horsepower,
balancing the rest of the
drivetrain to match, and
tweaking suspensions to put
the power to the pavement.
The event demanded
prowess in several different
feats of performance:
flying through a side-byside autocross course (the
Ride Tech Street Challenge
Autocross), drifting through

84

turns on the road course


(BFGoodrich Hot Lap
Challenge) and gauging
max speed in preparation
for a stop-on-a-dime finale
(Wilwood Disc Brakes
Speed Stop Challenge).
Others included the
Lingenfelter Performance
Design Challenge and a
25-mile cruise through
the streets of Las Vegas
(Ride Tech Street Challenge
Autocross), a daunting
challenge in itself.
Danny Popp came out as
top dog in a 2003 Corvette
Z06. It was a repeat
performance as Popp had
claimed the championship
at the 2011 event. Max
points in each event was
25. Popps Lingenfelterpowered Vette beat out
Brandon Ranvek behind the
wheel of a 2006 Mitsubishi
Evo by 0.467 points
barely the width of a feeler
gauge.
With multiple autocross
championships to his credit

and a 9-to-5 job raceprepping Corvettes, Danny


Popp sealed the 2014
OUSCC championship
with a two-second edge
over the next competitor
in the Hot Lap roads
course, with a time of
1:43.593. Popp installed
a high-performance
drivetrain focused on
the Lingenfelter LS7 388
engine that delivers 550
hp at the wheels. The

Brandon Ranvek

describes his 2006 Evo


as, A beast. The most
important ingredient
is seat time with the
vehicle. I know this
vehicle, this chassis.
He obviously does
know the Mitsubishi.
In his first year at the
Challenge, Ranvek took
first place in the dual
autocross and speedstop challenges. Ranvek
upgraded and tweaked

A General Motors
Engineering Group
Manager and former
Program Manager of the
Camaro Z/28 program,
Mark Steilow brought,
what else, a 69 Chevy

Camaro to this years


championship run. He
left with an 18th place
finish. The Camaro was
an evolution of three of
the previous cars he had
run at Challenge events.

A performance car
builder since the age of
16, Steilow got his first
taste of the Challenge
in 2009 and plans on
coming back this year,
but not in the same car.

suspension got special


attention with custom leaf
springs, bushings, double
adjustable shocks, custom

three-piece sway bars


and Baer 6-piston brakes.
Popps already registered
for the first OUSCC event at

Thunderhill Raceway.

the Evos suspension


and modified the stock
engine to generate over
100 hp per cylinder.
Im impressed at the
quality of the builds,
Ranvek said, then
watching these cars get
pushed like the builders
intended. Ranvek will
be back next year to see
if he can unseat Popp,
but first hes rebuilding
the engine to handle the
racing abuse.

http://www.optimabatteries.
com/en-us/experience/
optima-invitational

Andy Smedegard
finished in 11th place
with his daily driver, a
2001 Honda S2000. The
29-year-old Wisconsin IT
specialist got involved
in competitive driving
six years ago and was
talked into the Challenge
event at Michigan
Speedway by a group of
racing buddies. The only
street car he had was
the Honda, upgraded
with a bigger front sway
bar and an AEM intake.
He won. In preparation
for the championship, he
added a supercharger
and a Ground Control

suspension, then spiffed


it up with a matte-yellow
wrap. I was racing
my $10,000 daily drive
against $100,000 plus
cars that you only get

to see on TV, he said


of the Vegas Challenge.
He may retire the S2000
this year and return his
Mitsubishi Evo back to
street legal.

Wes Drelleshaks
1959 Chevy Apache
Fleetside stood out as
what he hoped would
be an inspiration to
other builders to go
for pure performance
combined with the

patina look. It was what


I had at the time and
I thought Why not?
Drelleshak said. He and
the Apache finished
37th, a respectable
finish considering the
competition. With the

help of a Fillmore, Calif.


rod and custom shop,
Drelleshak installed a No
Limit Engineering front
and rear suspension,
Brake Man performance
brakes, Ride Tech triple
adjustable shocks
and Falken tires. He
powered-tuned a Black
Widow exhaust at a shop
in nearby Escondido and
replaced suspension
points with FK rod ends.
For next years run,
Drelleshak may swap out
the Fleetsides tranny. I
couldnt shift above 5000
rpm without grinding
gear, he winced. Thats
a huge disadvantage.

86

After supporting family and


friends at OUSCC events for the
last four years, Deb Farrington
manned up and entered with her 1964
Chevy Chevelle wagon. She and her
husband bought the 64 in 2003 to
give them something to both drive
and play with until a 1966 Chevelle
was finished. Over the last 11 years
the firefighter/paramedic for the
Indianapolis Fire Department and
her husband upgraded the chassis
with all DSE suspension parts, Baer
brakes, a new ZZ4 crate engine with
Holley fuel injection and a T-56 sixspeed tranny. Farrington plans on
working on her driving skills this
year.

The owner of D&Z Customs


in Kewaskum, Wis., Randy
Johnsons 1973 Chevy Camaro
was brought to life as a display
car for SEMA 2013. The car was a
vision of what Johnson thought
would make the second-generation
Camaro work better on the track.
We tested suspension set-ups to
get the car dialed in and handle
better in different situations, he
said. We also gave the engine
more linear power. A veteran of
the OUSCC since 2009, Johnson
will be building a C5 Corvette for
this years competition.

87

RARE
BREEDS

Wes Abendroths Collection


of Specialty Cars is
Something Special

We featured this nicely restored Fiberfab Centurion in a previous issue of CAR BUILDER,
and Abendroth runs it regularly at vintage race
events. Jay Leno interviewed him about it, and
hes restoring another one as well, and we hope
to cover it in a later issue.

Text and photos by Steve


Temple

hile some
folks like to
collect stamps
or coins, Wes Abendroth
relishes something much
more exotic. He has a yen
for lesser-known cars,
some that you might have
never heard of, many with
unusual configurations. But
they all have one thing in

90

common: they look really


cool.
Formerly a usedCorvette dealer in Dallas,
Texas for 21 years, but
now retired and active in
the vintage racing scene,
Abendroth has a thing for
Corvettes as well. He even
once owned a 1980 model
with only five miles one it,
as sort of a time-capsule
Corvette. But the bulk of his
private collection consists

of some rare racers and


performance machines.
How did we come
across this diverse batch
of cars? Actually, thats
an interesting story in
itself. One day we noticed
a large storage building
in the High Sierras of
Northern Nevada, perched
on a hillside overlooking a
scenic valley of cattle land.
The structures site didnt
make sense for storing farm

equipment, so we suspected
that it might contain a car
collection.
Oddly enough, Wes
called our office a couple
days afterwards to offer a
private tour. The current
location of his collection
is a fairly well-kept secret,
and we felt privileged to
be granted an insider look
at it, and share what we
found. (A note of credit is
in order to Harold Pace,

for providing historical


background on these cars
from his book, Vintage
American Road Racing Cars,
co-authored by Mark R.
Brinker.
Adding to our curiousity,
Abendroth says he has a lot
more cars stashed away,
such as 57 La Dawri and
a racing Corvette, among
others, but he declines to
reveal any more details,
as he prefers his privacy,

and eschews the car-show


scene.
After all, How much can
you drive? Where do you
go? he notes. But with one
exception: Vintage races
are the one time you can
really enjoy the car, and
interact with fellow racers
and collectors.
91

Built in Canada in 1960, the Witton


Special is considered a national treasure, Abendroth says, and he declined
an offer to donate it to a museum. The
space frame runs a 283 Chevy with a
three-speed transmission and independent suspension.

The Sorrell-Larkin Special came from the hands of Bob Sorrell, a gifted racer and fabricator back in the Fifties and Sixties. The paint scheme on this example is patterned after a
high-powered but ill-fated race car that crashed and burned at Riverside in 1962. The car
shown here was recreated by the Larkin brothers, and built with a Chevy 350 and custom suspension. Famed racer Bill Sadler drove it at the Coronado Speed Festival last Fall.
92

93

Built by Bob Carnes in Colorado, the


outrageous Bocar dates back to the late
Fifties. While the suspensions varied,
often Jaguar or Porsche, a 327 Chevy V8
was the typical engine of choice, with goal of building
a race car that could be driven on the street. In the 58
XP-5 example seen here, the engine was set back and
mounted to the right to offset the weight of the driver.
Its one of three built at the factory, and is fitted with Triumph TR-3 underpinnings.
Designed by Englishman Bob
Plass of Microplas,
the 55 Mistral was
also built in the
U.S. under license
on a racing chassis from Sports
Car Engineering,
headed by Bud
Goodwin who
went onto found
Fiberfab. Engine is
a 327 Chevy with
two four-barrel
carbs.
94

Dubbed the
Healarossa, this
53 Austin-Healy
Special is the 14th
one made, sold by
Abendroth to his
friend Doug Brower. Its built with an
aluminum body and
a 55 265 Chevy, and
Abendroth gave it
that name because
of its similar styling
to the 59 Ferrari
Testarossa.

This 61 Elva Courier Mk II was raced for many years. It runs a four-cylinder 1800 MG engine,
and is now owned by Doug Brower. Abendroth also owns a red Elva, previously owned by racer Butch Gilbert, and participated in the Coronado Speed Festival.
95

The Python uses a shortened and reinforced Mustang chassis. Built in small numbers (about a dozen) by Alvin Kelly starting
back in the early Eighties, the cars styling
was inspired by a replacement design for
the Shelby Cobra from Eugene Bordinat in
the mid Sixties. This one is the third ever
made, built on a 1990 Ford Mustang GT with
a modified suspension for a 50/50 weight
distribution and a Police Interceptor 5.0 V8.

96

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Z-Car Mix n

Something Old,
Something New,
Something Borrowed,
Something Blue...
As Told by Gary Meekins

his 74 Datsun 260Z

was built up entirely by


my brother and myself

in memory of my 17-year-old

son. It was more in a stock form


when he owned it, except for
the whale tail that he had to

have. This was his first and only


carand he loved it dearly, but

always wanted it to be more of


a racer. So after 10 years of it

sitting in storage untouched, we


decided to make it into the car
he always dreamed of.

Match

READERS
RIDE

We took the style of all his favorite


cars body parts and molded them into
one car, complete race suspension,
coil overs and Wilwood racing brakes,
fiberglass dash, roll cage and so on. I
converted it into a mixture of a Cobrastyle fiberglass front end and a Camaro
Z28-style hood scoop on the fiberglass
hood, plus an original metal Z-car roof
and doors in the middle of the vehicle.
The rear section of the car was made
to resemble the Ferrari 1962 GTO
(from a body kit), with Chevy Cobalt
rear taillights as well.
I bought the wheels and tires
prior to doing the bodywork so the
body could be fabricated around the
tires for a close and low fitment. The
Cobra nose was from a customers
Cobra we had in the shop back in
the day. It was there for a paint job,
so before we painted it, we made a
splash mold of the front 18 inches
of his car. The Z was wider than
the Cobra so, for the
headlights to line
up, we sectioned the
fiberglass part and
split it down the center
to widen it four inches.
The doors have
been shaved and
gutted to lighten
the car, and the drip
rails shaved on the
roof. A fiberglass
hatch assembly was
fabricated into the
body so that only the
rear Lexan window
opens to access the fuel
cell. I put Mazda RX
hinges at the top, and

Apache attack-helicopter
latches at the bottom of the
Lexan.
The engine is from an
83 280ZX that I bored .040
over and installed flat top
pistons. I also swapped in a

higher compression head,


race cam, larger stainless
steel valves, and headers. It
runs a Holley 390 4-barrel
carb and MSD ignition.
There are a few videos
on Youtube of a walk-

around of the car (search


datsun260 cobra Z) or click
on:

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=JCuVQRRJliY)

103

http://www.shellvalley.com

Text and photos by Rob


Hawkins

utting on a
power adder
doesnt have
to be a long-term
project, and the
benefits can be
almost immediate.
Just ask Sam Evans
about his GBS Zero
track car.
It only took me
one and a half hours
to bolt into place, he
notes, referring to
the ease of fitting a
supercharger kit onto
its standard Honda
S2000 iVTEC engine.
It took longer to
get the oil to bleed
through on the
supercharger.
Sam has yet more
surprises when he
straps me securely
into the passenger
seat and takes me
for what appears at
first to be a leisurely
drive around a track
day at Blyton Park
race circuit in North
Lincolnshire (located
on the east-central
coast of the U.K.).

Zero

Flying Around in a Superch

Gravi

harged, Super-Light GBS Zero

Since supercharging
provides power
throughout the rev
range, resulting in bags
of torque for the highrevving iVTEC twin cam,
Sam manages at times
to complete a warm-up
lap in Sixth gear most of
the time. Then its time
to start stretching the
engines legs. But more
through mechanical
instinct than feedback
from gauges. With only
a shift light and a bank
of warning lights for
coolant, oil pressure and
alternator failure, theres
very little to watch on
the dashboard and
very little in the way of
information on rpm or
speed.
The acceleration
is nothing short of
exhilarating. Sam has so
much confidence when
he floors the throttle,
provoking the rear
wheels when exiting a
corner and stomping
on the right pedal as he
unwinds the steering.
Heading into a curve,
the braking is sharp and
reassuring, running Ford
Sierra hubs and uprights
are at all four corners,
fitted with Mondeo
ST24 discs and calipers
at the front, and Sierra
front vented discs and
calipers at the rear. All
told, Sam clearly has the
confidence to push his
Zero as hard as possible
108

Color-coded engine bay is neat and tidy.

Zorstec stainless steel exhaust manifold and re-packable silencer features


a noise reduction insert that can drop the decibels from 95 to 85.

Exhaust wrap helps to keep the heat out of the engine bay.

up to a corner before
scrubbing off some
speed.
When rolling back
on the power, though, at
times he does complain
of wheel spin, which is a
disappointment for him
as hes fitted a Cosworth
limited-slip differential.
However, hes recently
visited Bara Motorsport
who pumped up his
limited slip diff.
This entails process
stripping and rebuilding
the viscous LSD with
news seals and O-rings,
but also increasing
the viscosity of the oil
inside and fitting as
many friction plates as
possible. According to
Bara, it can fit as many as
50 plates inside a LSD!
The resulting pressure
increase means the
diff can now withstand
180Nm of torque,
whereas before it would
give in at around 60Nm
when setting off.
By far its been the
single best modification
Ive done, Sam notes,
spending a fraction of
what a better LSD might
cost.
As we complete
several laps around
Blyton, it becomes clear
to me that Sam has
become accustomed
to a whole new level
of performance and
acceleration. Hes

Sam Evans has built two Zeros to date. This one is by far the fastest of the
two.

relaxed at
the steering
wheel and
smooth
through the
corners with
no nasty
surprises.
As a result,
I also start
to become
Simple trackday dashboard with warning and shift lights
used to
how fast we to view. What more do you need when youre hanging
on for dear life?
can travel
around
weighs only two-thirds of
this track.
a ton) as having a warpThe acceleration from
factor feeling. Instead
the iVTEC is fierce, but
of a wild slingshot
it isnt neck snapping
of speed, though, a
or harsh, just constant
competent suspension
throughout the rev
setup often results in
range.
refined and controlled
Journalists often
acceleration. Is this the
describe this level
case with the Zero?
of performance and
Indeed, with double
extreme power-towishbones and coilovers
weight ratio (around
at all four corners and
400 horses in a car that

109

precise adjustments for


camber, caster and wheel
alignment.
Learning from
experience, this is the
second Zero that Sam has
built, and the reason he
opted for a Honda iVTEC
engine was from the first
build. In November 2011,
he started by building
road-legal Zero powered
by a Ford Zetec engine.
Within a few months, he
was heading to the IVA
and leaving with a pass.
That first Zetecpowered Zero took
part in a summer of
trackdays in 2012, but
Sam was on a quest
for more performance.
After spending more
than $4500 on engine
modifications to result
in a power output of
205bhp, Sam questioned
why he had bothered
after realizing that he

Simplistic interior is completely different to Sams first roadgoing Zero.

could buy a Honda S2000


engine and gearbox for
around $3800, which has
240bhp as standard.
The six months Sam
spent with his Zetec
engine Zero hadnt been
a waste of time, but he
decided to sell it, so it
was posted for sale for
nearly $21,000. Within
an hour, someone from

France had called, flew


in a few days later and
bought it. Such luck
doesnt always happen,
but Sam admits his Zero
had cost him roughly the
same amount of money
(excluding labor) and the
car is now competing in
France.
Armed with cash that
was only going to burn

GBS alloy tank covers the Cossie LSD and cooler.

a hole in his wallet, Sam


returned to GBS and
ordered another kit.
This time he was going
down the Honda route,
but opted for the Sierra
donor chassis so he
could fit a stronger Sierra
diff. The alternative is a
Mazda MX-5 base, which
results in lighter hubs
and uprights, but at the

cost of the diff, which


appears to be more
expensive to source for
a high-performance
engine.
After collecting the
chassis in December
2012, Sam and his dad,
John, got stuck in for the
winter and were at their
first track day in April
the following year. The

Sierra-based Zero uses Ford hubs and uprights and if desired, the brakes,
although Sam has used Mondeo ST24 components here.

Zero spent the summer


in naturally aspirated
mode attending
various track days. The
performance from the
standard 240bhp iVTEC
was noticeably better
than the modified Zetec
that had powered the
previous Zero. It was
probably enough, Sam
admits, but we like
spending as much time
working on the car as
driving it.
Over the winter of
2013 and into 2014,
Sams Zero returned
to his garage and he
spent $5500 on a Rotrex
supercharger conversion
from TTS Performance
in the States. After
paying for it, the kit
finally arrived two and
half months later and
he promptly bolted it
on. The supercharger is
fitted to the front of the
engine and driven by
its own belt via a new
pulley on the end of the
crankshaft thats secured
with a longer bolt than
standard.
Sam decided to mount
a K&N Vortex closed-air
induction box straight
onto the superchargers
intake, with a short
piece of upswept
silicone hose leading
to a hole in the nose
cone. The compressed
air generated by the
supercharger is fed
into a front-mounted

111

Large enough to swallow a passing Sparrow. Supercharger intake is filtered with a K&N Vortex CAI.

intercooler, then around


and into the Hondas
standard plenum.
Additional supercharger
ancillaries include an oilfed cooler to reduce the
blowers temperature,
a Bailey Motorsport
dump valve (aka blowoff valve) and a manually
controlled wastegate
limited to 11psi of boost.
To keep pace with the

Honda iVTEC twin cam is a neat installation and the


supercharger was straightforward to fit.

increase in induction,
the injectors have been
uprated to 750cc. The
cooling system is equally
capable with a five-row,
copper-core radiator,
along with an oil cooler
for the differential,
which is equipped with
its own electric pump
thats triggered by a
thermostatic switch.
So was the

supercharger conversion
worth the effort and
expense? Sam seems to
think so and a recent trip
to the dyno at Emerald
Cams resulted in 411bhp
at 9000rpm. Even so,
allowing for a margin
of extra durability, Sam
restrict the engines to a
maximum of 8000rpm,
which still produces
a a healthy 375bhp!

Especially in a car that


weighs less than 1300
pounds.
With this much power
on tap, surely Sam has
reached the limit? Not
a chance. Hes already
bought a scrap engine
and will be collecting a
2.5-liter stroker kit with
90mm pistons soon.
Once youve experienced
a zero-gravity state, its
tough to come back to
earth. CB

SOURCES

Bara Motorsports: 01527


880011
www.baramotorsports.com

Great British Sports


Cars: 01623 860990

www.greatbritishsportscars.co.uk

www.tts-performance.co.uk

Tech Specs:
ENGINE: 2.0-liter
iVTEC engine from
Honda S2000,
750cc injectors,
TTS Performance
supercharger kit with
Rotrex supercharger,
K&N Vortex closed air
induction kit mounted
direct to supercharger,
Bailey Motorsport
dump valve, manual
controlled wastegate
limited to 11psi of
boost, universal front
mounted intercooler,
custom ve row copper
core radiator, Zorstec
stainless steel exhaust
manifold and system
with re-packable silencer
and noise reduction
insert, Emerald ECU,
supercharger and
engine oil coolers
GEARBOX: Six-speed.
close-ratio Honda with
aluminium lightweight
ywheel, stage four
paddle clutch, custommade S2000/Sierra
propshaft created by
Dave Mac (Coventry),
Sierra 7.5in Cosworth
limited-slip differential
with Sierra driveshafts
and 108mm output
anges from 2WD Sierra
Cosworth, diff cooler
with electric oil pump
triggered by thermostatic
switch
BRAKES: Sierra hubs
with Mondeo ST24 front

calipers and 282mm


vented discs, Sierra
front vented discs and
single pistons calipers at
the rear, GBS twin brake
master cylinders with
brake bias
STEERING: GBS
quick rack with 2.4 turns
lock to lock and Sierra
steering column
SUSPENSION:
Sierra uprights, double
wishbones all round with
outboard Gaz coilovers
WHEELS AND
TIRES: Braid Winrace
15x7/8.5 F/R ten-spoke
alloy wheels with Toyo
R888 tyres
INTERIOR: GBS
GRP high-back bucket
seats, TRS ve point
harnesses, shift light
and warning lights for
coolant temperature,
low oil pressure and
alternator failure. Threespoke suede covered
detachable steering
wheel, modied gear
stick with OMP gear
knob
EXTERIOR: Fiberglass
and aluminium (hood,
side panels and rear
tub) bodywork with
bonnet scoop to clear

engine and two nose


cone mounted air
intakes, full roll cage

113

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DualSport
Manxter 2+2
Professional assembly for your n ex

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http://denmatcars.com/

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t adventure

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MYSTERIES at

An Exclusive, Insider
Tour of a Strange and
Secretive Collection of Cars
at the Petersen

t the MUSEUM

One of George Barris odder kustoms,


this Sinatra Stang appeared in the
farcical romantic comedy, Marriage
on the Rocks. Barris and his project
engineer Richard Korkes built the car
by extending the nose of a 65 Mustang
a full 10 inches. The scalloped and rolled metalwork was hand-formed and gas-welded in
20-gauge sheet steel into a gaping oval, then
fitted with an all-aluminum, seven-rib, V-shaped
grille and a double set of deeply recessed Cibie
headlights. The rear end was completely restyled
as well, with a Targa-style roof and removable
Landau top. Although requiring a fair degree of
technical skill, the styling was not to everybodys
taste (even back then), especially the cars signature finish: fake Zebra fur. Groovy baby!

Text and Photos by


Howard Benjamin and
Steve Temple

t was dark and stormy


night. Well, it was
at least dark. When
the phone rang, the
caller ID was not familiar,
yet something told me
to answer it, albeit with
a sense of foreboding.
The person on the line
intoned, like a voice from
the graveor at least from
a real spooky place, Im a
member of the Secret Car
Club. Sorry bub, never hear
of it.
After a long pause, I met
you late one Friday night at
Cruisin Grand, he added.
Would you like a tour of
the Vault? You mean, as in
a bank? Why not? Might be
a few bucks in it for me.
No, no, Petersen
Automotive Museums

In hindsight, the NieKamp 29 Ford looks somewhat tame in contrast to


the giga-buck rods of today, but it holds a key place in history, winning
the first Americas Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award, and eventually
seven other awards. Since the street rod scene was still in its infancy, its
no surprise that NieKamp was fairly simple in execution, but was praised
for its purity and subdued statement. Not only that, it went on to set a
speed record for the Flathead V8. No trailer queen here.

Vault. Not having heard


of The Vault, I asked him
what he was referring to.
He said that was where
the museum stored a large
number of cars, some of
which had been hidden for
many years. He added that
the Petersen was scheduled

to close for at least a year to


do a complete remodel and
it would be the last chance
to not only see the cars on
display, but a rare chance to
possibly see the vehicles in
The Vault.
This piqued my curiosity,
and like Mike Hammer on a

Before Bob Bondurant piloted racing Cobras to record-setting wins, he cut his competition teeth on solid-axle
Corvettes such as the 59 Washburn Corvette. Back in the early Sixties, the Washburn was state of the art and
featured all the trick parts, such as a fuel-injected engine and a chassis with big brakes and ducting. Also, note
the wider 5.5-inch steel wheels.

Heres another customized 63 Corvette in the Vault, crafted by Ray Farhner in 1965. Aptly named the Outer Limits, it has an asymmetrical style and exaggerated fenders that was popular in the Sixties.

Mickey Spillane case, I had


to find out more. I found
out through the Petersen
that there was indeed a
Vault, filled with about
125 vehicles of all stripes.
My confidential source
further added that it was
not usually open to visitors,
and that photography was
not allowed. I asked if an
exception could be made for
a special feature story. Long
pause. He said hed get back
to me.
I figured that was about
it, until just before five
oclock, the phone rang
Some of the cars in the Vault defy
description. This one recalls some
Buckminster Fullers Dymaxion,
but with some jet-age enhancements.

and it was the mysterious


person from the Petersen
Museum informing me that
I had been approved for a
one-hour personal tour of
The Vault. And not just to
see the cars, but that I could
also photograph them. But
with one qualification:

I would only have one


hour to do the shoot. He
advised, Be at the museum
early and well make this
happen. I thanked him for
his efforts and assured him
that I would not only be
there early, I would be there
before the museum opened.

119

No secret handshake or
password needed.
On the scheduled day,
I arrived at the museum
ready to make the most of
this rare opportunity. Upon
entering, I met with an
imposing security guard,
who after confirming my
credentials, paged the
person I had spoken to at
the museum. I was quickly
led toward the rear of the
museum and instructed to
wait.
Sensing that time was
of the essence, I was glad
that my guide showed up
almost immediately, and
the doors quickly closed
behind us as we entered
an ornately trimmed
elevator. It shuddered ever
so slightly as it descended
to the subterranean level
beneath the building, one
that dated back well over
half a century. When we
reached the lowest level,
the doors opened into a

Bob McNulty created this customized Corvette C1 from a damaged wreck.


Initially dubbed the Shark, it features some stylish bodywork with a Ferrari-esque nose, louvered aluminum hood, and a custom dash with a record
player. He later added an open trunk area, sort of like a Chevy El Camino,
but with a vinyl cover and no tailgate, and changed the name to Sharkamino.

very large, dimly lit room


with a gloomy, Orwellian
atmosphere. As my eyes
adjusted to the lower light, I
could see that the darkness
was pierced by illumination
that cast sometimes eerie
shadows on the numerous
vehicles patiently lined
up along the walls, some

Pre-war European exotics like this red-over-maroon 1939 Bugatti Type


57C and the cream-and-maroon 1938 Delage D-8 were also stored in The
Vault. Check out the miniature Bugatti next to its big brother.

120

separated from each other


by concrete columns that
supported the building
structure.
With no time to spare,
I immediately set to work

The butterfly hood makes this


1949 Delahaye Type 178 Drophead
Coupe on a four post lift in The

An extremely rare 1929 DuPont Model G Speedster was among the cars at the far end of the first row. Pure Gatsby era style, right down to the boat tail and Woodlite headlights.

photographing as many
of the vehicles I could in
the limited time allowed.
The first cars were from
the brass era, and their

Vault appear ready to take flight


and escape.

bright colors almost made


them appear happy to have
visitors, perhaps for the
first time in months. Among
them, a bright yellow 1913

Mercer Type 35-J with a


monocle windshield that
reminded me of Teddy
Roosevelt. The Mercer
was in beautiful condition,

This 1946 Curtis raced in the 1946 Indy 500, the first time the race was
held since WWII. Powered by a supercharged Offenhauser, it was built by
noted Frank Kurtis and also ran in 1947 and 1948.

121

ABOVE: Variety is the spice of life and the Petersen


has cars of all kinds. Heres a custom that was on the
cover of lots of car magazines in the early 1960s, none
other than Ed Big Daddy Roths Outlaw.
LEFT: Not just any Ferrari 308 GTSi, but the actual car
that Tom Selleck drove in Magnum P.I.

and looked ready to make


the leap back in time 100
years to compete in the
races where it had been so
successful early in the 20th
Century.
Car after car, row after
row, so many that they
faded into the darkness, all
awaited our attention. As I
photographed the vehicles,
it almost seemed as if they
knew that we had come
there to see them and were
delighted to have company.
Open cars like a
spectacular 1929 DuPont
Model G Speedster and
122

a 1934 LaSalle roadster


looked ready for the red
carpet at the Rodeo Drive
Concours dElegance. Not to
be overlooked, closed cars

such as the revolutionary


1948 Tucker represented
the dreams of ambitious,
visionary men like Preston
Tucker. Customs by Ed Big

Chrysler Lugano Concept is really a full size clay that was crafted at the
Chrysler Pacifica Studio in Carlsbad, California in 1997.

1951 Plymouth Suburban station wagon reflected the popularity of moving to the suburbs in the 1950s.

The Crown Jewel of the Peterson, the 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe.

123

The Petersen hosted a Coffee and Cars on the roof of the parking structure the day we were there, and we were
able capture this extremely rare 1969 Mercury Cyclone Dan Gurney Special.

Daddy Roth, Troy Tepanier


and Boyd Coddington also
appeared as we walked
through the rooms. Even
red-blooded American
Muscle like a 1967 Dodge
RO 23 Hemi Coronet and
a rare 1968 Chevrolet
Biscayne 4-door sedan
powered by an L72 427
were found lurking in the
shadows.
As the clock ticked on
relentlessly, we struggled to
see and chronicle as many
of these incredible vehicles
as we could in the time
allotted. As I photographed
them, I felt as though we
had uncovered a vast
automotive treasure, and
a vision of Indiana Jones
124

passed through my mind.


It was as though we were
automotive archeologists
who were passing through
time, like a rapid slideshow
of cars that made history.

After the hour allotted


to me to photograph the
vehicles in The Vault was
exhausted, I thanked my
host went to the roof
of the Petersen parking

Brass-era cars were among the first that we saw in The Vault. They included the yellow Mercer Raceabout with the monocle windshield.

structure, where a clear,


sunny sky presented a
vibrant contrast to the
quasi-dark catacombs we
had just emerged from. On
the roof, the Petersen was
hosting a Coffee and Cars
Cruise In. Several really
interesting cars showed
up for the cruise, and I
was able to capture them,
along with some shots
inside as well, knowing
full well that it would be
a long time before this
opportunity would present
itself again. From full scale
dioramas depicting how
the automobile influenced
life in Los Angeles back in

the 1930s to incredible


vehicles from all over the
world, there were so many
to see that it was nearly
impossible to photograph
them all. (Fortunately, my
fellow editor Steve Temple
has done several shoots at
the Petersen, so he was able
to add a few extras that I
wasnt able to capture.)
Suffice it to say that
the Petersen is a must
see automotive museum
that should be on every
enthusiasts list. In speaking
with the staff, everything
about the Petersen will be
new when the remodeling
is completed, from a wildly

futuristic exterior facade,


to a complete redo on the
interior of the building,
along with interactive
displays and exhibits. I can
hardly wait for it to reopen.
Its sure to be better than
evereven if you dont get
to go inside the Vault. CB

SOURCE:

Petersen Automotive
Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 323-930-2277
http://www.petersen.org

Ford GT40 Mk III and a Jaguar XKE were displayed front and center in a special room dedicated to sport coupes.

125

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resto
therapy
after

Rescuing an Original Meyers Manx Was


Just the Right Prescription
As Told by Mike Ragonese

was approached by a
gentleman at a cruise night,
who was attracted to my
previous dune buggy. He told me
he had an original Meyers Manx he
wanted to see go to a good home. I
went to look at it, somewhat
skeptical that it was indeed a Manx
and not a clone as is usually the
case. Sure enough, behind his shed
for over 30 years, sunken some six
inches into the ground, sat a wellworn Manx with a hardtop. It was
rough but I was excited!
I got the car home and had it
completely disassembled that
afternoon. The chassis was shot,
128

before

frame repair

engine out, transaxle main


shaft snapped off, and
almost everything else
made of metal, completely
corroded. The car came
with a box of parts and an
engine that supposedly had
been rebuilt back when the
former owner got the car.
He also had the original
side curtains and rear
window which were
worn out. I disassembled
them and used the parts
as templates to replicate
them. That was a challenge

as they are actually rather


complicated and needed a
fair amount of alteration
from the original design to
really fit and work well.
Except for shooting the
final color and clear coat
of paint, I completed the
entire restoration myself,
so I could really go on for
hours about the many
processes needed to
complete the car.
One big hurdle was
restoring the replacement
chassis. I joined the ends
of the original front end

READERS
RIDE

with the center sections


of the old replacement
one. Everything metal
was sandblasted to white
metal, repaired, new pans
added, shortened and
then coated with POR-15
and its ChassisCoat (now
called POR-15 Top Coat). I
also refurbished all of the
suspension parts.
The top and bottom of
the entire body was ground
down to raw glass and

129

frame repair, cont.

I then restructured the


surfaces, using mostly
epoxy resins to avoid
shrinkage.
As for the trim items, I
re-used as many original
pieces from the car as
possible, re-chroming the
front bumper, gas cap and
taillight housings.
Doing this type of
work is therapeutic for
me, providing necessary
distraction from the
daily struggles. I take
pride in the fact that I
did everything: welding,

130

fiberglass, bodywork,
carpeting, sewing
upholstery, fabrication of
parts, engine work. I love
this stuff and have been
enjoying the hobby since
1970.

Thank you for your


wonderful publication. I
hope you enjoy looking at
my old Meyers Manx now
its new again! CB

http://www.meyersmanx.com

frame
shortening

finished frame

131

suspension resto

132

drivetrain resto

133

body r

134

repair

body mounting

135

seats & upholstery

wiring

136

prep & paint

137

mark ragonese, owner/builder,


and future car builder

fuel
tank

hardtop resto

138

side curtains

finishing touches

139

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CAR BUILDER MALL / CAR BUILDER MALL / CAR BUILD


CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF

AUTOMOTIVE PASSION

Jim Inglese 1/6 pg_Layout 1 11/28/14 8:24 AM Page 1

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My name is Mater. Like tuh-mater


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Photos by Steve Temple

Got a weird or funny photo to share? Please email it to sctemple55@yahoo.com and well come up
with a caption if you dont have one...

WebSite: http://www.race-car-replicas.com

31795 Groesbeck Hwy., Fraser, MI 48026

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