This weekend is VARA’s British Extravaganza at Buttonwillow Raceway. I’m sorry I won’t be attending, either as a competitior or as a crewmember. It’s always a great event that includes special Challenge Races, a British Car Show, period dress-ups, and a bar-b-que. I’m getting a few little things done on the Race Wagon this week: mounting the hood pins, welding in the window net mounts, and making gauge and switch panels.
Archives for April 2010
Today was the pre-launch day for the 2010 California Mille Rally. It is held out front of the Fairmont Hotel, one of San Francisco’s iconic Nob Hill landmarks. The 4 day, 1000 mile event for the rich and famous graciously invites the unwashed masses to view their lovely cars before they head out for a good flogging. I’m glad to see cars like this actually being driven rather than collecting dust in a garage somewhere.
Check out this article from Laughing Squid dot com. Taking on the pros with a $500 car, this guy really knows how to race on the cheap…
When I started this project last year, I was thinking 6 months and $10K would do it. Well the reality is I’m gonna be in the ballpark of doubling those estimates by the time I’m done. I’ve been working on cars and motorcycles for 30 years, and felt like I knew what I was doing, but this project of building a race car from scratch has taught me I had a lot more to learn. I certainly added more high-end components than I originally planned, and I moved twice last year as well, but my budget and timeline were definitely inaccurate.
I originally thought I would have the chassis done before the drivetrain, but it has ended up the other way around. I bought a good street drivetrain months ago planning on breaking in the car with it, but it has ended being scavenged for parts and will leave me with some good spares. The mild L20b race motor is now done, built for endurance and not for all out power. The Datsun Comp five speed came out nicely, and the welded R160 4.11 will get the party started.
The chassis is now primered up and ready for paint. My revised plan of attack is a couple of summer track days, and a first race weekend with VARA at Buttonwillow in September.
The rains finally went away, giving me a chance to give the wagon a good scrubbing. Living by the coast is great, but it leaves a lot of sand and salt on your cars. I also had to get all the fabrication grime off before starting the paint process, so I rented a 2000 psi pressure washer with soap hookup for a couple of hours, and gave her a bath with some POR Marine Degreaser. I built a dolly out of 2x4s and some big casters, and used my winch to get her in and out of the garage. After drying it off with compressed air, I applied some Ospho to any bare metal or rust spots to prep for paint.