Tag Archives: race

  • Texas Man Adds A Little Extra To His Restored 1939 Ford

    Hemi engine under the hood, jet engine in the trunk! (Photo courtesy KBTX.com)

    Like other car aficionados, Joe Wilkins brought his ’39 Ford to Doug Leopold at Classic Collision and Restoration in Bryan, Texas to rebuild the classic from the ground up.

    "Big project, no big deal, but this was a little bit of a bigger project," said Leopold.

    That's because Wilkins didn't ask for a "typical" restoration. Joe wanted something extra special. Besides the Hemi engine to be installed under the hood, he wanted an additional engine in the back...a jet engine.

    "Building this kept me young and it was a real break from reality in the laboratory," said Wilkins.

    Incredibly, Watkins sometimes uses his Hemi Jet Ford as his daily driver. "I've even got air conditioning in it, a stereo; I've taken it to the store to get milk and bread," said Wilkins.

    The tailpipe has an afterburner that develops thrust beyond what the car can produce through the wheels. No one's sure yet how fast this Ford can go, but Joe will tell you its cost was in the six figures. Joe plans on taking the Hemi Jet ’39 Ford to Utah next year to see if it can be first street legal car to hit 300 mph.

    Watch the video and read the rest of this story here.

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  • Project Resolution Phase 3 Teardown

    Since our last post we've been busy working on disassembling the car down to just a rolling shell. This meant we had to removed the entire drivetrain and start deciding if we were going to keep the original or get a replacement engine. The engine and transmission came out pretty easy when using the Folding Engine Hoist. We then separated the engine and transmission and put the engine on a Ford Small Block Rolling Engine Stand so we could easily move it around the shop.

    Meanwhile, some of the other members of the team worked on sanding the fenders and doors down to bare metal using the Eastwood Stripping Discs and then sprayed them with Eastwood Fast Etch to keep them from flash rusting while they wait their turn for bodywork and shiny paint.

    After looking over the engine we decided that this engine had been neglected for quite sometime and even the original waterpump was still on the engine! When Tim went to remove the bolts out of the waterpump just about every single one broke off. This is going to cause a lot more work as we now have to extract each broken bolt. This task will include removing the harmonic balancer on the crank and the timing chain cover to get to the bolts that broke. Let's hope this doesn't require some serious surgery!

    Once we were tired of fighting with broken bolts we moved on to removing the front radiator support on the car. This is NOT an easy job even on the best day. First of all you have to drill out numerous spot welds and the number of spot welds on each side of the radiator support are not equal. It seems like the spot welder in the factory just did however many felt right that day.. or two guys were spot welding on each side and one did way more than the other. The other problem we had was that the car has been hit in the front and some of the metal was bent and damaged. We took turns drilling spot welds with the Eastwood Spot Weld Cutters and slowly we were able to peel the old radiator support off of the front of the car. We'll have to do some hammer and dolly work to the remaining parts on the front end, but so far the CJ Pony replacement radiator panel seems like it will fit pretty well.

    Next up we will have to remove the damaged inner fender skirt panel and mock it all up to make sure the front sheet metal will sit correctly when we're done. Soon we'll be firing up the MIG 175 and the TIG 200 to weld these panels in place. Stay tuned, we're just getting warmed up!

    Related Eastwood Products:

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  • Hang up the Lawn Chairs and put on the Race Helmet- Dan and Amanda's '68 Mustang Fastback

    Dan Woods is a familiar face around Eastwood and he's actually made some appearances in powder coating posts here before. Dan runs his own powder coating business he calls D&W Motorsports. Dan's partner in crime is a long time Eastwood employee. Amanda and Dan are both really into classic cars and this is the story about their 1968 Mustang Fastback show car turned racer.

    Dan Powder Coating

    Dan tells us "This story actually started back in 1967 when my older brother came home from Vietnam. He bought a Highland Green 68 Mustang fastback. I loved that car so much that someday I was determined to have one of my own." In 1995 Dan was searching for his own 67 or 68 Mustang. He had his heart set on finding a Fastback, but so did everyone else, so he wasn't having much luck finding one. He broadened his scope and found a 1968 Mustang Coupe that had been sitting on a trailer for some time. He then did what any classic car fanatic would do and left a note asking to buy it. This method is always hit or miss and this time owner didn't want to sell the Mustang coupe and Dan's search went dry.

    Just when he thought the '68 coupe was a dead end, Dan got a call from a gentleman asking if he was still looking for a '68 Mustang. He went on to tell Dan he'd been at the bank chatting to the teller about selling his and she mentioned Dan had just asked to buy her sons coupe! Phone numbers were exchanged and Dan was now on the line with the seller of a '68 Fastback GT with a four speed.

    Once in the presence of the potential project car, it was apparent the car was in a bad state and the current owner obviously wasn't much of a mechanic. Dan agreed to buy it and drug the car home to disassemble. He decided to go through EVERYTHING the last guy had done to it. During this time Dan was going through a rough divorce and he used the Mustang for therapy. He spent his "therapy sessions" learning to weld as he finished replacing the floor pans.

    The plan from the beginning was to install a 500+ HP big block, so all of the the rust had to be addressed and additional bracing added for the power. He fabricated new patch panels for the spring towers, fabricated new torque boxes out of 3/16" steel, modified some Chevelle ladder bars and made custom frame connectors. The car at this point was 100% disassembled and he began tearing into the exterior of the car. Rust repair was needed on the quarter panels and other parts of the body, so Dan had to learn how to do body work with some coaching from a friend.

    After tackling the majority of the rust repair, bodywork, and suspension upgrades, he began customizing the car a little more to his tastes. Dan used a Shelby trunk lid and quarter extensions, but did away with the some of the chrome on the rear of the car. After all of this work the car was ready for paint and Dan had a local friend paint the car what he calls "Steve Mcqueen Highland Green". After reassembling the car he had the makings of a really nice custom '68 Mustang Fastback GT.

    Just like the car, the engine had an interesting story and involved Dan exchanging $100 for a 428 block, crank, and chicken lice... Luckily Dan solved the lice problem quickly and he was able to build the engine he had planned from day one. The engine got the full treatment and was decked, bored .020 over, ARP bolts and studs on the bottom end, Aries pistons for 11.5:1 compression, and everything fully balanced and blue printed. He mounted a set of Edelbrock aluminum heads, three Holley 2-barrel carbs, MSD ignition components and finally upgraded to a Tremic TKO 5 speed transmission.

    Dan debuted the car at his first cruise night (Chesterbrook) in May of 1998, three years after he started building it. The car turned a lot of heads and people flocked instantly. Dan and Amanda met and shared the love of classic cars and they showed the car together for some time, winning over fifty awards. During that time Dan was hooked on powder coating and in 2001 he opened his custom powder coating business. Dan's handiwork (and love for Eastwood products) shows all over the car including Eastwood under hood black in the engine bay and under the car, chrome w/ gloss clear powdered oil pan and coil springs, Ford light blue powdered strut rods, Ford dark blue powdered front sway bar, Mirror blue powdered trans case, bell housing, and timing chain cover, mirror red powdered front calipers and ladder bars, gloss black powdered front rotors and rear drums, and smoked chrome powdered rear housing and back plates.

    Eventually shows and cruise nights became mundane and Dan began thinking of racing the car after meeting some local guys racing in a nostalgic super stock series. Amanda helped him make the decision by saying "you've been talking about going drag racing again since I've known you why don't you do it!". So like that they quit the car show and cruise night scene and began prepping the car to race. Dan replaced the 406 Tri-power with an Edelbrock Victor 427 intake and a 750 cfm HP Holley carburetor and ditched the five speed with a C-4 auto transmission.

    Dan hadn't raced since 1975, but he was confident in his car. Dan and Amanda entered the car for an episode of the TV show Pinks!. After two days of racing Dan made it to one of the final tiers and got to race with host Rich Christianson dropping his arms to start the race. In the end Dan didn't make it onto the show, but he got very close! After that Dan and Amanda joined the 422 Allstars Super Stock racing class and were instantly hooked. Quickly the car began getting some "old school" touches to give it a 1960's drag car vibe. With some retro sponsor decals, pin striping, and a change in wheels and tires, the car really fits the "look" of a drag car from the 1960's now.

    Dan's first and second season he placed 16th overall in points. Each year they've refined the car more and more. Dan and Amanda are a true classic car couple and she has as much wrench time as some of the guys out there! She's helped pull the engine, bleed brakes, start the car initially after a tear down, load and unload the car from the trailer, etc. She's even working to eventually be a track specialist and data recorder for the 422 Allstars. Needless to say, it's obvious the couple that wrenches and races together, wins together!

    All the hard work paid off and in 2012 they placed 7th overall, boasting a best 1/4 mile time of 10.95 at Maple Grove Raceway.
    The car still makes appearances at some local shows and events (it attended the Eastwood Summer Classic this past year), but these days it usually turns heads first when it starts up. This is a perfect example of a love affair with a car and the ways you can still have fun in your classic car when things get boring. Dan and Amanda are getting some more engine work done this year and going through the transmission. They hope to break into the top 5 this year or maybe better!

    Check out Dan and Amanda's '68 Mustang Fastback in an upcoming issue of Modified Mustangs & Fords Magazine. Some of the photos throughout this article are actually teasers from the feature by John Machaqueiro!

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  • Think You've Got A Lot Of Classic Cars?

    Just a fraction of the museum's displays.
    Unique exterior of the LeMay "America's Car Museum®".

    This is the mother of all car museums!

    The world's largest privately owned auto collection—more than 2,000 vehicles and thousands of artifacts—was owned by Harold and Nancy LeMay, and is now displayed in their brand new Harold E. LeMay Museum in Tacoma, Washington.

    Opened in June 2012, The LeMay "America's Car Museum®" is a large, technologically advanced, interactive automotive museum and educational center that showcases the cultural impact of cars, motorcycles and trucks on our uniquely American way of life.

    “Everybody remembers their first car, family driving vacations, a sports car they fell in love with as a teenager,” says ACM CEO David Madeira. “Personal experiences with cars are at the heart of the American experience, and we’re going to showcase more than a century of automotive lifestyle and history as well as the future of transportation.”

    The ACM campus includes the 165,000-sq.-ft. museum and a 3.5-acre show field.

    If you can't make it to Tacoma yet, you can always click here to visit the museum's web site.

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  • How NOT To Restore Your Car

    Modified doors added a lot of weight, slowing this car considerably. (Photo courtesy Peter Cheney, The Globe and Mail)

    Writer Peter Cheney at Toronto's "The Globe and Mail" has written an amusing column that auto restoration enthusiasts like us can really appreciate. It's called "An Idiot's Guide To Automotive Un-Improvement", and it guides you in how NOT to ruin a car restoration.

    A link to the complete column is below, but here's just one example from his experiences...

    "Several months and thousands of dollars later, I had a car far worse than the one I’d started with. The racing shock absorbers I put in were way too stiff, so the Beetle crashed over bumps. The modified engine refused to idle below 2,000 rpm. The custom exhaust system was so loud that I had to wear earplugs. On the upside, the motor did produce more power – but only until it blew up."

    Cheney also gives four "non-suggestions", but we all know there are far more where those came from!

    Read the entire story on how NOT to restore your car here.

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