Hemmings Find of the Day – 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG

1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG

From the seller’s description:

You are viewing a pristine 1984 Mercedes 500 SEC Euro Retrofit AMG. The engine is Euro spec M117.963 with Euro logs. It’s is an icon from the luxury car market of the 1980’s which commanded a market price of about $85,000 new. With AMG treatment around $100,000.

This example was imported by Mr. Martin Wohnlich evidenced by his name that remains affixed the drivers side door pillar.

Prior to my ownership this vehicle was owned by a German gentlemen in Naples, FL where it remained for several years. During this period, it was impeccably maintained by qualified Euro technicians as evidence by numerous records. The timing chain, guides, tensioner and cam oilers were services during the period and shows about 40K miles on that recommended 100K miles service requirement.

In 2009, I purchased the vehicle and have owned it since. When I received the vehicle it was in strong mechanical condition and remaines that way today. The cosmetic condition of the vehicle was more than acceptable but exhibited some clear coat peeling on the hood and top. After a couple years of use I commissioned Powell Paint and Body, a high quality local body shop to strip and repaint the vehicle. The paint has been color sanded and buffed and is of top quality. I had previously located authentic AMG body parts which were installed and finished during the process creating a period correct retrofit AMG. I was then able to source a set of authentic AMG ATS period correct Penta wheels which were renewed by Wheel Wizard of Atlanta prior to installation. You can see them in the photos.

This work created what you see today. One beautiful example of what about $100K would buy you in 1984.

The interior is in excellent condition without tears or rips. The dash is in excellent condition. There are one or two very small plastic pieces missing but are so insignificant that it does not distract from the visual quality.

To enhance the long term experience, along with this sale I am including a spare set of dash wood, amber corner lights in case you prefer them over the clear corners currently installed, the wipers for the Euro headlights which I failed to have painted, and a nostalgic Nardi steering wheel.

The engine is in strong operating condition and can be driven anywhere. It has recently undergone a complete service by a local Mercedes Guru.

1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG

Pricetag

Price
$14,900

Location Marker

Location
Dawsonville , Georgia

Magnifying Glass

Availability
No Longer Available

Find more Mercedes-Benzes for sale on Hemmings.com.

Editor’s note: The purpose of the “Find of the Day” is to promote interesting cars from our classifieds. These are not the actual ads, so to view more images or contact the seller with questions, click on the hyperlink (underlined green text), which will take you to the classified ad itself.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Four-Links – Vauxhall Craftsman’s Guild, swingarm origins, DPL flood update, Gerard Welter

Four-Links – Vauxhall Craftsman’s Guild, swingarm origins, DPL flood update, Gerard Welter

As pointed out in the comments to this week’s story on the coming Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild exhibit, Vauxhall did something similar for British youth, and it appears that contest had far fewer restrictions on body size and type.

Paul D’Orleans at The Vintagent spent some time this week delving into the history of the motorcycle swingarm in an attempt to divine its origins.

An update to last week’s mention of the burst water pipe that caused damage to the Detroit Public Library’s National Automotive History Collection: Repairs to the building and restoration of the damaged parts of the collection will keep the collection closed for six months. Hope that doesn’t put a crimp on anybody’s research projects.

This week, Goodwood paid tribute to Gérard Welter, designer of many a Le Mans competitor, who died at the age of 75.

Apparently, the NHTSA thought it best to crash test used taxi service Checkers rather than new ones. Judging by these videos of the crash testing that the ICTA recently posted, you’d have been best off asking your cab driver to never exceed 30 MPH.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Open Diff – What’s on your automotive bucket list?

Open Diff – What’s on your automotive bucket list?

Photo by Wayne Stadler.

Pretty much any time we make mention of The Henry Ford here, somebody chimes in on the comments that it should be on every car guy’s bucket list. And that got us thinking: What else is on our readers’ bucket lists?

Museums are certainly one category of bucket-list items, and similarly we can imagine many car folks have places like Bonneville and events like Goodwood to see before the big dirt nap. We can also imagine there’s plenty of to-dos on your bucket lists as well, everything from driving Route 66 to finishing that project in the garage to getting behind the wheel of your dream car.

Me, I’d like to find a decommissioned LX Charger cop car and re-create one of the finest scenes in modern cinema.

Anybody have friends in the mall demolition business?


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1988 Dodge Daytona

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1988 Dodge Daytona

1988 Dodge Daytona

1988 Dodge Daytona hatchback with t-top roof for sale. From the seller’s description:

2.5 Liter L4 engine, AT, PS, PB, PW, tilt wheel, CD stereo, cold R-12 AC, gray fabric seats, No accidents. Vibrant, bright red original paint. For sale by private enthusiast 2nd owner. Garaged, very low mileage gem with original factory paint and interior. Only minor upgrades from factory delivered condition are Hella driving lights, elliptical grooved front brake rotors, K&N air filter, and later model Mopar in-dash stereo head unit with CD (no wiring harness modification). Original Mopar factory shop manuals, sales brochure, and owner’s manual.

1988 Dodge Daytona 1988 Dodge Daytona 1988 Dodge Daytona 1988 Dodge Daytona

Pricetag

Price
$6,495

Location Marker

Location
Silver Spring, Maryland

Magnifying Glass

Availability
Available

Find more Dodges for sale on Hemmings.com.

Editor’s note: The purpose of the “Find of the Day” is to highlight interesting cars from our classifieds. These are not the actual ads, so to view more images or contact the seller with questions, click on the hyperlink (underlined green text), which will take you to the classified ad itself.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

The Cobra successor that never was, Shelby’s Lone Star, makes its concours debut at Amelia Island

The Cobra successor that never was, Shelby’s Lone Star, makes its concours debut at Amelia Island

Shelby Lone Star

Shelby Lone Star. Image courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

By the time the new 427 Cobra shipped to dealers in 1965, Shelby American was already working on a replacement. Internally known as the Cobra III, and later the Lone Star, one prototype was built before the project was scrapped for a variety of reasons. Though an evolutionary dead-end, the Shelby Lone Star is an important and long-unseen part of the brand’s history. Now restored, the prototype will make its concours debut on March 11 at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

By late 1965, Carroll Shelby was stretched thin. In addition to producing a new generation of Cobras, Shelby was tasked with the re-engineering of the Ford GT 40 Mk II, winding down the racing program for the Daytona Coupes in Europe, and turning the Mustang from a fun commuter into a serious competitor in the eyes of SCCA racers. Shelby American set down its own ground rules and target dates for the next generation of Cobra, but was happy to seek input from English partner JW Automotive Engineering (JWAE) as well.

Shelby Lone Star

The Lone Star as delivered to Shelby American in 1967. Photo courtesy The Cobra Ferrari Wars.

As reported in the World Registry of Cobras and GT40s, Fourth Edition, internal documents show that Shelby American’s goals for the Cobra III included a conventional front-engine, rear-drive layout, though no body configuration or design was initially specified. Power would come from a new 351-cu.in. V-8 under development by Ford, though 289, 427, and 428 engines would also remain available. A four-speed top-loader transmission would be standard, but an automatic transmission would remain optional.

While the body design remained up in the air, major components of the interior — such as seats and storage trays — would be molded from a vacuum-formable plastic known as Royalite. No firm decisions had been made about how the body would attach to the chassis, but the original idea was to mold the body out of the same material, which would be easier (and hence, less expensive) than creating body panels from aluminum or fiberglass.

 

Shelby Lone Star

A sketch of the Lone Star prototype. From the collection of The Cobra Ferrari Wars.

JWAE’s approach to the new Cobra was radically different. Rather than starting from a clean sheet of paper, engineer Len Bailey thought it better to re-engineer the GT40, converting it from a track car to a (somewhat) civilized road car. To save money and simplify construction, Cobra components such as brakes and wheels would be used, and a 289-cu.in. V-8 would sit amidships, behind the driver but in front of the transaxle. The body, hinged in front and rear, would be made from aluminum, while the GT40 parts bin would be raided for suspension components and other bits.

Both proposals were reviewed, but ultimately the decision was made to go with the JWAE design, which was viewed as more forward-thinking. A quarter-scale model was completed and wind-tunnel tested by the end of 1966, and the final design included a removable Targa roof panel that could be stowed behind the seats for open-air motoring. Approval to build a prototype was given, and work began in early 1967.

The JWAE car rode on a 92.8-inch wheelbase, roughly splitting the difference between the Cobra’s 90-inch wheelbase and the GT40’s 95-inch wheelbase. An off-the-shelf 289, mated to a ZF-five speed transaxle, sat in a chassis that was a mix of Cobra and GT40 design, wrapped in an aluminum body created by Gomm Metalworking. Finished in August 1967, the car was shipped to Shelby American in California the following month.

Shelby Lone Star

The car in the final stages of restoration. Note the air intake behind the door, added by Shelby American. Remaining photos by Geoff Howard.

By then, Shelby American no longer had the rights to the Ford-owned Cobra name, so the car was called the Lone Star in reference to Carroll’s home state. He voiced no objection to the car’s red finish, but wasn’t a fan of the JWAE-installed white interior, and had it changed to black. The record says that Shelby American dropped in its own high-performance 289, though it’s equally likely that the automaker simply tuned the 289 already installed before road testing the car and shipping it to Dearborn for evaluation. If the project was approved, it was Ford that would be writing the checks.

A short time later, the car was returned to Shelby American without any kind of approval from Ford. The reason why is a matter of some debate; some believe that egress, which required climbing over the tall and wide driver and passenger sills that contained the car’s fuel supply, was simply too awkward for a production car. Others said that new federal safety standards for the 1968 model year would no longer exempt low-volume manufacturers like Shelby, and still others blamed the Lone Star’s death on its window sticker. Shelby’s original proposal called for a car priced in line with the 427 Cobra, yet at $15,000, the Lone Star was on par with the GT40 and nearly twice as much as a Cobra.

Without Ford money to put the car into production, Shelby quickly lost interest in the Lone Star. It graced the cover of the 1968 Shelby Accessories catalog, and made a tour of the car show circuit billed as a concept, but in October 1968 it appeared in a Competition Press classified ad. The copy read,

For Sale: Sex on Wheels!! Carroll Shelby’s Cobra Lone Star – specially designed and built ‘way out.’ Mid-engine, two-passenger, coupe/roadster, one-of-a-kind show car. Seen worldwide in International Auto Shows. Fully roadable with: aluminum body custom-built in England with removable metal top panel and electric windows. 289 high-performance engine, 5-speed all synchro ZF gearbox, tubular exhaust headers, Halibrand mag wheels, comfortable bucket seats. $15,000.

The Lone Star changed hands several times before 1975, when it was acquired by its current owner, a noted collector of Shelby Automobiles. By then, accident damage to the right front fender had been crudely repaired with a welded steel patch, pop-riveted in place and covered with body filler, but decades would pass before the car was sent for a full restoration.

Shelby Lone Star

This work was entrusted to Cobra expert Geoff Howard and his Connecticut shop, Accurate Restorations. Geoff described the project to us as, “the most labor-intensive car he’s ever worked on,” and as jobs go, it required as much a re-engineering as it did restoration. The Lone Star was a prototype and, as such, was never really designed to be driven for any distance, or with any regularity.

The engine, for instance, was welded – not bolted – to the monocoque, and there was so little space to work that the transaxle would only come out of the car straight down, and then with extreme difficulty. Accessing the suspension A-arms required removing the body and disassembling most of the car, a task made more difficult by the fact that the body was aircraft-riveted in place, with the rivets then covered with filler and paint.

Getting to the front wiring required removal of the windshield, a risky process since the glass was a custom piece unavailable anywhere in the world. Geoff’s solution (in addition to having three more windshields made, just in case) was to build a removable frame around the windshield, which allowed for mounting and removal without having to reseal the glass every single time.

The Lone Star’s body is now affixed with blind fasteners and Torx screws, making removal easier (if not exactly quick). Its suspension has been sorted, with no-longer-available bushings replaced by bearings, and the original (unobtanium) Armstrong shocks replaced by one-off custom units from Koni. The onboard fuel tanks now contain ATL fuel cells, and the brakes have been upgraded to competition Cobra specifications. The Lone Star is now a car that can be enjoyed for more than just static display, yet Geoff is proud of how much of the car he’s been able to preserve.

Shelby Lone Star

“It’s about 95-percent original,” he explained to us, citing the effort he made to preserve the interior. The carpet was worn through on the driver side, so rather than replace it Geoff crafted a heel pad like that used in Cobras. The headliner – with a bizarre embossed pattern no longer available anywhere – was saved, as was the shifter and shift knob. Only the original seat foam and upholstery was deemed beyond salvage, though the replacement matches the stitching of the original as closely as possible.

The Plexiglas windows, fogged by an errant cleaning with solvent by a previous owner, were sanded and polished until transparent. The body damage was repaired (with aluminum, this time), and aside from a few other patch panels remains as built in 1967. The sole exception to this was the steel bumper, seen in early press photos but absent by the time it was acquired by the current owner. Working only with these very limited images as his guide, Geoff recreated the bumper from scratch.

So what does the Lone Star look like? In profile, some say the car looks like a GT40 Mk V or a Lola T70, but Geoff argues more for the Ferrari P3/4, and we’re inclined to agree. Its nose carries a broad oval aperture, not dissimilar to a Jaguar D-type, while its tail is reminiscent of a Ferrari Dino, but taller. Some will love it, and others will hate it, but it certainly would have been a departure from Shelby American’s norms.

Of the car’s Amelia Island debut, Geoff said, “It’s restored, but it isn’t perfect because it contains so many original parts.” Frankly, that’s what we like to hear, and we sincerely hope that after so many years of care, its owner can enjoy the car that Len Bailey and Carroll Shelby had in mind.

The 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance takes place from March 9-11, 2018, at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida. For additional details, visit AmeliaConcours.org.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Green Monster among multiple land-speed cars in new speed-focused exhibit

Green Monster among multiple land-speed cars in new speed-focused exhibit

Green Monster, circa 1968. Photo by Bri ham.

To this day, Art Arfons holds one rather inglorious record: After crashing his Green Monster land-speed-record car in November 1966, he became the only person to survive a 600-mph-plus car wreck. That car only exists in memories and scraps now, but the replica of it that Arfons built remains and will anchor a display dedicated to land-speed-record holders at the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Arfons’ land-speed-record ambitions date to the Fall of 1962, when he hit upon the idea of building a jet-powered car in the vein of the Cyclops and Green Monster jet drag cars he’d been campaigning across the country. Except Arfons believed he could take the record with a far more powerful engine, the afterburner-equipped J-79 from the F-104 Starfighter, good for about 17,000 pounds of thrust, or about 10,000 more than other jet-powered land-speed racers were harnessing at the time from their J-46s and J-47s.

Rather than worry about streamlining, Arfons built a basic fairing around the engine and attached two narrow cockpits to either side of it and a tailfin to the back of it. According to Samuel Hawley‘s Speed Duel, Arfons reasoned that because the intake of a jet engine doesn’t technically contribute to frontal drag, it made little sense to cover it with a nosecone and then try to duct sufficient air to the engine. The chassis consisted of whatever Arfons could find around his yard: an axle from a Dodge truck, a steering assembly from a Packard, the instrument panel from one of his old airplanes.

On the urging from Firestone’s Humpy Wheeler, Arfons added some Firestone red to the green paint. In October 1963, Art Arfons’ land-speed Green Monster first hit the salt at Bonneville, and it almost immediately clocked off a new world land-speed record at 434.02 mph, followed by the first of multiple high-speed tire blowouts that plagued the car.

He returned in 1964 to secure another record — at 536.71 mph — at the same time he suffered a second blowout. He then leapfrogged Craig Breedlove again in 1965 with another record of 576.55 mph while blowing yet another tire. And then in 1966, with Breedlove’s 601-mph record in sight and with a Green Monster heavily modified to take the stress, a seized wheel bearing sent the Green Monster rolling and end-over-end at an estimated 610 mph. Arfons emerged from the wreckage conscious, temporarily blinded from salt spray in his face, but not permanently injured.

According to Hawley, there was nothing to salvage from the wreckage, so Arfons cut up what was left of the Green Monster and eventually sold the remains to a scrap dealer, keeping only the tailfin as a memento. But, not long after, he got the itch to build another Green Monster land-speed car.

“The vehicle, completed in 1968, was similar in outward appearance to its pulped predecessor and equipped with another J-79 engine, but it was lighter and more streamlined, and had a better power to weight,” Hawley wrote. “With it, Art was confident he could reclaim the record, maybe even go supersonic.”

Firestone officials, however, no longer had any desire to back land-speed-record attempts. So, without a sponsor or a source of high-speed tires, Arfons relegated the successor Green Monster to drag-strip exhibitions and eventually sold it for $100,000 to Slick Gardner. Gardner made one attempt at the land-speed record in 1978, but failed, and the car eventually made its way to the Petersen Automotive Museum, where it remains today.

But, not on display. So, when officials at the San Diego Air and Space Museum were requesting vehicles from the Petersen for their year-long “SPEED: Science in Motion” exhibit, the museum’s first exhibit to include cars, they jumped at the chance to include the Green Monster. Joining it during the month of February will be a number of other record-holding vehicles, including Ack Attack, the world’s fastest motorcycle; the Paramount Forge streamliner; and a standing-mile record holding 1963 Studebaker Avanti.

Every month through the rest of the year, the exhibit will include a new lineup of cars focused on a specific theme.

For more information about the exhibit, visit SanDiegoAirandSpace.org.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

The Stoner T: How to build a hot rod in 10 years (and impress people), part 12

The Stoner T: How to build a hot rod in 10 years (and impress people), part 12

Ted Gotelli passing the time between rounds in one of the earliest versions of his Fuller-chassis-ed fueler in the early ’60s. Dig those weedburners… Photo: Sherm Porter. All remaining photos by the author and Tim Conder/Conder Custom, unless otherwise noted.

A few chapters back, I had described the intake and fuel-delivery choice as a defining element of a hot rod. Especially when the car is running no hood, the top of the engine is one of the first things anyone would see, and most people would describe it by such. “You see that car over there by the beer stand? It’s the one with the two fours and velocity stacks…” Much easier to call the car out like that when it is in a row full of black roadsters or red coupes. But there are a few other conspicuous decisions on a hot rod that determine its personality. Exhaust, for one.

Making decisions on the exhaust setup for a car really have everything to do with reinforcing its era-specific design cues, as much as it has to do with sound and, well…its presence. Does that make sense? Sure, camshaft choice will have a big influence over what the motor sounds like, but what kind of headers are you gonna run, kid? Headers and mufflers (or lack thereof) have as much to do with the style of the car as they do performance, tone, and overall value. To me, header choice on a hot rod gets botched about as often as decisions on tires: easy enough to change, but when it’s done wrong, it hurts to look at.

Stoner T

The first iteration of the exhaust treatment for the T. Conder designed these headers to show off the frame and radius rod treatment, but also to create some drama when the thing was firing on all eight. Clearance may or may not be a problem…

So, all this has been running through my head over the years on this Model T coupe. When the 331 Hemi was the plan, the choices were wide open: Do we run the headers inside the frame rails to show off the unique radius rods? Do we cascade them out over the rails in some sort of “flowy” way? Maybe just a set of store-bought Limefires? Zoomies? Block-huggers and a pair of Cherry Bombs? Funny: When I read that last sentence, I realize how we really do have our own language, don’t we?

Stoner T

BITCHIN, right? These headers have such a cool look and we were even wondering if we could brace them to the point where you could actually stand on them while burping around a fairgrounds parking lot.

All those decisions were made for me, though, when I took a chance on this Gotelli fueler 392 Hemi. If I was gonna restore this engine to its former glory, there were only two questions to answer over its exhaust system: To zoomie or not zoomie? To weedburn or not burn weeds? In 1962, the first iteration of Ted Gotelli’s Kent Fuller-chassis Front Engine Dragster ran weedburners. Named for the nasty little habit this style of header had for setting weeds on fire as its host sat and idled in grassy pits, these things swept down from the motor, out over the frame rails, and back in a graceful curve toward the rear of the car, before each individual header tube stopped inches from the ground and blew its contents, in anger, at whatever was unfortunate enough to be growing or crawling in its blast zone. This style of header did a great job of getting the waste gasses away from the cylinder as quickly as possible, but exhaust technology was in its infancy – remember, drag racing had only been an actual thing for roughly a decade by the time this style of slingshot dragster became popular. Weedburners virtually disappeared from drag racing by 1965, so when they’re seen these days, it’s usually a decision based on historical accuracy. They’re neat to look at, but they certainly don’t offer the drama and pageantry of a zoomie.

You’ve seen this photo before, but it bears repeating because it’s so dang cool: The second version of the 392 Hemi in the red-and-black Gotelli car sitting on the floor of the back shop at Gotelli’s where Bruno Gianoli is still building engines to this day. While this is actually my motor, those zoomies signal the last version of the car before it got a full body and was ultimately hosed down in its red #19 livery. Photo: Bruno Gianoli

Zoomie. Fairly accurate name for the header style that replaced the weedburner. These things basically invert the weedburner, shorten the individual header tube, severely tighten the radius of said tube as it comes away from the motor, turn it upward as it angles toward the back of the car, and blows those green nitro flames into the sky with style, bro. Very cool to see a set of zoomies under load. They were invented when it was discovered that there were a few advantages to this configuration: 1) The force of the exhaust exiting each tube could help thrust the car forward by creating downforce on the rear wheels in that Newtonian Third Law of Motion kind of way, 2) by baloney-slicing the zoomie closest to the rear tire and changing its angle to point a little more directly at that tire, it could keep it hot and sticky for traction, and 3) they’d blow smoke and debris right off those giant racing slicks. Glorious. Now, the problem with zoomies was that it would blow fuel exhaust all over the driver’s face, hence those gas masks that helped create the totally bitchin’ look of a fuel dragster pilot. It’s all just so cool, I can barely stand it.

When you get to the counter at Gotelli’s, you can actually see the weedburners from the Gotelli red-and-black car hanging from the ceiling. They’re embalmed in some sort of ceramic coating, but just imagine the battles those things have seen at the long-gone dragstrips of the early ’60s. I get shivers, man.

Here’s the driver’s-side weedburner that, knowing the hoarding habits of Terrible Ted Gotelli, probably saw action in the West Coast theater aboard my motor. Look at the welds and those reinforcing tabs added to the flange. Probably got so hot that they started to droop right there.

Back to my Gotelli motor. I’ve seen photos of it with both weedburners and zoomies, but we’re going with the weedburner setup. Conder had made this wise decision for a few reasons, first of which was the gassing of the T’s driver (let’s assume that’s me) if a set of zoomies been made for it. Weedburners also allowed the full grace and power of that engine, we spent so many hours killing ourselves over, to be fully appreciated – the headers weren’t gonna get in the way. The only downside we could figure was that these would obscure that little brass Gotelli tag on the girdle that started this journey. That’s OK, I reasoned, we’d know it was there and would have no problem pointing it out at any gas stop, car show, drive-thru, church parking lot, or midnight Libertarian mountain-top currency exchange.

Now, weedburner headers ain’t exactly store-bought items that can be had in the time it takes to checkout online or make a phone call. No, weedburners have to be made, and ours have to be made so that they look era-correct, yet still function within the confines of a street-driven ’27 Ford Model T coupe on a Model A frame with ’39 Ford tractor radius rods and questionable ground clearances. No problem, right? The first question was all about material: stainless-steel tubing or chromed steel? Two-inch-diameter tube? Three-inch? Somewhere in the middle? Tim decided on stainless steel because the car will be in bare metal for its first year – unpainted raw steel, aluminum, and magnesium surfaces. Once the headers see some heat and sustain some use, they can’t then be chromed. Stainless-steel tubes, on the other hand, can be polished after they’ve seen that kind of action. So, when it’s finally time for paint, they’ll be polished and sharp as a tack. Stainless is more expensive than chrome-able steel at first, but when was the last time you had a set of headers chromed? Oof—like my buddy’s dad used to say with a  raised eyebrow, “Oh, that’ll run ya…”

A king’s ransom in stainless-steel tubing right there, brother. But it’s all worth it – you can’t go wrong making headers out of stainless. On the right, Conder uses a length of welding rod to mock up the shape and length of header tube: “I started with the one that has to clear the most stuff,” Tim said. “The rest will match it (cue the screaming tires and over-revving engine, pre-crash…).” On the driver’s side, there’s the drag link to deal with, too. “First, the 2¼” O.D. tubing had to be special ordered, because one of my fuel dragsters provided a beautiful set of stainless flanges that will only take this size pipe,” Tim continues, “It’s bigger than the original pipe was. That’s good, because the T is bigger and bulkier than the dragster was.”

Lucky for us, one of the most talented race-car chassis fabricators in the business is right out the road from Conder Custom. Chris Bocciocco’s (say “buh-CHOKE-oh”) Drag City Chassis Works turns out some of the most insanely perfect dragster chassis, rollcages, and other modifications made in metal tubing I’ve certainly ever seen, and there are a ton of professional opinions ready to second that emotion. Chris knows Conder has an eye for making things that are historically accurate, so he had no problem turning over his manual tubing bender to him for our weedburner project. Plus, there are few things that make ’ol Chris happier than seeing cars done right out in the world blowing minds, confusing modern-day ratrodders, and scaring cars-n-coffee-goers. Warms his fuel-pickled heart.

From Conder: “Stainless is harder than mild steel and has less ‘memory.’ All metal has at least a little memory. If you bend it, it will actually try to go back to its original shape. Stainless doesn’t have much memory. It doesn’t shape easily. I know this, because, for the last two days, I’ve been gritting my teeth and ‘rolling’ this stubborn tubing into a radius that is approaching the early Gotelli headers. I’m only halfway there…”

Since Tim’s brain is a chronological card catalog of Gotelli dragsters, he knew what the radius and shape of the red-and-black car’s headers should look like. Plus, there’s an original set hanging from the rafters at Gotelli Speed Shop! All we had to do was walk up to the parts counter, turn around, look up, and take notes. Which is exactly what we did. Blending historical accuracy with the real-world demands of this hot rod, Conder set to work on the pile of stainless tubing. Weedburners are almost crossed off the punch list taped to the back of the car.

Stoner T

Tim continues, “…good thing, too, because angling the new weedburners out to clear the T’s frame rails, etc. makes that early header curve too severe. This less-curved pipe may work, but it actually looks as if I’m gonna have to use three different pieces of different shaped tube to make this look right. More later…”

An unexpected benefit of this series has been the comments. If you’ve read any of the comments on any one of these chapters, you’ll notice that we’ve got a room full of really engaged readers, but also some tribal knowledge that’s become vital to this project. It really has been amazing to see opinions, suggestions, questions, and ongoing chats about this car. Y’know, our garages become our own echo chambers sometimes and, as much as love it when everyone comes over, cracks beers, and pulls up a stool, there comes a point when we just have to shut the doors, put the cell on stun, and get some $&*# done, right? That’s why the comments section is so cool: we can benefit from some great intel on our own schedules.

Conder (from the top): “You’re looking into the air scoop from the receiving side, under the T. In this drawing, you can see the inner foil that will be shaped in a more aerodynamic shape to direct air into the radiator. This extra piece of aluminum will be welded inside the scoop/pan and will actually strengthen it, too.”

And so it was with last week’s installment: As Conder is designing and fabricating the rolled pan/ram air scoop for the trunk-mounted radiator, a discussion has ensued over the effectiveness of it. Could its shape create a pocket of trapped air beneath the radiator? If that’s true, might that problem be solved with a much bigger radius in the scoop to direct air more effectively to the radiator? And could that larger radius be realized with an inner scoop that preserves the overall shape and strengthens the entire piece so that it doesn’t vibrate at-speed? To all those questions, Tim answered with a resounding “OF COURSE.”

Conder on the rolled pan: “What’s left on the scoop/pan is quite a bit of flanging and nut inserts so it can be bolted on. Corners shaped, welded-in, and finished. Finally, it will get the 8-inch-radius inner foil.”

By fabricating a sheetmetal ramp, that gently curves upward from the mouth of the scoop at the front of the rolled pan to the bottom edge of the radiator facing down toward the body-wide hole where the trunk floor used to be, Tim was able to direct as much air as possible directly into the face of that radiator, allowing the twin electric fans on the back of it to draw the air through and push it out through the vent holes in the decklid. At the same time, the extra ramp inside the pan would provide structural support to the entire piece, so that, when it was doing its best work, it wouldn’t vibrate like a cheap motel bed with a dollar changer mounted to the headboard. It’s all gonna work PERFECTLY. Betcherass it will.

Conder on the super-secret hidden air foil (from left): “First, I made this template. Then, I traced it onto the inside of the scoop sides. This will guide the shape of the inner foil. Initial shaping of the inner foil/structure will add rigidity and ram fresh air smoothly from under the car into the radiator…”

It’s easy to envision the entire car as a finished machine. But it’s quite another to dig into every element of this thing as if each of them is its own master class in whatever the hell its function really is. But that’s what’s so much fun about it, too. Like I always say, a basic hot rod is a model kit waiting to be put together. An additive process. You can start with an empty shop floor and build something amazing that moves under its own power really fast and with good style. But you can also take that discipline to another level and that’s where we are, here. I don’t know if there’s a name for it, but this is where Tim Conder lives. When I think of how he approaches this car, I’m reminded of singer Fionna Apple’s quote in the late ’90s when she was interviewed about her creative process: “Cows make milk, I make music.”

Stoner T

Tim: “Hand-bent this 8-inch radius around a light pole…”

Stoner T

“This photo shows the gradual, more aerodynamic radius of the inner air foil,” Conder explains. “It terminates at the forward base of the radiator when the pan is on, allowing uninterrupted air to the radiator with minimal air pockets. The back of the pan’s 4-inch radius stays the same…”

To catch up on other installments of the Stoner T build, click here.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1997 Dodge Viper GTS coupe

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1997 Dodge Viper GTS coupe

1997 Dodge Viper GTS

Low-mileage, unmodified 1997 Dodge Viper GTS coupe for sale. From the seller’s description:

As one of the most iconic Gen2 Vipers ever produced, this essentially new, completely original, mint condition 4100 mile blue with white striped GTS is now available. As Vipers are no longer being produced, these gems are increasing in desirability and collector value. This GTS comes with the original paperwork, window sticker, custom cover, manual, spare keys, all records, etc.. This model is certainly for the serious enthusiast or collector.

1997 Dodge Viper GTS 1997 Dodge Viper GTS 1997 Dodge Viper GTS 1997 Dodge Viper GTS

Pricetag

Price
$63,500

Location Marker

Location
Dixon, California

Magnifying Glass

Availability
Available

Find more Dodges for sale on Hemmings.com.

Editor’s note: The purpose of the “Find of the Day” is to highlight interesting cars from our classifieds. These are not the actual ads, so to view more images or contact the seller with questions, click on the hyperlink (underlined green text), which will take you to the classified ad itself.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog