Hot Rod Blog
After attending the Oakland
Roadster Show, and a couple of Good Guys events, I got really excited
about building a hot rod. Heck, I like to do things with my hands, I've
wrenched on cars before, and I felt it was time to try something new for
my car hobby. After much research, and more to come, I want to summarize
here how my plans are unfolding, what I want to do, as well as provide
a worklog as things progress. I'll warn you in advance--progress is very slow as I've taken a major detour to learn some of the necessary skills including machine tools and welding.
Mouse over to see the transformation...
I had to come up with an overriding theme to make the project work,
and hang together. I looked at lots and lots of rods, and a lot
of themes presented themselves, including rat rod, retro/classic
rod, high tech rod, billet rod, and so on. I wanted to try to do
something a little bit newer and different. Off the beaten path.
I call my theme "high tech road racer". I want to marry
the best qualities of really code modern racing
and sports cars with a lot of great technology, and with a lot
of traditional hot rod values.
epitomy of a road racer from the hot rodder's world is the track
roadster or the Lakes modified. I liked the potential of the Lakes
better because the track cars have been done so many times and there
aren't so many Lakes out there.
whole thing is still coming together in my head, and I'm collecting
pictures to communicate and gel the idea which I'll post in this
if you don't think the High Tech Lakes Road Racer is a cool theme
for a hot rod!
Gotta have 'em. But how do we make them fit the "high tech
road racer" theme? Check out these bad boyz:
combination is candy blue and ghost flames over black. It's subtle
enough not to scream retro-rod. The colors say high tech to me.
black with chrome and polished metal highlights is another possibility
that would look good. Lately I am also really tempted by Ferrari
red because it looks great to paint the engine red, and it would
look great to do the interior in tan leather to go with the red.
painters in my area whose work looks good:
Body and Paint, Morgan Hill, CA (may also be called "Renteria
1670 Joleen Way,
Morgan Hill, CA 95037 (408) 779-2884
Fine Finishes, 171 Kelly St, Lodi, CA, 95240
The interior is
going to be the hardest place to strike a balance. High tech road
racers just look a lot different than hot rods on the inside.
For example, they usually have something more akin to a Momo steering
wheel than the usual period piece we find in hot rods. Their seats
are form fitting buckets rather than benches, and they have lots
of gauges instead of a clean dash. We'll have to think about this
one a little bit.
A high tech road
racer has to be all-independent, and it has to corner and stop
like a modern sports car. I'm starting with a Corvette C5 rear
suspension and drivetrain, and adding to that a modern hot rod
independent front suspension.
Specs & Assembly
Fuel Injected 351C...
The 351 Cleveland
should have been the Uber-Ford engine given its amazing heads
and other innovations, but somehow, it didn't quite beat out the
Windors. Nevertheless, its a bit off the beaten path (I hate to
jam another LS-whatever they're up to in a high tech rod), and
it loves rpm, which makes it a road racer in my book!
Picture Serpentine Headers Like This Connected to Sidepipes!
How do you make
the drivetrain exotic, high-tech, and road-racey? Since we don't
have a mid-engine car here (although people have built mid-mounted
engines in early Fords), I'm going to recreate what people call
the "front mid-engine" design. This is done by mounting
the transmission to the rearend at the back of the car, thus shifting
the weight backwards. In my case, I'll be using a Corvette C5
drivetrain with its Getrag differential and attendant Borg Warner
T-56 6-speed manual transmission.
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