After the November 2005 El Mirage meet the damaged Donovan engine and transmission was pulled from the car and the chassis was brought back home. In April 2007 the car was towed to Gary MacDonald's shop near Escondido, Ca. to start the rebuilding. The first thing Gary had to do was remove all the lexan and interior pieces such as the steering column, race seat, guage panel, fire bottles, control cables window netting and door panels. After Gary had accomplished this then Gary started removing the body panels and body itself from the frame. The frame, body and panels were taken to Blasting Specialties & Powder Coating in Commerce, Ca. Lee media blasted the frame, body and panels and then primer
coated the bare metal.
The rusty roll cage was removed, the pads and flooring where the cage attached was completly rusted out and as we suspected the rocker panels were also gone. The good news! The frame was in excellent shape. A new front axle was ordered from Magnum Axles in Oak Hurst, Ca. as the old one had a permanent bend in it. Gary started work on the frame cutting off what wasn't needed and welded in square tubing from just in front of the rear axle to the back of the frame for strength. Gary added 2.5 " to the wheel base ahead of the cowl when he installed the new 1948 Ford straight axle.
The Summer of 2009 Gary fabricated a new firewall and had to add 2.5 " to the front fenders because of this was added to the wheel base. The engine was moved back approximately 10% as allowed for in the rules for the Classic Altered Class. As you can see in this photo the fuel injection stacks are partially under the cowl. Gary will eventually open the cowl for the air box but that is still way down the road. High winds tore loose his roll up door which hit the roof of the car and that had to be straightened .
Another view of the Stude with fenders removed showing the new fire wall that Gary fabricated. Gary made an inset which outlines the engine in the fire wall allowing for the additional set back of the engine. The engine block in this view is plastic. Mr.Jack Underwood who is the proprietor of the world famous Jack's Garage in Fountain Valley, Ca. graciously lent me the fuel injection manifold from his 426 hemi for mocking up the engine compartment before the installation of the actual engine and transmission.
March 2010 a rear view of the Stude showing the work being done on the rear. A good trunk lid was purchased and Gary installed it by modifying the spring perches on the lid to the inside of the wheel tubs. The opening in the trunk floor is where the water tank will reside. The roof rails were installed using 3/4" L angle 18 guage sheet metal replacing the 1/2" the car originally had. The rear quarter panels were removed for access around the tires and new bumper (Fiberglass) was purchased from The Glass Shop in Belair, MD. The bumper is just clamped to the car for fit in this photo. To see next page (Click Here)