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The USFRA has new Club Car, Thanks to your support!!
This car is to provide an opportunity for the hardworking volunteers of the USFRA to get a taste of Bonneville racing. Many of these folks work year after year to provide racers with a quality LandSpeed event, without ever getting a chance to feel the thrills every driver gets when “the course is yours”. We intend to fix that. The only way to ever get a chance to drive this club car is by volunteering and working at least two USFRA events.
It should be made clear that this “USFRA Club Car” is not intended to be a racing vehicle, it is a Bonneville Trainer and Licensing car. It will never compete for any class records. It will provide the opportunity for workers to get a better understanding of the safety issues from a drivers point of view. It will open the door to their first Competition License steps and status as a Bonneville Driver (priceless!!). For those that earn a chance to drive, it will provide a highlight of their Bonneville experience.
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Club Car Project Progress!!
Club Car update 2/19/13
The USFRA Club Car Project is nearing Completion!
Club CAR at UVU Car Show 5/18/2012
The Club Car with shiny fresh Paint and Graphics was on display with a great selection of Bonneville Salt Flats Cars in big USFRA Display.
Still some finishing touches to be completed, but looks very nice in the company of the other race cars.
On the back deck lit yoiu can see a list of the
folks who contributed and worked on thsi project.
Body Paint and Graphics 5/08/12
More evidence here of that work that has been quitely
progressing all winter. This Roadster took tons of quality fiberglass
and body work to make ready for Paint and Graphics.
Chassis Paint 4/28/2012
Much work has been quietly been ongoing over the winter. This is long and winding Roadster Project is about to blossom in to one SWEET RIDE!!
Here is just a taste of what is in store over the next 30 days. The chassis is now complete, and freshly sandblasted and painted.
Club Car Update 1/25/11
I hope the winter weather is being mild to you.
The USFRA volunteers have been quietly working away on the Club Car. There has been much work on the Fiberglass Roadster body. It was purchased as a "Race Weight" part, and indeed it was very light. We determined that to stand up to the rigors of Bonneville competition it would need some stiffening and reinforcement. Since the doors and trunk lid are molded inplace, the drivers will climb in over the side, and the body itself will mount to the frame via Dzus Fasteners along the bottom edges. So some of these areas are going to see a load. We have bonded into these particular areas, extra layers of fiberglass matt and fiberglass cloth. We also added a special stiffening core material called Coremat. You can see the Coremat as white areas in the black fiberglass layup matrix.
Before our work the body it was very flexible and even somewhat fragile. Now it has substantial stiffness, and great resistance to bending and twisting. All this has been done carefully, so as to make the body "want to" be in a shape that closely matches the Frame and its support and mounting points. The body shape is at its most relaxed when positioned on the chassis. This work is being done by guys who have built and raced roadsters for many years, and it is clear that the club car is benefiting from a wealth of experience.
We are now starting the process of fitting the Toneau Cover (rigid cockipt cover) to the body. The Toneau cover provides a more aerodynamic streamline surface than the open cockpit. In order to get it to fit properly, the vestiges of the windshield mount posts must be sawed off and that small area rebuilt with fiberglass cloth/matt/resin layup.
We intend to have the club car on display at the
upcoming AutoRama, March
Club Car Update 9/06/10
Remember, at World of Speed 2009, this car was just plans on a drawing board.
all who helped, this wouldn’t happen without your support.
March 15, 2010 Update
It has been a very busy few weeks leading up to the Salt lake City Autorama. The Club Car Build Crew reached our goal of presenting a "Roller" at that prestigious show. Those of you that build can appreciate the milestone attained when you can "Push a car instead of carrying it." Here are a couple of photos shot as we loaded the car into the Autorama hall.
As you can see, it is a very nice start, however we are far from finished. Much work remains, and there is a lot of enthusiasm and energy among the Club Car Build Crew to continue. The realities of time, club funds, and need to prepare for the upcoming racing season will likely inhibit progress for a while. We intend to mount the fiberglass body and to install the steering system components. By then it will be approaching Racing Season. Many of those folks in the photos below have to begin preparing for Bonneville, as it always arrives sooner than expected. The car will be on display at World of Speed in September so that you can inspect our handiwork.
One of the best things that have accompanied this build is the enthusiasm and interaction the work has generated within the USFRA volunteers. You can sense the energy and participation shown in the photo below taken as we loaded the roadster to go to the Autorama.
Remember, this project would not be possible with
out YOUR support.
Jan 29 2010 Update
USFRA volunteers have been busy. Deep inside the Secret SkunkWorks we have been cutting and saddle notching tubing, measuring, grinding, welding and making a significant start on this project. We are still awaitning delivery of the Rod-N-Race Fiberglass body, but the basics of the frame are emerging from the pile of tubing.
We put the USFRA's Chief Starter (and generic Tall Guy) Monte Widdison in the drivers Seat to determine roll bar height. We intend this car to fit a wide range of driver sizes, so we start with the large. Next will be raising the seat so that the smaller persons helmets are also properly centered in the roll cage.
The prebent roll bar hoops were intentionally left long to allow custom fitting.
This is starting to look like a race car chassis.
Dec 2009 Update
I addition to the parts clamped up on the chassis
table, we have many other parts prepped and waiting. we want to check
a couple of dimensions on the fiberglass body be fore we commit.
The tricky business of fitting round tubes together
to form a good tight fitting junction is no trivial matter. Working
as a group we have developed tooling and fixtures to allow us to create
multiple identical parts.
Progress will continue into the New year. I hope to have great progress photos to add in the next month.
October 2009 update.
Racers have been very generous in contributing to
the Club Car Project. Brian Savage has stepped up to the plate and
graciously contributed funds to purchase a fiberglass roadster body
from Rod-N-Race fiberglass. Now that the USFRA's World of Speed Event
is complete, we will be ordering this critical component very soon.
A number of items were given to Larry Volk at Speedweek for use on
the car, including a set of SBC aluminum cylinder heads, and an assortment
of custom fabbed aluminum tanks. I expect that we will use these tanks
for water and fuel. Also, The group of folks who came to World of
Speed and ran the beauticul
vintage Austin-Healys passed the hat and had an auction at their
Bonneville Dinner, to benefit the USFRA Club Car project. They donated
$1650.00 to the Club Car fund. Amazing support from our new friends,
and congratulations on your successful of the Vintage Racing Austin-Healeys
to the Salt.
We will be rescheduling our fabrication skills sessions
for late October, once my shop (and Myself) have recovered from this
years racing efforts. We will be practicing Saddle Notching 1 5/8"
steel tubing and experimenting with various fitting/alignment techniques
and we will be working on best practice methods for tack welding Saddle
Feb, 2009 Club Car Update
Progress continues. The great people at Joes Speed Shop in Ponca City, OK. chipped in with a freshly machined Model "A" Front Axle with custom 4" drop. Joe shipped it complete with new spindles and all the shiny bits and pieceslike spindles and kingpins needed to get us rolling. Joe makes most of the dropped axles like this nationwide. Nice people and excellent traditional parts!!
As I mentioned previously, getting a handle on a chassis design has been a challenge. Considering that the Roadster is one of the most traditional of Bonneville vehicles, there is suprisingly little information avaliable detailing construction. So I have been gathering information--I think the process is called Research!! About thanksgiving myself and another USFRA guy visited Larry Volk to check out his very successful Bonneville Roadster.
Larry is past President of the USFRA and current President of the 200 MPH Club, and has been racing successfully at Bonneville for a long time. What I learned while photographing and measuring his Roadster is that building on traditional '32 Ford frame rails is not the only way to go. Maybe not even the best way. We aren't building a street rod, we're building a race car. So I went back to the drawing board--literally. I started with a fresh reading of the Roadster Rules.
Here are the SCTA Roadster Rules in a nutshell.
With those rules in mind, I started drawing. Heres
what I came up with.
The information gathered in that sketch allowed me to start designing a fully defined roadster in my favorite CAD program. Every item in this assembly is a fully defined part, complete with dimensioned detail drawings, and sub-assembly drawings. Now I can get a handle on how much tubing is required to build a chassis and roll cage.!!
We have a local chassis builder bending a set of the roll bar hoops. We need a body for fit up and to make sure we get everything in the right places. We have been looking at a one piece fiberglass unit like this Rod-n-Race unit. If anybody has one let me know, maybe we can make a deal.
The USFRA membership is scheduled to discuss Club
Rules for this car at our March meeting. Hopefully we will arrange
for a Crew Chief and a couple others to help cordinate the upcoming
work. So many local folks have offered their help with fabrication.
Thanks for your interest in this project,
It couldn't happen with out your help!!
Nov 2008 Update
It has been a while since we have updated the club car project. The delay was not due to neglect—instead, we have been busy finishing up from the largest World of Speed to date. Also, there has been so much going on behind the scenes, and so many things pending that we have been waiting before updating.
So where to start---Well, for one thing, we have undertaken a big change in direction. It has been decided that in the interest of Bonneville tradition, we are going to build a Roadster. We will not proceed with the building of the ’75 Chevy Monza. We will use some of the parts from Lloyd Perry’s Chevy Monza donation, including the Ford 9” rear end and the steering box. We are looking for a good home for the Monza. We would really like to see this ’75 Monza be built for Bonneville competition, if you are interested, let us know. (This Monza has gone to Bo Burkdoll and will be a Bonneville Project.)
Instead of building the Monza, we will focus on fabrication of a traditional Roadster, to run in the Fuel/Gas Roadster class. Remember--this car will never compete for class records, it is intended as a Bonneville trainer and as reward for USFRA workers.
Second, the response to our request from parts and financial donations from the racers has been greeted with an amazing display of generosity. We have so many folk who would like to donate, that I have been requested to put together a detailed “Parts List” specifying what we have and what we need. More on that a little further on.
We had a number of racers step up at World of Speed and donate some big ticket items.
George Poteet shipped us a pallet containing a full set of 4 new Goodyear Land Speed Eagle Bonneville racing tires mounted on new Taylor Made steel wheels.
Bud McManus donated the Chevy 350 CID engine/trans as mentioned previously. We have also had cash donations. As you probably know, cash is pretty useful stuff. We had cash donations from Guy Lombardi and from the West Culver Garage Guys. We look forward to more of your excellent support.
We have also had a number of offers of assistance. For example, Straussberg Machine has offered to assist us with preparing the engine.
Richard Spencer donated 2 fire suits and a brand new set of Nomex
Mostly however, what folks have been asking for is a list of what items we don’t have for the project. I have attached a first draft of that parts list as an excel file. I am still adding to it and refining it. Click Here for Parts List
I have begun to pull together what I hope will become a list of what parts we have, and what parts we need. I needed some point of reference to create this list, and I have chosen the Speedway Motors catalog and web site as that reference point. The Speedway Motors guys are longtime Bonneville supporters and Land Speed Racing veterans, they offer most all the parts needed to build our Roadster Project, and their catalog is one of the most widely distributor in the Hot Rod Industry.
I need to make clear, Just because I describe a part, using Speedway Motors language, part numbers, and their online photos of the part does not mean that only the speedway motors part is acceptable. In fact equivalent parts from any vendor, from your own custom fabrication shop, or an original part that will do the job is what I mean. The speedway references will simply help to make sure everyone is talking about the same “Kind” of part.
This “Parts List” task has made clear that I don’t know squat about Roadster design. In putting together this parts list, I can see that there is a wide variety of choices in design and construction details. The Roadster is an art form unto itself. The local USFRA has a number of longtime Bonneville and street roadster builders that will guide us thru construction of a sharp traditional Bonneville car with safety as our primary goal.
We are also very interested in YOUR opinions on style, design, cockpit layout and part selection.
Email us—We want you to weigh in. Please feel free to suggest what choices you prefer, and for purpose of discussion, Speedway parts numbers and/or photos are great for letting all of us clearly understand you’re your ideas.
The USFRA Club Car now has it’s own email address!
Send your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, opinions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance for your participation.
To help out, contact any USFRA official
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