View Full Version : New Race Car

10-13-2006, 03:28 PM
OK, here's my latest venture (maybe).

I am leaning towards retiring the Spridget from regular club racing and enduro next year and running a "cheesebox" instead.
(cheesebox = any cheap front-wheel drive car that is available)

I will still run the Spridget in the VRG vintage series, in fact I just bought a 1275 Midget (parts car) to convert away from the 1500 (no one in this vintage club is complaining, but the 1500 is not technnically legal).

Also, the regular banging and clanging of club racing is getting a bit tough (read: any race where there are more than 2 Miatas).
And Herself is wondering if it's such a good idea to be running in the mixed enduros with a Spridget, when there are Vipers and Corvettes whipping past me at twice my speed (if it looks scary from the stands, you should try it from the driver's seat).
So a cheesbox won't be much faster, but it will have more armor against the occasional prang. And one of my son-in-laws wants to do this silly stuff, so we'll probably form a little enduro "team".
If one of us wrecks the thing, it'll be no great loss.

Serendipitously, my sister-in-law has given me a red '91 Escort GT that she bought new. It's in nice shape, runs great, and, importantly, it free. It has the 1.8 Mazda motor, 4-wheel disks, nice sway bars and the ugly, stick-on rear wing and "ground effects" plastic stuff. But it's a slushbox.
So I put the word out that I wanted a stick Escort. Low and behold, one appeared.....also free. And also in pretty good shape and runs great (except for a massive brake failure). It's silver and has the 1.9 Ford engine and 5-speed.
The 1.9 trans won't fit the 1.8 engine, but I don't care.....I'm going to swap the entire drivetrain and electronics. I'll have a 1.9 Ford-powered Escort GT, which is actually a pretty good combo for EMRA racing. The Mazda-powered Escorts race in our ST4 class against Miatas (they have about 130 HP) but the 1.9 cars race in a much slower class (ST6, against 1500 Civics and Kias) because they only have about 90 HP. Actually, the slower class is more to my liking anyway.
I just picked up some DOM 1-3/4 steel tube for the roll bar ($91 for 20') so I'll start bending tube in the next few weeks. The red car is mostly gutted and I've pulled off the wing and most of the ugly plastic body-cladding...the silver one will be scrapped once it has donated all useful items.

And then onto the 1275 Midget.....it'll be a busy WInter.



10-13-2006, 03:32 PM
Cool, sounds like fun.


10-13-2006, 04:23 PM
I think you'll find that you go faster in a disposable car.

Beat it mercilessly, have fun!

Now you can intimidate others by not moving over, cutting em off & dive-bombing expensive cars.

(The Vipers & Porsche guys WILL give you the corner) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

The combination of a full cage and a crap car may turn you into an evil racer.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif

You may have to start driving SCCA /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/savewave.gif

Simon TR4a
10-14-2006, 09:12 AM
That silver one looks like a good ice racer! Too good to throw away for sure.
Actually, too good for an ice racer, buit it wouldn't look so nice after a couple of events!

10-14-2006, 12:22 PM
If no one has laid clame to the 1.8 I'll be happy to take it off your hands /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Good luck.

10-15-2006, 06:52 AM
But Nial, it's a stinking TINTOP!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Seriously, once you start going faster in the Midget, with the much needed 1275, you may never want to drive the Escort.
Have fun.

10-15-2006, 05:29 PM
Yes...this cheesy little Ford will be beat without mercy. For sure. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif

And if it gets twisted, there are only , what?....about a zillion more of these cars available at my local junkyard? Right?

I *do* like the idea of not moving over for the shiney cars!

I drove ITC in the SCCA (Mitsu Colt) and many of the cars I already see in our EMRA races are SCCA as well, so I already have a nice jump-start on evil-ness /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

If only I had *time* for ice racing......so many targets, so little time! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

Great (mechanical) minds think alike!

The 1.8 has nice cam covers that say "Ford". At a glance, you might think it's a real Ford "Twink". And it has a distibutor drive off the front of one cam (unlike the 1.8 Miata engine, which is crank-fire), so a Lucas 25D could easily be adapted to complete the illusion (and maybe 4 SUs as well). A Miata trans will fit it. Can you say "Super Sprite"? ....I'm already thinking about how great it would be. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

The Tintop thing is the thing I hate most. It will cause me to beat it even *more* mercilessly.
But really, I raced the Cortina in a one-hour event last year and almost fainted from the heat. I'll be visiting the electric dryer department of Home Depot for some suitable "ram air pipes" for the driver. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Note: I am "kind of" thinking about using this thing as a 2007 Grassroots Challenge car too, but only if they change the date of their event so that it won't conflict with one of our's. It will easily come in under the $2007 limit.