As I had mentioned in the last post, despite trying everything to keep the current configuration and just building a reclining seat, it was clear that it just wasn’t going to work and allow me to drive the car comfortably. I agonized over this because the last thing I want to do is insult Brian and change the chassis he put a ton of effort into. I will always appreciate the role he’s had in this – he said yes when every other chassis builder we talked to had said no. That will always mean the world to me.

But looking at it in sheer terms of engineering solutions for me driving it, the cold reality is I’ve got to be able to get in and out of the car comfortably, and placement of the controls need to be dictated by what is within natural reach for me, rather than having to work around the layout of the cockpit to make something work. So in talking at length with Mike and Robert, it was decided that the easiest and most direct solution was for the rear end to come back 8 1/2″, and the engine 3 1/2.”

There are a couple of added bonuses to this:

1.) With 8 1/2″ added to the wheelbase, we’ll crack the magic 140″ wheelbase mark. Quite a few drivers I’ve spoken to  have said that once you have at least 140″ of wheelbase to work with, the car becomes easier to drive. Without looking it up again, I believe the car was originally at 136″ so this will make it 144 1/2″.

2.) Loading it on a trailer will be easier. With the old configuration, if you lifted the front wheels off the ground 5″, the bottom rail of the chassis scraped. So loading it on a trailer always involved a combination of taking the plate off my floor jack so I could get it under the frame rail, and then lifting the rear end high enough to muscle it on, or in the case of transporting it up to Don’s on his tractor trailer before I got the trailer from Rocky, getting the dragster to a stopping point up the ramp, ratcheting it down to hold it in place and then grabbing every scrap 4×4 chunk of wood to continue jacking the car high enough to get it to clear the deck to be able to push it all the way on. Even with the dragster trailer I have for it, a floor jack was involved with getting loaded up. Loading and unloading will certainly be less of an ordeal now.

The good news as well is the integrity of the car will remain, and the goal is to still have it look like a car from 1963, with the 5 point cage being the only giveaway. It will still have the vintage stance as well.

Here are the photos of where things are at. At this point we’re waiting for a motor plate and the next phase can begin.


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