Sunday, February 20, 2022

"Neil of Steel" 1930 Model A Coupe hot rod

 First off, these pics were taken from "neil_of_steel" Instagram page. Give this guy a follow, cause his hot rod is one of the coolest I've seen. I don't have a ton of details except its a 1930 Model A Coupe (they're all 5 windows for the 28-31 years) and runs a 283ci Chevy small block. And the color is not red. Seriously, it's brown, but it took me 24 hours to notice it was brown when someone asked in his comments "what color brown is that?" I seriously thought it was bright red at first. I don't know how. I'm color blind, especially with reds and browns. Honestly, the fact that its actually brown makes it even cooler! I absolutely love it and think its the perfect hot rod. I wouldn't change a thing. Now to the photos! The photos are by the Insta account @mattwoodsphotos, check him out too!

What's color than traditional hot rods and vintage airplanes? Nothing, nothing is cooler actually!
Those valve covers are beautiful! That "Chevrolet" cursive is artwork!
I do know that's a 32 grille which was a popular upgrade to the model A (28-31)
Ivory interior to match the ivory wheels and firewall! "Muah!" That's my italian "smooch" kiss meant to show its "perfecto!". LOLOL
It's like a root beer float man! Brown and cream colored! So tasty! Cool T6 trainer in the hanger behind the hot rod!
Very cool photo showing the mods and differences between a stock 1930 Model A Coupe and this hot rodded one. It's channeled, which means the body/frame was modded to tuck the frame up into the body. See how you can't see the frame in the hot rod? Also the roof was chopped a few inches. The steering rod is outside the body now, probably because the V8 doesn't allow the steering components to fit inside the hood area. It's been lowered too. The stance on this thing is perfect! Just the right amount of low, not too much, just the right amount of rake and the big 'n' little wheel/tire s
This photo is what led me to think the car was red. It looks red still.

These other photos I can see now its brown. I love the brown!

Here's the photo of the ksl ad for a local 1930 model A for sale in Salt Lake City that got me down the hot rod rabbit hole.

It needs pretty much everything, but its a good start. 
Here's my Gpa Nash with what looks like a Model A Roadster...I think??? I'm not a 20's/30's car expert and this is the only picture I have of this car. I also have this picture of my grandpa, it looks like a 33-34 Ford grille.

I've loved 20's and 30's hotrod Fords since my days going to the Bonneville Salt Flats from like 2007-2015 (I went like 9 or 10 years in a row). They don't drive like the modern sport compacts I've owned and enjoyed, nor like the 60's Trans Am racers and pro-touring/restomods I like. But, I love the history and tradition that follows with this era, which is really the first era of modifying the automobile. Nobody builds or wants 20's/30's hot rods anymore. I say "nobody" but obviously there is thousands of people worldwide that still own and build and love these cars, but overall, this is a small niche with all the many generations of sports cars and muscle cars that have come and gone since these old Fords were sold. I love the beauty of these cars, the open hoods and and open wheels, the aesthetic looks are unlike any other car. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Mustang Trans Am Racers

Continuing the "Dream Big" theme tonight, the 3rd post is about Vintage Trans Am racers with a modern twist. The restomod/pro-touring/Trans Am'mer idea is the looks and sounds of a vintage racer with the modern tech underneath to make it reliable and fast. The benefits of doing a 60's Mustang or some other pony car or muscle car is that these cars were road cars turned racecar where as the GT40 and Daytona Coupe's are racecars turned street cars. The muscle cars have back seats, more head room/more interior room, a trunk for road trips and plenty of aftermarket and NOS replacement parts.

Let's start with the Mustang. For me the best looking Mustangs are the 64.5/65- 68 Coupes. Sure, everyone loves a 65-70 Fastback! Those are also way out of my price range. Coupe are much easier to find and are still reasonably priced.

First up is the "Red Car" from "64blackfalcon" found on Instagram. Dig the home fabbed front spoiler that he sells. One of the key features of a Trans Am racer is to add the metal fender flares so big wide meats can be fitted. Yes, wider tires work better on track, but man they just looked killer! 

Doing a different kind of wheelie! This 65-66 Coupe is grippin' and rippin'! Such a cool look and stance and the side pipes!

Holman & Moody, need I say more! This red '67 is from South America and has some cool info online about its racing history. I just loved the HUGE wheels and tires that look more like a 60's NASCAR! I absolutely love this look and it stopped me in my trac...scolling online one day recently. This is Mustang Perfect!!!

Non-Mustangs (LOL!)

So, I really love Mustangs. I come from a Mustang loving/owning family! But, I am the one in the family who likes the more unusual stuff. How about a 1964 Pontiac Tempest/LeMans/GTO in a Vintage Trans Am style? The "Grey Ghost" already exists, but how about a Hechtspeed version with similar look. I found the perfect starter kit for sale in Idaho!

$9000 for a straight, primered with most of the required parts 1964 Pontiac LeMans would be awesome!

Even has the Muncie 4 speed. The engine and trans alone are probably worth $9000. Has full interior kit! I mean, let's go get it tomorrow Corey!

Not done with Pontiacs. Here's a 1971 LeMans! Basically a Chevy Nova cousin, but different! Here's one for sale locally! 

$7500 is very doable!

This looks really tough! Love the big wide modern wheels and tires, Trans Am-esque front spoiler and low stance! So good!

Last but not least, Mercury Cougar! For those in the know, The Cougar was tearin' it up in Trans Am before Ford pushed Cougars out of the way for the Mustang to take the spot light! 

Just wow! That big front air dam, those meats! The front light bar replaced with a racer version! The silver top and red 2-tone livery! Love it!
Here's a Cougar for sale a couple hours away in Idaho for a reasonable $15k!

Daytona Coupe: Assembly required

I'm writing this blog post the same night after putting up the GT40 post, but it should have come first. I've always loved what Factory Five Racing has done with their replica kits and every time they've released a new one, I've gone down the rabbit hole. The Cobra, while awesome and legendary, is a roadster and so has never been a realistic car I'd ever actually do. When FFR came out with their 33 Hot Rod (which can be coupe or roadster) I was seriously rabbit holeing it! 30's hot rod look, race car chassis! Then the 35 Pickup Truck! Then the 818 mid engine coupe! I actually have the donor car for the 818 (which stands for the cars weight in kilograms, or about 1800lbs!) in my 2002 Subaru WRX. Can you imagine 300hp in an 1800lbs mid engine go kart?! Oh ya, I can! 

The FFR Daytona Coupe has been out for awhile and they released an "R" version with some aero bits and their Mark III chassis, which has extended doors and longer foot box for us tall guys. The Daytona Coupe is also Legendary! With its Coupe body style and long nose and short tail, its beautiful and with a trunk, its better suited to driving it and road tripping it than a Cobra! After putting together the GT40 price sheet, I made one for the Daytona Coupe, because I knew, with its entry price of $22k, its a cheaper option. The final tally is about $65k using the same $10k Coyote or built 302, with a new TKX 5 speed, new solid rear and paint by Hechtspeed and the $10k fluff factor. I'd say its almost as long of a project as the GT40, but reduced by 2-3 years from the 10 year plan. LOL It's resale value (again, not why I'd be building it, but is a minor factor) is not as high as the GT40 clearly but a valuable car no doubt. Sure, it can be done for cheaper finding a donor 87-95 Mustang GT and going with used parts, so $65k should be on the high end of the range. It could probably be done for $45k or so.

With the build style of a Daytona Coupe, I could definitely go more modern wheels and tires and supporting parts. Here's an insanely cool rendering by designer "SDESYN" (Shashank Das) I found on Instagram. Somebody should build this exact car as its just jaw dropping cool!

The modern Rotiform wheels (I think that's what they are?), huge meats out back, front air dam and gull grey with LED headlights is sooooo goooood! Imagine a mildly worked 5.0 Coyote, 6 speed and IRS with some big wilwoods, this would be a show stopper that would be amazing at the track!
Check out the aero diffuser in the rear and the cool chunky LED tail lights. SDESYN just nailed a dream Coupe here! Man! I'm re-convincing myself to go FFR Coupe as I type! LOLOL

Here's a couple more killer Daytona Coupes!
This is the "R" version with aero additions like the big Wang out back, the canards and diffuser up front and vents behind front and rear fenders. Looks fast!

I didn't show a "Gulf" livery in my GT40 post, but you don't see Daytona Coupe's with the livery so its unique in this car. This was for sale a few years ago and was on "Stanceworks" blog. Look at that side profile! This car is gorgeous from any angle!

So dang! I want a Daytona Coupe kit! LOL GT40 or Daytona Coupe? Hard to get that one wrong! As Paul Thon told me as I left his shot the first day I met him after seeing his GT40, "Keep saving your money!!" 

Dream Big!


GT40: Trying it on for size

 Ford GT40!!!! Is this where every hot rod, car racing, modified car enthusiast "rabbit hole" will end up? It's where I have come to. I think it started when I was down the Factory Five Racing (FFR) Type 65 Coupe (aka Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe) rabbit hole and was searching out photos on Instagram and on Google searches. I came across the Instagram account and company "LeMansCoupe", which had this mint colored SuperFormance GT40.

It's amazing in every way! The GT40 is a Legend. Recap: it won LeMans 24 Hours 4 years in a row. It ended Ferrari's monopoly on LeMans. Ferrari has never won it since 1965. If you are into cars, you saw "Ford v Ferrari" the movie. The car is beautiful to look at. The shapes are perfect. It's low, wide, has wide hips, sculpted nose, the big air vent in the front boot behind the radiator, its mid-engine and has a roaring V8 with the "bundle of snakes" headers. 

So, here's my story of how I got here with the hobby. So, I spotted this mint colored GT40 on Instagram awhile ago. Like within the last 2 years, but I keep coming back to it. Every once in awhile I'll think "I need to look at that mint GT40 again!". I'll go find it on Instagram. I've "muted" the @LeMansCoupes" I think more than once, but I'll keep going back to find pictures of this car. They sold it last year, but here I'm saving some pics of it for future reference. Ok, back to the story. During the 2021 Christmas break, I was doing my usual "rabbit holeing" and around New Years Eve I was in a GT40 hole. New Years Day 2022 arrives, it's a Saturday, and my buddy Corey (1971 Pantera with 5.0 Coyote swap, aka "Kitty 5oh") calls me. This is a little unusual. We mostly text. He's called a few times. I pick up and he simply says "How would you like to go see a GT40?!". "Yes, Please!!!" LOL He says pick you up in a few minutes. So, next thing I know, I'm throwing on my black Dickies coat with all my Subaru/STi, SCCA and Miller Motorsports Park patches to go do some "car guy" stuff! We drive across town here in Farmington, Utah, to go see an RCR GT40 kit being built by a "lifer" Paul Thon. His place is a little piece of car guy heaven. He has a shop out back. There are some old Ford cabover trucks and a new edge Mach 1 Mustang outside. We knock on the side door and out pops Paul, a retired white haired gentleman who says "come on in". Corey introduces me and we walk in. The smell hits me first. It smells like old auto shop/machine shop. The oils and grime and old machinery. We walk passed his work benches and machinery and I see this:

It's very much a work in progress. Paul picked it up a couple years ago from the original buyer in Texas. This is an RCR (Race Car Replicas:
GT 40 kit. It can be ordered in a couple different levels with more or less of the needed parts. Paul is going with what he knows in the 351C. Probably not the most used engine option for a GT40, but he's had many 1971- Mustangs and even a Cobra kit car with a 351C. 
It has the 15" BRM spinner wheels with big AVON CR6-ZZ tires in 295/50/15 out back. 

Just look at these curves out back! And all the air vents! The "flying buttress" up top is a feature of the GT40 I have never really noticed before. This isn't the first GT40 I've seen. The old Miller Motorsports Park Museum (no longer there since the Miller family sold it and many of their classic cars after Larry H. died) had more than one real GT40 race car. But, that was like 12-13 years ago.
Here is a peek at the 351C in the middle with the clam shell opened up. 
So, that was January 1, 2022 that I got to visit Paul's GT40. We spent probably an hour pouring over the details, looking at each part of the car, asking lots of questions, Paul explaining what modifications he was doing to it. He is moving the roll bar behind the firewall to give more interior space and to make it safer to street drive it. He's also changing how the front body section mounts. Normally they slide in and out, but he's converting it to a clam shell style. That requires building a structure up front. 
That next week, I was in full GT40 rabbit hole mode! Corey and I began working on a master spreadsheet to price out what it would cost to build one. The number is big, I'll say that. Here's the quick version: $83,000 to buy the "Complete RCR" kit version ($47k), do a Porsche G50 transaxle, a Coyote or built aluminum headed 302ci and painting it myself plus $10k in "fluff fund", you know, for things you didn't know you needed. LOL Ya, $80k. 
Corey kept telling me to "Dream Big!". LOL But, it started to catch on. 

So, I'm down the GT40 rabbit hole all week. Saturday, January 8, 2022 is my 44th birthday. The night before Paul and I were messaging through Facebook Messenger. Corey had been talking to him that I was really interested in doing a GT40 someday and that I was curious how I'd fit. So, Saturday morning, Paul offered to me to come by some time and he'd mock up the pedals and seat and we could see how my 6ft 3.5in frame would fit. So, it's early afternoon that birthday day and I called Corey and said "Hey, you want to go see a GT40?!" LOLOL Good stuff right! LOL So, this time, I fire up the WRX and pick Corey up and head over to Paul's again, 2 Saturday's in a row! :) 

So, here's a couple pictures Corey took to document my "test fit". 

I will definitely need a "Hecht Bubble" for the roof, errr, sorry, a Gurney Bubble. :) haha

But, look at the pic, my legs are able to stretch out the right amount and the steering wheel doesn't sit in my lap. It's a 330mm or 13" steering wheel, so on the smaller side. The pedals are able to be mounted in a range of positions to fit the driver. The seat is the RCR seat but with some padding removed. This is night-and-day difference compared to the seating position in Corey's 1971 Pantera. That fitment was a total joke. This is actually doable. 

It was one of the coolest birthday presents I've had in awhile. Neither of them knew it was my birthday until I got there and told them this was the coolest birthday gift. :)

So, now what? It only takes $85k. LOLOL I think we need a couple more GT40 pics while you let that price sink in:

This plain white with black BRMs looks killer!!! I definitely like the solid color liveries. Sure, every one loves a baby blue and orange "Gulf" livery, but the solid color scheme really shows off the curves!

So, "Dream Big!" is the theme here! When I told my cousin it was about $80k to build, he said, that's pretty much what people are paying today for those luxury SUVs and big 4 door trucks. LOL he's totally right! Plus resale will hold well and probably grow over time with a GT40.

The reality is, even if I stayed in the GT40 rabbit hole long term, long term would be like 10 years easy to get that much money. I have $4000 right now and a suby that I could probably sell for $10-12k. I'm miles away from even thinking about buying even the base kit which costs $26k. Time to find a "side hustle", some way to bring in additional money to speed up the time table. Also, I'm taking donations. ;)

So, unless something changes in my finances in the next couple years, this will be a ways off. Which just might make it unrealistic. :) For now, I'll enjoy the beautiful lines and watching the good old boys driving them hard at Goodwood Festivals in England and going over to Paul's to see his progress on his GT40 project.

Dream Big!

PS Edit: Just posted the Daytona Coupe post and man, both cars are killer! I think the thought here is, if you are doing to go for a legit Daytona Coupe build with new parts and IRS, you are 78% the way to a GT40... and so if you're going to "Go Big" than might as well go all the way and go GT40... just thinking...

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Ultimate Street Car Challenge comes to Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC)

 A few Friday nights ago, I was doing my usual Instagram surfing. I came across a post by @utahmotorsportscampus page that the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car was coming to Utah. I don't think it clicked when I first saw it. I didn't have any plans on Saturday, but the neurons didn't connect that I should try and go. I got up at my usual 630am on Saturday and tried to go back to sleep. I picked up my phone and saw another post about the USCC event. I think it was seeing the bright orange 1970 Camaro of bdhobaugh, it finally clicked. I started thinking that I could get out there in 45 minutes and be there for a few hours. I figured everyone would be sleeping for a few more hours and so they wouldn't miss me or be annoyed that I ruined their Saturday. This was a chance to see many of my hero cars. Here's some photos of cars I've only seen on YouTube or Instagram.

I should mention that the previous 2 weeks before I would be driving out to Grantsville-Tooele area to the Utah Motorsports Campus, I was dealing with a clutch issue on my 2002 WRX. I got the clutch working properly like 1 or 2 days before I would make the 100 mi roundtrip drive. So, I was a little nervous to be driving so far from home. The Suby drove great and had 0 issues. I rolled the windows down, cranked up the Beach Boys music, which is a Saturday tradition and enjoyed the 50 mile drive west. Here's a picture I grabbed of the UMC sign before exiting Tooele. You can see the Great Salt Lake out the window.

This photo was taken as I was leaving the campus. It really is a campus. They have the big road course, a go-kart track, a couple off-road tracks for stadium trucks and motoX and a couple parking lots where they had AutoX for the Drive Optima event and a local drift event on the other side of the property. 

The suby is a good lookin' car eh? I love the simple silver on silver look! I love the Enkei NT-03M wheels too! Those "Falken" tire letters are holding on tight... hhhhhhhh :( Can't wait when they start to peel or I replace them with new tires.

Let's start off with the most recognizable car for me, Brian Hobaugh's 1973 monster Camaro. Just google this car and you will find feature articles for it going back to 2012. It has continued to evolve. It's a seriously cool machine! It sounds and looks aggressive. 

Hard to pick which one to go with next, but I'm going with this 1970 C3 Corvette nicknamed "Rambo"!
Rambo Pro-Touring C2 Vette article.
Read that article for more details and watch the video. The highlights include a 450hp LS6, T56 6 speed and JRI coilovers (best in the biz)! I love the green paint and fender flares. Serious cool grip machine!

Continuing with the 1970's Chevy theme, check out this 1969 K5 Blazer.
Laid-Back K5 Pro-Touring Blazer article.
Thank you to for putting up this article and for all the great YouTube video content from many autox and track events in the Southwest/California area. I'm a huge fan!
This Blazer is actually from Idaho and had its engine done at JDP Motorsports, which is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. How about a SpeedTech frame, 560hp LS3 and 315/335mm wide tires front and rear! Beautiful hot rod!

OK, time for a Ford. John McKissack's 1966 Ford Fairlane is rad! He's nicknamed it "Riverside Spec" and you can find "RS" decals in a few places. Check out's YouTube video here: In The Paddock Ep.6 Video
Here's the highlights: 427 Dart block, T56 6 speed, JRI shocks with Mike Maier cantilever torque arm suspension, 18x12 wheels and 315/30/18 stickies! Nuff said! I love the flares and aggressive stance!

This S197 Shelby GT500 was very fast and finished in the top 5 for the entire event! I don't have any details, but it stood out and was one of the many modern Mustangs. 
What was odd was there was 0 Mustangs pre-Fox body. And there was only 1 Fox body Mustang. I found that kind of odd. I feel like there are way more 60's Mustangs (especially 64-66 model years) driving around the streets compared to 67-73 Camaros, but on track, there seems to be the opposite scenario. Not sure why that is?

Here are a few more hot rods that I was diggin. I'm not sure what it is, but I love Pro-touring hot rod trucks from the 60-70's. I'm also a big fan of the modern Camaros, especially the 2016 and newer with the newer chassis (aka lighter chassis).