Originally Posted by outback_ute
Davis, was that Stang really road reg?
It was really road registered. In Arizona, any vehicle model year 1966 and earlier is considered to be pre-emissions and therefore no inspection is required. It was road registered and tagged when it was still just a nasty looking body shell.
However, it was never really driven on the street. It was too low! I had to drive (or push) it up on boards to get the jack under the front end. I could have raised the suspension up a good bit to drive it on the street, but that would have just gotten me into trouble...as if I stayed out of trouble on the track!
Somebody forgot to turn the electric waterpump drive on and boiled the water out of the block, which popped off the top radiator hose (return) and all of that water spewed out right in the path of the right rear tire. It was like driving a boat with full rudder...after getting completely sideways, it rolled onto its side, onto its roof then banged into the wall at about 120 MPH and slid through the lights upside down doing a 12.76 at some 68 MPH with the 'chute pulled.
At least that is what I believed happened. The top water hose was off after we finally took a look at it while the track crew cleaned up the mess. The car was built very stoutly. Only the rear bumper (fiberglass) was torn off as was the driver's side (left for us) door handle from sliding on that side. I trashed the car because the main hoop was so badly ground down and the front end was so badly bent that it would have been more work to repair it than to rebuild it.
I built another couple of door cars, but never raced them, just sold them upon completion and started on this dragster project--going on a year now.
It took us almost exactly 1 year to build that Mustang from a sandblasted body shell. I wrecked it on its 21st pass. First pass ever off of the trailer, I was "taking it easy" (or so I thought!) and ran something like a 10.34 @ 126 (or something along those lines, I've long since tossed all of the timeslips).
The car was so stable that it felt like about a 12-something until I started getting on the brakes and literally flew past the first turn out. I noticed that I really needed to slow it down while fast approaching the 2nd turn out. I completely misjudged the speed as it was just so smooth. Also, for a tube chassis racecar with fiberglass front, doors, trunk, bumpers and lexan windows, it wasn't exactly a lightweight at 2850# with me in it. All of the interior sheet metal except the dash was steel. The chassis was made from mild steel and it with a big block and a C6, it was a fairly hefty combination.
The BBF made over 600 TQ its entire useful RPM range (on pump gas). I really built the car for something like 10% street 90% strip and used 3.89 gears in the rear end, 33" tall tires a massive radiator, dual electric fans, combination oil cooler/transmission cooler with dedicated fan...everything that I could do to ensure that it wouldn't overheat during cruise nights.
I had ordered a 4.29 gear set for it as a complete alloy 3rd member from Strange...it arrived the day AFTER I wrecked it. The 4.29 would have been a much better gear for this car, which ran 1.19 60' when loading up the converter to 5000+ with the 3.89s and the big tires.
I once left in second gear (during that starting line process, I *wondered* why the transbrake wouldn't engage...shifter needed some adjustment) and ran a low 10.30 or high 10.20...can't remember for sure.
It made a ton of torque and was a lot of fun to drive...it was a bit too comfortable at race speeds, which made me perhaps a bit overconfident. I probably could have saved it had I gotten out of it as soon as it started getting loose on the night I wrecked it. I wanted to beat the Mopar, as it was Ford versus Mopar night at the track and we two were considered to be the "big guns" of the night. It died June 15th, 2002. RIP. I sold the engine to a guy building a 4x4 F250 for what I paid for it. I sold the transmission to a guy who wanted to build a cruiser. The only part that I took a loss on (other than the obvious body parts and chassis) was the torque converter, which cost me like $780 and I sold it for something like $600.
I think of it now as a good lesson learned, even if rather expensive. Any racecar you can walk away from is a good one. Had I not been wearing my neck brace (not actually required when slower than 9.99) I may have gotten a state-paid ride to the morgue.
Still, the worst thing about it is that I was rushed at the starting line and didn't go through my checklist or I would have caught the waterpump drive being off. The Mopar I was racing only ran a 10.21 and I regularly ran 10.0x.