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Projects Track Roadster 16 yrs in the making

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by trakrodstr, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Friends

    Here are three photos of components from my track roadster. The project began 14 years ago, with the purchase of the 32 frame rails and the engine.

    The only important parts that have not been modified are the tires, Pete & Jakes ladder bars, engine block, crankshaft and cylinder heads; otherwise extensive modification to all components.

    Shown are one of the custom brake drums, the Dodge D500 Hemi with hand fabricated pipes and a view of a torsion bar arm and the steering arm. The headers and the steering arm are nickel plated, the torsion bar arm is nickel plated then "bronzed" using a pickling process....more to come.

    The goal is to have the roadster on the road by June.


    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  2. Ron Mayes
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 707

    Ron Mayes

    Killer lets see more of those drums
  3. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    If that attention to detail is spread throughout, gonna be a hell of a car.
  4. Ron

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Here is a photo of the front right corner showing the cast aluminum drum, parallel locating arms (in the horizontal plane), shock towers and tube axle. The opposite corner shows the torsion bar hidden within the frame rail. When viewed from the front the roadster will appear as if it has no suspension. The Miller Indy cars of the 20s were the inspiration for the front suspension layout.

    The other photo shows the Lockheed type center-plane brake assembly as used on most of the 50s Mopars and some British cars of that era.

    I’ll keep you informed.

    Attached Files:

    brEad likes this.

  5. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,759

    from Nebraska

    Wow... some amazing work, there! Please post as many photos and details as you want :) How about the body and rear suspension?

    Thanks for sharing this with us...

  6. HotRod33
    Joined: Oct 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,476


    okay your teasing us.... Lets see some more pictures......
  7. Shifty, I hope your prophecy will be correct. After all I've had 14 years to sweat the details. The fabrication was all accomplished by Jack Presse at the Street Rod Place, first in Denver and more recently in Stevensville, MT. At some point in the last few years Jack "adopted" the roadster, but he still lets me visit and make suggestions...just kidding... he's a great guy. Make no mistake...the craftsmanship is his and his alone.

    The drums were made by an eccentric englishman. He cast iron hoops, then cast the alum housing and machined the final shape. I had a hell of a time finding him and getting the drums made; it was a major PITA, but worth it.

    Charlie (Trakrodstr)
  8. I am not intentionally trying to tease you good people, but I don't want to "debut" the roadster on the internet. Mostly because I will lose control of the photos. I had hoped we would have the car completed in time for the LA Roadster show, but alas, that is not looking too likely.

    I live in Kansas City and there is a Goodguys in Sept, but I'm thinking of something more in tune with the theme of the roadster, which is a mid 50s motif. I am open to suggestions for where to first present the car. After the first showing I will be driving it quite a bit, so it won't be "perfect" for long.

    I'll add some more "detail" photos later and when the time comes (June?) I will post photos of the car at this website.

    Thanks to all for the kind words and interest. We have really tried hard to make this an interesting track that will be appreciated by hard core gear heads.

    brEad likes this.
  9. dirtbag13
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,540


  10. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,759

    from Nebraska

    A couple of ideas of where you could possibly first 'present' your car--
    (and also in your area of the country)

    KKOA Salina, KS - July 24-26, 2009

    H.A.M.B. Drags - August 22, 2009
    I think it'd be cool as hell if you first presented your car there, especially since you are sharing some details of it with us here on the HAMB.
  11. I vote Hamb Drags... or hell, just bring it by my house when your done.
    brEad and kidcampbell71 like this.
  12. The Brudwich
    Joined: Oct 3, 2005
    Posts: 788

    The Brudwich

    Wow!!! More pics of your build, please!

    I'll definitely be following your build. Track roadsters were a pretty significant part of hot rod history that seems to have been forgotten by most people.
  13. Malcome thanks for the suggestions, I did not know about the HAMB Drags, and Joplin is sure convenient to KC.

    I guess there rodders who are not participating in the drags just show up in the parking lot...correct?
  14. hotcoupe
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 512


    very nice! quality takes time.
  15. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,759

    from Nebraska

    Yep! There are alot of hot rods and customs that show up -- and quite a few of them actually participate in the drags... 'run what ya brung!'
  16. This is a view of the firewall, it shows virtually all of the metal coatings, colors and textures. There is nothing hi-tech. No ceramics or weird coatings. Here you can see the body color, engine color, nickel plating, bronze coating, also the paint coating we used on the: Hilborn throttle bodies, valley cover, timing cover, oil pan, tranny (5 speed Tremec), and differential housing (Culver City, Halibrand Magnesium). The two brake cylinders, and clutch cylinder are early British sports car units with fabricarted reserviors.

    The Hilborns are coverted to EFI, but the electronics are hidden beneath the valley plate. The original Hilborn fuel bungs are used to provide a vacuum signal to the EFI. What appear to be fuel lines (black tubing) are in fact, connected to a "fuel block", which acts as a vacuum plenum.

    I had an old Vertex mag converted to an electronic distrubutor. So the racing motif will be present, but the motor will idle nicely in traffic and start on cold mornings.

    The fastener that looks like a rivet is one of a batch of titanium threaded bolts that I got on Ebay, it has an Allen hex drive socket in the threaded end. These are old NASA fasteners, which are surprisingly cheap and look non-standard.

    The Dodge Hemi valve cover is a junk part for assembly, we have not decided yet what coating/color to use on the finished part. I am planning to use the stock type spark plug wire covers.

    In the lower right you can see the shaft from the Schroder sprint car steering gear box poking through the side of the cowling and a little bit of the steering arm (see the first set of photos).

    Enough for now.

    Blue sky and green light to all...

    Attached Files:

    brEad likes this.
  17. I'll be looking forward to more pics, etc. of this great project. It all looks very well thought out and executed to this point.

    It's surprising that more builders don't use the sprint car torsion bar suspension components as you have. Infinitely adjustable for ride and height not to mention the simplicity of that design. Of course I happen to have for sale all the parts needed to complete a setup like yours. :D
  18. tbraginton
    Joined: Dec 5, 2007
    Posts: 288

    from Nevada

    WOW!!! That is very impressive so far. Keep us posted on where you plan to unveil I'd love to come check out that front suspension setup! Never would have thought of torsion bars...
  19. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,819


    Wow, that is sweet. Now we have to wait for the unveiling?

    I've been gathering pieces for years to build an indy 2 seater inspired roadster but this tops what I was drawing up by miles.
  20. xderelict
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 2,477

    Member Emeritus

    I love what I've seen so far and can't wait to see more.That torsion bar front ends is the tits!
  21. Ron Mayes
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 707

    Ron Mayes

  22. LB+1
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 581

    from 71291

    The regular old hose clamp - NO no - The build is 2 nice for such.
  23. LB+!


    What hose clamp?

  24. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 843

    from garage

    Hi,is it possible to get the Drum makers address/phone etc ?
    We restore mercedes and a lot of older Mercs have gold plated brake Alfin drums which are getting impossible to buy nowadays. Some one who knows how to cast iron lined drums would be handy to know.
  25. Dirtynails - I will post the info regarding the drums this week. The correspondence is at my work office.
  26. McKee - As I wrote above, I don't want to post full photos of the roadster before it's debut at a car show. I apologize for seeming to be playing games. I did debate with myself about whether to post the build-up photos, and as you can see decided to post images depicting some of the interesting (I hope) mechanical details. With luck the track roadster will be finished in June and "appear" very soon thereafter.

    Thanks for your interest.
  27. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,734


    Please post more pics! You have the largest Hot Rod audience in the WORLD here, I could not think of a better place to show it off! Plus, when you start hitting events this year you will have 10-50,000 new friends to talk to! :)
  28. Dirtynails,

    Regarding the aluminum brake drums, here is the web address for Typecast Engineering Limited in the UK

    << >>

    The fellow I dealt with told me he was "selling out"". This was about four years ago...which, in this case, is good news, if true. He was honest and talented but a procrastinator of the highest magnitude. From the modern looking web page it appears as if Typecast is on a more businesslike footing.

    I faxed an engineering drawing with all dimensions and he sent back (eventually) two perfect drums. I was especially please by the old world look of the alum casting, very nice. The fellow was also adamant about using exactly the correct brake shoe lining material, which I was able to find (eventually).

    What made me decide on Typecast is that the owner did not use a bonding agent to affix an iron hoop to an alum drum. He claimed that he used a fixture to locate the iron liner and then poured the molten alum around the assembly, thus no bonding agent was used.

    As you may know there are some US companies that heat the alum drum, press in a iron liner and use a proprietary adhesive to from the iron-to-alum bond. I have no reason to believe that this latter process is unsuitable, but the composite metal-to-metal process sounded superior to me.

    Also the early Datsan 240 GTs used an alum rear drum, which might be suitable for some hot rods and restorations.

    I hope this helps.

    Good luck

  29. LB+1
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 581

    from 71291

    Pressure fitting Clamps? What I persume to be clamps on hoses behind #8

    Look at a engine shot of the Miller Golden Sub, Horrible clamps. Miller car
    # 122 more in tune with what I am trying to say.

    Or a wash of some sudtle color on them. Don't get me wrong here I like your
    Build even if they were Pink!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  30. damnfingers
    Joined: Sep 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,287


    Love it...thanks for sharing. Wish you were debuting it today though because I'd love to see more. I really like the subtle colors.

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