Accomplished nothing physical on the car but spent a lot of time staring at it, moving things around, clamping wood and cardboard to the car, and the solution – while still fuzzy – is slowly taking shape.
First it was figuring out the diffuser, then how much to tip the engine cover down to meet it, then how much to split them to allow hot engine air out. Then it was noticed that the top of the fiberglass fenders are virtually even with the top of the engine cover, meaning that paneling could cover the entire assembly, engine and tires. Realized that even if the chassis itself is cleaned up at the back end, there’s still all sorts of drag behind those huge rear fenders… which lead to thinking about creating one rear panel that covers the full width of the car, fenders included. Add a gap to let hot air out of the engine area, and air out from the wheel wells.
As things progressed, more and more of the fiberglass fender was getting covered with paneling, and about that time, realized the horizontal panel across the top of the fender could be extended forward. That then lead into the entire side pod/vent/air inlet thing covered months ago. Around and around… it’s possible the fiberglass fenders might be made redundant, though it means the resulting fender edge will probably look more homemade, without a nice return. Still, it’s a potential savings of $240 (plus shipping) so that’s being kept in mind. Doing this with paneling will require bending tubing, but if it’s small enough, a conduit bender should do. We’ll see.