29 Jun 2011

The last two tunnel panels are in but rough-cut, still needing mounting holes, but the long mental slog is coming to an end. After these panels are sorted, next up are the panels behind the radiator. The nuisance with those panels is that the radiator tubes – full of water – are right in the way. Either the panels can be built around the tubes piecemeal, or just suck it up, roll the car out, drain the coolant (which is just tap water) and do it the right way. Hmmm, why is that such a hard decision…

In other news, building the car means getting in and out of it about a thousand times, often with the seat temporarily in-place. Over time I’ve found that I now get in by stepping on the seat and sliding in, then install the steering wheel. Getting out is the reverse, which means the optional side-triangulation tube is looking more possible (as in: it doesn’t inhibit getting in and out, at least the way I do it.) It has the benefits of: keeping the front upper corner of the windscreen from folding down in a roll-over. It prevents rocks kicked up by the front tires from having a line-of-sight impact with my face…, and it’ll keep the wind from whipping around the sides of the windscreen – a real problem with Seven-type cars – making for a more pleasant ride. It’ll also very likely provide convenient hard-points for side mirrors.

In other news, my brother had another trackday event with his Super Stalker, this one at both Streets of Willow and the big track next door, Willow Springs. He said the notables were a 600-whp Nissan GTR that got beat fair and square by a Spec Miata racer (meaning that the engine was virtually stock.) There was a Porsche GT3 which wasn’t running well, had poor tires, a poor driver, or some combination thereof. He said the other real competition was an old Honda CRX, and it was nearly equivalent performance-wise to his car. He didn’t find out what the guy had under the hood, but the owner claimed >300 whp… normally-aspirated! That’s doable with a K-series for a whole lot of money as it usually entails running it at >10,000 rpm. No kidding.