23 May 2009

Welding continues and will be done tomorrow – which is just as well. Getting the chassis completely welded is a good milestone so I’m taking off some time from that to work on the manuscript. It’s good timing, working on the car for two weeks straight is enough for a bit. In that time the car’s extended its lead on the manuscript so it now needs to catch up. It’s all good though, nothing in the last two weeks has involved precision numbers that aren’t already in the book.

Not knowing chassis weight was killing me so since the wife’s out of town the bathroom scale was borrowed… 240 lbs. This number would not surprise mechanical engineers who use fancy CAD that totals all material weight, or designers who calculate it. I didn’t bother because, well, it doesn’t matter. The chassis is built per SCCA tubing rules and basically, the chassis is the body, so it is what it is. I have a spreadsheet with every weight on it; with the corrected weights, not including driver or gas, the total is 1365 lbs. I suspect I’ll be lucky if it stays below 1500 lbs. We’ll see.

Years ago I watched an excellent PBS show called “Plane Crazy,” about a guy who sets out to design, build, and fly an airplane in 30 days! It’s an excellent education in human nature, what happens when people put themselves in impossible situations. As far as I know it’s now only available on VHS on the used market but if you’re considering building a car it’s very worthwhile viewing. I just bought myself a copy.

My brother stopped by in his Super Stalker, lamenting how it seems like someone always wants to race him – this time it was a Viper. He said the first time he got the jump on the Viper and the guy had a hard time catching up. Second time the Viper got the jump and slowly pulled away. Not bad considering both the cost factor and that the Stalker can out-brake and out-corner it.