Mark Stahl's 1977 Chenowth 1000 restoration...

Discussion in 'Vintage Racing' started by Rory, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Rory

    Rory Crayola Killer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    Arizona
    I've moved this thread to the "Show and Tell" since there is not a "Vintage" section.....YET. For those of you that are new, here's a quick recap. Jeff Furrier (UPR racing) and myself bought this car to restore and race the NORRA 1000 race. Jeff had been eyeballing this car and finally was able to get it from the owner.

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    Photo credit Mendeola
    The Car:
    1977 Chenowth 1000, 106" wheelbase (originally 100" but thats ANOTHER story), raced for the first time at the 77 Baja 500. This car won 3 Baja 1000's in class 1, two Overall and one 2nd Overall 1st in class 1. Along with those wins, Mark Stahl won 3 "Ironman" trophies for racing solo. Mark's last race in this car was the 81 Baja 1000, he then went on to start a new career in NASCAR as a driver and test driver.


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    Here's a shot of the car on the cover of Hot VW's magazine in the February 1979 issue. The magazine covered a lot of off road racing back in the day and this was the issue that covered the 78 Baja 1000.

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    This is a shot of the car when Jim Travis bought the car from Mark Stahl in 1983-ish. For some reason, Jim never painted the car and left Mark Stahl's name on the side. If you look at the rear, you can tell the car has been lengthened by 6". Photo credit Jeff Furrier

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    This is how the car sits now. It's actually in pretty damn good shape. We bolted the front end together and are currently searching for the front trailing arms and spindles (AMS).

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    Here's a shot of the interior. The left side of the photo would be the rear firewall with the fuel cell just behind. Interesting the way all the switches and even the CB mount are all located on the side. The other side consisted of the shifter, turning brake and storage compartment.

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    This is the AMS steering rack. I can't believe how light it is and seems to be in great shape. We will be pulling it apart, magnafluxing everything and put it back together to make sure it works ok.

    The next couple weeks will be dedicated to finding a front end and hopefully a set of Mark Stahl rear 3x3 trailing arms (he built his own and also sold approx 200 sets to customers). If any of you think you might have some parts we could use, please give myself or Jeff Furrier a call. I'll try to update this thread every could weeks, NORRA is not far off so we need to move on this project. Thanks for looking, please don't hesitate to ask any questions, this is going to be a fun build for Jeff and I.
  2. retroblazer

    retroblazer Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    recently move to Gustine,CA
    I would think his arms would be pretty easy to replicate. I remember looking at some back in the day when I was looking to build a class 5. If I recall, it was simply a piece of rectangular tube. Also, was the car lengthened when Mark had the car or after? If it was none after will you put it back? So was that 100" + the 3" from the rear arms + 6" lengthening ? I have to admit I like the look of the longer car.
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    La Habra, CA
    I love vintage. Good luck on getting it ready!
  4. AZ45

    AZ45 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona
    Mark lengthened the car after the 81 500. The arms do look pretty close to some of the boxed arms currently being sold, I think they would work if we cant get original Stahl arms.
  5. 560bajamike

    560bajamike Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
    Any photo's of the arm's? I will look around also to help find a pair or something close.

    Mike
  6. AZ45

    AZ45 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona

    Attached Files:

  7. 560bajamike

    560bajamike Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
    Kind of a standard boxed arm then is what is being looked for.
    I have 2x3x4 on my car now what I was told only made 2 set's over 15 year's ago. They are getting replaced next winter and will be for sale.

    Thank's about the cake, that was 2 years ago in Sept. And it was really good, I hated to cut into it.

    Mike
  8. harleys dad

    harleys dad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Location:
    Murrieta Ca
    I have to look but I think I have the Stahle arms you are looking for as well as the spindles and arms. For 15 to 20 years we had the 1978 Baja 1000 winning class 10 tandem 2 seat Hi Jumper of Tom cooper and Ron Stacey sitting in my mom and dads back yard. My dad finally got sick of it sitting in his yard and took everything off it and cut the frame up into tiny pieces that were hauled off in trash cans!!No Joke!! Anyway we still have(I think) the Stahle arms that were first installed for the 78 Baja 1000 sitting in my moms shed as well as the spindles-arms-link pins and disk brakes that were on that car and only used 1 time at the 78 1000. One thing I question about the arms, the Stahle arms on this car were not 3x3, they were 3x5 or 3x6 and all that I have seen are the same as these and if you look at the picture of the 1978 Baja 1000 about 60 miles south of Mexicalli and the picture of the car lengthened there seems to be more overall than 6 -9 inches. My dad did the rear set up on the high jumper and I still can remember Mark and Clyde delivering the arms to my dad with Mark helping my dad hang 1 arm. My dad and Clyde Stahle were long time friends as of course Mark. There is Zero question about these arms being Stahle arms, very early ones at that. I will go look this weekend, havent paid much attention to that stuff for a long while, the arms and spindles I wanted to use on my 5/1600 car long ago but my dad wouldnt let me, I do have the Hi Jumper front beam clamps off that frame sitting in my garage, talk about heavy.
  9. Rory

    Rory Crayola Killer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    Arizona
    Dave,

    That would be GREAT!!! We need the front arms/spindles and rear arms, front/rear hubs/calipers (AMS) and possibly another front steering rack. Also, if you have any spring plates that you think might work that would be great too! Please give me a call with whatever you might have. It's been great atlking to the veterans of the sport with all the stories.....it's been making this restoration even that much more fun. Feel free to give me a call @ 928.542.0233. We are kind of in a rush for parts since we only have a (Almost) bare frame. Thanks againHere's a quick wish list.........

    AMS front trailing arms (1.5-1.75" over stock)
    Front spindles (not combo's), either AMS or Wright
    Jackman wheels
    Sandmaster Jr and Sandblaster 915 tires
    Mark Stahl rear trailing arms
    Chenowth front bumper
    AMS disc hubs with calipers (front and rear)
    Spring plates
    Shifter (time appropriate)
    Single lever turning brake (time appropriate)

    Let us know what you got. Thanks guys, gotta love RDC!
  10. Rory

    Rory Crayola Killer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    Arizona
    This is my first week since getting the car from Jeff. Both of us have been on the phone (and internet) looking for parts and following leads. Since I don't really have too much to start with at the moment I went ahead and pulled off the AMS steering rack.

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    This thing only weighs about 5 pounds and from the outside looked like there was quite a bit going on with all the allen screws. As of right now the only thing we are missing are the boots that go over the ends of the rack to protect the slider.

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    Here's the rack taken apart. As you can see it's pretty straight forward. The allen screws are basically set screws to hold in the aluminum caps on both ends of the unit. The caps also hold the steering pinion (I think thats what it's called) into place and by rotating the caps you can fine tune or tighten the unit up. The large brass nut/bolt on the bottom is also a set screw for the slider to keep it from letting the slider fall out of the rack.

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    While inspecting the rack I noticed a couple small cracks where the set screws are located. We will tig these up and see if that fixes it, if not we will need a new housing for the steering rack.
  11. 560bajamike

    560bajamike Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
  12. Rory

    Rory Crayola Killer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    Arizona
    Dave, any luck? Please give me a call when you can. 928.542.0233
  13. 07FJRog

    07FJRog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Ramona, Ca
    the chenowth bumper maybe available ( or made) at Fibertech in Santee/El Cajon, Ca.
  14. Rory

    Rory Crayola Killer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    Arizona
    While we aren't quite ready to get into the meat and potato's of this car yet (suspension/moto/trans), there is some maintance that needs to be addressed. For one, there are more than a couple mounts that were put onto this car long after Mark Stahl, and even the next owner Jim Travis sold this car. There are 2 HUGE mirror mounts on the A-pillars that need to come off, along with some grinding of some old mounts that are still hanging around.

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    Above is one of the A-pillar mounts that I cut off with a sawzall then grinded down with a ....well......a grinder. I was trying to be carefull to just get enough of the old weld as I could without getting into the tubing itself. After cutting off the drivers side, the car looks MUCH better and I will tackle the other side as soon as my ears stop ringing.

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    As you can see here it looks much better. The plan is to weld a light tab, one on each side for the off road lights. There is also some excess tubing on the rear bumper that needs to come off but we will address that later.

    Still looking for front end parts (arms) and some 3x3 rear trailing arms. Hopefully we will have some good news on scoring parts around the SEMA show time frame. Until next time.....
  15. HDRA1

    HDRA1 The Godfather

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    las vegas nv
    rory i am excited for this build you know i love all the old stuff but get your ear plugs out or you are not going to be able to enjoy the sweet sounds of that motor ringing through the pine forest and down the sea of cortez EARPLUGS are your friend trust me
  16. Rory

    Rory Crayola Killer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    Arizona
    what?!?!?!??! Lol
  17. BCG1

    BCG1 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Location:
    Playa Matomi, Baja California
    Well, Rory, you are known for being good with a Sawzall.
  18. 560bajamike

    560bajamike Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
    Mirror mount's or tow strap pull point's? LOL Race thru a lot of tree's I guess.

    Mike
  19. Rory

    Rory Crayola Killer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    Arizona
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    Collecting some parts, found a set of AMS rear hubs, they are in pretty good shape considering they are 30 years old. I haven't cleaned them up yet but I'm sure they will clean up fine. Looking for the calipers to go with them.....holding my breath.

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    Jeff Carr from Las Vegas had a set of front spindles that we can use on the car. These were built by Wright back in the mid to late 70's. If anyone else has some out there we could use a spare set. Thanks Jeff!

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    The wheel and tire you see is a Jackman wheel and a Western Auto Sandblaster JR. Everyone and their mother use to run these tires on their buggies and a few truck guys ran the Sandblaster 915's. The DA's own Lucas Hand DONATED this wheel and tire to our cause (Thanks Lucas), even though it shows some wear the wheel can be straightened and the tire cleaned up so it can be used on the car when it HOPEFULLY gets into the ORMHOF.....we're working on that.
  20. Andrew

    Andrew Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    La Habra, CA
    Awesome to see all that history coming together. Keep updating.... this is my favorite thread on here

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