Bucket List; Prepping our vintage car for the vintage race

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
I thought I would start a thread on our project. Racing the NORRA Mexican 1000 in a vintage buggy has been a bucket list item for us. In another thread 43mod said he would give this car to anyone that wanted to pick it up, prep it, enter the race and let him drive a few hundred miles. I've known 43mod (BRP we call him) for a while and know he's a stand up guy. We met with him and after a few phone calls the car was on my trailer heading south from Colussa. We're not sure what chassis it is but we're pretty sure it's a Funco SSI (or generic copy) with a taller cage and back half done. Indications are the old frame work hoops around the rear shocks and the aluminum lines on the front beam clamps. If anyone knows different please let us know.
The other half of this 'we' is Mike Ericson (mike400rd). This will be his first race as a driver. He has been co-dog in the Total Chaos Toyota for Koenig Racing for the past 5 years.
 

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y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
After getting the car home on our first prep night we we joined by the individual (Les) that owned the car form 2010 to 2012? and found some history on the car. Les bought it from a guy in San Diego who's family owned it and a 2-seater in San Felipe for 20+ years, possibly original owners. Les bought both cars to resell the single seater to pay for the two seater prep. The car was brought up to Northern California where he fixed it up and painted it the Monster black and it was resold to a guy (Day) in the foothills who also had a house in San Felipe. I think the car was in both places for a while. BRP (43mod) bought it and had it parked ever since.

Les' prep on the car was replacing all the gas and brake lights, wheel cylinders and some frame and body work. When we got it it was pretty clean and didn't take much to drive it up and down the street.

Here are the photos I have of it's paint history.
 

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LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
Congratulations! I hope you keep us up to date and post pictures of the prep. I have seen other more detailed pictures of this car and believe it is a SS1 or was one. Yeah the roll cage is not SS1 or what is going on around the back either. But when look at everything else it is all SS1. SS1 are very cool, you never know, before all the mods were made this might have been a significant race car!
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
That brings us to our first night of prep last week. We wanted to get the fiberglass seat out and fit an older PRP suspension seat that we had in.
This weeks prep was getting it fired up and drive up and down the street. After we found the flaws like steering wheel too low, can't reach the gas pedal and it has NO rear brakes we brought it in the garage and began tear down. We hope to have the transmission gone thru and given a blessing. The motor the same. Both worked well but it starved for fuel. Maybe the fuel filters are plugged since gas doesn't drain out very fast. To meet regulations (or not, NORRA rule book says metal tank ok on pre 73 but never got an answer) we pulled the tank to replace it with a fuel cell.
Things to do list is long but we'll knock them off one at a time.
 

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y2kbaja

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Since the car has no "good" history, meaning no big names or sponsors were on the car we decided to give a throw back to my dad for 40 years of VORRA. Old VORRA guys remember his orange baja. This thing will be orange with his original #44 number plate on it. Here are some old VORRA decals my mom found and some new ones with the old VORRA logo as well as some other old garage junk. I will get a picture of his old baja bug.
 

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Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
The rear cage looks like it was eaither a funco ss1 or a hi-jumper RS1. Been recaged to make it taller later in life and that rear cage extension to try and make it look like a ss2. Just curious, it wasn't Don Miguel's car at some point, was it? He had a car in VORRA very similar looking, but his might have been IRS. By the way, did your dad's baja have an external roll cage?
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
It's not Don Miguel's car. I think he had a Raceco or Mirage. That would be a good barn find as his car was always clean and well maintained. My dad's baja had an internal cage but the rag top sunroof opening was eventually welded to the cage. I remember the exoskeleton orange baja, wasn't my dads


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43mod

Well-Known Member
Troy come on now those A pillar lights were classic early race fabrication. Glad to see it going forward.
my engine guy says he is swamped for the next month. Do what you need to do to get going on what you have.
He would like to join in by putting together a spare engine and trans to have for the race.
Let me know if you need anything from me.
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
Spare motor and trans sounds fantastic!!!!
 

mikerd400

Well-Known Member
The ammo can was on the buggy when we got it. Just there for storage.
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
We're registered!! Going with not only my dads old number 44 but also his old number plate. It may be older than I am.
 

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y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
Went to a buddy Dan-The-Man's and "borrowed" a few parts. We went for spindles but came away with the whole front end. He waded his car up (with my daughter riding shotgun) a couple of years ago so has most of the car cut in pieces. The left control arms are bent but we ordered a new set yesterday. The fuel cell is exactly the size we needed. And some other odds and ends; shocks, radio connections, spare tires and wheels, nets.
 

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DONALD MACE

Well-Known Member
Cool find Y2K, good luck on your project, looks like fun. Trying to find my dads old Wedge from 74 and do the same.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
I think he had a car before that raceco. Maybe I am older than I think, but I thought he had a Hustler before the racecos were even popular. I am talking about the early 1980s. Thought he raced 1-1600.
 

DONALD MACE

Well-Known Member
Not that i know of. Don came into a vw shop that i worked at in about 1982 or 83. Rebuilt his FAT 40hp engine for him. Started helping working on his car, built a 1650 and a 2276 as we went on. He stoped in 87 and i went on to help Elrods, still with them.
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
Quick update with no pictures. Last race car night was set back after set back. This is the last time I do a resto. From now on it's new builds only. The 2nd chromolly beam we got is bent on the bottom tube from rock impact, no biggie but it would have taken major work to get it in the car since the mounting horns lined up with the cross bracing. So we went back to the old beam. We ordered new 1 1/4" arms for it. We didn't go name brand because they only need to finish this ONE race. Got the arms in, right side on out to the backing plates. Left side we ran out of straight usable link pins. Rack is mounted and last of the tie rod ends are on order. Now we need to reroute the steering, this otta be fun.
In the fuel cell department we decided to replace the foam since we didn't know its age. But all the bolts holding the neck on turned/spun in the cell. Two hours and a hack saw later the top was off. How the hell did this go together with the bolts floating in the ring inside the cell? Foam is here and hopefully the cell will go back together this week and finally get in the car.
So we got somewhere and nowhere last week. Hopefully this week will produce more results and parts lock-tighted on. I will try to get more pictures.
 
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