Ivan Stewart Modern motors Chenowth 1000 replica build

Rory

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Everyone: Wait, i thought you were building the Ivan Stewart Toyota?
Me: I am!
Everyone: Well why are you wasting time on this car instead of putting all your focus on the Toyota?
Me: Well, the thing is.....
Everyone: you're stupid......(and they walk off).

Ok, well maybe not THAT bad but you get the idea. So why am i building this Chenowth 1000 instead of putting time into the Toyota? Short story long:

Planning on moving within the next year and need to start getting rid of crap in my garage (no the Toyota is NOT for sale). I have been stock piling buggy parts for a build like this for a bout 5 years now, ever since jeff Furrier and myself finished the Mark Stahl Chenowth 1000. I'm a big fan of those cars, they have great lines for an old car. Anyways, Lynn Chenowth offered this car to me since he has his hands full with his Chenowth buggies and the one he sold me was going to need a lot of work i don't think he wanted to do. So my plan is to make this car a race car minus motor and trans, sell it, then use that money for the Toyota. Kinda killing 2 birds with one stone as i will be getting rid of a bunch of parts and space in my garage once it's gone.

The Chenowth 1000:

The story as I know it is Larry Friday bought the Chenowth to race with his buddy Rick Galles from New Mexico. If that name sounds familiar it's because it's the same "Galles" that had an INDYcar team for years with Al Unser Jr. Somehow Bill Mears was also included in this deal, i think he might have been in charge of putting it together and also had Roger (i think) drive with Friday and Galles at a few races. The car was a class 1 unlimited and state of the art back in the day but never really set the world on fire. Here's a link to Jim Ober's Trackside photo site to see what it looked like:

Galles Friday 564056.JPG | Trackside Photo-- Forty years of Racing Photos

It was sold a few times and was turned into a class 9 car in the late 80's, early 90's and raced in the VORRA series.

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It then changed hands again and then some "interesting" fab work made its way onto the car. Lynn Chenowth then ended up with the car last year. I talk with him every once in a while and told him I was looking for an old chassis to bolt some of my old parts to and he offered me up this car. The price was right so I picked it up last December and brought it home...

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The car is going to need some work. It was converted to a ball joint front end for class 9 so that will have to be changed back to link pin. The body is mostly their but missing one of the rear quarter panels but that shouldn't be a problem. Some of the fab work was really scary, i guess this is why they have technical inspection...

Here's the seat mounts...

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One of the tubes holding the trans into place...

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Knowing that the majority of that stuff can be fixed pretty easily I'm not too worried. The next thing was to figure out what i wanted this thing to look like. Originally i had a totally different route I was going to go with this car but it soon was brought to my attention that this was a "High cage" Chenowth. According to Lynn, he only built a few of these cars because it offered a little more head room, so Lynn seems to think there was only about 5 total ever built. Knowing that the only high cage Chenowth that had any history was Ivan Stewarts Modern Motors car. Since Larry Friday didn't really have any history with the car, only that Galles and Mears drove it, i didn't want to restore the car with that paint job because i considered it "Boring". If for some reason someone wanted to put it back to the Friday car, all they would have to do is paint it.

Anyways, here's a couple pic's of the Ivan Stewart Chenowth...

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Photo credit unknown

Ivan Stewart at the 1977 Baja 500.
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Photo credit Centerline Images/Kristian Paulsen
 

harleys dad

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what happened to Ivans car?, the picture above is Nuevo Jct on the way to the summit
 

Rory

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what happened to Ivans car?, the picture above is Nuevo Jct on the way to the summit
Jim Vanzant ( I believe) bought the Chenowth from Ivan in late 77 or early 78 and raced it for a few seasons. It was originally a swing axle car but Vanzant converted it to an IRS buggy. It also had a wing in the rear which I'm also thinking about putting on the car but it depends if I want to go with the 1976 winning car or the 1977 buggy. Not sure what happened to the car after Vanzant but I think I heard he sold it years ago. Here's a link to the car with the wing on it when Ivan raced it at the 1977 Baja 1000...

1977 Baja 1000 | Trackside Photo-- Forty years of Racing Photos

After getting the Chenowth home it was time to get out the cut-off wheel. The front balljoint mount was first to go...

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Then the rear swingaxle setup. You can see they left the original IRS mounts in the car which was a good thing...

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Chop chop...

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Even though we put in the new trans nose cone mount on the torsion housing, I changed my mind and we have upgraded already. The rear of this car was pretty hacked up but we cut out all the cancer and replaced it with new tubing...

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Here's a pile of the stuff we cut out of the car, and there is still more but you get the idea...

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The front end is being mocked into place...

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My buddy David Barrett (Manxchassis.com) helped me out with his trans mission and front beam jigs so we got it right, then he did some of the important welding...

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Lots done in a short period of time, moving forward with some more cutting of junk off the chassis and then tackling the rear bumper that needs to be built. First it will be a trip to the Curt LeDuc swap meet to see if I can find some old parts for this thing. Stay tuned...
 

ThatSpaceMexican

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Man Rory. You're like Ivan Stewarts stalker not so secret admirer. It's always cool to see these old cars come back to life though
 

Rory

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Man Rory. You're like Ivan Stewarts stalker not so secret admirer. It's always cool to see these old cars come back to life though
Yea, it kinda seems that way but the truth is that was the only car I could think of that had the "High cage" that had any real history. The original plan was to build a late 70's style Chenowth and design it how "I" would have wanted to look like if I were racing back in the day....kinda like what I did with the DirTrix racer. Since this chassis was only one of about 5 built I decided to do the replica. With that being said I'm glad I chose the Modern Motors car because of the history and also how beautiful the paint job was.
 

LantanaTX

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Nice to see you working on it. A couple more tidbits of info. The car was found in the Bakersfield Craigslist and after some negotiating, Bobby Ferro picked up the car and delivered it to Lynn. The story is Bill Mears was a Chenowth dealer and built the car for Galles to race but not actually own. The car spent its entire life in Bakersfield including its later brutal class 9 life. It’s great to see this car get another chapter of life. The guy I dealt with had some written documentation. Did you receive that?
 

crafty

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I’ve watched that car run many laps at VORRA. Nice to see it get some love
 

y2kbaja

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I’ve watched that car run many laps at VORRA. Nice to see it get some love
Me too. And Eric would air that thing out too.
 

harleys dad

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if you look on Trackside at the 78 riverside roundup you will see Vanzant in Ivans 1000 with the back wing, sorry cant post the link
 

burro8

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Sounds like this is a different Chenowth 1000 then the one that Doc Sauers and Roger Mears drove together at some events? The Doc Chenowth 1000 was on the cover of Hot VWs with Roger racing it at Riverside. I forget the year, I would have to dig it out of my collection. I have every issue of the Dune Buggy the Fun Car Journal/Hot VWs magazine.
 

Bro_Gill

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That was about 1976, burro. I have that issue as well. And no, this is not Doc Sauers car. That car had an even better paint job than the Modern Motors Chenowth.
 

burro8

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My old Chenowth 1000. Last I found out the buggy was in Canada.img397.jpgimg398.jpgimg400.jpgimg401.jpg
 

Rory

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Everything is moving along smoothly, got back from the Curt Leduc swapmeet a few weeks ago and found some GREAT stuff for the car and the parts were in great shape. I will most likely drop them off at Collins motorsports and have the suspension magna fluxed to make sure there isn't any cracks but so far everything looks good.

Norm Francis pulled through with a set of Sand Blaster JR's for the front...
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Norm also set me up with some stock re-enforced rear trailing arms...

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And a BOX of completely unmolested shock cooling fins.....WOW...

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How about this for old school, A Jamar side shifter mount...

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I had to piece all of these together from about 4 different sellers but I found what I needed, some CNC brake, clutch, throttle pedal and turning brake (plus spares)...

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Last but not least was a set of era correct front arms that have also been re-enforced...

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The porsche spindles shown above will need a little work. The tie rod hole has been augured out so it will need to be filled and then re-tapered for the tie rod end. Darin Necessary told me he might have a good set for me so I might hold off getting these fixed and buy his.

Since I've changed gears from what I was originally going to do with this car (2.5" longer front arms and 3x3 rears), I need to get a stock width beam instead of the BRAND NEW 6" beam I bought 2 months ago....ugh! Soooo, I was in search of a stock width beam that accepted 8" shocks. Looks like Darin again might have one he can sell me so i will have to wait till he gets back from a job in Atlanta before i can see it....cross your fingers.

And of course after going over a few more pictures of the Chenowth from 1977 there is no doubt in my mind that I'm going to put a wing on this thing. I mean, look at this thing, how much cooler is this car with a wing on it?!?! Not only that, they put it down low which makes it look even better. I'm sure they didn't like it so much if they ever got nerfed but I doubt Ivan got nerfed alot back then. Thanks to Kurt Scherbaum for posting up some cool photos from back in the day!

Next up I will be working on a new rear cage since the old one is busted up pretty good.....look out, I'n busting out the tube bender!
Ivan 77 B1000.JPG
 

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bajaboy7

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Do these old Chenowths have serial numbers or any identifying marks on them? I know where one is siting up here in norcal and the guy who has it just thinks its a dune buggy. If it has history, I'd hate to lose it.
 

LantanaTX

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Do these old Chenowths have serial numbers or any identifying marks on them? I know where one is siting up here in norcal and the guy who has it just thinks its a dune buggy. If it has history, I'd hate to lose it.
They do have serial numbers and you can decode how the chassis was made. Lynn Chenowth has a lot of records but as of now he has not found any information on Chenowth 1000’s.
 

burro8

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Do these old Chenowths have serial numbers or any identifying marks on them? I know where one is siting up here in norcal and the guy who has it just thinks its a dune buggy. If it has history, I'd hate to lose it.
Does the Chenowth 1000 in N CA have a wing on it and was a old class 9 1200cc car? I live in Roseville. A friend of mine had one.
 

burro8

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They do have serial numbers and you can decode how the chassis was made. Lynn Chenowth has a lot of records but as of now he has not found any information on Chenowth 1000’s.
Baja Boy, in one of my posts you can see the Chenowth 1000 frame built ID info. But each frame also had its own ID # as well.
 
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