Ivan Stewart Modern motors Chenowth 1000 replica build


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Dave, Ivan is aware of the build and hopes to see it in person soon.

A couple days ago I started the CV prep and everything ran smoothly. I guess if you do them enough it’s not that big of a deal and also not that messy...

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I finished the passenger side in no time...

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After I finished the drivers side I figured I would jump into the drivers seat while on the jack stands so I could break in the trans a little and go through the gears slowly. At the same time I would also adjust the shifting linkage to get it shifting smoothly. Well, I had already ran the car in the garage with the engine running smoothly but when I started it this time it was running on 3 cylinders. Checked the plugs, valves, plug wires, distributor, coil, fuel filter and so on. I could not figure it out. I was convinced it was the carb or one of the valves tightened up.

luckily for me my neighbor Mike Banks is a superb VW mechanic and helped me greatly with the DirTrix when I was having issues. Mike went to work on the motor and figured out something must have gotten into the carb sooooo...

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Mike cleaned out the carb and then adjusted the linkage a little so it would work a lot smoother...

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Mike put everything back together and she started right up again! He also adjusted the timing ever so slightly and she sounds like a dream again. Mike is very knowledgeable and taught me a few things as I am not a VW mechanic, I know my way around a motor but I don’t have the know how to do everything.

It was nightfall when Mike finished up so I will have to wait till today to take it out on its maiden voyage. It will only be a systems check on the engine, trans and plumbing and then of course fine tune the shifting linkage.

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting bright and we can’t wait to see this project complete.

Is that "Black Mike" he used to be from the South Bay area? He's been around VW's forever if its the same Mike.


Crayola Killer
Is that "Black Mike" he used to be from the South Bay area? He's been around VW's forever if its the same Mike.
I only know him by Mike Banks, GREAT VW mechanic and a wizard with carbs. He has saved my butt on many occasions including 2 days before we raced the DirTrix at the 2015 NORRA Mexican 1000.


Well-Known Member
I only know him by Mike Banks, GREAT VW mechanic and a wizard with carbs. He has saved my butt on many occasions including 2 days before we raced the DirTrix at the 2015 NORRA Mexican 1000.
Might not be the same guy, when you see him next, ask him if he's from the So Cal area and worked with John from Powerhaus VW.


Crayola Killer
The SCORE Journal will be doing a full photo shoot sometime within the next couple weeks, then it's off to the new owner. The car is finished as of now, maybe a bath after the photo shoot, and then off to get her titled and registered. I will have to apologize in advance for not posting photos but I don't want to post any of the car completely done until it hits the SCORE Journal for the upcoming Baja 500. Maybe i can post a couple teaser shots later today or tomorrow. I really think you guys are going to like the results, I know I was really happy with the result. Thanks for following along everyone, I appreciate all the input and the "views".


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He never really owned it... He never really does. Rory was the guy in high school that girls that were going out with him already knew they were breaking up next week.


Crayola Killer
The original plan was this:

Build a Chenowth 1000 to what I would have built it like in 1978. It would have been factory sponsored by Jackman Wheels. The colors would have been:

Frame- Bright Gold
Body- Gloss black with gold strips and orange pin striping (basically the same as Bob Rodine's car but more Black, less orange).

Bob Rodine 1978.PNG

Photo Credit Petersens Auto Museum.

It would have had the gold Jackman wheels and the wing would have been anodized gold along with any aluminum panel.

The reason I changed my mind on the car was I figured out (after I bought it) that it was a "high cage" Chenowth, not the low cage. I didn't even know Chenowth made a high cage but was educated by Lynn as they made only a few for their bigger drivers....including Ivan Stewart.


Uknown Photo Credit.

Since I knew there was only a few of these chassis around I figured I could probably find another Chenowth 1000 low cage later. It was then I decided to make it a tribute car to the most famous "High cage" Chenowth 1000.....the Modern Motors Ivan Stewart Chenowth. That Chenowth, by the way, was also the FIRST Chenowth 1000 built and the body was made by UMP and was ALL ALUMINUM! Lynn liked the body so much he had molds made and sold them with the Chenowth 1000 chassis.

img023 (3).jpg

Photo credit Greg Lewin.

I think after the first or second race they cut off the top of the car and made it taller so Ivan could fit better in the car.

Once that decision was made I talked to the Lynn Chenowth to see if he might be interested in an Ivan Stewart Modern Motors tribute car and he said yes. So there you have it, the full story as best I can recall with the info I have.

This car will be on display at the Chenowth Legacy Lodge in Percebu (located approx 20 miles south of San Felipe) hopefully before the Baja 500. Sooooo, if you're down prerunning or watching the event on the San Felipe side, maybe make it a popint to head over and check out the museum and have a nice cold adult beverage at his bar located inside the museum. Go check out his Facebook page "Chenowth Legacy Lodge" or his IG account "Chenowth_legacy_lodge" for more information.


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John Johnson also drove the Modern Motors Chenowth 1000 at a race or two. There is a picture of JJ in the Chenowth without the roof panel. They had to remove it because of JJ's height.


Well-Known Member
Here is the pic with JJ in the Chenowth 1000. You can see his helmet sticking up. Pretty sure this was at the Mint 400. Forget the year.20200528_213529.jpg20200528_213551.jpg


Well-Known Member
I drove my Chenowth 1000 for years with my helmet banging the roof ..... Didn't like the looks of the tall cage so I lived with it


Crayola Killer
It reminds me of the Jim Feuling's Chenowth 1000.
Steve, the paint job was inspired by the Jim Fueling Chenowth 1000....


now imagine with theses wheels...




Crayola Killer
Pretty much the last thing I put on the car as I just got them in the mail thanks to Jeff Furrier At UPR Racing Supply. The old school labels look great and are era correct for the Chenowth and gives it some character. Jeff also threw in some Honcho stickers that I will make sure get used on one of my tool boxes or garage fridge.....



I figured I couldn’t leave you guys hanging after I said we did a photo shoot a few days ago with my iPhone (the real photographer will be here the week of June 16-19). Here’s a little teaser...



Crayola Killer
The SCORE Journal has released the feature on the Ivan Stewart Modern Motors Chenowth 1000 so I’m FINALLY allowed to share the completed photos.
Here’s a link to the article

here’s a couple shots we took During the photo shoot...






As you can see from MY photos that I obviously don’t know how to work a camera because I took the same photos that Art Eugenio took and mine SUCK! jajaja

Art really brought out the colors of the race car and the time he spent setting up the shoot to get everything right. As much as I like studio shoots there is something about shooting an off road car in its original habitat.

I hope you guys enjoyed the build as much as I did doing it. If you want to see the car in person I suggest making a trip to Percebu (About 20 miles south of San Felipe) and visit the Chenowth Legacy Lodge (look it up on Facebook). Here she is sitting at her new home next to her brothers and sisters...

huge thank you to the following companies and people who have helped with this project:

Bilstien Shocks- Mark Waite
KC Hilites- Brad Myers
David Barrett- front/rear fab and more
Darin Nessesary- parts
Gary Haugley- Parts/Engine
Ryan Haugley- Sandmaster manifold
Greg Lewin- detailed info/Parts
Paint- Norm Francis, Jason Tilley
Pin striping- “Doughboy”
Lettering- Chuck Eichelberger
Bradford Performance- Fabwork
Butch Dean- Wheels
Mike Banks- Carb rebuild and tuning
Curt LeDuc- off road Swapmeet, found Parts!
Norm Francis- Parts, experience
Sean Hoglund- steering wheel
Robyn Gordon- Old Bob Gordon shifter
Lynn Chenowth- opportunity for the build
Allcoat- solid Powdercoat on frame and parts

So far the only thing to come out good in 2020 for me.......hahahahaha