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Ivan Stewart Modern motors Chenowth 1000 replica build

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Only issue I ever had with the JaMar unit was one time, the threads stripped out of one of the pivot blocks. I was able to buy another unit and part it out to fix the one in the car. Try that nowadays!
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Didn’t seem like I got a lot accomplished this week but I did get the seat to the upholstery shop in Lake Havasu and made the score on the Johnny Johnson clutch/dead pedal. Besides that I just did a little more welding to the chassis and cut off a few more mounts that we won’t be using. I was going to start on the brake lines but I’ll wait until I get the seat back so I can mount the pedals accordingly.

I did manage to spend another $200 on little things that I didn’t think would add up to that much. Stuff like a few nuts and bolts for the rear trailing arms, front brake pads, dust covers, lug nuts, axle nuts, star adjusters for the brakes and a couple other odds and ends. Building a car from the ground up is super expensive, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Anyways, the car is now loaded up on the trailer and ready to go to Steve Bradford’s shop in Fort Mohave to get the rear trailing arms aligned perfectly so this thing doesn’t go sideways while going straight. Steve will also be mounting the steering rack so when it comes home it will be a true roller!

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I’m guessing the car will be gone most of the week which is good so I can get caught up on all that other work I have to do. The following week I will tackle finishing up welding on some mounts and then start getting on those brake lines.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Dropped the car off at...

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Steve is going to be doing a few things for me while I try and tackle a few things on my end for the next week. Steve has been very good to me over the years and is very knowledgeable. How often do you get a guy to work on your vintage vehicle that use to work on them when they were brand new?

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I dropped the seat off at “Seam Dreams” in Lake Havasu City after they came highly recommended for shops in the tristate area. Kristin was able to jump on the seat right away...

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Here is the center section of the seat that Beard seats supplied as she copied the pattern from the old seat...

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And finally the finished product...

Back-

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Front-

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I have yet to go pick it up to see it with my own eyes but from the pictures it looks FANTASTIC! I’m hoping to get the car back from Steve next week and then I can start laying out the pedals and start the brake lines and throttle/clutch cables.

I have to head to Cali on Friday so I’ll stop by and get some minor parts for the car to help me finish up the steering and a few other odds and ends. After Steve is finished the next big hurdle is getting the body mounted then getting the frame ready for Powdercoat. Things are starting to move a little faster...
 

LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
Seat looks beautiful Rory! I can’t wait to see the chassis go from wheel barrel to rolling race car!
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Nice TRM apparel, you should start selling them! Busy week as the NORRA 500 was happening and at the same time the BITD Laughlin event was under way. Trying to save a little money I decided to stay in town and watch some local Off road racing instead of spending a crap ton of money to go to Mexico. It’s better in Mexico, I know but the wallet has been taking a beating lately. I still got a little vintage racing in as Norm Francis had his car entered in the Vintage BITD class along with the Bradfields in their old school Ford 4WD straight axle truck. I hit tech inspection on Friday and enjoyed the world famous “Trailer Dog’s” Jeff Furrier cooks up during contingency at the UPR Racing trailer...

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While sitting at tech I was getting on the live stream from NORRA as I kept an eye on my buddy Ed Maurin in the Larry Ragland Chaparral...

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Saturday morning came around and I went over to help out Norm as Tommy Croft was driving his car. Tommy passed about 15 cars within the first 8 miles but then the motor started coughing like it was out of fuel. By mile 10 it wouldn’t run. After towing the car back to the pits we found the culprit. The foam in the JAZ fuel cell (Only 3 1/2 years old) went bad and clogged the entire fuel system. This happened before in the Funco Buggy that Jessie Combs raced at the MINT a few years ago and that cell was only 2 years old. Around the pits we were hearing more war stories of the foam in the JAZ cells not lasting very long at all.....very disappointing to say the least when the fuel cell foam isn’t that high on your prep list being only a few years old. Hell the TT Killer has a cell that was 12 years old and the foam was perfect! Oh well, we got it all fixed in a couple hours and it was ready Sunday. Sorry, I should have snapped a couple pics but we were busy.

I stayed home today and worked on the Chenowth and was lucky enough to enlist the help of Norm after their race this morning. Tommy had a flawless run today, started dead last and finished 9th on the road but possibly top 5 in the overall for the group. Nice job Tommy!

Anyways, Norm showed up after his morning race and help me mount the “New to me” body on the car. We started on the passenger side of the car and got the side panel in place...

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Then we moved to the rear quarter panel...

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Once the passenger side was done we moved to the drivers side. It didn’t take long but there was a bunch of measuring and remeasuring going on to get it just right. Here’s the car with the majority of the body mounted. I still have a few dzus buttons to weld into place but you get the idea...

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I will most likely work on mounting the pedals tomorrow since the seat is in and then start plugging away on some touch up welding on some mounts that have been only tached into place. Bradford finished the steering mount and the rear trailing arms have been aligned to their happy place. I’m really hoping this project starts picking up momentum as most of the hard stuff is pretty much finished.
 

trailready

Well-Known Member
I have a Jaz cell in the SC/Rambler since 2016. I'll have to check it out but I do make sure its full of Ethanol free fuel while stored hoping that will keep it from drying out.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Had to take a little break from the Chenowth to get some artwork done but today I decided to jump back on the Chenowth and tackle the brake lines. I was pretty excited to start them because I had recently purchased a GOOD flaring tool from Eastwood and it make it a lot easier....and a much better fit on the fittings...

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I went through my box of pedals and found these old “AirHeart” reservoirs that I bought at the Swapmeet a few years ago. The CNC rebuild kits work in them so all I need to do is clean them up a little...

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I then tackled the front brake lines. I was pretty happy with the result as I am not a professional vehicle plumber but I am getting a little better...

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from there I moved to the brake switch that I decided to put next to the shifter. I just welded a 5/16” bolt to the side of the shifter and mounted the brass “T” to it, although I still need to Replace the old brake switch with a new one...

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I moved to the rear brakes and made it all the way to the IRS mounts....

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while working on the brake lines the UPS truck pulled up. I wasn’t expecting anything so I was curious what was in the box. As soon as I saw the name I knew what it was. Greg Lewin, the guy who built this car at Modern Motors, told me he had a set of “Modern Motors” valve covers that he would like to donate to the cause. I had never seen a set before until today so imagine my surprise to see how good of shape they were in for being 40 years old...THANK YOU GREG, it’s stuff like this that makes these builds so much fun...

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Looks at the detail for the Modern Motors “Coyote”...

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another cool find was searching the internet and finding 1000’s of old race photos on Petersens web site. Here’s a shot of Ivan’s original Chenowth 1000 with the slightly updated paint job at the 1977 Baja 1000. Photo courtesy of Petersens archive...

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well, I still have a few more lines to make but those will be made out of flex line as they go out the the brake drums. Just a few more hurdles before she goes to paint.
 
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y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
If I sent you a VORRA decal will you hide it somewhere like under the pedal mount plate as an homage to the years it was beat around up here?
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Not planning on a turning brake? Or don't they work that well with drums?
looking through the original build pictures I didn’t see a turning brake (which doesn’t mean it didn’t have one). Since I didn’t see one I didn’t put one in it.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
If I sent you a VORRA decal will you hide it somewhere like under the pedal mount plate as an homage to the years it was beat around up here?
Sure, send me a sticker and I’ll get it on there somewhere. Kinda like an “Easter Egg” in a movie.......I like the idea.
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
I'll work on something next week and send it to you. Drop me a message with your address. I like the Easter Egg.
 

1MINT86

Active Member
looking through the original build pictures I didn’t see a turning brake (which doesn’t mean it didn’t have one). Since I didn’t see one I didn’t put one in it.
You're correct, there was no steering brake.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Found a couple photos of the car when it was Originally built for Larry Friday and raced by Rick and Roger Mears. I spent a little too much time on Petersens Archives page looking up old photos but it was well worth it!

These are from the 1978 MINT 400. Photo credit Petersen's Automotive Museum...

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oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Rory, I guess I should have paid more attention to your build because during my research on the C1RL1W model, I have been looking in my library on what I had worked on in my past. In Abq during those years some of us involved in Score racing were all tied together at some point as parts, machining, and building cars were intertwined with Galles, Friday motors and the Unsers. They all had some connection as it seemed there was a whole lot of interaction between all of us. Cars were bought and sold and picked up from Calif. and brought to Abq and raced under different banners all the time so I am curious if this car was also one that we were involved in because it looks so similiar, but of course it can be hard to decipher Chenowth 1000 differences from photos. The one we are curious about is the Chenowth that Doc Sauers and Rick Mears campaigned in 1976 with Rick winning C1 at Riverside. Is this the same car? I only see slight differences that could have been added in when Galles had it. We have been talking about it but we only had our hands on Doc's car and I can only remember the old Chenowth Lynn just bought when it was in Abq.
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
Eric (9Iron), the owner prior to Rory sent me this letter he got from the previous owner of the car talking about the Mears lineage to the car.

"Eric,

I just got back into my home e-mail last night and saw your messages. I want to give you some background on the Chenowth 1000 car you bought. I purchased it in 1982 from a guy named Mike Egland in Bakersfield. He had purchased the car thru the Mears. Egland raced the car twice, but his drivers kept rolling the car and tearing it up so he decided to sell it. I saw it in the dusty Times and went to check it out with my good friend, Rick Boyer (1-1600 Class). It was set up as a Class 1 single seat. Car had a 2180, which I still have, 6” wider front beam, 002 bus trans, and 3x3 rear arms with huge truck u-joint drive lines and custom stub axles. I spent $3500 for the car including a trailer. I prepped the car and raced it once at an AMSA race in Gorman. Almost finished the race, but the drivelines killed the trans. I brought it home from the race and parked it. I planned to make a 1600 car, but never did it because the wheelbase was too short. I finally decided to build a 9 car with it and started in 1997. That is where the front beam clamps came from. I finally decided to build a 2 seat so my sons could race with me. That’s when I sold the chassis as you got it. I actually traded it for an engine block and some other VW parts.

As for the cars history, Bill Mears, Rick and Roger’s dad, built the car for the car dealer that sponsored the Unser’s Indy Car effort . When Rick Mears got involved in Indy cars, he got them to do a few off-road races for fun. Bill Mears told me he had a blast building the car because he had an unlimited budget to put it together. He bought the best of everything. It had a Mastercraft seat & belts, Fuel safe cell and Unique Metal Products aluminum work done to it. Rick raced it several times, including the Mint 400 where the motor almost fell out. It was put in storage and finally sold to Mike Egland in Bakersfield.

I have fond memories of that car and still have all the front & rear suspension, transmission, and engine, which I am using to build a killer Baja Bug Pre-runner. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.



Hope this helps,

Mike Hinson-938"
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
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.
I am curious if this car was also one that we were involved in because it looks so similiar, but of course it can be hard to decipher Chenowth 1000 differences from photos. The one we are curious about is the Chenowth that Doc Sauers and Rick Mears campaigned in 1976 with Rick winning C1 at Riverside. Is this the same car? I only see slight differences that could have been added in when Galles had it. We have been talking about it but we only had our hands on Doc's car and I can only remember the old Chenowth Lynn just bought when it was in Abq.
After digging through my photos of our cars in the 70's I found this photo of Doc's Chenowth 1000 we prepped, so it is not this one that Rory is doing but like Martin stated. We have a lot more we took of Doc and Rick, Roger in Estero Beach, but this was Riverside. Photo's faded.
 

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PDANK Racing

Well-Known Member
Sweet build so far, also very interesting to hear about the cars history. I personally switch fuel cell foam out after 2 years, also run a fuel filter that dissassembles so you can check for foam bits. My customers and I have had no issues with RJS foam part # 30152.
 
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