Das Vette

German builder Endora-Cars has shown us their renderings of their retro-futuristic (“Klassisches Sportwagen-Design mit modernster Technik”) Corvette-based supercar the SC-1.

Designed to be reminiscent of past concept cars from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the SC-1 will avail itself of modern touches such as LED lighting and supercharged Detroit iron.

There are three power options to choose from: the base 6.2-liter aluminum V8 with 437 hp, 7-liter powerplant with 512 hp and a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 that sends 647 hp to the rear axle. All engines are coupled to a manual transaxle design with six gears and the base unit is optionally available with a six-speed automatic includes shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Endora cars will announce pricing and a production schedule at a later date.

Poor Man’s Car Rotisserie

I needed to finalize the preparation for the roll cage installation but was having trouble welding the bottom of the subframe connectors on the drive on lift. The lift was making it tough to get the welder positioned correctly under the car to run a bead. I fought it for quite a while to no avail. After quitting for the night, inspiration hit. I had remember seeing the build log for a car on the 24 Hours of LeMons forum. The builder was most likely constructing some mishmash of cast off automotive parts and was using a tube frame to keep the big parts from falling off. He must have encountered the same issue so he ended up using a chain hoist to lift the entire frame off the ground to finalize the welding on the car. It looked like a great solution to a problem we had in common. He had one luxury I did not though, high ceilings. I never thought architecture would factor into the building process of our car. Luckily, I only needed to weld a small portion so I only need a small solution.

I ended up bolting a chain to the drilled and welded bumper mounts and lifted the car with an engine hoist. The car was surprisingly light without the drive train and was rather easy to get high enough to create adequate working space. Accomplishing the required welding was far easier and the picture alone was worth a small chuckle. The next step is this build will be to start installing the roll cage structure.

Best worst idea

Endurance racing crappy cars naturally produces failure at an astonishing rate, so much concern for contingency plans is required.

The thesis for our Chevette racer has been pretty simple, light weight, good handling and simplicity. Power output has been an afterthought as high horsepower engines are actually detrimental and stress the drivetrain and produce a lot of heat that must be dealt with to ensure endurance reliability. Our stock 1.6 liter motor has two digit horsepower output so we are basically immune from any of those concerns. This doesn’t eliminate all our concerns about failure though, failure to pass anyone becomes a valid concern. Passing cars is obviously extremely rewarding and a major source of fun in racing. All of this concern has lead to the best worst idea for our team and the Chevette car.

Make the jump to find out the solution to all of our problems.

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Curing cancer Lemons style

Endurance racing with very cheap cars has a tragic pandemic that has affected every mechanic and driver, cancer. This is cancer of the chassis, more commonly known as rust. It is the bane of every person who spins wrenches on one of these crappy race cars. It makes almost every facet of working on these cars a huge pain in the ass. Broken bolts, rounded nuts, seized parts, and keeping your tetanus shot up to date are just a few examples of such frustrations.

Luckily for cars, there is a cure for this blight. A sawzall, some new metal, and a welder make a potent combination for dealing with this issue. Here’s how I cured a portion of the floor on our Chevette racer. As shown in the fuel cell installation, I basically suck at metal working and don’t have anything beyond basic hand tools for metal work, so I made the repair panel as simple as possible. I didn’t want complicated bends (read: any) so I cut out enough of the floor to allow me to use a flat piece of metal to create the patch.

After that, I used an air powered tin snip to roughly shape the 18 gauge sheet metal to fit the newly created hole.

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18 Gallons of Lemonade

Once we had stripped the car of the last remaining interior bits, we were ready to tackle another aspect of construction for our endurance racer, the fuel cell. From prior experience we knew that staying out on the track is of the utmost importance. Keeping this haphazard collection of nuts and bolts in one piece is one aspect of that equation, toting around enough gas to keep the engine supplied is another. We knew the stock fuel tank would be inadequate for our super sized requirements, so we super sized the fuel tank. We sourced an 18 gallon monstrosity from the discarded parts pile of a local touring car team and got to work.

We measured where the fuel cell would fit and not interfere with the rear suspension or try to occupy the same space as something that’s important, like a frame rail.

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September 2010 Cars & Cafe

I made my monthly sojourn to the AutoMotorPlex this weekend, in order to attend the Cars & Cafe for September. It was a great time, although it was a little chilly at 8am with fall fast approaching, but that was nothing a sweatshirt couldn’t handle. The turnout was great and I noticed many cars I had not seen before. I’ve come up with a theory after frequent attendance that about 3/4 of the cars that attend are regulars and only the remaining 1/4 are different each month. My theory was blown out of the water this month and it was a very nice treat as some serious machines I had not seen before were on display.

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