The New Race Car..............A New Restoration Job !  This race car has a lot of History......see below.....

February 2016, The Compition Altered Funny Car rolling chassis up for sale which I was thinking of buying ?

​This race car chassis has a lot of history behind it.

It started life when it was newly built in 1978 as Phil Elson's Funny Car, the chassis had a 392ci V8 Chrysler Engine running on Nitro Meathane Fuel,  with a 2-speed Lenco Gear Box, Injection is Hillboun with a 6.71 blower fitted. The Body is a Mark One Ford Capri, I remember this car racing in the Funny Car Class of Drag Racing at Santa Pod Raceway, I think it ran somewhere in the 7.50's @ 198 MPH ?
 

 

I'm not sure how long Phil Elson ran the car for, I do remember he ran it for a number of years at Santa - Pod - Raceway during the late 1970's This was around the time we were running the Apollo 2 comp altered up until we sold the car in 1982 and myself teaming up with Mick Cheley crewing for the "Mr Shifter" Modified Roadster. A nice photo of Phil doing a burnout in the right lane of the Pod.

I had not realised that there was a Corgi model of the Sneaky Gloworm Funny Car till now.

​Sometime during the 1979 Phil Elson changed the Funny Car Capri body and fitted the 1927 Ford "T" fiberglass body onto the existing chassis, He called it "SNEAKY T " Again I remember this car running in the class "Fuel Altered" compeating against the likes of "TEE RAT" & "SHUTDOWN" I think the Sneaky T ran low 7's over the 1/4 mile track at Santa - Pod - Raceway I seam to remember it running 7.1 e.t @ 200 mph !

​During the early 1980's Graham Stockley from Blackpool bought the Funny Car off Phil Elson, he resprayed the body in metal flake paint and called it the "ENTERTAINER" And ran in Pro-Comp........ Often did match racing with Doug Bond's Pro-Comp rear engined Dragster

​1981 Graham Stockley raced the Entertainer Funny Car at Long Marston Raceway in Stratford On Avon...... Looking at that rear axle, that's the same one that's in my chassis.

​In 1984 Roy Webb bought the old "ENTERTANER" Funny Car still with it's Capri Body on, Roy called the car "SNEAKY SPIDER" I belive this car ran in the 8 second zone in 1985 In "C" Comp Altered with the 392ci blown engine. 

 

​During the 1990's the car was sold on to Nick Septon from Coventry the car was sponsored by the Bartlett's, I belive they shortend the chassis wheelbase from 125" down to 100" then fitted a 350ci Small Block Chevy engine on NOS, fitted with a Reliany Robin Body over the chassis, they ran the car in "C" Compition Altered Class. Agin I can't remember what the car ran over the 1/4 mile....HOPEFULLY  Someone might give me some more information on this ?

I'm not sure how long the Bartlett's ran this car, it must have been sold on to someone else to run, again I don't have this information at the moment, again if anybody can help fill the gap's in please.
 
BELOW............
I bought this Car off James Ford of Broadway nr Evesham on the 1st March 2016, the car (chassis) is now around 37 years old and is still usable......Okay it's not "Tagged"
But All I want to do with this Altered is to run it at R.W.Y.B. type meetings in the Nostalga Class of Drag Racing plus take it to some shows as well. It came to me as an unfinshed project with a rolling chassis, fitted with a 1940's Fiat Toppolino fiberglass body a 305ci Small Block (Stock) engine and a Turbo 350  3-speed auto gearbox through an Oldsmobile shortend rear axle with 4.88 to 1 gears and Summer Bothers Half Shafts. 
 
 
 
 

 

March 1st 2016. This is how I saw the car as a rolling chassis and body, this is how I bought the car, plus all the bit's to go with it.

​Tuesday 1st March. Mick Cheley and myself went in Mick's truck towing my trailer to Broadway nr Evesham Worcestershire on a wet morning we set off at 10am we arived at Broadway 50 miles away by 11.30am to load up the altered in the dry and gathererd up all the engine parts plus other parts to go with the car.

By 2.30pm we had got back to Lye to unload everything into my workshop.  

​Wednesday 2nd March, I started work on the altered today, I started by fitting the engine in first, the Idea is to fit all the running gear first, then after knowing that everything will fit together okay I will strip it all out of the chassis with the plan to take it to Roy Wildings at Oldbury to have him fit a new roll cage welded on the chassis......... I don't like the ugly shape of the roll cage plus it's difficult to get in and out of the car due to the front bar of the roll cage is to low.

So, having started trying to fit the Small Block V8 engine and the Turbo 350 auto Gearbox, I Found that the gearbox bell housing was a bit too wide to fit between the chassis rails, with a bit of modifying I managed to get the box to fit, then I also found the front engine mounting plates did not line up, they were too wide for a small block for some reason, having cut out the nessasary alloy plate, I got the engine to rest on top of the chassis eventually.
 

 

​Thursday 3rd March. I managed to get the engine and gearbox fitted in the chassis okay, there was no prop-shaft with this car so I need to make up one of those, it's only about 2ft long but I have nothing to modify yet ? I just need a standared pro-shaft from a road Camero first to be able to cut down and fit into the back of the gearbox to link up to the rear axle to transmit the drive to the rear wheels.

It took me quite a while to get the engine and gearbox central in the chassis and lined up with the pinion gear in the rear axle.
 

 

​Tuesday 7th March.  (Photo Above) After doing one more improtant job of finding the centre of the carburator air intake after mocking the engine up by putting the two cylinder heads on the block with a couple of bolts in each head, dropping the inlet manafold on, then the carborator on loose, we lifted the body on to the chassis and lowered it down to be able to mark the dead centre of the Holly Carb on the inside of the body,  I drilled a small hole so not to loose it, the intention is to fit a fiberglass air scoop onto the bonnet when it comes in the post at the end of March. In the meantime I took the body back off and rolled the chassis into the back of my workshop having jacked the whole car up around 3ft in the air I put two strong tressle's stands to hold it all up and level, plus it's a nice hight to work on the car.

​Having spent more time getting the engine and gearbox centralised in the chassis by using a straight edge with a sprit level bubble to get things straight and level I then made two brakets for the front engine mountings plates and welded them both in place with a bolt fitted so the engine can come out again. Then later I made up the flywheel shield protector brakets to fit to the gearbox bell housing. Having started stripping all the steering parts off the chassis along with the wheels and Disk brakes plus wheel bearings and king pins out, getting things ready to send the chassis off to Roy's soon in a few weeks.

15th March, Made up and fitted the flywheel scatter shield protector, and then fitted the starter motor which was a very tight fit between the engine and the chassis.

Then started and made up the Gear Box Cross member out of box section steel, having cut it to lengh I drill the holes in the right place to line up with the tail stock that already had two tapped holes drilled in the bottom of the gearbox, making up two angle brakets and welding them in place on the chassis, I drilled two holes and weled the two nuts on the bottom of the brakets (To stop them turning) I put the cross member together using cheese head, stainless steel allen screws.
 

 

​16th March. Moving on, I made up a prop-shaft  protecter safety loop that fit's under the drivers seat, (Photo Above)  you need one of these just in case the prop-shaft U.J might break !!!! The prop just stays in the 1/4" thick plate loop  I welded the 1/4" plate inbetween the chassis rails then made up the loop which I bolted in place with high tensile Alan Bolts so I can remove the loop to be able to remove the pro-shaft should the need arise. Moving on further towards the rear of the chassis, I cut out the Nitrouse Oxide bottle holder (Won't be running N2 O) and more unessassray steelwork I made up a new battery carrier after finding the smallest lightest new battery I can find.

​17th March. I fitted the drivers seat in the chassis, then I sorted out the six point seat belt harness, I need to find all six mounting points......I found 4 mounting points, just needed the two rear brakets made up. So, after cutting up some steelwork I welded two brakets in place at the rear of the chassis, drilling two holes for the Seat Belt mountings. During the afternnon I started cutting roll cage off the chassis......I don't like the shape of this roll cage at all ! The front hoop is to low and it's making getting in and out very dificult to do....plus its very ugly !! 

                       Old Roll Cage cut off and removed 

​20th March. After cutting the roll cage off and grinding down the welds to tidy up the chassis, I made up a towing point on the front part of the chassis, so I can connect the tow rope up a lot easier by clipping a hook straight into the eye and towing the altered straight to the start line.

21st March, I removed the rear axle using the hand crane to lower it down to the floor.

​22nd March. By using a electric D.A. I stripped all the many layers of black paint down to the metal tubeing, When I get this chassis back from Roy's The intention is to spray undercoat onto the bare metal then spraying the top coat on, but that will be a few weeks away.

​23rd March. Loaded Chassis up onto Morris Truck.

​Wednesday 23rd March I took the chassis around to Roy Wilding's Workshop in Oldbury. After Unloading, We just put the old roll cage on top of the chassis to give Roy some idea how it was. But looking at the top rails of the chassis it was clear that where the roll cage has to be welded on won't be strong enough, so the plan is to replace the whole of the top hoop rail with better stronger tubing.....The Chassis will be at Roy's for about a week for this work to be done. .......Whilst the chassis is away, it will give me chance to work on the engine etc.

​25th March. Whilst the chassis is at Roy Wilding's Workshop it gave me chance to get on with the other jobs that need doing........

Firstly, I started to make a Gearbox Scattershield, this is needed if the gearbox should let go for any reason, it's there to protect the drivers legs should anything nasty happen. I made this out of 1/4 " thick plate steel, cutting it up with the angle grinder I then welded the plates together both sides for added strength, then I made up 4 legs/brakets out of 1/4" steel strip to be able to bolt to the gearbox, this took me all day, but it came out well in the end. 
 

 

​27th March. After making the steel Scatter Shield I removed the sump off the bottom of the Automatic Gearbox, just to check how much dedbree that was in there plus clean out the filter, also removed the kick down cable. There were also two outlets for the transmission oil cooler to be fitted, this gearbox won't get that hot in this car when running so I made up a small pipe to connect the oil route together. Then giving it a coat of black paint it's redy to go in the race car chassis now.

​28th March, Rear Axle partly stripped and checked over for wear, Brake calipairs checked, brake pads cleaned up, brake disks de-rusted and all cleaned up, paint rubbed down and painted, fitted new brake pipes. Rear axle ready to go into chassis now.

​28th March. After finishing the Gearbox, and rear axle, I started work on the Cylinder Heads.  First of all removing all 16 valves then giving them a good clean up getting all the burt carbon off the valves......Then giving the cylinder heads combustion chambers a good de-choke.....they were not that bad, but needed it.......Later I started grinding in the valves to get a good seat for maximum compresion. I won't be doing any porting or three angle valve job on the heads as this is only a bog standard stock 305ci engine....there's no point....... YET ! 

                         28th March, Me starting to grind in the valves.

​29th March. After finishing the two cylinder heads, I wanted to check the timing chain and gears for wear plus fit a chrome timing cover, but first was the daunting problem of getting the harmonic damper off the crankshaft ! So First of all I looked through all my crank pullers, I did find something that would do the job, or very close to it, I found three bolts to fit the pulley then welded on three spacer nuts to the hub of this puller......after tightening eveything up I put the two large spanners on the centre nut and to my supprise the damper pulled off nicely, After removing the Timing Cover it gave me chance to have a good look at the gears and chain.......(see photo below).

​ Chain and gears looked good, I double checked the valve timing whist I got the cover off, then putting new gasket and crank seal on I fitted the new chrome timing cover back on.

​30th March.  I removed all 8 pistons to check over the piston rings, clean up and re-fit, Big end brearings looked good plus the crankshaft looked good as well, them removed Main Brearing caps to check those brearings, again looked good and crank is good as well.....After giving the enginne block a good wash down in petrol and blowing all the crap out I bolted everthing back together torquing down all the nuts and bolts.

Later on I fitted one of the Cylinder heads using new head bolts with sealer to torque down the bolts. The intention is to build the engine up on this engine stand then filling it with water to see if everything is sealed up before fitting it in the chassis.
 

 

30th March. Steve tightening the Cylinder head down.

31st March. The 2nd Cyl head fitted plus all the valve gear, then the inlet manafold and rocker covers. The engine is now painted & finished and waiting to go in the chassis, when it comes back.

​4th April. I went to Roy Wilding's Workshop to have a look at the Chassis and the new roll cage which Roy spent around three days to strengthen the chassis up around the bottom of the roll cage area, then Roy built a new roll cage a bit taller than the old one to give us more head room and to be able to enter and exit the car easier and better, plus I feel safer in the car now.

I collected the Chassis on the back of my Morris truck.......New roll cage fitted by Roy Wilding with added strength.

I just dropped the body over the chassis to see how high the roll cage poked out of the roof of the Topolino......That just right......It's looking good so far.

​5th/6th/7th  April. After getting the chassis up to a good hight on some 3ft high tressles, I had to modify and fit the alloy seat due to the alteration of the roll cage and top of chassis. I then made a braket up and welded it on the rear frame to hold the battery mains cut off switch plus the charging point ......Then cutting some unwanted brakets from the chassis I started cleaning up the welds around the front tubing plus filling some of the imperfections around the chassis, then started cleaning the rest of the paint off the rest of the tubing by rubbing it down manualy getting it ready to be painted. 

9th March, New Air Scoop turned up in the post, just trying it on the body.......looks good on there.

11th April. Chassis sprayed in high build primer at MAS Autocenter (Next Door)

​After spending more time cleaning paint off the chassis plus filling holes in I eventually Delivered the chassis using the Morris truck around next door to Mas Autocenter on Saturday 9th April. It was Monday before Mark could get around to spraying the chassis with High Build Grey Primer during the late afternoon.

The Next day, Tuesday 12th April the chassis was dry enough to give it a rub down with 120 grit paper, blowing the dust off Mark started putting on the Two - Pack Top Coat on the Chassis which had three heavy coats on. Hopfully by Wednesday We should be able to carry the chassis around to my workshop to start fitting out.
 

 

 
 

 

13th April. Chasis now sprayed in two-pack blue paint and dry enough to handle. (it's come out great !)

​April 13th. After getting the newly sprayed chassis back from the paint shop next door we carried the frame into my workshop at put back on the tresseles.

The first thing I did was to crane in the very heavy rear Oldsmobile Rear Axle using block and tackle, being carfull not to scratch the new paintwork on the roll cage. Then the next day, Thursday 14th April I cleaned up the front and rear Motor Plates in ready to fit the Small Block V8 Engine in the frame rails, later on fitting the flex plate flywheel and converer I lifted the Automatic Gearbox using the crane, by the end of the day they were all bolted together. 
 

 

Craning the Engine into the frame rails.

Go onto Part 2 of the rebuild,            on next page.