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classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
10/7/20 1:39 p.m.

Welp, starting my foray into challenge build goodness with a 62 year old, half-sorted V8 roadster drag car. What could go wrong?

 

Lots of background here, but basically I ended up with a Bugeye sprite on Monday. It was listed 20 mins away from me for the owner who ended up in an assisted living facility (aka, no background on the car). Neighbors had said it ran within the last few years - yet to be confirmed. The naming should be self-evident below :)

 

I knew before arriving it had the hood/windshield and grille, but they weren't visible ahead of time. I loved the look, and everything looked sorted enough that I could take it home and figure the rest out. 2 friends helped load it, and drag it back to my friend's garage, where it sits now. The front end has a 13" wheel on one side and a 15" on the other from where the other 13 blew out, so I haven't even been able to mock up the hood.

It definitely appears to have been a catch all in his garage and has a number of random parts in it - 2.3 Lima timing cover, hot side of a turbo, exhaust manifolds, and a loose Hurst shifter as well as ignition switch with 2 keys (whoo!)

 

As of this moment I don't know what engine/trans/rear-end is in it, although it is definitely 5 lug and definitely a narrowed axle. I am hoping to drop by my buddy's tomorrow to try and grab engine casting #'s. I have too many cars right now, and lots to do around the house - so for the next month/2, I am going to be finishing up/selling my Miata and working on another few projects around the house before diving in hard with this. I don't have a ton of budget left, so I am hoping to do a few phases here, starting with minimal cost. Prior to number 1 am going to put together some cribbing to get this thing high enough in the air to crawl under easily.

1. Running!

2. Driving! / Stopping!

3. Safety

4. Misc cleanup

5. Rust patching/aesthetics

Pics

 

Horrible picture. But you can see why it's Blind..

 

 

FAN-DAMN-TASTIC!

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
10/7/20 1:42 p.m.

I was hoping you would keep the name.  This will be a great Challenge car.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/7/20 1:46 p.m.

Yes, it must keep the name! Such a cool challenge car, glad I was able to contribute smiley

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/7/20 1:49 p.m.

Satin clear, leave the aesthetic alone 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/7/20 1:50 p.m.

Beat me to it, don't touch that body, just get it running and you can preserve all the patina! Name and all!

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa SuperDork
10/7/20 2:06 p.m.

Love it.

That rear isn't a Ford 9"?

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
10/7/20 2:37 p.m.

Unless that exhaust pipe is 5" diameter, the rear looks smaller than a ford 9", hard to tell in that picture.  

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/7/20 2:48 p.m.

Could be an 8"

 

next year is shaping up to be fun.  

nocones
nocones UltraDork
10/7/20 3:01 p.m.

I wonder why they stacked two stock gas tanks on top of each other and welded them together?

 

This is awesome.  I am excited to watch.  And next year is going to be insane if eveyone planning to makes it.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
10/7/20 3:24 p.m.

In reply to classicJackets (FS) :

Since you're going to be doing some welding, do yourself a favor. Build a rotisserie.  Yank the engine & suspension.
    Buy yourself a pair of engine stands and work on the welds etc without bending over or crawling on your belly  Your back will thank me and they don't count towards the build cost  

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
10/7/20 3:25 p.m.

I have a little bit of experience with Bugeye tubs, and I would say that one looks more scabby than rotted out. I would seriously not do anything that used budget unless the rules forced the issue.

 

The rear is either a 8" or 9" ford 8" would be better because lighter.

 

I would like to see what remedial measures were put in place once the big hole to house the engine, drivetrain and rear end was hacked out. Is there a secondary tube frame tying the remains together or is it just the remaining parts traveling in close formation? ( My definition of a Healey)  Front suspension appears stock, what are the brakes up front? Not many people run a parachute on the slalom, but if those are stock Bugeye front brakes, you might want to be the first.

 

If the engine and gearbox are good to go, this should be an easy and awesome challenge car.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa SuperDork
10/7/20 4:30 p.m.

I'm not familiar with any Ford 8" that had the hump in the back panel like that one does, always possible that there was one not known to me.  Generally the 9" has the hump to clear the ring gear.

This pic is 8", small bearing 9" with the hump, large bearing 9" that doesn't show a hump

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/7/20 5:23 p.m.

That thing is to cool

keithedwards
keithedwards Reader
10/7/20 6:29 p.m.
nocones said:

I wonder why they stacked two stock gas tanks on top of each other and welded them together?

 

This is awesome.  I am excited to watch.  And next year is going to be insane if eveyone planning to makes it.

Probably not for ballast. Endurance? Structural rigidity???

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/7/20 6:42 p.m.

The lettering looks quite old. Is there any history on this car? Like, vintage race car?

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Dork
10/7/20 8:46 p.m.
nocones said:

I wonder why they stacked two stock gas tanks on top of each other and welded them together?

Maybe it was so damn fast that it burns through gas like a Bugatti flat out?

jgrewe
jgrewe Reader
10/7/20 9:22 p.m.

My stock Bugeye tank only holds like 7 gals, that won't get you far feeding a V8 having any kind of fun.  I think there are much better ways to get a 14 gal tank but it is interesting.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
10/7/20 10:52 p.m.

That is a really cool find.

With out the eyes it looks like some predator fish from the abyss. 

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
10/7/20 11:38 p.m.

Since you're local to the previous owner who's now in assisted living I'd try to find out where he/she is and see if I could have a chat with them. Maybe on the phone or Zoom now since we're in the covid time. Once the world gets to the new normal go for a visit. I'm sure they'd be happy the car is getting cared for and would tell you anything you'd like to know. Heck maybe take him/her out for a spin once it's roadworthy. Just because they're in assisted living doesn't mean they're completely out of it or not interested in what happens to the car. Wouldn't hurt to ask whoever took care of selling the car.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/8/20 9:01 a.m.
NOT A TA said:

Since you're local to the previous owner who's now in assisted living I'd try to find out where he/she is and see if I could have a chat with them. Maybe on the phone or Zoom now since we're in the covid time. Once the world gets to the new normal go for a visit. I'm sure they'd be happy the car is getting cared for and would tell you anything you'd like to know. Heck maybe take him/her out for a spin once it's roadworthy. Just because they're in assisted living doesn't mean they're completely out of it or not interested in what happens to the car. Wouldn't hurt to ask whoever took care of selling the car.

+10

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
10/8/20 10:36 a.m.

So, you look like you are missing the brake/clutch dual master. I would suggest ditching the factory style dual setup for fabbing an aftermarket or a later spridget. One factor is that the car from the factory was a single circuit braking system, which means you got NOTHING if a line blows. Also, you will need to match up the master cylinder sizes with whatever brakes are on that rear end.   If the fronts are still factory drums, thats a suicide machine!  I am curious what the front suspension and upright is, if its factory or not. 

 

 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
10/8/20 10:54 a.m.

The photo with the driver onboard shows enough to say original front suspension. I see the upper"control arm"/shock arm...Can't tell if it has a disc brake conversion.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/8/20 3:41 p.m.

Let's just say his brakes are gonna be dialed.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
10/10/20 12:58 p.m.

I do believe it's stock front brakes, haha. Certainly one of the things I'll be trying to dedicate budget to. There's a 1972 MG in my favorite JY, and a guy in Ann Arbor selling off decades of parts that I can probably score some parts from. 

I also took a run at "decoding" the engine stampings today, and one website shows that as a 1965 Corvette block, which would make it a 4 bolt main 350 with 350HP.

Front stamp looks like V0903HV

Rear casting looks like it ends in 2388, which websites show as a 1969 350 or 302, with ~300/290HP

I also got a better picture of the leaf springs. I'm putting together the cribbing this weekend so I can get this lifted and see under it, but I can tell the trans mount looks like the lowest point on the car.

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