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jmc14
jmc14 Reader
10/25/17 5:43 a.m.

Hello Everyone,  I started this project last winter.  I quit working on it in the spring as I wanted to spend the summer with my family and to work on my house.  I'm now able to get back to my build.

I'm not paying Photo bucket so the pictures that I've previously posted aren't showing.  Consequently I started this new thread to continue with my build.

To get caught up:  I built a space frame to which C4 Corvette suspension bolts to.  I purchased a body from a gentleman in PA that created a 1963 Cheetah replica.  He made the car larger than the original and made it to fit around the C4 suspension with 15 inch wide wheels and 33 inch tall tires.  All original Cheetahs were coupes and were hard core race cars.  I wanted a Street Roadster so I've been building my car with that in mind. This required a lot of modifications to the body. 

I'm using a SBC engine bolted to Richmond 4 speed. I'm using an MGB windshield. I've worked hard to have good occupant and leg room and to sit low. This car is small.  93 inch wheelbase, 72 inches wide at the rear wheels, and 42 inches to the top of the windshield.  It has short overhangs.

With all of the modifications that I've made to the body, and reinforcements to support those mods, it's gotten fairly heavy.  Because the body doesn't have any structural value it can be made fairly light.  I also have been contacted by 4 people that want to buy a body/frame.  I don't want to get into building kits. But, I'm working with a welder that can reproduce my frame and a fiberglass company that can make bodies.  With that in mind I'm making some mods to the body. The one in the pictures will become the plug. 

I'm making changes to the firewall and the rear of the hood so that they will BUTT together and not overlap when closed.  The Cheetah hood is wider at the top then the bottom.  It requires 2 people to open and close it with out scraping the body of the tub.  It also is floppy and requires side latches to hold the hood body shape to match the tub body shape.  The mods I'm making will allow the hood to retain it's shape and be opened by one person.  I'm also molding in the dash, and light buckets. 

The mods will make it possible to mold the 2 piece body in colored gel coat. The seams can be buffed out and the body polished. This will eliminate the need for body work and paint. The body is designed to slide over the frame and attach solidly to it.  This makes fitment simple.

I'm back to having fun.  Now, if my health holds out!

 

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jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
10/25/17 6:39 a.m.

Still awesome

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
10/25/17 7:24 a.m.

 

I was a fan then and even more so now the(your) car is Fantastic.

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
11/20/17 10:20 p.m.

Thank you very much. 

I've been working on finishing the body mods.  I wanted to see the body in one color so I used spray cans and painted it today.  There still is a lot of work to do to get the body to the point where I can pull molds. 

 

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
11/20/17 11:44 p.m.

I'm really excited to see an update in this build; the car looks fantastic!

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
11/21/17 6:38 p.m.

I set up the car outside today for a final mock up.  The side pipe is 4 inch PVC:)

I thought the rear deck looked a little plain so I set a spoiler that I had on it.  I like the look and will make one specifically for it.

I'm done on the body!  Now it's off to a friend that is a professional body man.  He'll take from here and get it smoothed out and ready to pull molds. I'm going to start the final assembly of the chassis and drivetrain.

 

 

 

 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
11/21/17 7:11 p.m.

Very nice.  I'd make that spoiler an optional piece - personally I like  the car better without it.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle Dork
11/21/17 7:15 p.m.

Awesome project.

The windshield "base" caught my eye before and it still does - especially on the sides. Are you going to do any more blending/smoothing of that section?

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
11/21/17 8:14 p.m.


The windshield base is one of the areas that still needs work.  I had a publication contact me Friday and asked me if I had any tips that I could share about working with fiberglass.  I explained that I'm not an expert, that I'm a hobbyist working alone in my small shop.  I sent them pictures of the body and they came back asking if I could have it finished and in color by today. They wanted me to take pictures of it to use in their article.  I've crammed a lot of work into 3 days and, I didn't get a chance to finish the windshield base.  

I think that this is my last big project.  I can see spending time over the next several years making different accessories, aero pieces, and a hardtop for it.  I'm molding the body with out the spoiler.  I've been considering molding it with out the hood vents too.

I'm tired but having fun.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
11/21/17 11:07 p.m.
jmc14 said:

I had a publication contact me Friday and asked me if I had any tips that I could share about working with fiberglass.  I explained that I'm not an expert, that I'm a hobbyist working alone in my small shop.  I sent them pictures of the body and they came back asking if I could have it finished and in color by today. They wanted me to take pictures of it to use in their article.  I've crammed a lot of work into 3 days and, I didn't get a chance to finish the windshield base.

Sounds like they've been watching too many car shows on TV with fake deadlines.  

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
11/25/17 1:19 p.m.

I started working on the windshield base today.  I am making the base where the windshield side posts sit smaller.  And, I'm making the transition from the body to the bottom of the windshield more gradual.  The windshield has legs that slide through the body and bolt to the frame.  When bolted the windshield sits just above the body and does not rest on it.  The MGB windshield has a bottom rubber gasket that will seal the edge.  (I removed it from mine as it was in bad shape.)  I'm going to use black sealant and run a small bead of it to seal the edge. 

Due to health reasons I'm only working a few hours a day on my car now.  It will take me a few more days to get it the way I want. 

 

 

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
12/11/17 11:48 a.m.

Work continues at a slow pace.  I thought that I was done with body work earlier   But, I'm doing more before passing the body on to my friend for final finishing.  I wanted it to be as good as I was capable of getting it to.   

I hate body work and I'm not really good at it  just persistent   

 

 

 

 

 

java230
java230 SuperDork
12/11/17 11:58 a.m.

Glad to see your still plugging away at it!

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
12/13/17 6:53 a.m.

 

And you are way better than you give Credit For.     AWSOME !

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/29/17 2:08 a.m.

The one Cheetah convertible was called the Cro-Sal special. Built because the coupe had a serious problem with cockpit heat

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/29/17 9:13 a.m.

Yeah like burning you right shin as the the headers passed over your feet!!!!

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
12/29/17 9:22 a.m.

So excited to see progress on this. Love the cheetah style. 

You mention pulling molds, any chance you'd sell a couple copies?

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
12/29/17 6:02 p.m.

Thank you for the encouraging comments.  I feel like I've been on a quest for a long time to build a car that checked all of my boxes.  This car does.  For me it's the Cobra alternative for Chevy/Corvette Fans.  

Ive continued to work as I can on the body. I have everything the way I want it now except for the headlight buckets.  I've ordered a pair of headlights that I think will work well with the body.  They should be here Tuesday.  I'll finish up the buckets then.

Im taking the body to my friends body shop next week.  He will get it ready for pulling the molds.  While the body is there the frame is going to a friend that owns a race car chassis business.  He will fabricate his own jigs and make frames for me.  

When the body is ready for molds it's going to A commercial fiberglass mold making and production company.  They're making the molds and any bodies I need   

I think that there might be a small market for a kit for this car.  I'm not physically capable of building frames or molding bodies as a business.  And, I don't want to have any employees.  I'm in this for fun.   But, because I have connections with professionals that can fabricate the frame and produce the body for me, I will make a body/frame kit available.  It will also include aluminum skins, the necessary brackets,  steering shafts, joints, and supports.  My target price is $9900.00   If some one wants just a body I see no reason why I wouldn't do that. 

I plan to have my car complete in the spring   The kit would be available then as well. 

Thankfully I have the means to put  kits together. If some one wants one they can pay for it when they pick it up.  I know that a lot of people have been burned by paying for parts/kits up front.  By not excepting money until picked up that can't happen with me. 

I've obtained the domain name:  www.questmotorcars.com   I do not have a site built yet.  My car is the Quest Cheetah SR   (Street roadster)  

My goal was to have a car that was as simple to build as a dune buggy, offers high performance, classic looks, and doesn't cost a fortune to build.  I think this car meets those goals  

Having fun! 

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/30/17 5:39 p.m.

In reply to jmc14 :

I’ve done exactly what you are proposing.  So has a friend of mine.  We both sold a few bodies and somehow a copy was made and my price dramatically undercut. 

I looked at the piece and it was easy to understand why it could be sold so cheaply.   When you don’t have to make the original a low volume mold isn’t very expensive. The material costs aren’t very high and labor is minimal. 

 

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
12/31/17 6:54 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to jmc14 :

I’ve done exactly what you are proposing.  So has a friend of mine.  We both sold a few bodies and somehow a copy was made and my price dramatically undercut. 

I looked at the piece and it was easy to understand why it could be sold so cheaply.   When you don’t have to make the original a low volume mold isn’t very expensive. The material costs aren’t very high and labor is minimal. 

I know what you mean about copies being made of something that you've created.  I've made my living by inventing simple things and selling them.  I've constantly dealt with people making illegal copies of my creations.  I've had containers of product made in China and shipped to the USA that were exact copies and had my pictures and info on the packaging.

My body is very simple.  You are correct that the cost to make a low volume mold and the cost of the bodies is not that expensive.  It's the time and effort to create the original that is the investment.  I'm hoping that by keeping the cost relatively low that it will discourage copies. But, you never know.  I'm interested in seeing  what you and your friend created and sold.

Here are a few more pictures:

-  I think it's interesting to see how small the car is when seen next to my truck.  This car is wider and shorter than a Cobra.  An original Cobra has a 90 inch wheelbase. Mine has a 93 inch wheelbase.  But, the overhangs on my car are shorter which results in a shorter over all length.  I think most Cobras are about 49 inches to the top of the windshield.  My car is 42 inches.

The original cheetah had a full width grill opening.  I wasn't a fan of the look.  I've molded in dividers. The center opening is the same width of the radiator and duct. The outer openings will be for brake ducts.  I know that it's hard to see in the picture.

Here is a picture of the 1 piece hoods rear bulkhead in progress. 

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/31/17 12:21 p.m.

In reply to jmc14 :

Jerome the guy who taught me how to work with Fiberglass used to create a lot of the bread and butter stuff used in hot rods.  Hood scoops, roadster bodies, etc.  he was an early builder of fiberglass pro stock bodies and one of the first to switch to carbon fiber 

later he made small trailers to tow behind hot rods and even small fiberglass push cars for kids.  

Mine is a bit more shaggy dog story, Jack Baker took molds from Don Skogmo’s  D type Jaguar and his bird cage Maserati  to make the Black Jack Special 

He sold a few through JC Whitney  until it was copied  and sold cheaper by others.  

When I bought the Black Jack in 1974 the front  and rear end weighed a ton all from poorly done bondo repairs.  The head rest had been hacked off to fit a roll bar etc. 

Jerome came over and showed me how to straighten things out to make them look right. then talked me into making a mold and new parts.   Since then I’ve made molds for the DeMar (a sort of Devin shaped car)  XKE And XKE series 3 front bonnet   That one I made a 230 pound steel front end into a 48 pound carbon fiber you couldn’t  visually tell from original. 

my final piece was a fiberglass enclosed trailer.  Made in 4 foot sections so I could make enclosed trailers any size a customer needed.  

I still see that front piece on a lot of new trailers. Illegally copied, of course but they get copied and so on and so on.  

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
1/27/18 10:58 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to jmc14 :

Jerome the guy who taught me how to work with Fiberglass used to create a lot of the bread and butter stuff used in hot rods.  Hood scoops, roadster bodies, etc.  he was an early builder of fiberglass pro stock bodies and one of the first to switch to carbon fiber 

later he made small trailers to tow behind hot rods and even small fiberglass push cars for kids.  

Mine is a bit more shaggy dog story, Jack Baker took molds from Don Skogmo’s  D type Jaguar and his bird cage Maserati  to make the Black Jack Special 

He sold a few through JC Whitney  until it was copied  and sold cheaper by others.  

When I bought the Black Jack in 1974 the front  and rear end weighed a ton all from poorly done bondo repairs.  The head rest had been hacked off to fit a roll bar etc. 

Jerome came over and showed me how to straighten things out to make them look right. then talked me into making a mold and new parts.   Since then I’ve made molds for the DeMar (a sort of Devin shaped car)  XKE And XKE series 3 front bonnet   That one I made a 230 pound steel front end into a 48 pound carbon fiber you couldn’t  visually tell from original. 

my final piece was a fiberglass enclosed trailer.  Made in 4 foot sections so I could make enclosed trailers any size a customer needed.  

I still see that front piece on a lot of new trailers. Illegally copied, of course but they get copied and so on and so on.  

Thank you for your post.  I checked out the Black Jack Special and it looks pretty cool. I'm a hobbyist at body and fiberglass work.  I can appreciate the amount of work and skill that it takes to make the parts that you've made.  Very cool.  

  I understand about illegal copies.  I've had several things copied.  Even containers from China full of one of my patented products. It's very frustrating. 

It took longer than expected to get the body to where I wanted it.  I just delivered it to my friend for final body work yesterday.  He sent me a few pictures this morning.  He's moving a lot faster than I am able to. 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
1/27/18 11:20 a.m.

In reply to jmc14 :

Nice work!  

Still Has a lot of the flavor of the  Crosal special. That was the last Cheetah made that they cut off the roof to deal with the heat.  I remember it winning the race at Peewaulkee in about 1964?  

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
1/27/18 11:31 a.m.

Progress yea!!!!!

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
1/31/18 3:59 p.m.

I'm leaving for vacation next Wed. I'm going to AZ and CA, returning home March 10.  My buddy called me last night and asked me to come to his shop to check on his progress.  He wanted to make sure that he was meeting my expectations.  I made the round trip from near Lake Placid, Ny to Newport, NH today to check it out.  I think that he's doing a great job. From here he will block sand, then spray another few coats of primer, wet sand and buff out.  I'm excited to know that the entire body will be ready to have molds pulled by the time I get back home.

I'm molding a small trunk.  It will be accessed through an opening between the seats.

You can see that there are 2 areas at the rear of the cockpit that we're not finishing out. To do so would create a negative return in the cockpit.  I wouldn't be able to get the body out of the mold.  There will be pieces made to fill this area in. The seats/upholstery will cover them. 

 

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