Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
4/20/09 12:08 p.m.
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April 16th dawned cool and beautiful—the exact weather you would want when testing out a new race car. With lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s, Roebling Road was going to be the perfect place for our Group 44 Inc. GT6+ project car to turn a wheel in anger for the first time in more than 30 years.…

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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
4/22/09 9:27 a.m.

It's amazing how a small oversight committed months ago jumps up and bites you in the heinie in such a huge way. Customers complain about how long it takes me to finish an engine. This is why. Everything must be triple-checked before moving on because the aftermath of a mistake can be devastating. Hard to do on a project with a magazine deadline, though.

Despite my overwrought obsessiveness, I once overlooked a small "worm hole" in a combustion chamber of a Triumph Dolomite-based SAAB engine (on a cylinder head my machinist swore he pressure-checked). The result was a cylinder full of water which came close to hydro-locking the engine and bending some parts. Another cylinder head and draining the fluids finally put my car on the road. That engine lasted a good long time for a British-derived product (>88K miles until a valve head decided it had enough and separated from its stem). I'm sure this setback will be equally as temporary.

No matter how good you are, something like this will happen if you're in the game long enough. If you're lucky, you haven't wiped out a cam lobe, the crank will only need a polish, the bearings get replaced and a new oil pump sourced with a new pump drive as well. I look forward to reading about this car clawing its way around Laguna Seca and other historic tracks in the future.

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