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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
2/26/15 7:22 p.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: And I am not sure where the seats are from. They are similar to both MGA and TR3, but they were slightly different. Maybe they are Bugeye seats.

Didn't your wife trim the seats? They look great.

Tim Suddard wrote: I wish I hadn't committed to have it restored in 9 months.

Hey, your sacrifice is our entertainment.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/27/15 7:18 a.m.

Jerry, my wife, and my uncle (who is now 80 and has been helping me with seats since I was 15) and I did the seats in my uncle's basement.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/27/15 7:19 a.m.

Cut the windshield last night and made mounting brackets. Tom Prescott came over and fixed a couple of paint issues on the roll bar. I'll send some pics to Ed to post.

I think we are going to make it. Guess what I am doing this weekend?

Rhodyspit75
Rhodyspit75 New Reader
2/27/15 8:56 a.m.

Hey Tim, can I sit in it at Amelia Island?

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
2/27/15 10:08 a.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: Jerry, my wife, and my uncle (who is now 80 and has been helping me with seats since I was 15) and I did the seats in my uncle's basement.

I remember reading the article. I think what stood out most was your wife getting hands-on, which is probably why I remembered it the way I did. I love my remaining aunts and uncles, all of whom are in their 80s and 90s. It's great you guys can still get enthusiastic about a project together, especially a concours project. Chances are, it will be around in someone's hands for a long time to come so it will be a lasting tribute to your uncle's fine craftsmanship.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
2/27/15 10:27 a.m.

In reply to Rhodyspit75:

Only if you sign up for the Amelia Island Auction Tour!

And now for the most recent happenings on the Tornado. As you could probably tell from one of the pictures in the last update, there were some paint problems around where the roll cage enters the fiberglass body. Tom Prescott, our bodywork expert, touched it up to look perfect. Also, the windshield has been cut and is almost ready to mount.

Tom spots in a couple of paint problems.

Windshield brackets are made out of angle aluminum (available at Lowes). We drilled them out before cutting them. It's way easier to handle one long piece of aluminum in a drill press,than a dozen one-inch pieces.

Tim cuts the windshield out with a jig saw.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/27/15 10:31 a.m.

Yes, anyone is welcome to try out the Tornado seats. And yes, I figure this might be the last seats I will do with my uncle. His health is failing quickly.

Rhodyspit75
Rhodyspit75 New Reader
2/27/15 11:24 a.m.

Thank you. Very sorry to hear of your uncles failing health. He sounds like quite a craftsman.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
3/2/15 8:25 a.m.

We have less than two weeks to finish. Twelve days to be exact. More pictures will probably be coming later today. The carpet and interior was the main focus this weekend. The inside of the doors are finished.

Lots of carpet.

A quick test fit of the seat on the passenger's side. It'll sit farther forward than shown in this picture.

Getting a tonneau cover sized up.

The inside of the doors came out very nicely.

And the windshield still sits off to the side but is coming together.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
3/3/15 11:25 a.m.
Ed Higginbotham wrote: We have less than two weeks to finish. Twelve days to be exact. More pictures will probably be coming later today. The carpet and interior was the main focus this weekend. The inside of the doors are finished. Lots of carpet. A quick test fit of the seat on the passenger's side. It'll sit farther forward than shown in this picture. Getting a tonneau cover sized up. The inside of the doors came out very nicely. And the windshield still sits off to the side but is coming together.

I see you have a Bugeye horn button to go with the seats.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
3/3/15 2:08 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

You, sir, have a sharp eye. I guess that explains where some of the interior came from.

And now back to the build. Eleven days remaining. Good progress was made yesterday. There's a windshield, the carpet is all bound and the rear bulkhead molding was made from leather-covered lexan.

Bound carpet. Notice the aforementioned molding around the top left of the carpet.

The rest of the carpet is also starting to look complete.

And we have a windshield!

Last but not least, the tail lights have been installed.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
3/4/15 9:23 a.m.

Are you going to use the chrome trim rings for the lights of go with the purposeful look and leave them off?

pushrod36
pushrod36 Reader
3/4/15 10:40 a.m.

Keep up the good work! I'm enjoying living vicariously though these posts this week.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
3/4/15 3:43 p.m.

Here's some more for you guys. We're 10 days out. AND IT LIVES! It went out for a test drive without any doors today.

The seat has been mounted on the drivers side. No more (fingers crossed) test fitting.

And back at home.

The interior bits around the shifter came out pretty well.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
3/5/15 9:01 a.m.

Yes, we re putting the chrome rings around the tailights. We could not get them to fit on the front turn signal lights, since the mounting surface is not flat enough.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
3/5/15 9:56 a.m.

Alright, it's looking pretty good for an Amelia Island debut. As seen in the last post, the car runs and drives. Apparently it's actually pretty easy to drive. Now it's really down to the final touches. This part takes time and patience to get right.

The Tornado has a full interior.

It might be a little hard to see from this picture, but it's crazy how close together the clutch and brake pedal are. I had to tilt my left foot sideways to get a foot on both. But it should be fine with some thinner racing shoes.

The trim between the roll cage and fiberglass body came out very well. Tim actually used some rubber windshield stripping.

Here's a look at the engine it its final drivable state.

One more cool touch: Straps to hold down the hood instead of latches. These came from Moss Motors.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
3/5/15 10:41 a.m.

Man, that thing is LOW.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
3/5/15 12:49 p.m.

You guys have done an outstanding job on that car.

I have a hard time getting a feel for it's true size. Probably because of the seats, I keep thinking Bugeye scale, but this picture makes it look much bigger.

So what do you plan to do with it after the show? Actually drive it on the road or is it a racecar?

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog SuperDork
3/5/15 7:43 p.m.

Looking great!

But....and this is just a pet peeve of mine, when you have more time please paint the inside of the "mouth" black. I HATE seeing glossy painted wavy fiberglass in body openings. Maybe the hood scoop as well. I'm probably the only one who notices anyway. Keep up the good work!

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
3/6/15 9:28 a.m.

In reply to Junkyard_Dog:

There will actually be a screen behind the hood scoop opening and the openings on the side. But I'm pretty sure the nose will stay open.

In reply to NOHOME:

It's an interesting size. It's very narrow and long. Kind of funny how long the nose is with such a tiny engine. And as for what's happening to it after the show, Tim would probably be able to shed more light on that than me. I heard some rumblings about putting it on track for high-end vintage racing events.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
3/6/15 9:48 a.m.

And now for some more updates. It's just about done. There are eight days left until Amelia Island, but Tim will also be driving the Sunbeam Tiger on our Orange Blossom Tour all next week. So I think it'll have to be pretty much done in the next few days and then get a good detailing from a third party. But we'll see what happens!

This was a mock up yesterday afternoon for the doors to get final measurements for the tonneau cover.

Mirrors were added yesterday, too.

The doors were finally mounted late last night. The driver's side latch still needs to be installed, but other than that, now it's down to little details like screens and emblems.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
3/6/15 5:06 p.m.

Ed will have some more pictures shortly. We did get the door latches done. We weighed the car and it weighs 1380 with nearly perfect weight balance. We had a blown head gasket (yikes!) but Super Jere figured it out, bled the water pump this time and the thing runs great.

We got screens up behind the side scoops and hood scoops. A grille with a stylized T is next. The headlight covers are nearly done. The door latches came out aces and the doors shut more like a Mercedes than a kit.

As for what is next, I am not sure I have the guts to race it, but it does have a cell and vintage legal cage. Was thinking of trying to enter it at Monterey or Goodwood.

And I definitely will have it at the Mitty and Import Carlisle.

Thanks to my staff and family for their patience. We did get it done in time, as I leave this Sunday a.m. I am really happy with how it looks and surprisingly how it drives.

Light weight solves low power and crude suspension very well.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg MegaDork
3/6/15 6:19 p.m.

It has come a long way since Carlisle, congratulations Tim and all the crew.

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
3/6/15 6:35 p.m.

I second that. Beautiful car, and I would love to see and hear it going around the track!

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
3/7/15 9:02 a.m.

Hell of a thrash. Could be the source of great articles on vintage racing with the rich kids. How many others are racing Tornadoes? Have fun on the Orange Blossom Tour. Or, more accurately, have fun catching up on sleep in the passenger seat while your wife drives.

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