Tiger Testing

The sorting process is best done that way: Make a list and then knock things off one by one.

With the top installed and the rest of the trim pieces put on the car, our project is reaching an end. From here on out, it will be all about testing and sorting.

The first stop on this laborious route to perfection was Andres Automotive. There, Jeff Thompson got our Tiger aligned perfectly.

From Andres, we went back to Tom Prescott at The Body Werks. Tom finalized and perfected all of our panel gap fits. He also expertly buffed the car once again. Because we weren’t happy with the way the side molding lay on one fender, Tom filled the holes and repainted the fender. We learned an expensive lesson here: Fit all trim before paint ever sees your car.

Rennie Bryant came up for a few weekends to help us sort wiring and gauge issues. Nothing was really wrong; everything is new or rebuilt during a ground-up restoration, so it’s common to miss a few things the first time around. Forgetting to put the speedometer gear back on the speedometer cable was a simple mistake that almost rendered our speedometer ineffective. Now that it is working, we have noticed that it reads optimistically, most likely due to our final drive ratio change.

After a few quick trips around the neighborhood, we tried our luck on the 20-mile round trip to our office. From there we risked taking the Tiger on a nice ride along the river to go to dinner.

Once confident that everything was in order, we ventured on the 150-mile round trip to our test track in Ocala. While our soft setup and some carb adjustment issues didn’t wow us at the track, we were left impressed with the complete comfort and reliability we experienced on the journey there. Another thing that impressed Rennie, who was driving the car at the time, was the ability to simply bury the 140-mph speedometer at will. While we don’t condone this behavior on public roads, our Tiger is mythically fast. We recently drove two 427 Cobras—one real, one a replica. Our Tiger project would have no problem keeping up with either one. We also got about 15 mpg on this round trip, which included hot laps at the track.

Once we get the shocks adjusted and some traction bars figured out, we will head back to the track. In the meantime, we made a to-do list that’s about 25 items long. It includes jobs like installing the snaps in the carpets and putting the V8 emblem on the trunk.

The sorting process is best done that way: Make a list and then knock things off one by one. For the first few months, the list will be long and you will add something almost every time you knock something off. However, with some diligence and patience, you’ll have most projects completely sorted within six months.

Since this was written, we have entered and successfully run the Bluegrass 1000 Tour, a 1000-mile tour of Kentucky in October. This was the ultimate test of our sorted Tiger, and it passed with flying colors.

This ends the regular Web updates on our Project Tiger. More detailed articles have started in the July ‘08 issue of Classic Motorsports. Of course, our Tiger page will keep track of every issue in which the Tiger appears. The articles should run for nearly the next two years. We will have occasional updates here as well. If you’d like to stay on top of this project, subscribe to Classic Motorsports magazine on this Web site. Meanwhile, you can visit the back issue page to catch up on any installments you’ve missed.

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