Nov 10, 2011 update to the Shelby GT 350 project car

Reality Sets In

A wise man will drain the fuel tank completely before attempting to remove it. Our Flo-Fast rig did a great job once we set it up.

Apparently he did not understand a deadline from hell, and what is like to be bat-shit crazy for cars.

Originally, we were going to take six weeks to simply freshen the suspension of our Shelby GT 350 and run the Going to the Sun Rally. In-and-out, a hundred hours of work and about $5000 worth of parts and we get a decent running car, a fun story and go back to our regular lives. Wait a minute, this is our regular lives!

Reality Number One

You can’t rebuild the chassis on a car in six weeks. Well, maybe you can if you exclude time spent waiting for parts We’re fortunate that NPD is right around the corner, so delays weren’t a big deal for us, but we hadn’t accounted for the two weeks it would take to ship the car to the rally. By mid-August, it wasn’t looking good and we knew it.

Reality Number Two

The more we dug into this thing, the less we wanted to just refresh the suspension and slap it back onto a damaged, ugly chassis. From just freshening the suspension and brakes, it went to “Let’s paint and repair the chassis while we’re under there” to “We might was well pull the engine and driveline to better paint the underside of the car.” And “What the heck, the nose can come off quickly to better paint under the front fenders.” It kept going. “We might as well do the interior, since it needs to come out anyway to properly fix the floors.” “Let’s fix and paint the trunk, and fix the rust around the trunk rim.”

The final blow of insanity to this whole project came when Ford offered us a crate motor to really make this car a lot of fun. Yes, we want a brand new, 500 horspower, 363 cubic inch crate engine, Heck, it gets us total reliability and enough power to do wheelies with the damned thing.

The downside that we didn’t know when we quickly said, “hell yeah,” is that the swap doesn’t just bolt in; headers and clutch parts are going to have to be sourced from hot rod Ford guys. Not a major stumbling block, but perhaps the block that broke the peasant’s back.

Reality Number Three (a strikeout)

We should have been astute enough to calculate realities one and two. There was no way to calculate reality number three. Early on in this project, our lead mechanic and your author hurt his shoulder while emptying the old gas from the Mustang’s tank (don’t ask, because, as usual, there was stupidity involved). What seemed like a temporary inconvenience turned into major rotator cuff surgery. After the surgery, our doctor said there was no way we should have been working on that car with no rotator cuff left. He also said there was no way we would work on the car again for a couple of months. We resumed work in less than two weeks. Apparently he did not understand a deadline from hell, and what is like to be bat-shit crazy for cars.

Did we say Montana? We Meant Texas

You probably thought you heard us say we were going to take this car to Montana in September and wail the piss out of it. What we meant to say is we are going to take it to the Texas 1000 in November and really wail the piss out of it.

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