Sunday, October 21, 2007

You Must Stop Before You Can Go

We now have the brakes pretty much done on the MGA just have to pick up 2 copper washers for the banjo fitting on the right front caliper. We pulled the drums and calipers off and luckily were able to rebuild everything. We had a set of wire wheels and tires donated by Gary Wortman from our MG car club. Thanks Gary!! The engine is the next thing to work on we spun it over carefully putting oil in the cylinders first and letting it set and then turning the flywheel by hand and finally using the starter to spin the engine over. I have and exhaust system from my MGA that we are going to use for the car a few years ago I put a 1800 engine in my MGA and a different exhaust system. My wife always used to ask me why I kept the old exhaust system now I know why. If all goes well we hope to fire the car up in a couple weeks .

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tribute To A True Friend

Our very good friend John"Big Dog"Beadle passed away in the spring of 2006. John and his wife Sue used to race a 1962 MGA back in the early 60's when you would drive your race car to the track and use it for transportation during the week. Today we went to John' s house and picked up the old race car to get it back on the road again after some 30 years. We now have the car at the Dover Brothers Racin garage. The engine was rebuilt by John Twist from University Motors about 10 years ago. Our goal is to get the car running for John's daughter Terry. She wants to keep the car original just get the mechanical working and safe to drive on the road .

John was a very special friend he was a graduate of the University of Michigan and retired from Amway as Data Processing Manager. John was a BBQ expert who taught me all about BBQ he never shared any of his recipes but he was always willing to help you with anything you wanted to make. He always wanted to get the MGA running again after he retired but his health ended up not working out he lost both of his legs to diabetes he said he would never use a wheel chair and true to his word he didn't. John is a friend that will always be missed and always remembered.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Test Drive

We took the Volvo out for a test drive this past week above is the link to the video of the test drive. The cooling problems have been now solved Jim Blett was a very big help for all of this we were almost ready to start using wing nuts and Velcro to hold the head on so it would be easier to get off and on.

Tom and I stopped by Hooters and got a half dozen Hooters girls to go at least the sign said Hooters to go, the manager said that is not what the sign meant she said chicken wings we said we just wanted breasts instead . I guess Hooters to go is just chicken wings.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tom Meets Gary Faules

I always wonderded where Tom got his Lizard breathe from.Tom and Gary Faules

I talked to Tom this evening who is in San Francisco and he hooked up with Gary Faules this past weekend . Tom said he had a great time meeting Gary and talking about the La Carrera.
They both got to share some ideas on the race and what to expect when you get there. Gary is building a Mustang to run in the La Carrera and he updates almost daily with a lot of good stories and information to share. If you want to see a car being built from the ground up he has done a very good job of sharing the build. His site is

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Good Luck Charms in the Car

Tom's daughter Julie put this sticker in the car inside on the roof so we could see it each time we climed in and buckled up. It made for a lot of fun for us. Transit sections are really fast we were passed one time by a Studebaker I know we were doing close to 100 mph and he just blew by us. One thing though in small towns always go the speed limit the local Police can really make a nice profit off you as some drivers found out. The Federalies were always helpful to everyone when they escorted you into a city speed laws were shattered. Can you imagine being in a high speed chase with the police with them leading.

The Hula Girl was also given by Tom's daughter Julie. She rode all the transit sections and finally we made her ride the speed sections . The Mexican people got a lot of laughs out of her . She is still in the car today she lost an arm we found it and thanks to super glue she is just fine. We glued magnets to her and she rode on the part of the roll cage over the dash sometimes after a speed run she would be upside down if she was was we knew we had a fast drive.

Finally our Lucky "Tits" . A friend gave us these molded tits as a gift for the car so we did some additions and colored them with pink chalk for an authentic look and a little brown paint at the top to touch them off. they were always somewhere on the car while we were building it.

We always rubbed them for good luck before the green flag went down. We placed each one above us at the top of the roll cage, as you can see the driver rubbed them more than the navigator he either likes tits or had no confidence in his navigator. Knowing Tom as long as I have I really think he likes tits.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mil Cumbre

Could this be Wally and the Beaver(The two on the right) it is really Brad Kaplan and Bob Oglive (I hope I got his name right) They look just like Wally and the Beaver I told them that more than once. Fernando on the left was driving when they went off the road on Mil Cumbres I have included the video link right after they went off . Brad was always upbeat no matter what happened. While they were waiting to get towed back, Brad pulled 2 baseball gloves out of the trunk and him and Fernando played catch to kill time. The car was repaired the next day and as you can see in the next picture a pretty good job for less than a day. Brad had to be one of the most positive people I have ever met.
We all signed the hood I of course wished Wally and the Beaver my best. At the time Brad was talking about replacing the the hood and hanging the old one in his garage . I would have kept the old one on just for the war stories. It would be a Badge of Courage.

We lost our alternator just before Mil Cumbre so we decided not to run make the repairs and run the next day. We still think this was the best option as we found out later there were more than a few teams who missed speed sections to make the necessary repairs so they could race the next day. We did drive the Mil Cumbre section just after everyone had left and it was getting dark. On the way back we found a Porsche with a British team which lost an engine so our crew happened to arrive so we loaded them up in our trailer and pulled them back. Their crew finally showed up and we caravaned the wounded soldiers back toward the hotel. Tom might have gotten a little testy during this trip because the Brits got us lost and it was raining and dark and we were running on battery power only. Tom is normally a very calm logical person and this day was not a good one I remember the "F" might have been spoken more than once and F^&%^g Btitish C)@^$&":#$'s might have been mentioned once or twice also. When we got back I might have had a slight temper tantrum after being left in the mountains we did get our time card in and Gerie Bledsoe helped us find an alternator from Sam Berg to get us back running. When all seem hopeless someone is always there to help. Steve Walters helped us rebuild the alternator while his wife Janet went to the drivers meeting. We had a prayer meeting in the lot and our car was blessed by Stanley Gold ,he told us that our car was good for the rest of the race and he was right. This whole event is about the people they all seem to help each other in some way. I really believe in the term now "Paying Forward"

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Taking One For The Team

Tom and I have been trying to figure out how to get some sort of sponsorship for 2008 and I have come up with a novel idea. I am going to sell Tom's services to ladies at retirement homes.My mother God Bless Her used to say the old ladies "Never Tell ,Never Swell and Appreciate It Like Hell" I really think Tom has a calling. Just how do I break the news to him. I am thinking of having him dress up in his racing suit and telling him they want us to visit then and suddenly leave him on his own. This is what is called taking one for the team.

My wife and I hope to visit our son in Pearl Harbor in October he is currently serving on the USS La Jolla SSN 701 a fast attack submarine . So this year we are not going to make it to the la Carrera. This will give us time to get some sponsorship and keep up with family obligations which are very important to us. Our wives supported us for two years while we built the car which we were absent from them most of the time. Without their support we never could have done it in the first place. Tom and I both have MGA's which were hardly driven the last two years so a couple trips with the wives are in order.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Finally Paint andThe Engine

By the end of August we had Steve Lundberg finish the body work and paint the carhe did an outstanding job. Finally we could put the engine in ,fuel cell, wire the car ,seats and 5 point harnesses and test drive the car. Piece of cake. WRONG!! We put in many late nights with the help of Jim Blett without Jim's help we couldn't have completed the car on time. Also during this time I lost my mother which was difficult also. Jim Austhof and Dan Turrell were also a huge help. It's good to have friends to come when help is really needed. We worked the last three months day and night plus working full time at the end we had the last two days off. All we had to do now was drive to Veracruz which was only 3000 miles away. Piece of cake

Monday, March 12, 2007

Broke Down

This photo was taken when we lost our alternator on the forth day the cow was just walking down the road and decided to camp right there. One of the many creatures roaming Mexico.
"Picture courtesy of Bret Haller and

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Assembly Finally

We started putting the car back together and found out we had put things where we couldn't remember where put things. If you ever rebuild a car no matter how good your memory is you tend to forget. We got and 1800cc engine from our friend Jim Blett the Volvo expert who happens to own Swedish Car Service . He happened to throw in a free Volvo 122 with the engine all we had to do was remove the engine. Jim did the rebuild on the engine and it was one hell of a terrific job. Tom and I wore surgeons outfits while we did this mainly for laughs and Tom's son in law Sean got them for us. We got the disc brake parts engine and tranny from the 122. Jim Blett helped us with the conversion from drum to disc brakes. One of our salesmen from where I work gave me a couple of Grammer air ride truck seats he had . We really appreciated these during the La Carrera they were locked down during the speed sections and while in transit we had the most comfortable car that was there. You tend to take quite a beating in the car all day and these seats proved to be real well worth having in the car. We had Pat Chapman recover the seats for us they looked really good . The fenders needed to be fixed and Yorge Da Velder did one hell of a job. We must have gone through 3 spools of wire welding the car. I think Tom got fleet price on the gas. The only way we could have done all the work to the car was to do the work ourselves and have Jim Blett to help steer us in the right direction.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Roll Cage

We weren't quite sure how we going to do the roll cage so we went out and bought pipe insulation the foam type to get an idea as to what we wanted. we laid the whole thing out and then went on line to find a place that would bend the cage. Tom found a place they sent us the information they needed to do the bending and the next thing we knew the bent tubing arrived and we were on our way to building the roll cage. We had to cut holes in the roof to get acess to weld around the top of the cage by the roof. The back holes we turned into air vents. The front holes we welded up .This is when I found out Tom cannot weld! The part of the roof he welded looked like a soup bowl .We got a lot of laughs out of this. One thing about working on this project we made fun out of the mistakes we made and we never had an argument. The nice thing about working on the roll cage is it got me off the cold floor. I complained to Tom one day that the beer was warm from his fridge so the next time I came over he had all the beer on the floor and it was cold.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Big Fix Is On

After the car was fully disassembled we started the repairs of the body tub and going through the suspension rebuild of the front end. With Jim's advice we had the rear axles magnafluxed we had 2 sets they were all good. We took the front end apart and went through each piece to be sure all was still in a good safe working order. We tried to follow the old saying "you're only as strong as your weakest link" This really paid off because we did have a good solid strong car.When we were putting the rear end back together with new seals and bearings we found out Volvo had the bearings opposite of what we were used to so we had to come up with a way to pull the bearings back out. we looked around the garage and finally came up with a old gaer puller and got the thing out. That's when we started our loud laugh kind of a HA HA HA HA HA!!! When working one of us would start to do the HA HA and both of us would do it. we scared the hell out of Dave Ress doing this one time he thought Tom and I were coming to blows. We had to explain the whole story to him. Dave was taking OTJ training welding with us I taught him how to weld and he would help us with the Volvo. He was redoing the frame on his MGA . this worked out good for all of us. I still think Tom chills the floor in his garage. The metal fabracation was done by Tom and I. When we looked at the rockers we decided to cut them open when we did there was nothing left inside rust had taken its toll . we ended up getting 2x2 tubing and connecting it front to back on both sides and to the body tub it made for a stronger car. we made our own rockers and when we were done it looked pretty good. I got the name "Yorge Da Velder" doing the welding on the car.