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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I hope I don't draw a lot of wrath on this forum for my project, but just wanted to post about my Lemons/Chump/who knows what else low budget race car.

First - let me be clear that when I got the car it had already been hacked to within an inch of its life so it was NEVER going to be a viable restoration candidate - so I have zero guilt and I am actually saving the car from getting crushed.

Sooooooooooo, I have been planning this super secret theme for months now, only to find that m610 already did it on his Lemons car when he posted a video on the Lemons forum... which I only came across looking for video from the Houston event I just raced last weekend. Foiled. We've talked, and he seems to be a great guy and has offered not to hold it against me if I build the same theme - at the moment though it feels unoriginal, I think I will I really have so much thought invested in it I want to see it through. I have been building up the Opel to be a scale model of the C5r, complete with IRS (thanks jtb for the writeup on how you did it), V8 mounted behind the front axle, manual trans, semi horizontal radiator vented out the hood, and ridiculously oversized wheels/tires.

So far I have stripped most of the wiring, and hosing from the car, and am just finishing up removing all the rust from the car (previous owner sanded it to bare metal I guess to prep it for painting, then got distracted before priming it, and so I got it Delorean style, if Deloreans rusted that is) and rolling (what else?) a coat of Rustoleum primer on it.

In terms of build, I am pretty much at square one. The previous owner fabbed up a subframe and mounted the V8 and trans in the car, but it is not located where I want it and frankly, I am not that impressed with the work. So out it will come, and a new mount will be fabbed. Yeah. Car has no pedal box, no steering column, no lights, so there is a little work left to be done... also, I am going to have to fab up a seat mount for the aluminum race seat that will extend a little below the stock floor board so I can meet the safety requirements (I am 6'4" and the rules require that drivers helmet not extend more than half way up the top roll hoop in the vertical plane. This is just not possible within the stock cabin dimensions). I considered running the roll bar up through the roof, but I really don't want to jack up the clean lines of the Opel GT. I've got a bunch of delrin rod to make bushings out of, already pulled e30 325i suspension and brakes, and, and, and... (this is already too long, so I'll add more later as I do stuff).

I've been racing in Lemons and Chump this year in other cars and I think the Opel will be an awesome platform, especially with the added torque of the V8. When, that is, it is finally finished and running. I have seen two other Opels racing this year - one in Chumpcar @ Texas Motor Speedway in June (Chevy V6/T5 stock suspension and rear brakes - can't remember front brake setup - it had a fuel cell in addition to the stock tank to allow long driver stints in endurance racing), and the other one in the Houston Lemons race last weekend was a nicely done 1.9l with a Volvo/Honda brake setup. He had a brake hose issue on day one, and on day two the rear end locked up totally - they pulled the rear cover, and it was totally done - part of one of the gears was sheared off and it was locked up solid - they werent able to get it freed up to roll on the trailer - the stock diff out of my project will go in that race car... I am glad to see it go to a good cause.

I have some stock stuff I am not going to be using from the car, so if you are in Dallas, and want to come rummage though it, let me know. I think the only gauge I need is the fuel gauge (though I'd trade it for an aftermarket one, I won't be running any other OEM gauges so I don't have a preference for keeping that OEM), the others are up for grabs, and some other random stuff (seats and interior parts not in good condition, some of it could be salvaged perhaps).

Long way to go, but the journey should be interesting... I'll try to share here if there is interest.
 

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Sounds very ambitious, but also like you have the skills and tools to do it. Alan and my project was simply to clean up the car, get it to the track, and finish the race. Oh, and apply a credible Corvette Racing theme to it.

What is your time-line? Which race are you shooting for getting it into?

I wouldn't worry too much about getting hate mail for lemonizing a GT. What I heard was not to do it because they'll weld crap to your car in the penalty box. That never happened, and I think we go off very light on everything because it was a (hopeless) Opel GT, plus it was kinda pretty. You are more likely to hear people here express concern about cutting up a GT and then never finishing the project, but it sounds like that is what you inherited. We were more concerned about the Lemons drivers, ours and everyone else. We had some real rookies on our team, and who know what else was driving that weekend. But, big credit to LeMons, while there is a lot of talk about crap cans and wild or ridiculous antics, the driving, at least on the west coast, is really, really clean. It's the best sportsmanship I have seen in any sport in many years.

Do keep us updated, with lots of pics, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lemons

Mike,

I am looking forward to the build, but I wouldn't say I have all the skills I'll need... yet. This was honestly an excuse to expand my fabrication skills. I expect I'll end up doing several parts of the project more than once by starting over after I get almost finished with doing it the wrong way.

Reading what other people have done really, really helps though. I hope I'll be able to pass on some clues for others, because I have learned a ton combing through the internets on fabrication.

The Lemons racing here is really clean (at least what I have seen) but the Chumpcar stuff is much more likely to have car to car contact.

I'll try to organize pics and post some as I go along.
 

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Expanding my build experience was a big goal of mine at the start. I did not know squat about brakes, now I have built a complete custom system. All of the wrenching and busting of nuckles really helped me learn more about cars in general and clarify goals for my other projects.

Thanks for the axle also. Hopefully we can use our spare 1970 axle to fix the '73 unit we broke. With that and yours we should make it through a whole race.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Expanding my build experience was a big goal of mine at the start. I did not know squat about brakes, now I have built a complete custom system. All of the wrenching and busting of nuckles really helped me learn more about cars in general and clarify goals for my other projects.

Thanks for the axle also. Hopefully we can use our spare 1970 axle to fix the '73 unit we broke. With that and yours we should make it through a whole race.
Your brakes looked really good. If I end up running the stock front suspension, I'll be asking for all the details on how to replicate them.

Did you document your build?
 

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I have part numbers and pics for all of it. I plan to post that stuff soon. I will definately help you with whatever info you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lots of changes, including a 50 degree layback seat so I can actually fit into the car and race it. All the suspension stuff has changed for the nth time but I think I have finally settled on a design. Almost have the rear end in... will document it and post it eventually.
 
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