The Day We Came Clean
And here you thought we wouldn’t be totally honest and transparent! Here’s the deal, our group consists of one amazing girl who knows her way around a car and the rest of us have zero car building experience. We believe we can do just about anything… but we know that going from zero to expert fabricator in 3 months, while maintaining 40+ hour work-weeks, might be borderline impossible. Plus, we know that adding fenders to this ‘bucket would mean challenges that even a moderate fabricator would struggle with. Thankfully, a wise friend of ours told us that not many people go from zero to 60 their first try. He sensed our skepticism in our abilities to become master welders, fiberglass buffers or engineering masters and told us that when you build a car, you need help from people who are more skilled in the areas you’re lacking – and that’s okay!
And if that’s true, then we knew we were going to need help like whoa, so we used our phone-a-friend option and enlisted longtime Speedway Motors friend, JW (we’ll tell you more why we decided to outsource in the next blog post). We made a comprehensive parts list, packed his truck bed full and sent him on his merry way. The general plan being that JW would do all the fabrication work needed for a “rough draft” of the car. Put the pieces together, make sure they fit right, make any adjustments needed and get some of the R&D done on these new fenders. Then, we would take his handy work, tear it all apart and start again.
Plot twist – we grossly underestimated how many parts it actually takes to build an entire car. Six (yes, SIX) orders later + a month of hard work and JW had completed the “rough draft.” Turns out – fittings and u-joints are just as important to a car build as the engine and steering wheel. #LessonLearned
So what exactly did JW do? #BucketBetty and I stopped in the shop one day fueled on hopes, dreams and McDonalds (don’t judge, McDonalds for President) and found JW had moved the engine and transmission forward about an inch, modified the radiator neck to fit the grille shell we wanted, mounted a fuel pump under the gas tank (space concerns), added u-joints to the steering column to get around the ram horns, shortened the starter and created a whole new exhaust system.
As if that wasn’t enough – he had built a genius step plate design – solid and adjustable in case of sag – very necessary for the 2 builders under 5’ 5” (ha!). He’d upgraded brake lines to braided hose instead of rubber, cleaned paint off the frost plugs on the engine so they shined, and the engine, headers and brakes were all done (but fluid free). We left, our minds spinning with possibilities, excitement, mostly nerves and a McDonald’s food coma. While the ‘pre build’ process had been fun to watch, the REAL hard work would begin soon. Are we up for the challenge? Blindly, ignoring the crazy amounts of work, the worry over nail-beds full of grease and arms full of fiberglass splinters – we say YES! Because the best stories always start by saying “So we decided to build a car…”