It might have been a year since we last ran, but we have been busy in that time! The most obvious change is in the new significantly lighter body - we all loved the 1934 Ford but it was heavy and tired, having 10 years ago been lost at speed at the Summer Nationals and suffering a lot of damage, having to be cut in 2 and reassembled in a different style which frankly suited us better. It is now hanging on the wall of the workshop and unlikely to run again but never say never.
Changing a body is rarely as simple as just lifting one off and putting another on, especially when you have a tightly packaged fuel altered - plus we were starting with a bare T-bucket fibreglass shell picked up at a hot rod swap meet. We had a distinct vision for the car, channelling the spirit of 1970's US fuel altereds like that run by Dave 'Nasty' Benjamin (Hi Dave!) in 1974. As well as all the mounting hardware and tinwork to fit to the chassis, a massive "whaletail" was constructed around the rollcage and a (very small) pickup bed added at the rear where on a traditional T a turtle deck would sit. We couldn't just run the fuel and oil tanks which had been crafted to fit inside the nose of the '34 so Chris designed and built a fuel tank which echoes the shape of the Model T grille shell and disappears behind it, and an oil tank for the dry sump system which sits out the front and to a passing eye looks like a fuel tank; this was deliberate to prevent a modern fuel and oil tank setup detracting from the overall look.
We've also been completely through the engine and drivetrain, and added a Racepak Pro I data logger which has previously seen service with Bob Jarrett and John Spuffard on the Showtime Funny Car in the late 90's / early 2000's. Huge thanks must go to Todd Paton of https://racepds.com/ for his help in getting the logger up and running as being an old unit which had sat for a while it needed a bit of an overhaul including a new internal battery, some replacement cables, and bit of soldering where components had come loose but we now have great traces off it to see what the car is doing, including RPM and pressures with fuel flow to come and hopefully EGTs.
Enough about the build up though - what happened at Dragstalgia? We arrived on Friday and got set up ready for Saturday including a warm up and logger test, but due to the success of Dragstalgia and the huge number of entries we didn't have a chance for a test run on Friday. We were all ready to go on Saturday but the weather gods were not happy, so we spent all day waiting eventually getting on track about 5pm and doing a half pass - 4.70 to the 1/8th mile at 156mph. Apart from a bit of oil out of the rocker cover where the gasket had failed everything looked good and we turned the car around ready for a second run at 8pm but sadly it wasn't possible for the hard working track crew to fit this in.
On Sunday we were up against Nick Davies in Havoc for our first full pass and ran 7.4651 @ 185.06 - discovering when reading the plugs and confirmed by video that this was on 7 cylinders. We opted not to try and run again as while there was no obvious damage we want to review the data and make a few tuning adjustments, hoping that the next full pass with all 8 lit might just get us those magical numbers.
Reaction to the car was fantastic, thank you to all who came and said hello or clapped and cheered after our passes. Next time you see the car we might even have managed our planed paint job (though if an opportunity to test comes up first we might just return to the track in flat black).