Posts Tagged ‘MUSTANG’

I’ve been sitting on this trailer for almost a year now. Sure, I’ve shown it to some people I trust, and the response was always great, but in my mind, it was never going to be good enough. This is not just the story of this project, but the story of my life.

I’ve written on this blog before about struggles with my hyper critical nature. And suffer from a serious lack of trusting my own judgement. But the time for that is over. I just finished a long stint of edit gigs in NYC, and fresh off the heels of my “This Doesn’t Define You” post, came back to this project with a renewed determination to finish this film. This is the most important thing I have ever done with my life to date. And I’m here to tell you that I won’t just finish it… but smash it out the fucking park.

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JSWORKS_Mustang_Top_Gear

Happy New Year! With the craziness of the holidays finally over and the haze of a week long food coma subsiding, I’m beginning to get back to business on the Z build. I’ve got a lot of work to do and plenty of updates forthcoming, but before I get into all that, I thought I’d take a look back at one of my previous builds – my 1969 Mustang Coupe.

This car has a lot of sentimental value to me. Bought during the trials of a failing relationship, the Mustang was a much needed distraction from the emotional uncertainty I was living with at the time. But what started as a welcome escape, soon rivaled the relationship in the amount of grief it caused me… Rather quickly, the Mustang went from plans for a fun weekend cruiser, to a complete two year tear down. In that time, everything would be rebuilt or replaced.

As the car emerged from its two year rebuild (completely restored), the relationship was ending. We had been through so much together, I honestly didn’t even want to look at her for one more second… my ex or the car! Why keep a painful reminder of what I had just been through? Much less cherish it… then everything changed.

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I’m excited to announce the launch of the first teaser trailer for the documentary! This is the first installment in a series of “teasers” I hope to create introducing the cast of the film.

Next up will be the teaser for Jerod – a double amputee mountain climber we filmed a while back.

I’ve got a film shoot scheduled for early July that will be the setup to introduce Harry Sandhu – a sponsor and friend of the build who also happens to be an amputee. I can’t thank Vinny over at Vinny Ten Racing enough for allowing us to shoot at his shop this coming July.

Things are really progressing quickly and I’m really stoked with all the progress. If all goes well, the goal is to have a full 3 minute trailer (and accompanying Kickstarter campaign), up and running by September.

As always, I wouldn’t have gotten here without the help of my sponsors and crew.

Further updates for the documentary will be compiled here – jsworks.org/documentary/

Finally, I’d like to add that I’m still looking for other amputees to appear in the film. So if you know an amputee out there pushing the limits of their disability (or just getting started on a journey to do so) –  Please write to me at jsworks.blog@gmail.com

Hope you all enjoy the teaser!

Jay

Correction… road racing is expensive! I’m not just talking expenses to build a car, or even the necessary safety equipment (which is a requirement in all automotive racing), but rather the sheer dollars it takes just to get your car on a track, let alone be competitive.

But I admit, with a background in drag racing, I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to the cost of participating in racing. As drag racers know, it can be as simple as a helmet and $35 bucks on any given night to get your car on the drag strip for a local test-n-tune! Want to step it up a notch? A pair of $300 drag radials or slicks goes a long way for improving times, and can last you many passes down the ¼ mile. When you’re ready to step up to sanctioned drag events… Hell, you don’t even have to pick a class! Bracket racing can give racers a chance to be competitive and win (cash/prizes) at any event/level.

 

 

The first Mustang I raced competitively, way back in 1998.

 

 

 

 

Stock 5.0 motor with a Vortech Supercharger, Tremec (3550) 5 speed, and a few bolt-ons. Good for consistent low 12’s.

 

 

The same car, many $$$ later. Built motor with 511 horsepower at the wheels. Good for Mid 10’s all day. (Ah, to be young and flush with disposable income again!) The supercharger whined so loud (and the huge cam shook the car so violently), old ladies would roll down their windows at traffic lights to tell me something was wrong with my car!

But road racing is different. Entry fees for NASA High Performance Driving Events (HDPE) and SCCA Performance Driving Events (PDX) start at the $200 to $300 range (not including insurance and other fees), and that’s just to get you seat time on the track.

Tires can run you $1000 or more, and depending on your driving skill/number of laps, can end up lasting less than one track event. And when you’re ready to step up to serious head to head racing – the rules and regulations for each class are so massive, in my opinion, you need a law degree to figure them out. (More on this in future posts.)

Sure, there are some racing classes that specify cars be worth $500 or less (not including safety equipment), such as the 24 hours of lemons, but the entry fees/expenses are still costly, and frankly, my car may look like it’s worth $500 bucks right now, but it won’t fit into that class.

If only I was a millionaire with an unlimited budget for this build, but sadly I’m not (sigh). So what’s an aspiring race driver to do? Build the Z as cost effectively as I can – which means used parts, and lots of them. (Sponsors are critical too, but that’s the topic of another post.)

I’ve been scouring places like Z forums, craigslist, and eBay (although the latter is mostly filled with knock off Chinese junk these days), looking for the best “used” parts my money can buy. And I’ve amassed a collection of parts at 30 to 50% off their retail value.

I recently answered an ad on twinturbo.net for a Z being parted out. The ad was sans specific, and mostly listed basic facts about the car. But it was close (only 2 hours away). Being a naturally aspirated 2+2, I wasn’t expecting to find much. I went down looking to grab a fender and good driver’s side headlight. To my surprise, I found this!

The car had a J-Spec bumper, Ground Control Coilovers, Stillen (Gen 2) Adjustable UCA’s, POP Air Filter, beautifully recovered manual seats (to save weight over my heavy power seat), and various other odds and ends I needed to repair my Z. Score!

To top it all off, the Z’s owner couldn’t have been a nicer guy. The car was his baby, but after the motor expired to that great big junkyard in the sky, the expense of fixing vs. cars value made it not worth repairing. I stripped the car clean.

 

I know cars are inanimate objects, but we can grow quite attached regardless of the fact. So in a weird way I felt bad, almost like a vulture picking apart a carcass, for that very reason. He just wanted the parts from his baby to go to a good home, and I agreed they would. I still email him with updates of the car’s progress.

 

 

Look out for future updates as I learn to weld, build the Z, introduce sponsors, and make the documentary! Stay tuned.

Jay

My Fairlady

Posted: January 21, 2012 in 300ZX Build
Tags: , ,

I still remember the day we picked her up. “She” was a 1990 300zx Twin Turbo with only 64K on the clock. My cousin Mike called and said, “I found a Z on eBay, come with me to Florida to pick her up!”

He wanted my help evaluating the car before laying down his hard earned cash (and a second driver behind the wheel for the 20 hour trip back). I had owned two Twin Turbo Z’s over the years, so I knew these cars a bit better than he did. We flew into Tampa and I checked the car over as best I could (without tools or a lift), and agreed it looked pretty clean (if only I had brought along a magnet… but more on that in future posts).

The car had a bunch of decent mods – Intake, Exhaust, Turbo Upgrades, some Suspension goodies… So Mike forked over the cash and we began the trip home.

Flash-forward about a year and the car was treating him well. Minor maintenance issues here and there, but overall mechanically sound. Until the unthinkable happened…

We live in the Northeast, which most car guys North of the Mason-Dixon can tell you, means storing your “baby” during the snowy winter months. But Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress!

After losing his storage space, Mike asked a friend to move the car over to a new garage he had just rented. Unaware of the power the Z produced (and unable to handle it), his friend got on the GO pedal a little to hard and ended up in a ditch, but not before taking out a telephone pole along the way!

Unfortunately with only liability coverage (he removed collision while in storage), and $7000 in estimated damages, Mike was unable to repair the car. So it sat for over two years.

At that time, I was fresh off the two-year restoration of a 69 Mustang I planned to road race – much to the dismay of my fiancée.

See, we first met while driving that Mustang. So for her, the car holds significant sentimental value. The thought of me abusing it on a racetrack was none too appealing.

Then my cousin came calling again.

Mike was moving out of state, and the thought of dragging the Z with him, like a 3600-pound weight on his back, wasn’t something he was interested in. He wanted to unload it, fast! We talked it over and I agreed to purchase the car, not really sure my plans for it.

Then it hit me, make the Z my race car! (Sparing the Mustang a life of track duty in the process.) The wheels started turning. I always wanted to learn to weld… and I did some bodywork back in high school… I can totally fix it myself!

And so the saga begins.

Jay