Sunday, August 28, 2011
Video from Bonneville, shot with a HD GoPro camera mounted on the rollcage. This was our first go round with this technology and we were experimenting with different backs in an effort to capture the best sound. The first run has a lot of wind noise...I know, we're working on it. Enjoy!
First "shakedown" run on the salt this season. You've gotta love Keith Tardel leaning in and saying, "Have fun!" Check out the final background when the car comes to a stop...beautiful.
Final run of the season as our rear end, a.k.a. "the coffee grinder", decided that the bearings on the upper drop gear would taste good that morning. You can hear "the horror" of it all and Chris saying, "something broke" at the end.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Just a few images from Bonneville...
Mr. Bills Racing and their cherry 1939 Ford Standard powered by a 299 cu.in. engine in the XF/VGC class (unblown vintage gas coupe), fastest run of the week 119.463 MPH (record 132.876 MPH).
Don't see too many 19XX Ford F100 unibodies these days, let alone a salt racer. The #416 of Y-Block Guy Racing ran a fastest 127.049 MPH in the D/PP class (production pickup) with a 301 cu.in. Y-Block (on a 164.230 MPH record).
Pete Cannarozzi checking out Tyler Malinky's #712 / #1712 Triumph 750cc. the Lowbrow Customs entry set records in two classes, 116.171 MPH (on a 110.762 MPH record) in the APS/VG class and 117.108 MPH (on a 108.732 MPH record) in the A/VG class. Not only is it a killer looking pre-unit, but she runs fast too.
A vintage converted belly tank lakester sitting outside the Monster Energy Drink trailer...you've got to love the styling of these old salt cars.
Larry Lancaster and the Lil Bit O Racing team campaigned this very clean 1958 Chevrolet Apache #688 running in the E/PP class (production pickup). It set a class record of 130.629 MPH (on a previous record of 128.821 MPH)...not bad for a straight 6.
Japanese ex-pat and motorcycle guru Shinya Kimura, founder of Zero Engineering and currently operating Chabbot Engineering ran his handcrafted conveyance #1188 to a best of 100.474 MPH (on a 128.241 MPH record) in the 1350cc APS/VG class.
I have a place in my heart for sixties Mustangs; it was great to see this 1965 Pony out on the salt. The Mustangs To Go #3720 ran a best of 172.016 MPH (on a 224.331 MPH record) in the C/CBGALT (classic blown gas altered) class with a Clevor powerplant (Windsor block and Cleveland heads...kinda like a Boss 302).
Check out this Brooks Motorwork's BMW airhead #1189 with sidecar in the impound...it ran a record 94.333 MPH (on a previous record of 84.651 MPH) in the 500cc SC/VG class.
Check out the suicide front end on BMR Racing / Ferguson Racing's 1930/31 Ford Model A coupe #285 running in the XXF/VGALT...not only does it sit forward of the grill, it comes straight out of the grill...I suppose that takes channeling the body to a new level. By the way, Neil McAlister drove it to a record of 166.726 MPH on a 163.415 MPH record
This is the salt, the vintage 1959 "City of Salt Lake" STP/Firestone streamliner...you have to love purpose built machinery.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Just as the dawn was breaking last Saturday, team Cannarozzi packed up and headed for the Bonneville Salt Flats. We had originally intended to stopover in Elko for the night and make a quick jump into West Wendover the following morning. However, the hotel in Elko was not ready to receive us and we just decided to run on through after Chris managed to score us a couple of suites at the Nugget for the night.
We dropped Randy's truck and the roadster at the entrance to the salt and headed back to the Nugget to get unpacked, grabbed a few tacos at Trinas and checked out the scene in the parking lot. As always, there were quite a few legitimate hot rods to be seen.
The next morning seemed to arrive quickly after just a few hours of sleep. We made our way out to the pits, set up base camp and got the roadster over to tech for inspection. The inspection itself was much smoother than expected and the roadster breezed through, however, before we were done Chris had to demonstrate an emergency driver bailout utilizing the Hans device. Anytime you have to perform some procedure for someone else to approve it seems to bring back memories of being called up to the blackboard...uughhh. Chris was as cool as the other side of the pillow and made the bailout look simple...we were clear to make a run at the salt.
Keith Tardel, proprietor of Rex Rods, flew into Salt Lake and met us out at the salt to see his handiwork in action.
Tow bar attached, the crew and the roadster made it out to the starting line of course #3. This year, there were four courses - #1 was the long course for the big boys, streamliners and the like, #2 was a combo course with both 5 and 7 mile lengths and gets quite busy, #3 was a short course and we learned had a better surface than #2 and finally #4 was a super short course, 3 miles I think and was being used for rookie drivers for the first day or two only.
We made only a single shake down run on Sunday, but it was an encouraging...131.235 MPH, about 5 MPH faster than the car had gone before. Fast, but not fast enough as the record stands at 153.603 MPH, set by the Flatliners Speed Society back in 1998.
The following day, we made three runs and made some timing/fuel changes to lean out the fuel injection as the effective altitude was rapidly climbing from the 4,200 ft. that Bonneville sets at up to about 7,200 ft. by the end of the day as temperatures rose. The runs were decent, 127.521 MPH, 131.388 MPH (our best yet) and 126.290 MPH but mysterious in that we were not making the gains that the car was clearly capable of. It seemed that gearing was an issue, we needed different gears. It seems counter intuitive to use shorter gears in a land speed car, but we couldn't get into fifth gear at all and decided that pulling 4th gear for 2 miles was not going to get us where we needed to be.
We encountered some difficulties pulling the rear inspection cover off the quick change...the top bearing set was very snug on the the spindle shaft and the bearings themselves didn't seem to spin as freely as one would think they should...but we installed new gears and marched forward. We also had a run where the temp gauge spiked at 265 degrees so we decided that the next morning we'd remove the restrictors in the return pipes leading to the water tank.
Tuesday morning, we made some incremental gearing changes to the drop gears and removed the restrictors in the water tank and hoped for the best. The first run was 129.710 MPH, the second was a bit slower at 128.100 MPH. It was after that run that we realized that we'd blown the driver's side head gasket!
As half the crew tore the top end of the engine apart, the other half headed into Wendover to get some copper gasket sealer and lots of water to refill the tank with. In short order, the gaskets were repaired and the engine reassembled...we'd rest for the night and see how things went the following day.
All fueled up with coffee and a renewed spirit, Wednesday greeted us with a sucker punch! After getting into fourth just after the 1/4 mile marker, the car was pulling hard when it all went to pieces, literally. The bearings in the quick change disintegrated...sort of. Chris let up and the car still pulled 127.134 MPH. As she coasted to a stop at the pickup area, it was readily apparent that something major had broken.
The car was pulled back to the staging area for course #3 as well known and accomplished photographer Peter Vincent wanted to take some shots of the car and crew. As a side note, you'd be hard pressed to find a better looking vintage roadster than the 312 anywhere on the salt.
Pics taken, the car was towed back to the pits and the rear end opened up...what we saw was horrific. The upper bearing on the drop gears was, for all intents and purposes, gone! The outer race was stuck in the inspection cover, the inner grafted to the gouged out upper shaft - oh, and the bearings, they had gone through the ring and pinon like coffee beans through a grinder and the end result was a slurry of bearing paste. Think about that, the force necessary to grind ball bearings into paste. There were a few stray bearings that survived by hiding, like the one embedded up to its equator in the aluminum inspection cover!
We were done and we knew it.
With amazing speed and efficiency, we packed in the pits, loaded the car on the trailer and headed back into Wendover. After checking out of our rooms and collecting ourselves and our stuff, we had a nice sit down lunch buffet at the Peppermill down the street before embarking on a ten hour drive across the wastelands of Nevada.
Although we were disappointed in the end results, we were also encouraged. The engine was clearly a monster, spinning up fast and hard to 6,200 rpms and making tons of torque at the upper end. We talked about strategy, parts and the desire to get back on the salt before next August...no way we can wait an entire year to see this beasty run again! Maybe Bonneville again in October or El Mirage, we're not sure yet, but I'd bet dollars to donuts it will be somewhere running full out before next August.
We'd hardly made it back to Auburn before Keith advised that he has a new quick change being sponsored for the car! That's the spirit.
The next day, we spent the better part of the morning cleaning all the salt off the vehicles, the roadster, and our gear. The interior of the car, the water tank and such were pulled out and the car prepped to take to Keith to have the engine torn down for inspection and the new rear end figured out.
If anything, we are well determined to get this car ready for another run - watch this blog for updates, pics and videos as we prepare for another attack on the salt!
Want to help the cause? Buy a cool t-shirt, just click the link on the right...
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Randy and Keith brought the roadster down to Paul DeBecker at DB Tuned in Rocklin for a run on the Mustang 4 wheel dyno that Paul so graciously let us play with. Once it was all strapped down...kinda...the roadster fired right up and made a few runs.
First let me say how incredible this engine sounds.
We encountered a couple of problems early on that were directly related to the dropped front axel and smallish front tires. The bones were resting on top of the diamondplate on the dyno stand and when the accelerator was mashed, the car wanted to track all over the place instead of staying still. This was soon remedied by Nic and Jared as they made the 5 minute jaunt to Nic's house, took the taller 6.00x16" Firestones off of Nic's '36 Ford and swapped them onto the roadster giving several inches of clearance.
Once that issue was resolved and another strap or two installed, it was game on.
The car was a a bit of a beast and the strap system not quite optimum for the chassis of this car, but Keith was ableto finally get this pony underway and had a couple nice runs at the end.
Some t-shirts and stickers were passed around.
In the end, the only issue was the rear oil breather releasing a bit of oil throuh an open screw hole...that was fixed later that evening and all should be good...Chris can't wait to open this baby up!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The new t-shirts are now available...check 'em out. To honor Henry Ford, just like his early cars, they come in any color you want, as long as it's black! The front features the "312c" and winged "XF/GR" classification on the left chest while the roadster is featured on the back, speeding across the Bonneville salt between art deco styled "Cannarozzi" and "Tardel" banners.
If you want one, they're only $18 each (sizes S-XXL)...need a different size, let us know. Check them out at our storefront (link on the right side of this page).
Monday, August 8, 2011
The boys headed down to Rex Rods in Santa Rosa where Keith Tardel had the primary engine ready to run...check out the videos of it coming to life while on the test stand.
By the end of the day, the engine was dropped into its proper home, the Hillborn injectors installed, scattershield on, cooling system and electronics plumbed and wired respectively and the car all but ready to go.
Keith is finishing up a few things and will be delivering the car back this way on Tuesday (fingers crossed). We'll take the car over to Paul deBecker at DB Tuned (a Subaru performace guru with the only 4 wheel dyno in the region).
Funny aside, I met Paul at a family block party on the 4th of July...I happened to be wearing a Cannarozzi/Tardel tshirt and we got to talking. Turns out, Paul grew up in Santa Rosa and went to school with the Tardel boys but hadn't seen them in a number of years. Paul offered up his dyno to test the new engine and "tah-dah", new friendships were made and old ones rekindled...gotta like it.