New Car for 2013

Wes driving from last year.

Wes driving from last year.

New car

So I realized I didn’t make a post about the new car for this year.  It probably goes along with not making a post in a year and playing catchup. I know, poor form. I promise this year will be better.

I digress – new car.  Back in November, a little birdie called me on a Wednesday evening and said I must look at a Formula Ford for sale in Lexington.  It had been checked out, was a competitive car, and was a good deal (because all race cars are good deals!).  On a windy late-morning 3 days later, Elizabeth and I flew 757YG down to Lexington to check it out.

The car being checked-out is a 1992 Piper DF-2. It’s chassis is still quite similar to the cars Doug @ Piper is making today.  The major differences in the Hawke (from last few years) and this car is that the Hawke ran in Club Formula Ford (CFF), where the suspension had to be out-board of the body, and this car is a true Formula Ford (modern) where, as you can see, all the suspension and widgets are inside the body to minimize aerodynamic drag.  The difference is quite substantial in speed.  A softer tire compound is used as well.  The car is incredibly more complex – both in all that physics stuff as well as technology.

The biggest factor in my race car pickin’ (and airline choice, and rental car, etc..) is finding something I fit in.  Well, the first factor is it has to go fast. And go fast with my fat big ass in it.  Generally this means cheating to win, but the folks I race with are all kosher and shizzle. So the morning of checking out the car included some awesome times like this:

A) Measuring how much my spine will compress if I roll the car over. Note: don’t roll car over.
Wes says: yeah, you're tall.

Wes says: yeah, you’re tall.

2) Seeing if my size 13-feet will operate in a fuselage that is 11.5″ wide
Wes says: you got big feet

Wes says: yeah, you got some big ass feet.

 At this point – I fit in the car.  The pedals will need to move forward about 2″, but there is room once you cut enough metal and re-weld 3 bars.  And the brake pedal will have to get cut in half.  Simple stuff. Right.

I looked over the rest of the car and spare parts with it…Everything was clean…

and lots of spares to fix my driving whoopies…


The only small issue was that it did not have an engine…and the last car I raced without an engine was a 6″ pinewood derby car in the Boy Scouts in 1989.

So at this point, there is a race car in Kentucky that needs A) an engine and B) to get to Wisconsin and 3) needs some rearchitecture done in the front to get the pedals workable for me. Sounds great!

On a cold, wet morning 4 weeks later Wes, Bruce and Cindy (Lindstrand) and myself met in a Starbucks parking lot in Indianapolis to make the swap.

Wes and Bruce ponder the lack of an engine. Wes feels it will go very fast downhill; Bruce feels that if we put a treadmill under the car, it will go very fast as well.


Piper all buttoned up ready for the trip to its new home in Wisconsin.
Piper all buttoned up ready for the trip to its new home in Wisconsin.

To-dos: buy new engine, install engine, new belts, move pedals, move steering wheel, new tires, need rain tires, align car, new oil cooler, new oil lines, and a few other items….

Up next… Spring testing and race…



1 Comment »

  1. Dan Skeeters Said,

    November 1, 2014 @ 11:49 pm

    Hi Mike. Nice new car. I have followed your blog for several years, thru thick and mostly thin. For the past 3 years, I have been running a 1979 Crossle F-35 at WSIR and Buttonwillow here in Central Calif. Hope you have a chance to run the big track at Willow Springs some day. Three months ago, I did a open track day at WSIR after having my shocks re-built. Never have I driven faster with more control and authority. It was truly an amazing change. Speaking of new race car purchases, I bought a 1979 Lynx F/V out of Reno, Nevada. Sale price was $3,500 off of Craigs list. Looks ok to me. The real clencher was free delvery! The guy runs a race car transporter service(?).

    Anyway good luck next year. If you need a West Coast grunt to run down stuff, let me know….Skeeters

Leave a Comment