It’s not easy being GREEN.

I realize these updates have been coming further and further apart, makes me admire those YouTubers that can push updates on a daily basis.  Things have been moving at a very fast pace for the last 2 months and many pieces are coming together.  The cool thing about this stage of the project is that the progress yields some amazing visual results as final finishes start to emerge.

Paint Finishes:

It’s not easy being green.  We knew that choosing a final colour was going to be tricky, all we really knew at the beginning was that we wanted something different than the normal Guardsman Blue and Whibleton White.  For some reason, to make things as difficult as possible, we went GREEN.  Green has so many different variables in the underlying tones, just think of the differences between typical army greens/tan greens, to olive greens, to jade greens as well as the British racing green variants, it gets overwhelming in a big hurry.  Add to this that as much as you want to search on the internet for pictures, it really doesn’t reflect what the final product will be as you have to account for monitor calibration, the type of camera source, lighting etc etc.

After mulling over literally thousands of google searched photos and trying not to look like a psycho stopping in parking lots and writing down reference OEM car colours, Dave Pratte  at Speed Academy shot me a note referencing a colour called “Porsche Irish Green”.  Dave also sent over the video that finally sold me, Magnus Walkers ’66 Irish Green Porsche.

The benefit of choosing an OEM colour is that Porsche has done a lot of the hard work in tweaking this shade to look its best in many different lighting conditions.

A huge shout out and thanks to Luke at 242 Customs located in Stoney Creek Ontario.  Luke was faced with not only having to guide us through the process of prepping a fiberglass body (big job), choosing a final colour code (there are 4 different Porsche Irish Greens as an FYI),  but also had to get straight stripes down the body of an otherwise completely not straight car.

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After final high build primer and sanding, the stripes were applied.

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The black in this application is ‘Jet Black” from Axalta Paints.

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Above is without clear coat, notice how much the paint comes to life with the clear applied.

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The amazing thing about this Porsche colour is just how much it changes depending on the lighting conditions.  In low light the paint is quite dark, almost what you would call a traditional British Racing Green, however in the sun (below) the paint ‘pops’ to a very bright finish.  We are very happy with the result – you’ll notice how in each shot down this page the colour seems to be different depending on the local light source.

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Interior Finishing:

While Luke as busy painting, my father finished out the interior with carpeting and upholstery work from Tom’s Upholstery in Brantford Ontario.

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In addition to this we had to eliminate the lowest spot on the chassis for a little more ground clearance.  This involved cutting away the bottom of the bell-housing flange to make sure we don’t hit anything raised on the road.

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Completion of the firewall and last minute wiring additions,

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Body Delivered, reassembly begins:

We chose to have the body delivered back to Cambridge via an enclosed trailer, no need to get a stone chip before we get out on the road.

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To say this moment was nail biting is a serious understatement.  With three of us carefully moving the body forward the bottom of the shell had to be pulled open to make room for the chassis.  The Factory Five body is extremely stiff and the chassis had been modified in several areas, this was no easy task.  To add to the complexity, the rear hatch area had it’s carpet lining installed making for an extremely tight fit where the body hatch entry meets the top of the chassis.

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Happy to report that the body eventually made it’s way on without a scratch.

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With the body in place, all of the fine adjustments start up.  Factory Five has a good amount of adjustability in the frame components to allow movement of body panels, this is a very tedious job as moving something like the hood back towards the driver on one side would open new gaps or rotate a seam on the passengers side.  Every step has to be considered carefully and of course everything has to be taped to ensure we stay away from scratching anything in the process.

Wires, lighting and screens etc:

With the body in its final placement, finishing work can begin on the body as well as interior parts to tie things together.

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These are stainless steel mesh wire, first pressed using a template of the body openings to help them conform to the outside shape of the car, then bonded to a backing plate and the underside of the body using epoxy.  The epoxy takes at least a day or so to cure, these are shots of them tied in place until the process is complete.

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Here’s a shot of the side vent,

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……and the rear kidneys

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A substantial amount of work was also poured into connection and closing of the areas between the interior and exterior.  In many track builds these areas are left unfinished, however in order to help with keeping the noise and heat out of the cabin the additional work was a must.

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On to lights!

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Here you can see the lexan covers and turn signals installed.  On the original coupe the turn signals would have been a couple small indicator lights at the very base of the headlight bucket, they’re not really bad, however they don’t have the brightness or visibility that we wanted for this road car.  In addition, the dual filament motorcycle signal that we picked can act as a lit side marker as well as a turn signal meaning we don’t have to mount any other exterior lights to pass safety in Ontario.

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The backside of the buckets have some protection, but stay tuned for more on this.

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Rear tail lights are standard Factory Five gear and location, with the addition of two Lucas Electric white lens backup lights at the base of the tail.

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To meet Ontario regulations, a third brake light was mounted on the tail.  These are the only LEDs on the exterior of the car and had to be used in order to fit in the space inside the spoiler (very tight).

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Here you can see the mounting for the rear view camera in the license plate recess.

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Spare tire hold down installed with a billet aluminum “twisty hold down thingy”.

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Side exhaust reinstalled

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Notice the hood gap with the body – this will be made up once the rollers and bulb seals are installed to make up the space and push the fiberglass hood sections out to meet.

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Interior lighting is also hooked up,

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Glass Hatch installation:

I’m sure that regular FFR builders out there probably have some neat tricks up their sleeves when it comes to glass hatch installation.  So far we haven’t found any!  To say this was a bit of a nightmare installation is again a major understatement.

During the fiberglass correction and body work phase, we took great care in test fitting the glass, this caused areas of the hatch opening to be relieved/built up depending on the shape and conformity of the glass supplied by FFR.  Once the paint was finished, we had a decent fit between glass and opening with the supplied rubber seal – HOWEVER – the hinges to hold everything had to be seriously manipulated (bent, twisted and reamed) to make sure that the tempered glass was not under stress in the closed position.

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The interior hinges were on and off at least a dozen times or more to make this work.  Add to this that the gas shocks pushing up on the hatch also wanted to pull on the hinge mechanism meaning we would have to overcompensate on placement to make things happy when the hatch is closed.  It’s a hard thing to describe, but trust me, not a huge amount of fun.

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Finally we had the glass in place, only to find that the hatch loop and latch simply didn’t meet……out of the box.  I see more metal bending and fabricating in our future…ARG!!

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That huge list is getting smaller…..

FIRST START!!

Into another September we go, now two years and 3 months from when we received the chassis and body from Factory Five Racing.  It was hard to see the progress in the beginning of this project, with countless hours of parts sourcing, drawing, figuring, and fabrication, there was a great deal of work that most have no appreciation for if they’ve never worked on a car like this.  In the past 3 months however, things have really started to progress in regards to ‘visible accomplishments’.

Paint and interior/cockpit are the most visible parts of the build, and in my opinion make or break the final product.  No one will notice the high level of engineering, custom fabrication, or the perfectly spaced rivets if the paint job and finishing work are not up to the same standards.

Under Armor Protection:

After all the itching of fiberglass layup, body filler, and sanding work, we needed to address the underside of the body before heading out to paint.  This was done with Dupli-color Bed Armor in black.  This coating has advantages in that it provides a level of protection to the underside of the body from rocks and debris, as well as evens out the texture of the raw fiberglass that’s visible when the hood is opened or someone peaks in the wheel wells.  I purchased the kit from the local Canadian Tire, not a bad deal, but I’m not sure how long that particular kit had been sitting on the shelf.  Even after mixing with a power-drill there was a lot of “Is it supposed to look like that?”, and “….Is this lumpy snot texture correct?”.

Throwing a bit of caution to the wind we applied the coating with rollers and brushes to the underside of the hood.

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The color was fine, however the texture was far from even and the fibers within the coating were bunching up with the rolled/brushed application.  Luckily, we could even out the bunched-up areas with a plastic roller and some time once the coating started to tack up.  The remaining underbody was treated with a spray bed-liner application, much better.

Body to Paint:

After all the sanding and underbody coating, it was finally time to take the body off of the chassis and get it delivered to Luke over at 242 Customs.  Luke Patrickson came very highly recommended as a paint and body work professional and also went the extra mile to show not only his previous work/happy customers but also how the choice of paint supply vendors can greatly impact the final product.  Luke has recommended that we use Axalta Paints for their superior durability and consistency in product.

First, a set of body-bucks had to be made up to mock-up and transport the body off of the chassis.  These bucks have rollers for ease of movement as well as height adjustability for working and so that the two body sections can be pushed together to align our racing stripes in the paint booth.

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Once again, the guys over at DFS Projects helped us out by allowing me to use one of their open trailers to get the body over to the paint shop.

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Now at the paint shop, 242 Customs is in the process of refining our work with high-build primer and a LOT more block sanding.

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Drivetrain parts back from coating:

This shop in Cambridge was recommended to us by our friends at Speed Academy.  JP over at Stripping Technologies was very helpful, guiding us to the best choices for coating of our valve covers, air-cleaner, headers and exhaust components.  Really happy with how they turned out.

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Sound Deadening and Heat Protection:

We were extremely lucky here, a friend of my fathers from University days that works in the plastics industry was able to hook us up with a bog box of shielding products.  This ‘peel and stick’ product was applied to the entire interior and doubled up in some places where we knew heat would be a concern.  If you’re half decent with a pair of scissors, it’s a pretty easy job.

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Note – in this pic you can see the exterior air vent that was stolen from our track E36.  This should help with air buffeting when our windows are down.

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Interior parts back from the upholstery shop:

We are extremely happy with the results back from our upholstery shop, Tom’s Upholstery in Brantford Ontario.  This shop is passionate about cars and it shows!

Here you can see the door skins, center console and shift boot.

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Spare wheel cover for under the glass hatch.

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Some really excellent stitching work for the top of our dash as well.

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Pillar speaker boxes,

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Here you can see the wired speaker and LED light in our rear pillar boxes.

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Dash Installation:

With everything back from the upholstery shop, it was time to get the dash into the car.  This job was made a lot easier by all of my fathers meticulous planning when fabricating the dash and integrating all of the wiring required to run the car.

The wiring required to communicate with the dash and switch gear all runs to a centralized panel, with car wiring on one side and dash wiring on the other.  Everything is number and color coded for ease of installation and troubleshooting.  Honestly, with the months of previous planning and fabrication, I had the dash mated to the car in 45 minutes……amazing work Dad!

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With the wiring out of the way, it was time to lay in the Vintage Air duct work for the HVAC system.

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…..and then stand back and stare at the new dash,

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Even managed to get our stereo running for the first time with those newly wired speaker boxes.

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More updates very soon, thanks for reading!!

Spring is exhausting……….

Bad puns aside, I can’t believe it’s June! It has been a completely bonkers end to the winter and even more crazy spring, but glad to report that things are still moving along very well on the Daytona.

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Dash wiring prep:

With all of that fancy exterior dash work, the wiring for the interior is now buttoned up and ready for test installation.

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Here you can see the Classic Instruments SN74Z and Fuel Link modules wired and mounted on a flip-up panel.  This panel will be useful for when we have to have access to these modules during calibration.

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Door Panels ready for leather:

With all of the hacking away of the original doors to make room for our manual winders, custom door-skins are now fabricated and have been sent off to the upholsterer for leather work.

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Here they are with the previously posted aluminum winder and latch actuator.  You can also see a mockup of the leather handle so we can close the door once we squeeze in.

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New rear view mirrors:

After many drawings, prototypes and great debate, we finally ended up hunting down the mirror set from Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE)  Sound familiar?  Peter Brock was the original designer responsible at Shelby for the first Daytona Coupe.

“Had these modern mirrors been available in 1964 when the original Cobra Daytona Coupe was built I would have mounted them in an instant.” – Peter Brock

If it’s good enough for Peter Brock, it’s for sure good enough for this garage build.

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You can see that the stems on these mirrors are very long, this will allow us to be able to use them to see around the huge rear fenders of this car.  The mirror housings will be painted to match the car, the stems and base will most likely remain black.

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Rear quarter windows:

On the standard Daytona these would usually be fitted with a lexan air scoop to draw in air for the driver (as they were probably dying of heat).  Our car will have AC!  Also, the giant scoops are not as fitting with this build.  These custom aluminum frames will be blacked out, and be the back mounts for custom cut safety glass.  Should make the side glass area nice and clean in appearance.

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Hidden hardware:

Another change from the standard kit, these little guys were ground down and drilled to be embedded in the fiberglass body and allow us to hide away some of the exterior bolt-heads and fasteners.

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These holes  and depressions will be filled in with resin and more fiberglass and tackled during the fast approaching body-work phase.

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Fresh air:

Cutting holes for air to escape the front hood area as well as to join duct work and route fresh air to the driver and passenger.  The scoop in the shot is a positive mold made of plaster, the final scoops will be fabricated out of fiberglass and be integrated into the bodywork to be as subtle as possible.

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With the radiator being a closed ‘bottom to top’ breathing system, air is easily trapped in the engine bay adding to what is already a very hot situation. These hood vents will allow for some much needed heat dissipation for the engine and accessories.

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Remote oiling:

With our choice of reverse headers (see next blog section), space for the oil filter was extremely limited.  To solve this we ended up with a billet aluminum sandwich adaptor and mounting solution from Hedman Performance.   To connect it all we have black braided AN connectors and fittings from Vibrant Performance. 

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Routing the lines as far away as possible from the hot exhaust is very important.  We will also be wrapping the exhaust in these areas along with strategic heat shields where required.

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The EXHAUST:

I’ve had some interesting forum exchanges as well as social media discussion regarding our decision to go with reversed shorty headers, but I’m glad to report that the end result is not only impressive/interesting to look at, but also takes the hot exhaust further away from the driver and passengers feet – hot foot boxes are a common problem in these coupes, even with lots of insulation.

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This system is comprised of stainless pieces from Vibrant Performance, including various 3 inch and 3.5 inch bends, V-band adaptors and Turbo flex sections, feeding FlowMaster Slimline 30 inch side-pipes.

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Here you can see where the exhaust expands from an already big 3 inch to a massive 3.5 inch to match the FlowMaster intake.

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“Snake Bite” could be a problem.

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In these shots, all of the joints are tack-welded using a gas shielded MIG, as I type this blog, the fine people over at HitMan Hotrods are working on the fusion and TIG welds to marry all of these parts for good.  I will have more updates soon!!

 

Dashboard construction (AKA Cabinet making)……..

When we first started this build we knew that we wanted to have something different and opted to go with a more Grand Tourer (GT) theme as opposed to a track car.  The original dashboard for the Daytona was functional for racing, not unattractive, but not really styled the way a production GT car of the 60’s would have been.

This is an interior shot from the Gen-2 Type-65 that belongs to Dave Smith, owner of Factory Five Racing.  Again, functional, but not really styled the way we want.

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Looking at the popular GT builds of the era, we decided that we both really liked the styling of the 1967 Toyota 2000GT.

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We didn’t want an exact replica however we liked the rounder shapes, wood finish matched with black stitched leather and analogue controls from the time period.

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So, how do you go from the pic above with no dash, to a framework that can be built on?  Pencil crayons and whiskey of course…..(40 years of engineering also helps a LOT)

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Concepts then moved on to a great deal of cut-away drawings, measuring and referencing to the body/frame to find out how all of this is going to get put together.  Remember that we also want to be able to service this in the future, so it’s not just a matter of putting it all together, it has to be able to come apart if we ever need to fix or replace a component.

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There was also a great deal of math employed in this effort.  My father mentioned that this is the first time he’s actually had an application for some of his second year university math, especially where multiple compound curves and sheet aluminum were involved in the dash top.

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From here, we went on to materials selection.  The dash structure is made of plywood backing with a sheet aluminum front.  The dash top is also sheet aluminum with wood as the front bullnose structure – this will be covered in stitched leather by our upholsterer.

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Above you can also see the electrics terminals for all of the wiring in and out of the dash.  These terminals feed all of the gauges as well as switches and toggles for the various functions of the car.

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Here you can see the large box that’s in front of the passenger, with the limited space available this was really the only solution for the Vintage Air  heater/core and AC unit (yes, we will have air conditioning!).

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Our switches were laser engraved with the required functions and then filled with black enamel so they can be read when backlit.

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Here are all of the structural components together before the application of leather and wood veneer.

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The wood veneer of choice is a burled walnut.  Most of the others that we looked at were far too orange or red in appearance, especially when coatings like automotive urethanes or epoxies were laid overtop.

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The veneers are treated with a wetting agent and bonded to the aluminum, pressure is then added to squeeze out any air pockets and ensure a smooth finish.  Once bonded, the veneer is then coated with multiple layers of clear urethane, lots of sanding between coats.

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I think the results speak for themselves – the burled walnut appears very deep.

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In this shot we have all of the leather wrapped trim pieces for the dash laid out in approximate locations.

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Below is the leather wrapped aluminum housing for our parking brake assembly.

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That’s it for now – stay tuned for next months post! (Body work, inbound)

Back for the new year……

Happy new year everyone.  Took a bit of a hiatus from blog posts for January, but the work in the background continues!  Lots of pics to share on this update so let’s get right to it.

Wheels Delivered:

Dan Pye over at Augment Wheel Company called me up a few weeks ago to let me know that our wheels had been completed – honestly the pictures don’t do them justice.  8.5X17 fronts and 11X17 rears with some huge dish, Dan also set them off with an AWC logo’d knock-off spinner for that 60’s era look on a modern wheel.

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This is a staggered setup with 245 45/17 and 315 35/17’s on the rear.  The tires are Mickey Thompson Street Comps supplied by Venice Perno at The Performance Cellar.

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Fitment also looks very good, we may have to go with a spacer in the front to push the wheels out closer to the fender.  We’ll evaluate that once the car is off stilts.

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One of the things I love about this wheel is that all of the hardware and even the stem is on the inside, keeping it hidden for a nice clean look on the outer rim.

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Those huge Wilwood 6-pistons JUST fit inside the front wheels.

License Plate Recess:

With all of the hacking and reconstruction of the doors, there was plenty of extra material to create a spot for the license plate in the rear of the car.  The ‘cam-tail’ that Pete Brock designed into this car was for aerodynamic enhancements aimed at breaking the 190MPH mark on the Mulsanne straight  – turns out it worked, however mounting a license plate facing down in the rear wasn’t quite what we had in mind.

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This concept shot shows the approximate size and location of the plate recess pictured below.

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Sorry for the quality, my fathers smartphone is what internet photographers call a “potato“.  What you can see here is the addition of the license plate lighting (stolen from a Chevy Cruze) and the rear view camera mounted in the centre.

Fresh Air Scoops:

When we first started mulling over concepts for this build, the initial thought was to completely eliminate the scoops that were on the original 1965 Daytona, we wanted a cleaner look.  However, once we realized that we have essentially a massive oven in front of us under the hood, we had some second thoughts and decided to go with the two air intake scoops located above each foot-box to draw in fresh air.

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Fortunately my father is extremely experienced with mould making in his previous life designing short track speed skating boots.  A little plaster of paris and a lot of shaving and shaping gets the job done.  There was a lot of trial and error on height and width to get these close to our concept drawing.

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These will be blended into the bodywork with no exposed rivets.

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Door Hardware:

Custom exterior door handles and hand made manual windows – you didn’t expect us to stick with stock interior door hardware did you?

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These parts were made on the home mill out of solid aluminum and using the wood treatment that we plan to use to accent the dash.  The wood/aluminum transition is still a little rough, but will be enhanced in the future with more polishing.

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Also included in this section is the switch for our brights and custom milled knob that locks into place with a set-screw.

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Rearview Mirrors and Side Markers:

Turns out the rearview mirrors for this car a tricky at best.  YES, Factory Five and other manufacturers make an era-correct bullet style mirror that appeared on the 1965 and up Shelby cars, they look great, but you can’t see anything past the huge rear fenders and hips on this body style.

Back to mould making.

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Here’s you can see the moulds for ‘take 1’ of the possible rear view mirrors along side of the rear side markers that will go behind the rear wheels.  The side markers are a requirement of the Ministry of Transportation here in Ontario, fortunately the lights stolen from a 2004 Jaguar XKR look like a good fit for our body style.

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We also have access to a 3D printer through my brother – maybe round is the way to go?  Lots more head scratching on this one.

Third Brake Light:

Another requirement of the MTO is to have a third brake light.  I have seen some different versions of this online with some builds even having the light mounted under the hatch glass.  Our version is mounted in the rear spoiler which makes for an extremely tight fit depth-wise for any kind of lighting enclosure.

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This light is stolen from a late model Mustang, the LED board and housing are very thin but still required a lot of cutting and manipulation to fit into the hollow fiberglass spoiler.

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Here’s a rough fit – the spoiler will also be integrated into the bodywork with no exposed rivets.

Dash Planning Continues:

An absolutely huge job, and honestly incredibly difficult to execute, the dash plans are starting to come into focus.  The standard Factory Five dash is essentially a rectangular box made of the same sheetmetal that’s throughout the interior, it works very well, but we found the design to be quite boring for such an exciting exterior design.  The dash my father is designing is not off the shelf (is anything?) and requires a lot of thought to figure out depth, room for legs, space for gauges, switches, indicators, AND the plan is to have it completely removable in case it requires servicing.

dash1.jpg

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dash3.jpg

dash2.jpg

Thanks for reading – stay tuned for more!