BqUICK

Electra GSX Road Racer

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Is this the new Racing Class or Modified?

John

John,

It is racing with Class! Sorry, I could not resist. Our car was built as a test-bed for wind sensing technology. It was not designed to be a race car at all. Here is a funny story for you and all who wonder how a six figure budget could disappear into a '69 Electra of all things.

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/lmk/pdf/Low%20Level%20Wind%20Shear.pdf

John Dove was the Air Force research scientist at R.A.D.C. that came up with the scintillating laser holographic technology in the 60's. (He also invented the technology behind the CD and DVD in the 60's. The USAF was sick of punch tape!)

As a senior level engineer I served in an advisory role in his new photonics business but due to conflict of interest issues with the Fortune 500 I worked for, I could not consult him in that area. He gave me his old pet NOAA project to resurrect, Holodar. It had been dropped by the USAF and DOT 20 years previously.

Well, I suggested to him that we build a high speed car for some tests instead of burning up a lot of aircraft hours. The gizmo sitting on our dash was supposed to detect wind shear to protect small planes from the turbulent wake from 747s. Supposedly, air was still roiling in the blue yonder even minutes after they have passed. My dead hanger queen project became the slug motor rig for the job. Faithful Pursuit was reborn.

FPURSUIT was built to Silver State Classic Challenge specs. just because I had heard they were rigorous and I didn't want to grease my driver at 211mph. So, the funny thing is that when it was set and we were fabricating in '01, our chassis guy Gary Shaw, Motor Sports Hall of Fame-er dies in '02. (Panic)We get a new fabricator whose shop nearly burns down, (panic)with FP 10 feet from the burning roof in '03. Our sand blasted parts go to my house until they could be painted. My basement floods (damn) 3 months before the dedication, John Dove himself dies in '04. (Hail Marys) 6 weeks before the big dedication event our painter, who had worked with me for 5 years, quits without having touched the car. (Why me?) A new shop gets selected and they work 6 days a week for 4 weeks and deliver her the day of the event. Naturally the cost of the job went up 125%.

So here we are with technology one man understood and the rest of his guys are pretty much dead. John had the same secretary that worked with him at RADC in the 1950's. I was like the grand child running around in that office, and I was in the field 17 years already!

The funny little silver box, along with several other funny little silver boxes don't work when plugged in. I don't know how to make them work. PhDs I talked to say they are too busy to figure this stuff out. John an 80 year old tweed coated genius kept most of that stuff in his head, the sketchy video and manuals were not worth much.

Well, get what happens next. FP gets dedicated on 24 April 2004 by 2 star general Mike Hall, who is the executive director of the Wings of Eagles air museum. The thing was dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen, 7 of whom were there, along with 300 or so guests. We memorialized John Dove, Gary Shaw, and a couple Tuskegee Airmen who were supportive of me in past years.

We dropped the Holodar effort and just took her to shows and did some drags and a Solo II, SCAA event. Dove Photonics closes down and his daughter, acting president, says hold on to the boxes. Ok I says.

We went to Vegas for the Red Tail's, I mean Tuskegee Airmen's annual National Convention. After a week on display at the Palace Station Holel in 'Vegas, she goes to Phoenix for fuel injection and turbo hook up to the girdled Buick 430 Stage 2 filled with ceramic coatings, billet, and Inconel.

Mean while, Tuskegee Airmen sponsors were notified with phone calls and letters but corporate cogs are slow to turn. We had launched on August 3rd, trailering her from NY to NV. The Tuskegee Airmen monitor their accounts, having promised us funding when it came through. I put up the money thinking I'll get paid back when the accounts fill up.

Fielding an 8 person crew cross country for 10 days cost about $1,000 a day. After 20 days in the desert fun, I went to Vegas again while the car was in AZ getting prepped for SSCC. I get the $8,000 tune up bill that was originally quoted at $3,500. I cash out $16,000 of my retirement fund to give uncle Sam $8k and the tuner $8k.

The Airman chairman calls and says we got $2,500 from McDonalds and had to call and call to get that. My wife was pissed but her ticket to Vegas was paid for by a sponsor and she has a good time hitting the casinos. No, we did not make up the $20g's sucked out of my retirement fund. Hey, we had fun right? It gets better, read on.

So we take her to the Silver State Classic in Ely, Nevada after the Red Tail's went home. FP could not compete due to mechanical issues. Slated to lead the annual SSCC parade, her Optima battery tanked and she just sat there as all the Vettes, Mustangs, etc., etc., drove around her. All for lack of a battery OR CABLES. Optima was a sponsor and handed me a new battery the day after.

I'm still laughing, its hilarious!

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The Red Tail's, 332nd Fighter Group, was composed of four squadrons, 99th 100th, 301st, & 302nd. The 332nd was the largest and most powerful of the 15th Air Forces Fighter Groups.

Since it was an all black group and the only one in the Europe, all black fighter pilots and crews had to go to them. The old segregation thing had people thinking blacks and whites could never work together. They simply became the biggest and baddest fighter group in the area.

The Nazi's, who had no love for anyone, referred to them with the honored title "Black Birdmen" whose skill they respected. Now if these stone cold killers are willing to give you props you gotta have impressed them!

Enough of the history lesson, go see "Red Tails" and figure it out for yourselves.

The F/P-47 is the first Red Tail race car. It's GSX spoiler, which took a man-week to build and two GSX spoilers, is bright red. It has the signatures of fighter pilots and crews from each squadron. That GSX wing may, eventually, be the most valuable wing on any car.

Our job is to enlighten people about the Tuskegee Airmen. Thank you for reading of our adventures over the past 10 years of our 34 year journey with the Tuskegee Airmen and the Faithful Pursuit project.

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Looks like FURD MOTOR COMPANY hijacked our Tuskegee Airmen race car concept and ripped me and several other people off. The word is that George Lucas talked to the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. president and encouraged him to talk to FURD reps who happened to be there. The president, Leon Johnson a retired Air Force general, gave them the verbal ok. The president said he did not know about the Red Tail Race Car program within Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

I saw the thing on the web when a friend told me it was rolled out for an Experimental Aircraft Association fund raiser. It made me sick, we talked to FU-MO CO and showed them our concept years ago.

This was a clear rip off of the Faithful Pursuit Tuskegee Airmen Race Car concept I pioneered back in 1982 as well as the Furd Mustang concept the Top Cover Racing group built. After more than 30 years of work, an official dedication of the first car by a two star and 7 Tuskegee Airmen present, hundreds of log entries, dozens of events waving the Tuskegee Airmen flag, raising nearly $10,000 for the Tuskegee Airmen's Educational Assistance fund, attendance at 3 national Tuskegee Airmen Conventions, 130,000 web hits on Youtube and this site, our president didn't know we existed?

I am a member with 25 years in as a Tuskegee Airman volunteer. I am mystified that our concept was given away. I personally spent well over $100,000.00 of my money to bring this effort to light. The TCR guys probably did as well. I sold my stocks, used second mortgage money, sold stock options, sold Tee shirts, cashed out an insurance policy, used savings, credit, asked for donations, and went to sponsors, including people with links to FURD. All of us wondered why it was so hard to sell the concept and never got a dime from these people. It looks like the same people that would'nt support us actually decided to steal it from us. It's disgusting.

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Our Car The Elmer FURD The Faithful Pursuit

God Speed to our friends, our enemies be GD

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Edited by BqUICK (see edit history)

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Bummer, indeed. I do not know the details of that car, but it seems the FURD is mostly a rather expensive cosmetic job. Having had a short ride in the Faithful Pursuit (for which I am very greatful), at least you know you would run circes around it.

John

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Sorry to hear that BqUICK. You know we have been following your story (and rooting for you) for years now.

I didn't get to ride in it, but I do remember seeing it in Batavia. You and I spoke briefly, and your passion for the project was quite apparent. Smoke him...

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Thanks for the support guys! The Faithful Pursuit and a bit of our story was actually published in a book about the Tuskegee Airmen in 2009. "Heroes in War Heroes at Home" by Zellie Orr a noted Tuskegee Airmen scholar.

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Well, I feel a bit better; just installed the 'new' higher cc heads from FP's original 1970 Wildcat 455. That should bring our CR down to about 8:1. We started at about 9:1 with some highly modified 9:1 heads. When I ruined the cam, and then boosted the engine I did damage to the valve train and overheated the heads, warping them. After refinishing required removal of .014-.015 they were no longer good for the application. I had redesigned the heads to handle the higher turbo temps; we'd have to run for 30 min at 800 hp+ output for Silver State. There would be no way for me to put that much effort into these 455 heads; especially after telling my wife the big expenditures were over on this project. (And buying an '87 GN after that)

So, those ceramic coated heads with the Chevy Inconel valves will go to Faithful Pursuit's original STAGE-1 455. The ported 15 year old Scotty Gudagno heads with new 125#springs will have to do. I really should take that car to Cotton's or some other pro tuner to make certain she is set to run okay. The girdled bottom end JE ceramic coated pistons saved most of the motor and I still think she could pull out 800hp + at the wheels.

I do not plan on going back to Nevada to run her again. It's a 'fur piece' of trailering driving 1,200 miles to get to a competition. I'll stick around the East coast and try to get some mile long runs in somewhere. I'd love to take her up to 190+ just once! Oh, here is a TCR site with our Mustangs and the Faithful Pursuit; America's first Red Tail tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen!

TCR PHOTO GALLERY - Top Cover Racing - Speed for Need

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Worked on the Faithful Pursuit to finally get it running for some air strip tests. New cam, lifters, etc. etc. started her up and the engine management system went into its same old routine. Hard to idle until hot. RPMs rise and fall while trying to set the timing and was a nightmare. Martin was in the car turning her over, Blair held the timing light, and I modulated the throttle to keep her alive while turning the distributor to set the timing. Finally nursed her up to temp and she leveled out. Still not responding well to throttle; I need a programmer tuner guy now.

Had to disconnect brake lines while installing the studded heads. Reconnected the lines and jacked her up. All the rear studs were loose. That was a shock to me; I'm glad I had to do the brake job. Maybe I gave the job to one of the boys. I torque wrenched them to 80lb-ft, as always. Not sure how I missed that one!

Was going to load her for Costa's Aviation airstrip run tomorrow but even after all that she would not move. Tranny fluid was way down. Put 3 quarts in and it still was not enough. We'll scrub the local air strip trip and just run the GN.

Faithful Pursuit will have to wait until tomorrow for a run around town.

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Thanks John! How's this for a new Buick power mascot. It has elements of the hawk and the wildcat. I developed it to represent the motor I designed called "Smilodon" or Saber Tooth. The twin turbo girdled 430 Buick should be pretty impressive. Like I said that Electra's like Chrome Plated Brass knuckles!

post-30830-143139188694_thumb.jpg

Edited by BqUICK (see edit history)

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Faithful Pursuit has proven to be pretty much indestructible; despite all of the assaults on our many systems. Nearly time to awaken the beast.

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At about 6pm yesterday evening I drove F-P for the first time in about a year or more. Because of the last nearly engine ending disaster, in which I probably over boosted the 430, I replaced cylinder heads with those of lower compression. Since the requirements are different, for these 1970 castings from a 455, the fuel map will be different. The old heads and engine gave me 9:1CR. These are about 8-8.5:1.

She ran rough, started one out of 7-10 attempts, and bogged in reverse and under initial acceleration. Smoothed out considerably once the rpm's came up. Took her for a fun little drive. She started to smoke as I had accumulated oil in the exhaust, from previous fun. There is an oil lean somewhere and I saw a couple little puddles of my green Brad Penn #1 Racing oil in the driveway. Gotta get with Bob Ream to setup a fuel map for the new motor setup.

Loud as hell, hope the neighbors weren't too pissed! Heck, we represent the veterans who were unheard for so long. If every time we drive by someone asks about that Red Tail race car and learns something about the Tuskegee Airmen, we've done our job.

*New circuit block separating fuel pump, OD, gauge lights, XFI, MSD 6AL

*Reinstalled XFI Fuel Management box, checked out by Comp Cams.

*Soldered about 30 connections, some crimped ones had been loose.

*Silver soldered brass fitting on fuel pressure regulator

*Replaced transmission dipstick tube that constantly leaked. Added 5.5 quarts before she would run.

*Added heavy ground wire, yellow cable, direct from battery ground to front frame ground stud. (About 16')

*New Alternator, finally replaced old wiring for most of it. Now reading about 14V on ammeter.

A couple shows in June, a mobile dyno come a few hours away too. Time to saddle up!

God Speed!

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You are going to love this (sarcasm). I think I had gotten some of the bugs out. I pulled the timing cover and reset cam timing "straight up" as per Mike T. at TA Performance, the car ran a lot better. The turbo, starboard side, had lots of oil running through her and it smoked. A pressure regulator was added to the oil line and a brass valve so high pressures at high engine rpms would not cause an oil injection situation. My piston tops were oily and the plugs seemed slightlu oil fouled.

On September 28th I took her for a drive and began losing oil pressure. After running at about 60, it went to about 20 and started to smoke starboard side stack. Went to zero indicated as I rolled to a stop. Ed Harrington, my cylinder head guy's dad, babysat while I got the trailer. Called my wife who brought the truck and I drove to the local airport where we keep the trailer these days.

Fired Faithful Pursuit up and she ran fine although no oil pressure. Post mortem underway, but so far no metal in the filter element and the pump, shaft, and gears look fine. No distributer drive pin damage; everything looks pristine. There is a plug somewhere that killed the pressure to certain parts of the block. Turbo oil pressure indicator read zero and I had white smoke out of starboard turbo, she may be toast.

Ill put the pump back together, packed with Vaseline, and use an electric drill to prime it. I'll see if I have pressure at that time, if not it may be time to pull the engine and find the plug. I'll pop out turbos as well and give them a look.

"

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You are going to love this (sarcasm). I think I had gotten some of the bugs out. I pulled the timing cover and reset cam timing "straight up" as per Mike T. at TA Performance, the car ran a lot better. The turbo, starboard side, had lots of oil running through her and it smoked. A pressure regulator was added to the oil line and a brass valve so high pressures at high engine rpms would not cause an oil injection situation. My piston tops were oily and the plugs seemed slightlu oil fouled.

On September 28th I took her for a drive and began losing oil pressure. After running at about 60, it went to about 20 and started to smoke starboard side stack. Went to zero indicated as I rolled to a stop. Ed Harrington, my cylinder head guy's dad, babysat while I got the trailer. Called my wife who brought the truck and I drove to the local airport where we keep the trailer these days.

Fired Faithful Pursuit up and she ran fine although no oil pressure. Post mortem underway, but so far no metal in the filter element and the pump, shaft, and gears look fine. No distributer drive pin damage; everything looks pristine. There is a plug somewhere that killed the pressure to certain parts of the block. Turbo oil pressure indicator read zero and I had white smoke out of starboard turbo, she may be toast.

Ill put the pump back together, packed with Vaseline, and use an electric drill to prime it. I'll see if I have pressure at that time, if not it may be time to pull the engine and find the plug. I'll pop out turbos as well and give them a look.

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I was really impressed with the Excello by Mabach. It has a 700hp turbo V-12 and has a top speed penetrating fairly deep into 200mph territory! It is a luxury powerhouse, sort of what I'm going for with Faithful Pursuit. It is indeed ironic that the Maybach company in its original form was making V-12s for Hitler's Panzer tanks during WWII where Buick was making powerplants for the Allied fight for freedom.

Anyway, the Tuskegee Airmen of New York have agreed to visit Corning, NY in the spring to help with a fund raiser. The goal is to take the Faithful Pursuit to the Airmen's Annual National Convention on Orlando, Florida in August.

I drove to NYC on last Saturday, Pearl Harbor Day, to attend the 90th birthday of Col Clayton Lawrence; past Tuskegee Airman NY chapter president. It was under his watch in 2003 that the Faithful Pursuit project was approved by the general body of the Capt.Claude B. Govan Chapter, of which we are members. Clayton still supports our program and want to attend in April 2014.

2011 Tuskegee Airmen National Convention, National Harbor, MD

Jake Harrington is my crew chief on this effort. We've got to pull the motor and take it apart while re-vamping the turbo oiling system which I believe to be one culprit. The fundraiser is in April, hopefully we can raise the money we need for all necessary repairs, prep work, and our expenses to the August convention in Orlando.

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Good luck on the tear down and getting her back together. Look forward to hearing how she performs next time out, please keep us posted. I love seeing so many pounds of steel moving so fast. Always enjoy your updates, Buick on...

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Good luck on the tear down and getting her back together. Look forward to hearing how she performs next time out, please keep us posted. I love seeing so many pounds of steel moving so fast. Always enjoy your updates, Buick on...

[h=2]Thanks for your continued encouragement, this one is for you!

Twas The Night Before Christmas!!![/h]

Twas the Night Before Christmas....

'Twas the night before Christmas and in the garage,

No trace of Ford, Chevy, or even a Dodge.

The presents were wrapped and the lights were all lit,

So I figured I'd mess with the Buick a bit.

I popped the release and I lifted the hood,

When a deep voice behind me said "looks pretty good."

Well, as you can imagine, I turned mighty quick,

And there, by the workbench, stood good ol Saint Nick!

We stood there a bit, not too sure what to say,

Then he said "don't suppose that you'd trade for my sleigh?

I said "no way, Santa" and started to grin,

"But if you've got the time we could go for a spin!"

His round little mouth, tied up like a bow,

Turned into a smile and he said "hey! Let's go!!"

So as not to disturb all the neighbors' retreat,

We pushed the big Buick into the street,

Then, taking our places to drift down the hill,

I turned on the key and I let MSD spill.

The sound that erupted took him by surprise;

But he liked it a lot, you could tell from his eyes.

With Michelin’s a' crying and exhaust tips aglow,

We headed on out where hot rodders go.

And Santa's grin widened, approaching his ears,

With every shift up as I went through the gears.

Then he yelled "can't recall when I've felt so alive!"

So I backed off the gas and said "wanna drive?"

Ol Santa was stunned when I gave him the keys,

When he walked past the headlights he shook at the knees!

The big block exploded with the STAGE II sound!

When he dropped the hammer, Electra GSX shook the ground!

Power shift into second, again into third!

I sat there just watching, at loss for a word,

St. Nick turned to me with a gleam in his eye,

And said “Lets get TURBOs & then let’r Fly!”

With a wave of his hand and a prayer to the Lord,

There were twin Turbos & water Injection aboard! (Turbos came in '09)

We passed Hemi’s, Cobra's and even Veyron's that night,

Punched over-drive and blasted from sight!

St. Nick turned to me with a gleam in his eye,

And said “Merry Christmas BqUICK!” and we took to the sky!!!"

God Speed,

BqUICK 2008

GSCA, North East Member #33</graemlin_url></graemlin_url></graemlin_url></graemlin_url></graemlin_url></graemlin_url></graemlin_url></graemlin_url></graemlin_url>

Edited by BqUICK (see edit history)

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Ho ho ho said Santa as over Buick Gardens he flew,

no time to stop this year, gotta find jack Harrington and his crew.

gotta let Bquick know

My elves have figured out the matter with the turbo

I'll sprinkle some magic dust over the heads,

while Michael J and the Tuskegee Airmen lay snuggle in bed

That magic dust should give that 430 a boost, but not too much that the rods all turn loose.

So Michael J, don't give up on ol' Faithful Pursuit, ol' Santa is here and can help a plenty, next year she'll be hitting the quarter at 220

edit, 3 days later) alcohol was involved in the above message. yea, right Santa...220 uh huhhh

Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)

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Okay, its time to get back into it again. We ran laps at Watkins Glen International Raceway Park and showed the car at a job car show.

The Faithful Pursuit is a real triathlon competition machine; Autocross, Road Race, Drag Race. We will focus on getting some really good drag times this spring and summer. The target is sub 11.7 seconds, that the Scotty Guadagno '70 Electra 225 record. There are reports of Electra's running in the high 10's but I have not seen anything official yet.

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BqUICK, welcome back. Missed you!

Ben

What he said!!!

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Ben and Mr. Earl, 

 

Thanks for the Welcome Back! That's a beautiful '50 by the way! Black really brings out the awesome lines in Buick's. I have a black Buick project in mind and someday I'll get it built but for now I have my hands full with the revision of the Faithful Pursuit. 

 

DRAG REVISION 2B

TARGET: Beat the Scotty Guadagno 11.7 Sec 117mph time in his 4,700 1970 Electra 225 Custom Sport Coupe

 

FAITHFUL PURSUT, 4,790lb 1969 Buick Electra 225 "GSX"

Twin Turbo 430/800HP/850LB-FT EST @ 15lbs of BOOST

NEW ADDITIONS:

1. STEUBEN AUTO Rebuilt TH 375, new race clutches, steels, automatic valve body. New Gear Vendors OD Clutches.

2. 30" MT ET Street Drag Radials

3. American Racing 15" x 10" rear rims

4. EDGE Racing 3500 stall torque converter

5. Replaced spool in Nodular 9" FORD case with HD Racing Locker from GT PERFORMANCE FORD. Transition from 3.25 to 3.89 GR

 

It will be another month before all of this is installed and ready for test. I hope to do a live demo at Englishtown in the fall. 

Check out this 3D image we are working on! It still needs a lot of work but it is getting there.

 

God Speed!

 

 

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