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Thanks for keeping us posted. I am sure it is not easy, while trying to get the last pieces together and holding a full time job besides. Do you think you will get another chance at the Glen this summer to shake out some bugs? Looking forward to seeing the car in Batavia.

John

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To make a long story short, I wound up making about three laps with Roy Hopkins in his specially set up BMW M3. We pulled more Gs in turns and in stopping than I ever experienced before. He is using PRAXIS ADVANCED SUSPENSION components which allow the car to be pneumatically lowered for the track. The rally/street tires also provided by his sponsor PRAXIS were the same ones he used on the One Lap of America competition this year. It?s nice to land a tire sponsor, Roy noted with a grin!

Back in '93 I flew with top ranked aerobatic pilot Franklyn Augustus in his Pitts S2B. We did a 15 minute series of aileron rolls, snap rolls, split "s", and other scary stuff pulling a max 7.55 G's on the counter! The BMW ride felt a bit like that! cool.gifcool.gifcool.gif My guts were yanked from side to side and front to back as we made a couple of hot laps at Watkins. Wow "CAN YOU IMAGINE OUR BUICK ELECTRA DOING THIS !!!" I yelled over the wind noise and shifting, Roy said "GET BETTER BRAKES!!!" smirk.gifsmirk.giflaugh.giflaugh.gifwink.gif

We are working out a deal with BAER and who knows we might get lucky and score some really good 13" rotors and calipers out of the deal! blush.gif

Roy came in second this year in the annual One Lap of America competitiion. He is a SERIOUS racer and also an instructor. Part of the BMW program at Watkins this weekend is dedicated to teching people how to negotiate the track. There had to be more than 100 BMWs there and perhaps 30 or so out on the track at any one time. It was fun to get that sort of introduction to road racing. I've lapped Watkins severltimes in my old '87 GN, '70 Electra Coupe, but never took S turns at 80mph before!!! cool.gif WE HAVE TO GET THE FAITHFUL PURSUIT OUT HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THAT WOULD BE TOTALLY MINDBLOWING WILD!!!! cool.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

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My last note to original Faithful Pursuit chassis designer, Gary Shaw, included the famous quote"...Let's Roll!" As some of you remember, on the one year anniversary of 9/11 tongue.gif, Gary had just finished figuring out some the 5 bar setup after narrowing the chassis and we were preparing to relocate the engine mounts and set the body on when he died tragically that September. tongue.gif

I had the Silver State Classic Challenge, Inc. rule book in hand when I called him on that Friday in September 2002. He was getting set for a weekend of racing his pride and joy, a really hot open wheel modified. I told him I'd stop by on Sunday to give him the regs. Well, when I came by there was a guy sitting on the grass on the side of Gary's driveway, unknown to me, his son Brian. Brian asked me who I was there to see. "Gary" I said, "He's gone" Brian said. "I'll wait" I said. blush.gif

A few seconds passed before Brian told me his dad had died. I was floored, Gary was so trim and tough! I first met Gary when he supervised the research center precision machine shop Corning, Inc. Gary had kept up a rigourous racing schedule since the early 1970's. Gary was the Steuben County Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee in 01 or so and local racing and engine/chassis legend. Having street raced in his youth, and later asphalt, dirt, even 24 hours at Watkins Glen, Gary was really accomplished! I think his orange 1964 B Production Corvette convertible still holds a track record at Watkins! wink.gif

Once, the Racing Research Library at Watkins Glen got word of our interesting little Silver State luxury racer project, through a few words overheard at the local bar and grill, the Glory Hole. laugh.gif The research librarian, a Buick man, invited the designers, myself included, to the library. The youthful librarian, Mark Stiegerwald, was amazed at Gary's command of the subject of racing particularly his knowledge of the history of the racing activities at the Glen. Gary was racing when the rest of were in diapers after all! The library still tracks the Faithful pursuit?s progress and Mark flagged me down in a Cobra Roadster a few weeks ago at Watkins. laugh.giflaugh.gif

Just last weekend a few of us got together to talk about future development plans, eat some good food, (curry chicken, goat, and other East/West Indian treats) and showed them the old note I wrote to Gary, still attached by yellow sticky to the Silver State racing regs. cool.gif

As I he stated many, many times, Gary's good friend and fellow chassis builder Dave Machuga jumped into the project with both feet and we got the car running and painted for the roll out to the Tuskegee Airmen last April. The event planning began in January with a 10 person team, separate from the fabrication team of Machuga and his people. The date was set early and we had 4 months to get the support to make the program happen. tongue.giftongue.giftongue.gif

Luckily, we made the target date for delivery of the car, even with the extensive fire at Machuga Racing Chassis. An added bonus was rolling the car out for the Tuskegee Airmen on the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the P-47 Thunderbolt to the men in combat in '44. The old jug was the inspiration behind our Buick Electra GSX down to the rear mounted underslung oli coolers and deep bass rumble. We played a recording of an old Jug 18 cylinder before firing up our car. It drew a lot of applause! laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

Sorry to make a really short story long here! The point of the ?Lets Roll? comment is this: ...Our 7.3 Liter Turbo-supercharged Diesel tow vehicle arrived today. It can haul a 5 ton trailer without breathing hard and still get reasonable fuel economy and range thanks to a high performance chip and 40+ gallon tank. Its a super clean Kentucky truck. Gary, here's to you buddy...Lets Roll! cool.gifcool.gifcool.gif

God Speed,

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  • 2 weeks later...

All,

One of the ex-Machuga Chassis fabricators, Brucie, was hurt on a construction job in the last 48 hours. blush.gif Brucie had left Machuga last year after helping to get the Faithful Pursuit ready for the unvieling for the Tuskegee Airmen last year. He and another person lost control of their huge dump truck and crashed into a gulley after launching the truck off a mountain road near here. Dave said they must have lost the drive shaft or brakes and catapulted off the road as they clipped off the tops of several trees 30 feet in the air before crashing.

The other guy lost part of one leg and all or most of the other. They could not find one leg. Both of Brucie's hips are broken, among other things. I forget the grocery list Dave ran off, I was stunned. The authorities had to medivac them both out and did not have time to find all the pieces. They were able to get them out in time and save both their lives.

This past Saturday I went over to Machuga's to give him the poly bushings, we finally got, and the A-Arms, and Brucie stopped by. I had not seeen him since he left Machugas last year. We talked about his girl, cars and stuff and got caught up on things. Nobody knew that in just another day he'd be on the ride of his life and nearly lose it. Please give the good Lord your prayers for Brucie. He is still 20 something and wiry so he should walk again but the doc's say 8 months before he will be able to on his own! That is rough!

This sounds like the Machuga milk truck story where Dave and his brother were driving back when they were little more than kids and crashed. Auto parts were passed through their insides and other serious things happened to cut them out of there. tongue.giftongue.giftongue.gifI guess the moral of the story is: The next time you are feeling sorry for yourself, consider that your life can be taken at any time in any number of ways. tongue.gif

Brucie, may God Speed your recovery!

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The newly machined polyurethane bushings are pressed into the upper A arms and Dave welded a cross bar into them to help them keep their shape and strength under load. The whole A arm thing has taken way too long, but that is the price of trying to keep the thing as original as possible. cool.gif

I just got in from visiting Brucie who is recovering from a horrific truck accident. He can start walking without a walker in 8 weeks. Broken pelvis and a few crushed vertabrae. He is in good spirits but is getting bored after two days in bed. Just 7months and 28 days to go! They figure the 10 wheel dump truck got away from them and rolled over a few times before becoming airborne and traveling 250 yards or so. Please do not quote me on the details because data is still being collected by the State Troopers and Brucie does not remember much. confused.gif

Now he has plenty of time to do his racecar designs. His dream is to get enough money to go to a fabricator school down south and someday be a master fabricator in the south. He is pretty good now after working beside Dave for many years. He can build and set up a dirt or asphalt car and crew pretty good now. He should recover fully pursue his dream. At 23, he has his whole life ahead of him. laugh.gif

Vinney underwent more surgery today. I know that one of his legs was re-attached but I do not know what today's surgery was for. He has had several surgeries since the accident last weekend. Somebody with a prosthetic leg visited him today to boost his morale, which was pretty high. I wish him luck. laugh.gif

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This is probably the longest front end rebuild in history! I finally got the super rare upper ball joints from "Rare Parts" and all the ball joints pressed in. The lower control arm bushings were pressed in as well.

All the welds on three of the arms were fine except for one small crack in an upper where the ball joint opening was. See, it was worth it to tear the whole thing down to check for cracks! Dave welded it in minutes of my finding it.

Both arms were extensively modified to add more flexibility and strength to the front suspension. We will see how it all works together.

June 18th we will show at "Juneteenth" the oldest African American celebration which denoted the actual time when the slaves were finally freed after the civil war. It will be cool to have the Faithful Pursuit, symbol of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, present during the festivities!

God speed!

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All,

I finished painting the re-finished and re-welded A arms, lower control arms. The engine bay is nearly done as well. tongue.gif

Every suspension bolt was identified for replacement with Grade 8 on Monday. The front suspension is mocked up outside the car and assembled for that purpose. wink.gif

The chassis scrubbing left the garage floor pretty wet. Its hot and muggy and the garage floor would not dry, even with a fan on it all night. I spread kitty litter on it! smirk.gif

Next Satuday at 1pm the Faithful Pursuit and I will be in Elmira, NY at the annual Juneteenth Celebration, the oldest African America celbration. It should be really Kool to show the kids and folk there the Tuskegee Airmen's theme road racecar! www.juneteenth.com/5newyork_events.htm

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I worked for the past 72 hours to complete all of the major work associated with the re-fit. Upper and lower control arms were installed with all plated grade 8 bolts, even the huge lower control arm bolt had that gold tinted plating commonly used on the Grade 8 bolts. The highly modified control arms were a real bear to install as they now had to fit with the inner fenders back in place. I used an old table leg to move the fender lip out of the way to slide the A arm into place. Wheel bearings and races were carefully removed and new TIMKEN units eaqually carefully installed. Grease was packed as shown to me 15 years ago by an old black garage owner in Gainesville Georgia. Center link, tie rod ends, idler arm, were all painted, installed, rough aligned, and new grease fittings installed. I ran out of grease at about 2am Friday night! The CARRERA 7 valve shocks were installed, at least one anyway as there were adjustment issues with the variable height suspension reinforcemnets newley welded in place. The aluminum blocks that secure the front anti-sway bar were polished and tinted gold, greased, and grade 8 bolts were fitted. The WILWOOD calipers were checked, installed with grade 8 bolts, & aviation jam nuts. Brake lines were re-plumbed with the correct fittings to replace all reducers previously in the system. There were no leaks. A new master cylinder and brake booster were installed. The BENDIX unit is a high capacity large bore unit made for the rare BENDIX disk brake option on the 1969 Buick Electra 225. I wore my leg out pumping it until it finally flowed and bled out but it works great! It was tough trying to do a 1 man install with the eye bolt and pin arrangement that you could not see from the front of the firewall! The rears were finally bled out at about 2 am. Rims and tires were re-mounted with three point spinners carefully hammered in place with a soft plastic mallet. Fuel system was replumbed so that the regulator would work this time! The regulator bracket was painted red along with several bolts nuts and other parts that were already of high quality and did not have a plating. Ignition sytem was re-installed along with the alternator and the 12V electrical system regulator. New bypass hose and upper radiator hoses arrived from NAPA at about 9am and installed with fresh stainless steel clamps. Removed the tape and paper which had allowed me to paint the engine compartment. It is not a super sano job but it is presentable! New STAGE 1 chrome valve covers were installed along with new gaskets which i lubed with MOBIL 1. Each 8mm plug wire was cleaned, checked and carefully installed. Firing order was checked. New NGK racing plugs, gapped to .037, were installed to spec. dozens more things were done . Its Fathers Day and the kids are calling me to breakfast! Over and out!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are GO! See you there. We are not taking part in any of the competitions. Look for us as a basic display with red balloons.

IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER maj2nd@aol.com (Spotter, Detailers, or to share details with visitors)

Faithful Pursuit and I will arrive on site Thursday evening at about 6pm. and will pull out on Saturday afternoon or evening. wink.gif

God Speed,

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All,

We will be in a humble display under a 20 X 20 Blue and white tent beginning Thursday evening at the Holiday Inn. We are not taking part in any competitions as our car is far from show quality and far from racing trim.

Right now, the Electra GSX is up on jacks for the undercarriage detail, shfter linkage work, and front stabilizer bar mods. The stripes for the rear spoiler are finally being painted this evening. She should come together by about noon tomorrow then we ship out for Batavia!

Thanks to Dave, Robbie, and Tim's long hours of prep work over the last couple of days, we will make it on time! This will make up for our missing JUNETEENTH in Elmira!

My thanks to Jim, Mark, Rich, Judy, Ronita, Mike, Jody, Chris, Tom, DJ, Ameth, suppliers, TA Performance, PAE, Autozone, Machuga Racing Chassis, and the families of our deceased team members Gary and John. This one is for you!

May God Speed you on your way, in a BUICK! cool.gifcool.gifcool.gifcool.gif

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All,

The meet has been a real blast so far. It was great to meet Adam, John, Fred, Frank, Guy, and so many other people. I have seen some of the most incredible BUICK motorcars!

There is a red '68 Electra that is incredible! A black '36 Coupe that looks like fine art deco! The GM show cars are super impressive as is the engine display with a '60's turbo nailhead, 455 Stage 1. 350, GNX turbo-V-6.

I have not slept much as it took hours to set up on Thursday night. It was good to hear from all of you who were following this and stopped by to lend a hand or say hi. John Shieb really teamed up with me to get the display up and drive the car down the ramps while I worked the winch!

...must sleep...no must go see more BUICKS!!!

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Michael,

Thanks for the recognition. I am still recovering from the short sleep, one car judged, the other Driver (both sucesful by the way), and trying to get the cars cleaned after the rain, judging (for the first time). The Gold award for the first time being judged for the '32 was great, but the highlight for the trip was seeing your car, getting the set up complete, the "after" ride in the parking lot was one thrill. The other, I must admit, was the drive up by Watkins Glen, a brief stop at the Racing Museum (need to get back to that place soon) joining with some Minuteman members for a tour of the Curtiss Museum in Hammonsport, meeting on the highway, some Maryland members, and the return along part throughway, but also Route 20, breakfast at 7:30 (after 1 1/2 hours from Batavia, in Skaneateles, along the lake, and a beautiful drive with the '68 Riv (I think that qualifies for the BPG as I had to pass on Route 20 and "pinned" my wife back in the front seat with a slight scream (before this she had no idea of the power, and maybe neither did I, as I had been afraid to push it). What a "blast" the whole meeting was, and I was sorry I could not meet more people that write on this forum.

John

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I'm glad to have finally seen this car up close and personal, and to have met you!!

I wish I could've spent some more time chatting, but I seemed to have no time to sit and hang with anyone last week. Bummer........

Faithful Pursuit is beautiful! I have some pictures, but have not loaded them yet.

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I was great meeting you and seeing your car. It was a wonderful treat.

We were standing in the parking lot Thursday about to go inside when you drove in. Both Old-Tank and I knew what car it was and we immediatley came over to see the car. We were amazazed and wowed by the work and quality of the car.

You say it is not a show car, I disagree. Maybe its not a 400 point type car but its a show car neverless. GOOD JOB !

BTW, the caricture guy did a good job on you :-)

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John, Bill, Adam,

Thanks for your feedback and again thanks for your support and interest. I just returned from the shop, had to attach the front anti-sway bar after Dave fabbed some anodized aluminum spacers we needed for it. The guys at the shop kidded me a bit to make sure I did not get a big head about the BCA event I guess! Hey, what are friends for.

We need to go to Watkins and run the track!!! That is the next hurdle and I think we are in striking range for the end of the month finally! We still have no electric overdrive control, high speed gears, or rear anti-sway bar. On the bright side our weight on the digital "REBCO" scales was exactly <span style="font-weight: bold">4455</span> "4455" at a nearly 50/50 weight distribution!!! cool.gifcool.gifcool.gif

Adam, thanks for putting pix on when you have time. I hope that your event is well attended and I know how very busy you were jumping from a BCA event directly into another! I was drawn to the air show in Geneseo but just went home and slept.

I loved John's '32 and Riv! Adam, your white on white Centurian was breath taking even at a distance. My weekend was made when I saw all those Buicks and met new friends and worked together with you.

God speed!

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All,

On Thursday morning of this past week I received an official communication from Col. Len Nevels, USAF; Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Convention Committee Chairman, that our 1969 Buick Electra "GSX" roadracer, dubbed the "Faithful Pursuit", has been accepted as a display for the 34th annual Tuskegee Airmen convention to be held in Orlando, Florida, August 16th - 20th. blush.giflaugh.gifshocked.gifcool.gif

This has been what we dreamed about! We have been working with several Tuskegee Airmen as well as military affairs personnel to aquire the National Organization's recognition of our Tuskegee Airmen theme racecar effort. cool: cool.gif

We will be in the main hall and the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. is waiving the $800 fee for the display area. I cannot express to all of you how much of an honor this is. Surviving members of the WWII 332nd Fighter Group, including the 99th, 100th, 301st, and 302nd combat squadrons as well as the 477th medium bomber group and all of the surviving support personnel will be present! laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

What an honor and an accomplishment not just for our team but for Buick!I wish our deceased Air Force team mates could be present! our late team members, Gary Shaw and John Dove are smiling down on us from heaven I am sure! cool.gif

God Speed,

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Michael,

This is indeed cool. cool.gifcool.gifcool.gifcool.gifcool.gif

I hope you get a chance have as many Airmen as you can take a seat behind the wheel of the Faithful Pursuit. Have you thought of posting a Roster or Honor Roll of Airmen when you display the car? Your Buick is going to be a piece of rolling history, in any case.

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G.S.,

Good to hear from you again! You are correct, the car was intended to serve as a rolling calling card for the Tuskegee Airmen. I never dreamed that they would actually endorse it when I started working on the Tuskegee Airmen theme Buick back in '79 - '81.

At the BCA convention I had some hand outs, photos, and a model of the Red Tail P-47 Thunderbolt that the Tuskegee Airmen flew during WWII before they received their Mustangs in the summer of '44. I shared the story of the Tuskegee Airmen with many Buick people who were present.

The Faithful Pursuit is up on jacks. I drove it on the street on Friday for the first time in over 20 years! She sets you back in the seat and all gears hit pretty hard! I drained the oil, this will be the fourth oil change in about 3 - 5 hours of run time. It was pretty dirty after flushing the gunk out of the new TA oil pump. I put in a quart of fresh oil to purge the remaining gunk from the 7 quart TA oil pan. We will be using AMZOIL 10W-30 that I purchased from Gary Shaw before he died. Gary was dealer for the stuff and said it was the best. Scotty Guadagno, our engine builder, said to go to synthetic as well.

I wired in the hood tach, will rewire the OD solenoid and check to see if it all works over the next few days. I plan on hitting New York International Speedway on Wednesday for the test and tune. My guesss is that the Faithful Pursuit has the capability of 14s out of the box with maybe high 12s possible at our present 4,455lbs weight without the 200lb driver. (If I can get the OD to work)

Scotty's green 1970 Electra managed 12.4 at 4,700 lbs and 11.7 on nitrous. We are not running nitrous and we are not quite as radical on the engine as Scotty was. We have better traction however and the overdrive should keep us in the torqe band for longer. Perhaps mid 12s are possible over time.

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Michael,

Thanks for the reply. Please say "hi" and "thanks" to the Airmen for me. My dad flew in B-24s out of Victorville, California during WWII, so I'm not too far removed from that era. Victorville had a major training school for B-24 bomber crews, and I believe they also had a number of fighter pilots flying out of there. Maybe some of the Tuskegee Airmen were there at some point?! Dad was hangar chief for a good share of his duty there, and had final responsibility for the airworthiness of every plane that flew out of that hangar. I don't remember how many that was, but it was plenty. Very demanding and stressful work.

Say, you're not building a drag car anyway are you? I would think that to optimize 1/4 mile times, you'd have to gear it specifically for the strip. What ratio are you planning to hit 14's with "out of the box?" And why are you dragging a road racer? You got money to burn? grin.gif

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G.S.,

The Tuskegee Airmen were stationed in Alabama in the early days of the war. As the war progressed, a medium bombardment group, the 477th were being trained to fight in Asia. These men were stationed at Godman Field, KY. None of the Airmen were stationed in California, however it is possible that a few made their way out there to visit family or for other reasons. A good book to read is The Tuskegee Airmen, by Charles Francis. It talks about all the stats and where they were stationed.

Since we have no long stretch for high speed testing other than a quarter mile, some aspects of a 90 mile run can be simulated with the appropriate gear set. We have a GT Performance, Co. 9" Ford rear and 4.11 gearset installed in the Nodular "chunk". We can run through all six speeds in a quarter mile and get a feel for how she will operate as optimum cruise rpms are reached. We will move to a more realistic gear set in August/ September, once the testing is done. We will not use slicks and therfore will not stress our driveline more than absolutely necessary. If we ever do get serious about 1/4 mile, we can shed a couple hundred pounds worth of road race hardware!

Also, the Faithful Pursuit uses a TH375, Gear Vendors Overdrive, 4" NACSAR Spicer drive shaft, Moroso Yoke, modified Ford 9", held on with 4130 Chromoly Steel tubes. We figure the driveline can withstand 650 ft-lbs, conservatively. The problem is "We do not know what we do not know". We should do high stress short runs to find out what would go wrong before we have it happen at 150 mph!

God Speed, smirk.gif

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Michael,

Sounds like a plan! The Ford 9" is hard to beat, from what I've heard and a worthy addition to a Buick. There's some good-natured Ford bashing going on in the forum, but it's important to remember how much Ford parts were relied on in the '60s NASCAR racers. Lots of driveline parts in particular. Fix Or Race Daily!

I'm wondering how the sponsorship search is going? The work I did for an ASA driver was very demanding of time, and frustrating. I can't really help you with any specifics from that search, since I was working for an ad agency at the time (we were contracted to get the 15% commission on any sponsorship money we got them) and all the research stayed with the agency when I left. What I remember most is that the options were so limitless. Sponsorship money is truly where you find it, and you can't rule out anything. Your "best prospects" so often turn up empty, while something good can come entirely out of the blue. It's an "eyes and ears open" proposition.

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G.S.,

Thanks for the background on your experienced with sponsorship. I believe that you are correct when you say, sponsorship is where you find it. I hope that we will find more of it soon! Baer Brake offered us a 25% discount on warehouse cost. That will come in handy I am sure.

Work began at about 4:00am this morning on further preparation of the Faithful Pursuit. Hmmm...brain does not seem to be working well after nearly 19 hours of non-stop work. Lets see..hmmm...ok...First I wired in the hood tach but could not find the directions so I cruised the web, with no joy I might add! Finally I found the paper file that had the instructions. The overdrive relies on a switch to engage and disengage the unit as you drive. It has a pretty sophisticated control box, foot button (looks like a dimmer switch) and another hand operated switch. I do not have the '88 or newer speedo cable, transducer, and electric speedo so I needed to bypass the automatic controls hardware I just mentioned. The people at Gear Vendors said, "If you want just manual operation, apply 12 volt power to the solenoid to energize it. I tried this on Friday with no luck so I reversed the polarity. Hopefully I can test drive it tomorrow.

I hooked the OD ground cable to the parking brake foot pedal. The E-Brake is not

connected as we will be using a small disk brake as our e-brake. It seems to be a nice setup.

The brakes appeared to be out of balance, biased to the rear. I installed a WILWOOD proportioning valve in the rear line. This will add some flexibility to our work to dial in the system at Watkins Glen or any other venue.

The port side aft, excuse me...er...driver's side rear, wheel had lots or greasy build up.Our brakes were still a bit weak and the axle grease leak I found may have been responsible in part. The retaining bolts for the axle were loose and at the root of the problem. I replaced a braided stainless brake line, bled the system front and rear, then one side both front and back were evaluated. I then used the WILLWOOD proportioning valve to help match the front to rear bias as best I could.

All this does not sound like much but trust me, getting this car into the air, done yesterday, was no picnic. You can lift this Electra from many points that were impossible for a standard Electra. The boxed replacement rails saw to that.

It was still necessary however to lift carefully and evenly and rest the massive

motorcar in the best position for work.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">...My dad flew in B-24s out of Victorville, California during WWII, so I'm not too far removed from that era. Victorville had a major training school for B-24 bomber crews, and I believe they also had a number of fighter pilots flying out of there. ...</div></div>

55Pack...

The field at Victorville is still in use. Victorville Army Airfield was renamed George AFB in 1950 and was an active USAF fighter base until the USAF left in 1991 or 1992. It is now the Southern California Air Logistics base. See: http://www.ghostbase.org/george/

At present, there are about 150 'old' airliners in storage plus a very active commercial aviation business community. The base housing dating to the early 1950's has been abandoned and most recently used for urban counter terrorist training, so it's not faring as well as the industrial side of the base.

Should you get out this way, the Route 66 Museum in Victorville has a couple of interesting scrap books with a lot of WWII period photos and articles of the base in it's AAF training base days.

Cheers,

JMC

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All,

We loaded all the four of us up at Machugas and took off in the Faithful Pursuit. After leaning on it a few times we had a few things to straighten out but overall I was impressed with the pull if this car. She feels like she has low 12s in her for sure. Our weight on the REBCO digital scales was 4,455, add Dave, Phil, Timmy, and me and you have 850lbs! At 5,305 lbs, the 'Pursuit still pulled like the Budwieser draft horses!

The OD worked as well for the first time. It seemed like there was some confusion about wheather the thing came with its fluids sealed or not. The green manual cited both DEXTRON III or 80W90 Gear Oil as what to use. Yes it did need gear oil, as GV said it would shift better thn Dextron with it. it seemes to work well. The hood tach is finally hooked up and now works contrary to instructions! (It calls for (-) coil hook up but only (+) pole hookup actually worked.

When we took off the first time we drove a mile of so, swaying it side to side. She corners flat but the steering was wandering because the toe is not set yet. Camber, caster also have to be set.

Water temp got way high, 240, on the second run. thermostat appeared to stick. We ran it home and I jumped out, raised the hood while Dave ran water through the radiator to cool her down. We sprung an oil leak out of the side of the gasket on our TA deep pan. I think we lost about a quart and will have to drop as much as we can tomorrow, drop the pan slightly and try to seseal that section of gasket.

Trans leaked, engine oil leaked, over temp radiator leak! There were no shortage of problems today. My wife, Deborah, came over as I wanted to give her a ride but Pursuit was not ready. We wanted to hit the Mt. Morris dragstrip but our problems out the kybosh (sp?) on that one.

Dave's dog peed on my packages of exhaust clamp parts I left on the floor last night. I went to get the gear lube and had to go clear back to Corning, so i did not go back to put my stuff away. Darned dog marked my stuff and had the nerve to growl at me this afternoon. I told my son, "watch out he's mean whan Dave is not around" my son just patted him on the head and Rebock stopped growling and walked away. Rebock is legendary in his efforts to defend house and garage against the Fedex guy, the UPS guy, etc., etc. One Fedex guy I bumped into last year or so asked me if that Mean dog by Machuga's was still alive. I think that was the time I walked past the half asleep dog and be bit my leg, just breaking the outer layer of skin. That evening he was my buddy again!

Well, I keep nodding off while proofing thissssssssssssssssssssssss! It has been a long 20 hour day! Kind regards to you all and God Speed,

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John,

Thanks for the reply. I stopped at George AFB several years back on a trip through California. In those pre-911 days they were pretty casual about letting me take some pictures. It really still looked a lot like the '40s around there. My dad was even able to spot some old landmarks!

They wouldn't let me past the gate, though, and really had no capability to give tours, but the sentry was cordial and talked a bit. There was also a small operations type building at the gate where visitors could get out of the blazing Mojave desert sun. Dad had a story about frying an egg on the tarmack one time, and I believe it.

The town of Victorville has a definite "base town" feel to it, with lots of rather forlorn housing. I drove around to get a feel for my dad's old commute from his off-base housing to the field. He and my mother were newlyweds together out there, living in Hisperia (sp?) from 1942 until after the end of the war. Not too far away is the monster Edwards base, of course, where so much historical military and experimental flight has taken place--the most of any base in the world, they claim. It's got Area 51 beat all to heck. I wish I had taken some time to go over there--they have tours!

I wanted to experience going from desert to snow in mere minutes, though, so I drove up to Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. It's a good way to test out a rental car laugh.gif I had a little Chevy Cavalier that I rented in San Diego and put 1500 miles on--all in California. They looked kind of funny when I returned it, but it was an "unlimited mileage" rental! Got my money's worth. grin.gif It was an appropriate car, because my dad drove his '36 Chevy coupe out there. All in all, a place I wouldn't mind visiting again!

BTW I see by their website that Edwards AFB is having an open house and air show October 22 & 23 this year. They have runways plenty long enough to "road race" the Faithful Pursuit in a straight line cool.gif Might have to get "special clearance" though. Tell 'em it's an experimental car that might be able to fly.

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Michael,

Sorry to take up so much off-topic space on your thread here, but like you I seem to get going on posts in the middle of the night--or very early morning.

I'm glad you're geting the car "sorted out." Always a challenge with a race car. It sounds kind of like my old '65 Electra--it used to change its own fluids, too! grin.gif

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GS,

Hey, that is what this thread is for so do not worry about talking about old Army Air Corps days! the late Gary Shaw, our first chassis man and pro-driver, and John Dove, our electronics genious were US Air Force and Army vets. Both served the Air Force in some capacity during their careers. laugh.gif

Gary Served from 1956 - 1960 and was a radar tech during those tense years with Russia, pre-Cuban Missle Crisis. I believe he was stationed in the Mediterranian on the radar working for Strategic Air Command when he picked up a bogey closing in on our B-52s. The thing would shadow our SAC guys but never get close enough to be seen. The Russians were developing pretty hot stuff back then and were becoming known for high speed aircraft. The only thing was not only was this thing fast, it was huge! He would call a "scramble fighters" and our hottests jets, the F-104, nicknamed "The Missle with a Man on it", would "attempt" to intercept it. The thing would hit MACH numbers and pull up out of the fighters range! What made matters worse was that nobody, not the bombers it shadowed or the intercepting fighters could ever get close enough to actually see it. blush.gif

This cat and mouse game goes on for weeks and weeks until Gary got a feel of when the object was going to harass the bombers. He called for fighters and hit it just right where they got on the scene as the bogey came on screen. The huge aircraft was long sleek with a huge delta wing and no horizontal stabilizer in the tail. It was the super radical new B-58 Hustler, as yet not even turned over to the USAF fully. It was undergoing field trials and was unmarked. Apparently the factory guys and some brass probably thought it would be an interesting test of both our existing systems and the new Hustler, the world's first Supersonic Bomber. cool.gif

Gary handed me a book about the skunk-Works before he died. He was a really Kool guy and still holds a B Production Corvette track record at Watkins Glen International Raceway that he set back in 1972 or so! Racing turned him into an 18 year old all full of "[censored] and vineger". He was fun to be around! laugh.gif

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We worked late into the evening to address some of the challenges associated with the Faithful Pursuit's operation. The gasket leak that had it spouting oil on the header was handled by Dave who pryed the pan open just enough to squeeze silicone into the where the gasket had cracked. The "Toe in" was adjusted by me as was some of our wiring messes. Some of you saw the wild wiring setup to handle the auxilliary stuff. You have to go under the hood to hit the ignition swith from the MSD box. This is being wired into the cockpit and placed into the console, now functional, with the main power cut-off and fuel pump swithes.

This afternoon, I will tie up all the loose ends and mount up for New York International Raceway Park, Mount Morris, New York. I should arrive about 6pm and the temp should be 65 - 70 tonite. We will do a few passes and get a feel for how she hits all six speeds.

Dave says do not press it to hard right off the bat. I agree and will leave the low et's to the drag racers. Our main goal is to establish proper operation of all forward speeds, engine, and brakes. The high speed gear set can then be installed with higher confidence that all systems will work under full operational load configuration. (Hows that for production engineer talk!)

Brakes have been weak, traditionally. With the addition of a new master cyl and booster combo, lines, fitting, even a Wilwood brake balancer, things improved enough to drive around town but not to track test. I'd wind up in the sand at the end of the strip, which I have seen some guys do! Last night we checked the booster and found no vacuum. Hmmm...its a new hose, booster...everything is new and of sufficeint capacity. Why does it not work!?! I dreaded the thought of pulling that master cyl and booster after all that trouble to put it in! I pulled hte hose and checked the valve first. The check valve function worked well enough. Upon close examination I found that the "new" hose had a crack in it where it plugged into the booster. I cu that out and re-attached it saving about 7" in length this time. We will see how she works this afternoon.

If there is anyone within intercept range, come to the New York International Raceway Park. I could use the help at around 7pm. You cannot miss the huge blue high speed pursuit car towed by a red 4 ton turbo-Excursion! laugh.gif

God Speed,

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Michael,

Thanks for the kind words.

You probably don't need this advice, but break in those brakes gently! No fast stops for a while. Driving it around town as you have is good insurance.

Congrats on checking that hose first. Ain't it interesting how often it's just something simple. Like Red Green says: "When you do things, you learn stuff."

The Army officially referred to the "Air Corps" as the Army Air Force starting some time during the war. I found this out for sure when they sent the government grave marker for my dad-- Anton L. Strauss, Technical Seargeant, U.S. Army Air Force. What a way to learn that.

The Hustler was part of my youthful experience as they flew north over my house when I was a kid. No need to watch for them because they announced their presence very often with a sonic boom! They didn't regulate that in the early '60s. We had to build a model of the bomber, of course. The Russians had some VERY fast planes! But their empire still crumbled--a good lesson for today in that, I think.

As Sgt. Phil Esterhaus used to say on Hill Street Blues (RIP Michael Conrad):

"Be careful out there."

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