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Palo Alto show part 2

July 29, 2010

Here’s something that you don’t see every day:  A salt flat racer, powered by two early Honda twin motors, with a sidecar attached.  This thing was short in height and long in wheelbase.  It is tough to tell from the pics, but I think that the tires were 16”.  That puts the seat height down to around 18” off the ground.  The bike was filled with handmade pieces.  Check out the tanks, or the chassis and body on the sidecar.  And I don’t think any bit of that looong frame came from the Honda factory.




IMG_1062  Another creative guy put this car together.  Its 283 Chevy smallblock runs on E85 fuel.  This one took quite a while to study, as it had details upon details if one took the time to look. 

At first glance it appeared to be a decent old time Ford hot rod, 29 Model A type body with a grill fitted from something odd, maybe a Dodge pickup?  But out back there is a very interesting view.  Twin coil over shocks are mounted horizontally above the quickchange rear end.  They actuate through bell cranks to force the rubber down to the road.  Under the rear end is a belly pan!  It is attached the axle and hence moves up and down with it on bumpy roads.  The entire setup is pivoted under the driver’s seat with radius rods.  (like the old trick of using split wishbones).



The sign on the door says Secret Mountain Laboratory.  I didn’t get a chance to talk with the builder, but I looked up the name on my ‘puter.  Here is the link.  They do some very interesting projects.  Take a look at the solar powered scooter.

The interior of the car is spartan, but purposeful.  I wonder what is in that ammo box?IMG_1068



Moving around to the front of the car, you can see the cool hood side complete with a bump to clear the valve cover and a go faster decal on the lower cowl.  The split windshield is formed nicely, but I don’t recognize what it is from.  Possibly a one-off?  Front axle is a dropped I beam, with juice brakes and Hartford style friction dampers above the spring eyes.  Custom brackets mount the steering arm and the headlights, and DZUS fasteners hold the hood in place.

It was a really nice car, if you don’t mind a bit of rust and primer.  Good engineering on a hot rod is always nice to see.IMG_1063

One Comment leave one →
  1. Richard McKenney permalink
    July 29, 2010 5:11 pm

    G’day Pete

    Inspiring stuff as always, an awful lot of engineering went into that suspension, you guys are so fortunate to be able to build your own cars and bikes then take them out on the highway.

    We have to ( are suppose to) put our vehicles over the pits for police inspection for any modification, even if we paint our cars another colour other than factory!

    I had this same discussion with Ed Roth after he’d just returned from a trip to Alaska in a
    home made trike with a 6′ Rat!

    Cheers Richard

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