All cracked up!

Some of you that follow me on Social Media ( know that I have been chasing this mystery trans leak on the 71 car. The thing would go for days and weeks and not leak a drop unless I parked it for a week. This is after the car sat for two weeks. It dumped the bulk of the trans fluid onto the garage floor. I have looked it over front to back and could not find a real source of this issue. Some forum guys said it was the TQ converter draining down while parked and overflowing to the vent.


Soooo… since we have the new 408 engine in work and the swap to a five speed, I pulled the engine and trans out and this is what I saw once the pressure was off the transmission:

The case was cracked about 90% of the way around! It split almost on the pump line. With the engine against the trans, it most likely kept the crack from opening up. The bell housing was so loose I could nearly break it off by hand. With the new NV3500, I have to fabricate a mount so I am hoping to eliminate the torsion issues by a longitudinal pivot style mount.


Here’s hoping!


BTW, the initial test fit of the new trans went very well!

The more I listen to this guy….

I have an hour and fifteen commute each day to my wonderful job as an airline tech specialist. It’s an almost straight shot from my house in Daytona to the Orlando airport. I get bored quickly, so I will throw on YouTube and let it play. Yeah, yeah. I listen to it ok. I have become a fan of a lot of the classic car and car guy channels but one stands out above the rest. Uncle Tony.

The more I listen to him, the more I realize this is me. Well, minus the fantastic mullet and smoking habit.

Seriously though, Tony embodies everything that is old school hot rod. While I have never been a drag race guy, I can appreciate the philosophy of build it rather than buy it. Nothing like building a carbureted engine with points ignition that eats up new cars at the track. It gave me some new inspiration for a build you will be hearing about soon! Guaranteed it will have a points distributor and a Holley carb!

I’ve watched most every video on his channel. Don’t discount him and his knowledge. He presents it in a way that even my ex wife can understand.

Racing in the “I’ve lost my damn mind 500” … a Darlington road trip.

I was invited to bring the 71 car up to Darlington, SC for the 2019 NASCAR Hauler Parade. What? Oh hell yes! One problem. I don’t have a car hauler yet. What to do? Well, jump in a 1970’s NASCAR replica and drive 350 miles from Daytona to Darlington, SC to meet up with the rest of the Street Legal Stock Car group from Facebook. Had I lost my damn mind? Well anyway, the parade was on the 29th, so I headed out on the morning of the 28th. After a week of looking the car over and making it the best I could, packing up a bunch of tools, some spare parts, and a few qts of oil, off I went!

First gas stop, in somewhere Georgia. The car was running like a beast. No issues at all, not even the gas mileage was alarming. Yep, the trans still has a leak somewhere, but who the hell cares. A quick pit stop and I was back on the road. The weather was perfect and it wasn’t even that hot as long as I was moving. Did I need better ear plugs?

Second gas stop was just an hour south of Darlington in Santee, South Carolina. All was well. Added a qt of oil, filled the tank and took a much needed leg stretching walk around the car. Now… about those ear plugs! OMG I was going deaf! I was running about 85 for most of the second leg, which was turning near 4,000 rpm. Holy shit was this thing loud. I pressed on!

I rolled into Florence, SC with plenty of daylight left. Let me tell you, the Super 8 there is decent. Cheap, no frills, and did the trick for under $50 a night. That’s Preacher Franklin’s bad ass 17 car parked next to mine. and… I am deaf. My freaking ears were ringing so bad I could not even hear the TV  in the motel room! The poor waitress at Quincy’s had to wonder while I was yelling at her! All I wanted after that meal was to go sit quietly in the motel room for a few hours!

Now let’s get on to the fun stuff! The next morning I was up, and Preacher and I headed out to get some ear plugs for the ride home! We grabbed our cars and headed over to the Florence Convention Center to meet up with the rest of the crew. Little did I know that the first part of the day would be reminiscent of the old  race car days with swapping out a transmission right there in the parking lot! (Hey, at least it wasn’t MY transmission!) It was good to hang out with gear heads l like me. Guy who weren’t afraid to get dirty, and know their car like the back of their hand. JB had the trans swap done in a few hours. Now imagine… that far from home and a few phone calls and he had a new four speed and clutch ready to go. All from a fellow racer in SC!

Jim Boyle drove this thing from WAY up north, like Connecticut north. Now I don’t feel nearly as nuts for my part in this weekend! The trans swap was on, a little tune up on the #9 Ford Thunderbird belonging to Chad and we were off to lunch. We showed back up around three for the start of the big show. Please do not let anyone tell you that NASCAR is dead in the south!

(Photo Credit Thomas Blackstone)
NASCAR is certainly not dead in South Carolina. I am guessing I had 100 kids, and a handful of grown women crawling in and out of this car for photos over the hours we were set up on display. I mean, that’s what the heck I built this thing for any way! The towns of Florence and Darlington came together in a way that made me homesick for the Carolinas for a bit. No racism, no BS, just out and out NASCAR fans coming to see their favorite driver’s rigs and take in some cool race cars.

Photo Credit: Thomas Blackstone
I can’t even begin to accurately describe the amount of money sitting in this parking lot and what an honor it was to be asked to be a part of it. I am ready to do it again next year! ow we haven’t even got to talk about the parade yet!

Stay tuned for part 2 coming up soon!

Feeling like the luckiest guy on earth!

All I have to do is look at these photos and I realize I am one of the luckiest guys alive! Racing at Daytona had been a dream of mine since I was a kid. While the SCCA track Night isn’t technically racing, except against my own best lap time, I am still driving the most famous speedway ever! I’ve gone 145 mph on the most famous speedway ever! I’ve challenged my car to its limit now. This means that I can spend the rest of the year working on a new motor, getting the new five speed set up, and making it all ready to do this again next year.

I don’t take a second of this for granted! I know that I am lucky to have the skill to build a car like this, the time and money to get to the track, and a wife that somehow understands the addiction.


As blessed as one can be!

Ok, so this will be my third run at Daytona. My second in the Charger. I almost backed out because I haven’t had the chance to get the new transmission in, and the new motor just went to the machine shop. BUT, who in the heck can pass up the chance to go play on the most famous speedway in the world?? I can’t say enough about the SCCA, TireRack, and Grass Roots Motorsports for putting on such an awesome event. Everything ran smooth as could be. As usual, a few who get a bit carried away on track, but it is to be expected. (Something about being at the most famous Speedway in the world)!


Great shot from the GRM Honda! Thanks guys!


This was the first session. Later on the night, second gear started going away on me. I also made a dumb rookie mistake and left the vacuum advance hooked up on the distributor so I had some misfire issues for a bit. Easy fix! Last session, I was told I neared 145! Plenty fast trying to stop this behemoth! The new EBC brake pads helped immensely and I had to dial in way more rear brake bias that I ever expected to use. Every lap seemed to get more and more fun. Don’t forget your point by guys! I am not ashamed!


This was pretty cool to see as well. Chris caught up to us and was able to shoot some video following us for a lap or two. Man, I never knew this car sounded so cool from the outside. I can hardly wait to keep perfecting it!



Enjoy the ride and don’t forget to check out the SCCA Track Night in America!

Spending a day with true legends!

On July 5th, we were invited to bring the 71 car to a fund raising event for the Living Legends of Auto Racing museum in Daytona. What an awesome time! We met Bobby and Donny Allison as well as Linda Vaughn! We also had the opportunity to meet several other local legends and view some of the most beautiful classic race cars that I have seen. It was great to be able to help out the museum and we know we will certainly be attending more events with the museum. If you are local or just visiting, be sure to stop the museum at 2400 S Ridgewood Ave #36, South Daytona, FL, and let them know we sent you that way!




Oh what a night!

So when you are a photographer AND the car owner, what do you do? You find the best and give them a call. I found Dave Green at Flag to Flag Photography.  It was awesome having him shoot some photos of our track night. Short of having someone else drive the car, this was the choice we had to use and I am so not disappointed. Dave shot great pics, and made the purchase easy at the end. This is in no way, all of the photos he shot. Just a few to highlight our evening…. and maybe one that snuck in from a time capsule.



Now I’m off to the garage to start the hard work for the next run. Oil change, 5Speed conversion, rearend oil change, new spring bushings in the rear… and I am sure I’ll find some other stuff.

Stay tuned!

Can’t get enough of this!

April is on the way! That means track days at Daytona International speedway! Hopefully I can run the BRZ one day and the Dodge he next. I can hardly wait! Spring in Florida seems to be kicked off with the 500 even though it is in February. Since I posted last, I have managed to get the lettering done on the Charger, and got her all egal here in Florida so I have made a few runs with her now to test it out. Not quite the low end beast I had hoped for, but she loves that high end wind up!

I did a short video out on the 95 on the way to the speedway to do a photo shoot. Man that was fun! Almost as fun as being flocked by German tourists wanting to do a photo shoot with it.


I wished I could simply say that I am done and ready to just drive it. I still have to rebuild the entire rear end. I have new shocks, sway bar, and springs to go. She drives awesome now like she is. Corners like a beast! But… still not quite track ready. I can’t wait to hear the echo of this thing going under the tunnel ad Daytona in the spring!

Thanks to everyone that has been following, sponsored, helped out, gave me ideas, and generally watched a 50 year old act like a teenager. Hopefully you will still be hanging out listening to more of the story!

Finally making some noise!

I took a ten day vacation from the day job and managed to get this thing fired up! All I can say is that in all my years of engine builds, I have never had one go off this smoothly! No leaks, no backfires, nothing. As soon as gas hit the carb, she fired! She idled right off the bat and fired right back up the next day. I did the carb idle adjustments and fine tuned the timing today. The only thing that I can really contribute this to is being overly meticulous and having plenty of extra time to do the work. At nay rate, I am pleasantly surprised and ready to hit the road once the rest of the work is done.



Yes, I still sell AMSOIL….

Many people find their way here via our old business, Ex Cop Offroad. Sadly, we closed up shop when we left Nevada, but continue our AMSOIL dealership today. If you click on the banner below it will lead you to the website where you can place your orders. I decided to make the change and simply guide everyone to the website through here.

At any rate, I’ll save you all the big sales push and just say that we’ve been big fans and AMSOIL customers ourselves. We put 60,000 miles on our FJ over countless off road trails and as far as southern Baja and the FJ had AMSOIL fluids front to back. Oil analysis was always spot on. Today, we will be running it in our Charger as we do in the BRZ with full confidence that we have the best oil on the market today protecting our investment.

I appreciate your patronage and I’d love to have you as a member of our team and AMSOIL family!