Rod & Custom Feature Car
1961 Morris Minor
The homemade 2x4-inch frame was built from 0.180 mild steel, with a 10-point rollbar. A '70 Opel GT clip is used, with Competition Engineering 90/10 tube shocks. The Opel design is great, but finding parts is getting tough. I'm planning on a dropped tube axle with coilovers in the future. A Chrysler 83/4-inch rearend runs 3.91 gears on a Strange spool; 2.76 gears and a limited slip were used on the salt. Traction is via a Mopar pinion snubber and a homemade antiroll bar. NAPA 50/50 tube shocks somewhat dampen the pebbles and manhole covers. Future plans include a ladder bar/coilover system.
The small-block Chevy 377 is a de-stroked 400, using an Eagle chrome-moly crank and H-beam 6-inch rods. Pistons are Keith Black forged flat tops, spanking home ported Dart Pro 1 aluminum 215 heads with 70cc chambers. The cam is an Isky custom grind solid flat tappet: 258/263 duration at 0.050 and 0.583/0.592 lift, on 106-degree lobe centers, using Isky lifters.The valvetrain uses Manley Raceflow valves, Smith Bros. custom 3/8-inch 'moly pushrods, COMP Cams Pro Magnum roller rockers, and COMP Hi-Tech springs. The intake is an Edelbrock Street Tunnel Ram, modified a bit at home, with two slightly modified Holley 650 double pumpers, using a homemade fuel log; the fuel log brackets are '32 Ford steering wheel spokes. The ignition is a locked-out MSD distributor and 6A box. The homemade 17/8-inch headers use baffles in the collectors. Valve covers are Cal Custom with Keith Black Hemi water pump block-offs/flanges used as oil fills/vents. A GM Powerglide two-speed with a TCI Automotive transbrake, hardened input shaft, and homemade drum and billet servo is connected to a TCI Automotive 10-inch, 4,200-stall converter. The Hurst shifter, with a Jim Davis starter motor handle, sits on a homemade mount.
Wheels And Tires
Front wheels are swap meet Japanese slotted aluminum rims measuring 13x5 inches. Front tires are 175/50-13 H-speed-rated Sumitomo HTR 200s. Rear wheels are also swap meet Japanese slotted aluminum, from a Sprint Car, measuring 15x10, with Yokohama AVS 345/35-15 Z-rated rubber.
Body And Paint
Most of the lower 3 inches has been replaced with homemade patch panels; the rest has some minor hammer and dolly work and a little filler. I hope to get around to bodywork and paint someday. For now, it's John Deere Blitz Black primer/sealer/enamel. The decklid lettering is by me, using a paint pen, like wrecking yards use. Hood louvers are drilled holes, tweaked with a length of tubing. Holes are by me.
Old Speedway Motors fiberglass seats with vinyl covers are swap meet items, as is the 9-inch steering wheel. The aluminum floor is made from a friend's trailer house, after it washed down a river in a flood. Gauges are a mishmash of swap meet finds, soon to be replaced by vintage Stewart Warners. The headliner is old hot rod decals, autographed by my heroes. The column drop is an aluminum M/T connecting rod from the Hemi in Howdy Williams' old front-engine dragster, the last front-engine fueler to run competitively in the U.S.
Friends Of Li'l Zilla
Custom Metal, Applegate, OR
Ron's House of Sparks, Medford, OR
Bob Anderson Sheetmetal, Grants Pass, OR
Allin Specialties, Medford, OR
Kaldunski Design, Medford, OR
Your Powdercoating Connection, Friendswood, TX
Kim Smith Polishing & Blasting, White City, OR
Flat Black Industries, Las Vegas, NV
Paul Warner Racing Engines, Portland, OR
Peckham Precision Engines, Grants Pass, OR
Matt Rogers Racing Engines, Central Point, OR
High Tech Transmission, Central Point, OR
Isky Racing Cams, Gardena, CA
D&T Radiator, Central Point, OR
Crawford's Tire & Lube, Wendover, UT
The H.A.M.B./Jalopy Journal Web site
Special thanks to Tomcat Peterson, Salt Lake City, UT