Chuck and Ryan's RCR Build


First Real Drive

It has taken five months to get our temporary plates from the State of Illinois. Last September, when we were ready to submit the paperwork, we learned that the process was being revised. Not until January did we receive the new forms. While in Springfield on business, I walked the papers through and received a temporary plate. Under the revised rules one has ninety days to have the car inspected by the National Street Rod Association after which permanent plates will be issued.

But with the temporary plates in hand, we could finally get out on the road and do some driving.

There is something about filling up the tank at a gas station for the first time.

And grabbing a bite at Burger King, sitting by a window to keep an eye on it while munching down fries.

Ryan and I put a hundred miles on the GT that weekend.

Got some bugs to work out, but overall, our initial reaction is: wow!


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Chuck-wait! Go back a few sentences - to get a permanent plate,the NSRA does the vehicle inspection?!!? How does the car get registered,as a new vehicle, a '65 or what?


In Illinois the car will be registered as a "1966 Race Car Replica GT 40". Illinois is one of about two dozen states that generally follows the Uniform Act for registration of custom cars.
Great pic at the gasstation. How did the refueling went ?

Ryan must be one happy son, so why does he looks so tense ?-))



Great pic at the gasstation. How did the refueling went ?

Ryan must be one happy son, so why does he looks so tense ?-))


Fuelling went fine - just filled it slow to make sure it did not gurgle over.

Ryan? Tense? Actually it was about 35 degrees that day and there was no heat in the car, thus the stocking cap and frozen expression . . . . plus those pesky Webers were spitting and missing a bit at highway speed. Still don't have them sorted out . . . .
Chuck and Ryan
Wow! Glad to see you guys get some miles on the open highway with that beautiful car. Ryan you really look good behind the wheel. Can't imagine how many people were rubbernecking when they saw that machine coming down the road.

High fives
Congratulations guys, have been following this build with interest, the dedication and attention to detail is inspirational, and the results speak for themselves. I'm sure this thread will be a mine of information for future builders (hopefully me included if the pound resurfaces from the depths at some point and I get some saving done!).
Enjoy it.


First Driving Impressions

With almost 300 miles on the car, chassis aligned, engine pretty much tuned, thought we would share some initial observations.

1. LOUD. No getting around it. With a 302 sitting six inches behind your ear, insulation will have a limited effect.

2. Low. It is strange passing a truck and looking seeing its hubs at eye level. Looking up at a Toyota Camry takes some getting used to.

3. The clutch take up is smooth and relatively light.

4. The cable operated shift linkage is not precise like a BMW or the Tremec in the Cobra, but it slides easily into all the gears without a fuss.

5. The Audi 016 revs high. Wish the gear ratios were a bit taller.

6. We have the stock shocks. No sway bars. The ride is really quite good. On interstate entry ramps it turns flat. No complaints about the suspension, considering most of our driving will be on the road, not the track.

7. Brakes without power assist take a bit more force to apply than your average Buick, but the braking force is smooth and seems predictable. I like the feel.

8. Steering tracks straight and true. There is a bit of resistance – not the overpowered feel of most modern cars. We used the forward hole on the steering arm and on the road the steering ratio feels just about right. But the GT has a wider turning radius than your average Toyota Camry, so plan accordingly when selecting parking spots.

9. The heater takes a long time to heat up – due to the fact the water lines are tapped into the hoses going into and out of the radiator rather than the engine block. Hot water does not flow until the thermostat opens. But how much winter driving are we really going to do? Once the thermostat opens, however, nice warm air comes out of the vents.

10. The chassis / body is remarkably free of squeaks and rattles for this type of car. Perhaps the insulation technique, use of foam between the spider and the chassis, bolting most everything down tight, etc. helped. Or maybe the engine is just too loud to hear the rattles and squeaks.

11. Rearward visibility is limited, but this seems to be an issue mostly when backing up. The spot mirror mounted on the inside of the driver’s door really helps.

12. Some complain about the fuel pumps being loud. We have no such complaints. One can hear the Holley HP 125 at idle, but not at speed. Frankly I like to hear it running, so we know it is on.

13. The open space in the doors is a real bonus. We toss the cell phones, billfolds, even a light jacket and a small tool kit in that space.

14. The blinker switch located in the number 2 position to the right of the steering wheel is a good spot. Easily reached with hands on the wheel. Just need to remember to turn it off after completing the turn.

15. None of the switches are labeled. But in a short time their functions become second nature. No regrets not labeling them.

16. It accelerates like a banshee. Engine winds up willingly. It feels really fast. No complaints in the acceleration department, but hard to really judge on public roads. Some more road time and track time will help that assessment.

17. The instruments all work well. The water temp hovers around 180. The oil temp takes some time to come up, but hovers around 200. The fuel gauge fluctuates while driving with stops and starts due to the fuel sloshing back and forth, so rely on the gauge when moving at a steady pace or stopped and don’t let the tank get too low. The speedo reads steady and accurately. Seeing every one of those instruments working is so cool.


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Sound Cancelling System

There is no question that a small block ford running 4000 or 5000 RPMs a foot away from your ears is loud. Insulation has only a limited effect. We tried driving with our Bose sound canceling headphones and the affect was amazing. The roar of the engine was tamed dramatically, but you could still carry on a conversation with the passenger. So turning the entire passenger compartment into a sound cancelling chamber seemed like an interesting idea. Here is how to do it:

1. A speaker box needs to be fabricated. We made a box, round in shape, to mount under the front clip. It is completely sealed, except for the opening on the bottom. The sound radiates directly down into the front passenger compartment. (Remove the access panel).

2. A 12” sub woofer was mounted on the bottom of the box aimed downward. The round opening for the speaker is used for access to the amplifier. The sound comes out at the driver and passenger’s feet, but since this is a low frequency out-of-phase sound generator, placement of the speaker really does not make much difference.

3. A high power amplifier was mounted inside the speaker box. It is powered with a four gauge wire connected through a high power DPDT relay, per the wiring diagram. Most any amp will work. A Polk 250 Watt amp was obtained from Crutchfield (Polk Audio PA500.4). It has a good sub woofer circuit, which is the only circuit used in this application. It is approximately 10” x 18” fitting neatly on the top inside of the speaker box, off to one side, to clear the back of the woofer.

4. The Bose headphones need to be dismantled. The sound cancelling circuit has a connection for (1) power, (2) microphone and (3) headphone speaker. This tiny circuit board is also mounted in the woofer box adjacent to the power amp. We simply stuck it to the power amp with a piece of double sided tape. (One could use a less expensive sound cancelling headphone circuit, such as Sony, but I don’t know how effectively they work compared the Bose.)

5. The Bose headphone circuit is powered by a 1.5 volt battery. Since a lithium ion AA battery will likely last 40 hours or more, it seemed much easier to simply power it with a battery than to fabricate a circuit to reduce the power from 12 to 1.5 volts. This requires the use of a DPDT relay to power off both the battery and the amplifier, as per the wiring diagram. We located the battery under the dashboard in a battery holder purchased at Radio Shack in a location where it could be easily accessed.

6. A tiny external microphone, available at Radio Shack, should be mounted in the engine compartment. It needs to be physically separated from the passenger compartment (by the bulkhead in this application). We mounted ours on the nozzle for the fire suppression system because it was conveniently located just in front of the distributor. A length of shielded wire needs to be spliced since the wire supplied with the microphone is not long enough to reach the amplifier. (Twisting two strands of speaker wire may also work, but shielding reduces the risk of stray signals being picked up.) The wire was run under the carpet to the speaker box.

7. An unused dash switch was used to activate the system. The power source for the relay switch was tapped into the starter switch “on” terminal so the sound cancelling would only operate when the ignition was turned on. (See diagram). There is no adjustment: it is either on or off. It is amazing what happens when driving down the road and one flips that switch!

There may be some fine tuning one could do, like adding a potentiometer to vary the input from the microphone giving some control over the degree of sound cancelling. The power draw from that amplifier is significant and the load on the alternator likely costs a few horsepower, so one would likely want to flip the sound cancelling off on the track. Keep in mind that this system does not make the car seem silent. It only reduces steady low frequency sounds, like the exhaust note, wind noise, and engine drone. One can still carry on a conversation.



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Lifetime Supporter
Chuck and Ryan;
April 1st must be a really important day at your house......................

Not as good as last year but close! I really did enjoy it.