2013 was another great year for Speedwell in both E Production and also the GTL categories. David Wyckoff captured the GTL honors with his 1275 powered Spridget (actually, my old car from back in 1991!) and Dan Schwartz captured the E/Production honors with his A-Series powered Turner 950s, winning the championship in a very hotly contested year and winning by a single point! I want to give David, Dan, and all of Speedwell’s customers a very  huge and valued thank you. It takes a lot more than just entering all the races possible to go after a championship win, it takes everything: skill, determination, luck, money, dependability, sacrifice, yes – even in vintage racing.

Thank you one and all!

GT/L Champion!

GT/L Champion!

E/Production Champion!

E/Production Champion!


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Rocker Cover Racing Update!

Rocker Cover Racing Update! SPEEDWELL victorious. We had to wait an entire year for redemption but Speedwell was not only the overall winner, it was also an especially sweet win. Aside from the fact that putting wheels on a rocker cover/valve cover and letting it slide down an incline might possibly seem a bit odd-stupid-lame-gay-geek-thicko-use your own adjective – there is still nothing better being “King of the Dipshits”. While Speedwell did have the best of the bunch last year as far as presentation goes, admittedly we were quite slow. But, after 100 hours, why not put another 20 hours into it and make it fast. We put in the 20 more hours. We did make her fast. At California Healey Week this year in Big Bear, California – Speedwell rose to the occasion. The competition was much more fierce than last year and elimination after elimination we kept winning. In the semi finals, it was so close that we had a dead heat that came down to a coin toss for lane choice. We won. In the finals, it was the same thing, yet Speedwell won! Turns out, the last few guys we beat hated to lose as much as we do. The Rocker Cover we beat in the finals? Turns out the Rocker Cover we beat spent several weeks in the Physics Department @ Long Beach University! Gosh, I bet those poor college boy’s were so disappointed to get beat by a Sprite geek! I have a feeling next year will be wicked. I do know one thing for sure – Long Beach University has no idea what I have planned for even more speed next year!!!!!!!!!!

2ndPlaceLongBeachUniversity Winner

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Egg Crate Grill

How cool is this? We’re fabricating an Enzo-esque grill from 5052 alloy. 

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Valve Cover Racing

I’ll add more in the future, but for those of you who have not heard of Valve Cover Racing – it’s essentially like the old Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby car racing except your racer is based on a valve cover. Here is the A-Series cover we built up. In addition to it’s handbuilt Lexan chassis and billet alloy wheels, we added a cockpit w/driver and rollbar, a canopy for aerodynamics, AND, if you flip up the “SPEEDWELL” alloy tag, inside is a diorama of the Speedwell shop with mechanics, girls, cocktail waitress, and a Bugeye with it’s bonnet up for service. Push one red button and the inside lights up, push the 2nd red button and the 1960’s song “Who wears short-shorts” plays from a recording device. Whether it’s for show, racing, or just fun, SPEEDWELL goes full tilt! (double click on the pictures to see entire picture)

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Sprite Mk1 Restoraton

For years I’ve wanted to write about what all is involved in doing a complete restoration of a Mk1 Sprite. It is amazing the amount of work involved to bring back what essentially is a very bare bones, simple car. I’ll get more into the story of Tom Spangler and his Sprite later on but he brought his car to Speedwell just over a year ago after it sat in his garage for 30 years. We received the Sprite the way it is below.

Tom had been collecting parts for years and along with the car he brought a 1275 engine and ribcase gearbox, front disc brake components, etc. We started with complete disassembly, bagging & tagging, sorting out parts for acid dipping and powder coating, parts to be zinc plated, etc. We cut out rusted out areas of the chassis before sending it out for media blasting to help get bare steel to anywhere it might help.

Once back from blasting, the tub was put up on our rotisserie for replacement of (among many things) front frame rail stubs, floors, tips of all wheel arch corners, door hinge pillars, battery box, etc.

The front left frame rail had some issues and the right front of the bonnet was pretty badly beat up, along with the lower portion of the bonnet being cut-up from a previously but poorly done version of reverse hinging the bonnet.

Here’s a few pics during the rust repair process:

Shown is the rear portion of the left rear fender after the cancer was cut away and below is after the new steel was formed, fitted, welded and ready for primer.

I’m jumping quite a ways ahead here, I’ll try to slow up and write more details in the future and while we do pride ourselves on all of our work I wanted to show all of you what truly competent craftsmen can do  – I’m referring to Lanse’s Auto Body who actually removed the fenders from the bonnet structure and made the right front fender go from this:

To this:

Don’t let the fact that the “after” picture here is with the paint on the bonnet – it’s not filled with bondo, I just don’t have the pictures here of it in bare steel.

Here’s the tub back in our shop and starting assembly, beginning with the stainless steel hydraulic lines:

Honestly, ain’t this amazing?!

and take a look at the lower apron here:

and now:

Meanwhile, we were busy restoring the mechanicals:

Rear axle assembly with late model rear brakes

and here’s the 1275 going together which will be just a slightly higher compression and 1967 Cooper S cam.

Been a long time since I updated this. Here it is almost Thanksgiving 2012 and this thing of beauty started on the first crank. Hoping to have it driveable in one more week.

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