July 1, 2008

February Entries

Sunday, February 12, 2006
Total build time: 2 hours

Knowing the roadster is going to be arriving this week, my wife and I went to Home Depot and bought $117 of wood supplies to build a body buck for the fiberglass body. I tried to keep her in the building materials end of the store and away from the appliances and kitchen remodeling sections. I wanted to get out of the store with my wallet intact.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Total build time: 6 hours

Online Editor Greg Clark and I spent the morning working from my house. After lunch, we fired up my handy Craftsman jigsaw and proceeded to screw and glue a bunch of 2x4s and 1/2-inch sheet together to make the body buck. We literally finished minutes before the Stewart Transport delivery truck arrived at 5 p.m.--right on time.Using a specialized winching system, Stewart Transport drivers Dennis and Jolene Patterson brought our project car out into the Florida sunlight for the first time. The roadster frame and body come partially assembled for shipping, so we rolled it into the garage and placed the assembly on four aluminum PowerBuilt jackstands. They're light and come with a rubber-coated head to prevent scratching the powder-coated roadster frame.During this process, we attracted several neighbors who wanted to see what was going on. I'm sure this will not be the first time the neighborhood gearheads will stop by.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Total build time: 15 hours

I spent the next three nights going through every one of the 21 boxes that was delivered with the roadster. This is highly recommended, not only to verify everything was shipped (there were a few items on back order) but to also ogle all of the cool parts in the boxes such as the polished fuel-filler cap, coilover shocks, tubular control arms, and much more.

Saturday, February 18, 2006
Total build time: 20 hours

This morning I finished checking the last few boxes of inventory. We're only missing the horn button and two rod-ends, plus the few parts we already knew were on back order.It's going to get close to 80 degrees today here in Florida, so it looks like this will be the first official day I sweat on the car. Can it be long before this project draws blood, too? Then all I have to do is cry over something, and I can say I've put my blood, sweat, and tears into this project. Ha! (OK, sit down you hecklers in the crowd).By midafternoon all of the boxes were either stored on the shelf we built into the body buck or safely tucked in a corner of the garage. With the help of some of my car-friendly neighbors (two Mustang owners and one Corvette owner), we carefully removed the roadster body from the frame and placed it onto the body buck. We designed the buck so that it would roll over the roadster frame in the garage and only take up one spot so that we could leave my '66 Mustang in the garage.Taking the body off for the first time was kind of exciting but also scary. I'm sure by the end of all of this the body will be on and off the car a dozen times, and I'll get to be a pro at it, but the first time was a bit harrowing!

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Sunday, February 19, 2006
Total build time: 25 hours

After getting the chance to sleep in a bit, I fired up the computer in the garage and started cranking some tunes to shake off the morning. Once I rolled the body buck out into the driveway the roadster's frame was sitting there ready for me to get to work, and work I did. I spent most of today marking the aluminum panels with a permanent marker before removing them. This is what the manual says to do to determine where I'll drill rivets. All I know was that the marker smelled good, and laying on the garage floor under the roadster frame was kind of relaxing--and a pretty good place to hide from the wife and kids, too!

Monday, February 20, 2006
Total build time: 28 hours

Since today is President's Day, the Mustang & Fords office is closed. I thought I'd be able to work on the roadster a full day, but other household chores and some family obligations took the better part of the day. All told, I was only able to spend a few hours drilling holes in the aluminum panels and checking a few parts for fit.

Friday, February 24, 3006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hopping onto a plane, I flew to Michigan (nothing like 22 degrees and snowing to get your blood moving!) to attend the Factory Five Racing Roadster Build School at Mott Community College. Over the course of these three days, I met some really cool people and made some great friends. Charles Markman and Todd Baumann gave the class great instructions and plenty of tips.It was interesting to poll the class attendees. Most of them had already ordered a kit, and their backgrounds ranged from engineers to retirees and as close as 15 minutes away and from as far as Hawaii! It was a great experience, and I recommend it to anyone contemplating a FFR roadster build.