The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
6/27/17 2:13 p.m.

story by alan cesar • photos as credited

What’s a yellow Jeep doing on an autocross course? Not that its color matters so much—the body could be decoupaged with Maxim centerfolds and then covered with glitter, but the most salient point would still be that a mutated SUV is swerving through the cones at an event full of sports cars. It looks completely out of its element among the production machines that make up the rest of the field, but on the hardcore, anything-goes E Modified grid at Nationals, well, even there it’s a head-turner.

Del Long, the owner and builder of this concoction, started out with an Allison Legacy Race Car chassis. That’s a 3/4-scale replica of a NASCAR Sprint Cup car intended for a particular spec series, but what made it useful to Del was the lightweight tube frame. As prepared for that series, an Allison Legacy weighs 1400 pounds dry, including its Mazda truck engine and transmission. The rest of the foundation on Del’s chassis looked solid, too, as it sported a double-wishbone front suspension and three-link rear live axle.

Del, of course, didn’t have to retain the stock car body. That’s where he faced an interesting choice: He had to skin the tube frame with something, but what?

“There’s only so many cars that are front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, and have an 80-inch wheelbase. There’s the Sprite, the MG Midget, maybe a few TVRs,” Del grins, “and the Jeep.”

Faced with those choices, the eccentric brain ahead of that white ponytail opted to pick the oddball. Del has dubbed it a 1946 CJ2, a Willys Overland-era ute. Its modern sans-serif sticker logos are a bit of an anachronism, but no one seems to mind.

The boxy shape has its advantages when it comes to building a complete shell from scratch. “It’s a simple body. Any blacksmith can make a Jeep,” he says.

It’s true. This car is all flat sides and simple bends; no compound curves or complex angles here. The .04-inch-thick, plastic-coated aluminum panels—the same stuff used for road signs and dirt-track cars—are simply screwed down. Dzus fasteners are used on the removable sections.

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7/1/17 8:19 a.m.

And since Del built it, much has been done to help improve it.

JimMurphy New Reader
1/17/18 10:02 a.m.

And we have an open seat rental policy on this Jeep - whoever (including ladies) wants to drive it can rent it AND if you are fast enough you can have a shot at driving it at National Tours and the Solo Nationals.  We are based in metro Atlanta.  And, BTW, Steve Brueck took third at the 2017 Lincoln Solo Nationals - not bad for a car that is not 100% developed.

Upgrades are a never ending process.


ps - it does have a chrome Jeep grill, the ONLY thing Jeep on it.

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