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gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/11/20 8:13 p.m.

For anyone who wasn't paying attention, or simply forgot about it over the last 4mos, I adopted Stampie's old Bradley GT body.
There is a nearly three month gap in that thread(thanks COVID), where I spent a whole bunch of time mentally building and rebuilding this project before the Bradley ever touched my property. This intro may get lengthy...

Standing at Stampie's bar during the '19 Challenge, several drinks and hours deep in race car talks, I was asked what I thought the proper recipe was for a top shelf Challenge car. I tend to follow the "simplify and add lightness" mentality, but when factoring for the budget aspect our starting points aren't always ideal. There is another quote lost to the annals of racing history something to the effect of, "a race car chassis should be sturdy and simple; and so should the driver." I have no idea where I heard that and surely butchered the paraphrasing, but mix in "cheap" and these objectives play heavily into my program. A proven inexpensive route to working suspension involves grabbing and modifying production based stuff vs. designing 100% from scratch. My autoX Ranger and Datsaniti are solid proofs of concept, even the LMP 360 is using production uprights.

Following that discussion, I really wanted to do an actual Challenge build and was all over the map about what exactly that should look like. My Silly Season thoughts continually returned to using an 03+ Panther chassis. SLA front end with an aluminum cradle, parallel 4link rear with a watts, v8 noises, what's not to like? Yeah, trade some weight for durability no doubt, but budget car building is all about optimizing compromises. I had originally decided that I would cut the chassis down to fit the whole mess under a Festiva for lightness and was using this render I found online as motivation

It was going to be brilliant and I started shopping for donors in January/February. I located a few Panther options and found myself battling with derby guys for the cheapest ones so I called up a buddy in that scene and got as much market info as possible. In March, Brad appeared on the radar and I stopped Festiva shopping. There was a thought that I could slap this together and make it to the Challenge for 2020. COVID had other plans, and with the delivery forcefully postponed, I lost sight of that goal month by month. I did however drag home a running and driving, $400, 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis in April.


2020 has become a year of shifted priorities and wrapping up or selling off projects on-hand to facilitate a narrower focus on this project, once it begins. I sold my F600 project which became the chassis under F-Dat,  the Mustang I was supposed to take to Challenge was parted out, I sold the SHO that did go to Challenge, and I got really close to re-releasing my T-bird from project car jail. I am not infallible however as I also brought home a Country Squire and a stray BroncoII...this is my world...

I continued mentally building up Brad and saving more internet images for inspiration.

 

In May, we introduced Brad to the MGM, made some rough measurements to confirm compatibility, rolled some wheels around, and made vroom-vroom sounds.


And then everything sat while I got my E36 M3 together; working my way toward a clear plate and an "empty" shop. In the interim, a large life change presented itself, and I dialed up a couple locals(we will call them Bob[zilla] and CB) to make this a team effort. I will need the extra hands and the mental support to stay on track. This weekend, I moved things into the shop and removed the first parts from the MGM.


The surprisingly clean body is already claimed by my derby buddy, and I yanked all four of the striker bushings to replace the ones missing from my wagon.

 

TL;DR, My 2021 Challenge, Free Crappy Fiberglass Car build is officially underway!

03Panther
03Panther Dork
10/11/20 8:58 p.m.

That is not a body I would have considered on a panther... that’s gonna be bad azz!!!

03Panther
03Panther Dork
10/11/20 9:00 p.m.

I’m in need of a header panel, and pass fender, if parts end up cheap enough!!! I fanned up a bracket for the aftermarket headlight, and threw a cheesy 80’s front bra on. Temp. , but ma be there a while!

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/20 9:15 p.m.

Seeing this I wanna say that I miss Brad but it's in a much better home now.

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/20 9:16 p.m.

And the windshield on Brad didn't go unnoticed.

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/11/20 9:19 p.m.

This shall be fun! 

How are you getting the factory frame rails rule involved? Since Bradley gt is not a production car to my knowledge.  It was a kit car, right?

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/20 9:44 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

The Panther is the factory frame rails.  

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/12/20 5:45 a.m.

Wow, I've always thought a Bradley GT was completely berkeleying ugly - until I saw it sitting on those wheels!

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 5:56 a.m.

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

Aren't they unibody? Or do i just need to lurk and learn?

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/12/20 6:06 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

For 2003, Ford Chassis Engineer Trever Skilnick completely redesigned the frame of the Panther platform using a hydroformed steel frame and a bolt-in cast aluminum stressed member that held the powertrain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Panther_platform

But I totally understand questioning Gumby's decision making.

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/12/20 6:17 a.m.

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

Poor decision making is my super power 

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
10/12/20 9:20 a.m.
gumby (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

Poor decision making is my super power 

This quote will make the next edition of "Say What"  ......

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
10/12/20 11:12 a.m.

In reply to 759NRNG (Forum Partidario) :

I'm adding it to my signature! laugh

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/12/20 12:05 p.m.

This is going to be exciting.  

Between X71, F-DAT, and LMP360 the Midwest is really stepping our game up for bad ideas.  We have created a veritable Bermuda triangle of Bad Decisions..

Also that cozy coupe looks amazing.

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 12:11 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

You came dangerously close to putting logic, reason, and sanity over ohio. Good save

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/12/20 12:13 p.m.

Bad Decisions Triangle + GRM Wheel of Wheels = forum graphics on point today smiley

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/12/20 12:23 p.m.

At some point I will buy the triangle beers. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 12:32 p.m.
gumby (Forum Supporter) said:

Bad Decisions Triangle + GRM Wheel of Wheels = forum graphics on point today smiley

I haven't found the wheel of wheels one. Linky?

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/12/20 1:14 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

slowbird said:

In honor of this and other recent activity, I hereby present:

 

Found in Barefoot’s help thread

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 1:18 p.m.

In reply to gumby (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks!!!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/12/20 1:21 p.m.

btw, how is that fiberglass body so rusty?

I'm so happy right now.  All of this makes so much sense.

Make me want to chop a Grand Marquis into little pieces...

Wow!

So, the roll cage fabricator Has some piles of parts. 2021 is in fact looking like a very good year.

maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/12/20 3:32 p.m.

I've been looking forward this one since I got a sneak peak of it when visiting the Stampie compound last year. You are definitely the right person for this build. I'll join you soon with my own Free Crappy Fiberglass Car. 2021 is the year of the lightweights.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
10/12/20 6:51 p.m.
nocones said:

This is going to be exciting.  

Between X71, F-DAT, and LMP360 the Midwest is really stepping our game up for bad ideas.  We have created a veritable Bermuda triangle of Bad Decisions..

Also that cozy coupe looks amazing.

I am very happy to be living in this triangle. 

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