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Thursday, 21 June 2012 17:36

Building a Junior Motor Sport Vehicle for 11-Year-Old Driver

Written by Rich Evans
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I’ve been very busy the past three months working on a new project for Dan Weaver of the Bakersfield area and his 11-year-old son Brandon Weaver, a junior race car driver who is number #1 in California and #3 in the nation for his class, Bandalero Bandit Division.

Dan and Brandon wanted me to build them a junior motor sports vehicle and I’m excited to share this new project with you. I was pretty pumped up. I’ve built body kits for the Mustang, I’ve worked with Mopar, and built the polyurethane body kits for the Challenger. Now, it’s going from parts to a complete vehicle—I am all about that. This is a challenge for me. It brings on my creativity and I will be able to learn more in depth what it takes to build a complete vehicle.


I started with a basic foundation and that’s a great way to get a head start. What I decided to do with this project is to build backwards. We started with a Legend body because Brandon is just a little guy, 70–80 pounds max. This way I can gain the wheel base and get some ideas about width and positioning. We got a Legend vehicle and I stripped the body off it and I had Brandon’s dad, Dan, look around and get some bodies. They looked like miniatures of NASCAR, so we could make a plug. Making the plug means getting the shape and design in place and modifying it to look like what Dan wants. Dan fell in love with my Mustang and he likes my style of the bodies. Using Fiberglass is obviously better than metal at this point because race cars get all banged up, they get wrecked and then they have to change out the body.

We cut the body in half because it was a little long, shortened it up, got it to fit the wheel base of the Legend, spliced it together and cut off the front end because we’re not going to be using that front end. I took pre-existing body parts that I’ve made and pulled some parts out of molds so I can cut them up and modify them to fit this car, which I would call a ‘mini-me’ because it’s a smaller version.

Next, we took the splash off a Mustang hood, cut it down, and spliced it in so we can get our hood looking right, and then we got the body secured to the frame. We definitely needed to make accessories, so I came up with the scoop, the rear wing accessory, the left and right quarter scoops and the front fender scoop, and that gives us nine pieces, which means I need to make 9 molds. With all that being said, the proper process of doing this is sculpturing it out and making sure all sides are symmetrical, such as the left rear wheel wells matching the right wheel wells. I am modifying the rear of the car to look more like the Mustang, and the sides I have to modify to make the lines look more like the Mustang, to give them a Rich Evans designed vehicle. We are using some features to replicate the Mustang. The whole idea is to use the taillights and headlights from a Mustang. We don’t want to have to re-create the wheel and have to get into tooling expenses by making our own headlights and taillights, so we need to utilize what’s out there.

After getting it pretty close, I’m using 80-grit sandpaper. PCL #901 once again has stepped up to the plate. I cannot build any cars without that product. After shapingt with 36-grit and then 80-grit, I’m ready for primer. For the first process of primer, I lay about three gallons of primer on the body. PCL is both a timesaver and money saver. I’ll use 80-grit to shape it, then guide coat it, and then come back with 150-grit, re-primer it with another gallon or gallon and a half of primer, sand it again with 150-grit and come back with 400 wet. Then, we’re ready for molds and that’s the point where we are at now. Three months of hard work to get to the molds.

I am excited about this project. It’s another challenge. I have to thank my sponsors, PCL, 3M, SATA spray guns, Infratech heat lamps and Sof-Sander, and Brandon and his dad for allowing me and believing in me to do this project.

Also, check out my new website, DIY (Do-it-yourself) car builders are the root the of American car culture and one that I grew up in. If you guys are building cars out in your garage, I could show up at your garage and give you three days of free help with your own do-it-yourself car building project. Fill out an online application off my new website. We’re teaming up with my sponsors for free products and parts. I want to know your story.

Read 3493 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 23:33