La Carrera Memories

We’ll take a break from the writings about the LeMons and Spec e30 races to look back at what was going on in 2009. Today is November 8, 2011, and the 7 days of the La Carrera Panamericama in Mexico has just finished this last week. As you probably know by now, this is a race we keep a close eye on, because of our past involvement, and also the wish that NBB will participate in it again. Back in January of ’09, it was an almost certainty that two cars would be built to compete in the LCP and one for the Chihuahua Express. Let’s take a look back and see what was going on…

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One Plus One Equals Two Two Thousand Two’s

Two cars will be built because we have two interested party’s. One is Rick, he’s done the race before, he wants to promote his BMW repair business, he also wants to involve the people who work for him and to include his family. The other is Frank, and he simply wants to go racing, he’s done it in many forms before, and now the Carrera is his intention.

So now we need something to start with and Frank was first to find two available candidates. One had been locked away in a shipping container for a decade or more and the other set rusting nearby in the same backyard. Both of these cars came at the right price, free, that made the decision easy to take a closer look at them.
While Rick owns a shop, and sees a lot cars come through, 2002’s aren’t as commonplace as they once were, so the next one came from an ad on Craigslist. The pictures advertised what looked to be a solid choice, except they never showed the front left fender. Sure enough, that was bent along with the frame, but for $500 it was worth seeing if it could be straightened. In short order two more appeared. One being an orange lovely, dragged out of a garden in Sebastopol, and traded for an oil change. The other, a very clean 1976 square taillight, big bumper model. Too nice to cut up, and when sold, it’s worth its weight in racing parts.

The job of evaluating the last four and reducing to a final two was fairly easy. The ’67 beige 1600 yard find had too much rust to be rebuild and made reliable. It’s headed for the scrap bin. The 1973 gray primered car, while a good prospect, but with the bent frame, will be held in reserve. That leaves us with the green 1969 container find, and the orange ’72, as the best prospects. This pair is over 35 years old and have some dents and corrosion that needs to be repaired and thats the next step.Both of these will now be stripped down to the bare minimum inside and out, scraped and sanded, have some excess metal removed, and bodywork done.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The projects aim is to build two cars for the 2009 La Carrera Panamericana race and to have one of them ready for the 2009 Chihuahua Express race in March. For that to happen, a lot of things are going to have to move forward…quickly. The red car has been to the body shop to have the fenders and nose panel replaced, and will now sit while the green car advances in the fabrication process.

The fuel cell has been set into place, and some brazing done to the body to fill holes where trim was attached and rust had settled. The inside of the car has been taken down to bare metal, and most of the mechanicals

have been removed except for the wheels to keep it mobile. The present job involves building a roll cage. This has become one of the most important requirements to let a car through technical inspection, after an accident in

2006 critically injured a co driver without an adequate one. Once the roll cage is finished, a dashboard will be fashioned and then the car is ready to paint.
Please read –

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If you are standing still you can hear the clock ticking for the countdown to have a car ready for the Chihuahua Express. Unfortunately, it’s looking like things aren’t going to progress fast enough to be prepared for that race. The upside is, the roll cage is finished along with the dash and mounting the fuel cell, which means the car is now off to the body and paint shop. Once that’s done, the stack of parts can be assembled and things will start to advance more rapidly.


The seats are here along with most of the safety gear and communications. There was a problem with the coil-over suspension, it came for a completely different type car, but that’s been remedied. All the brake parts are sitting in boxes, waiting. The transmission and differential are all set to be put in, but the motor is another story. The head has been sent out to the experts to be worked on and it’s ready. But the pistons are another week away, and that means the block can’t be worked on until they’re here. No pistons= no block= no motor. The math is unfriendly, but there’s thirty days until the convoy leaves El Paso, let’s see what happens.