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Project Carbon

The plan all along was to update the interior tinwork in the Vega with Carbon Fiber.  Although it’s a little more costly than aluminum, it holds up better (specifically the tubs).  Plus, given the colors I selected for the body and chassis, I thought the look of carbon was a natural fit.  

Keep in mind, since I’ve owned the Vega, it had the factory floorboard and firewall.  While Jeff Hayes completely reconstructed the firewall (it had too many holes from 40+ years of abuse), I wanted to maintain the factory integrity: I never intended to have a full tube chassis car.  But I wanted the existing tin work to be fresh, up to date, and ultimately carbon.

When we completed the initial chassis work, we put off fitting and installing the carbon interior until after powdercoat and paint.  In the meantime, my buddy Jeff Hayes closed the doors on Purple Hayes Performance in favor of a “real” job (bummer, huh?). Once the <paint project> was complete, I struggled to find a local shop that A.) I felt could knock the project out of the park and B.) was willing to take it on.

Ultimately, we wound up hauling my prize possession up to New Carlisle, OH.  In case you’re wondering, the answer is no: that’s not local to Carterville, IL.  But the trip was worth it. I knew Dean McIlvain and his staff at McIlvain Race Cars would make this step of the process everything I hoped for.  I was not disappointed!

I could provide some written details, but I think I’m far better suited to let the pictures speak for themselves.

In addition to the tubs and interior panels, the guys at McIlvain also built inner fenders for the front end, and sealed off the radiator.  

The Vega is back home in Carterville, and ultimately now it’s all on me and Chris.  All the stuff we can’t do (paint and body, chassis work, carbon) is done. Now we’ve just got to bolt it all together and string some wire!  If I’d stop racing long enough to spend a little time at home, I have little doubt that it would hit the track before the end of 2019. Given my schedule, I’m not sure that will happen.  But we will be making steady progress. And we’ll do our best to update that progress right here!

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