Tony's TR-4 Vintage Racer - the "Red Rocket"
(click on thumbnails below for larger picture)
So, after all the body work on TR-4 #1, I found R. John Lye's extremely well equipped autocross special for sale for a very attractive price. I estimate that it would have taken $6000 to $8000 above the selling price to duplicate it. A little home equity loan and it was mine. I managed to sell the old car and made a modest profit (as long as I don't place a dollar value on the time I invested). John's former autocross special needed some changes to be ready for vintage wheel to wheel racing and I spent a month or two converting to dual brake circuits, modifying the roll bar, updating the seat and belts, installing mirrors, installing a larger fuel cell with aeroquip lines, changing the rear end ratio from 4.62 to 4.11, etc.
I barely got the car ready in time for my first event which was at Road America. My best effort was a 3:07 lap compared to uncle jack's 2:55ish lap. After the race I discovered that that the ignition timing was too advanced, accounting for the disappointing performance. I was so busy with the car I forgot to take pictures.
Here are shots from my second event in the car at Mid-America Motorplex on Oct. 11, 2002 taken in the paddock next to uncle jack's new blue. I still wasn't able to keep up with uncle jack, but we placed 1 and 2 in class 2B. Carb tweaking is in order for the next event. I did some carb tweaking at Mid-America, but need different jets than I have.
The third (and last of 2002) event was at Blackhawk Farms. I didn't seem to take any pictures there either. I've made an investment in weber jets and am narrowing in on the performance envelope. The car handles beautifully. My best lap time at Blackhawk was a low 1:29 (which took us years to achieve in the uncle jack cars), however uncle jack (dad) turned a high 1:27 while we were dicing with each other. The oil pressure was going away, so I'm due for a winter rebuild. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the car's performance, and with a thorough motor inspection and rebuild should be able to give the old man a run for his money.
Upon engine inspection after disassembly I find that the rod bearings were damaged by the excessive advance I was running at Road America, so we'll freshen and tweak the motor over the winter. A paint job may be in the cards too, we'll see.