MAX Update No. 56: Back to the Drawing Board

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-transportation/100-mpg-back-to-the-drawing-board.aspx

MU56aHere's a photo I never wanted to see: MAX all forlorn at the side of the road at 4:00 a.m. That flash sure makes the personalized license plate stand out.

I'm back from congratulating Bill Bushholz. Here's his blog on his remarkable Rally Green adventure. It's his story and I don't have much to add to it right now, so back to MAX.

So ...we limped home, topping up the radiator every 10 miles or so. You can also see what MAX looked like from the same angle as the photo above, except in the daylight. One thing you'll note is it has the same rear fenders as the old body. That was a late decision, to get MAX legal and roadworthy. I have a pair of rear fenders from the same Lola body mold as the front fenders, but they ended up being a bit tougher to mount than anticipated.

Oh, I can mount them just fine, but only one at a time.

MU56bWhen the Lola Mk 1 race car came out in the '50s, its body was made from sheet aluminum, and all its graceful compound curves came from craftsmen with hammers literally beating it into shape. My plan was (and remains) to make a rear body section from flat aluminum sheet with simple curves, and make the right and left the same profile. As you can see, it worked, and the back of the car came out looking nice, plus it's effective, light, and cheap, which are core values for the whole MAX project. The trouble is, the left and right rear fenders are not exact mirror images of each other, so when I frame the center rear body section to fit one fender, it doesn't fit the other one.

I've chosen the right fender to be the master, which means I'll have to make or modify a left fender to match ... and of course I won't start on that project until I diagnose and solve the overheating issue. I predict I'm going to feel really stupid when I find the problem.

Photos by Jack McCornack