Category Archives: Automotive

Modern Vardo

Building the Modern Vardo

By Greg Ryan

This vardo was an exciting project and design collaboration with my friend Jill. Recently retired, she and her husband were looking for adventure and a home away from home.

Jill and I studied vardos (Romani wagons), modern RV’s, train cars and tiny homes, borrowing elements from each. This vardo is only 8′ x 12′ yet has a queen size bed, bathroom, refrigerator, hot and cold running water, holding tanks, a furnace, AC/DC electricity, a fold-down porch, and plenty of storage. It is solar-powered and completely self-contained. The wagon is insulated as well. Continue reading

One Small Trailer & a Teardrop

Home-built camping trailers

By Mike Lance

These two trailer projects came about after my good friend Orrin and I had been messing around with WEST SYSTEM products for the past forty years. After building and racing a hydroplane in the Seventies, we built a 21′ cedar strip two-person kayak in 1980 and an 18’6″ cedar strip canoe in 1981. In 1981 we placed second in the 320-mile canoe race across New York state using our kayak. Both boats are shown in May/June 1985 edition of The Boatbuilder, Gougeon’s precursor to Epoxyworks.

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First Place winner at MITES

Custom Pedal Car

By Jon Fox

Cover Photo: This custom pedal car was the 1st place winner at MITES at both the regional and state level.

Cover Photo: This custom pedal car was the 1st place winner at MITES at both the regional and state level.

For the past two years, the Drafting/Pre-Engineering autobody class I teach at Tuscola Technology Center in Caro, Michigan has been invited to participate in a contest sponsored by Summit Racing.  Students build a custom pedal car that is displayed and judged at the AutoRAMA show at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Summit Racing either supplies participating schools with one of their stock pedal cars which can be modified and customized, or students may build their entry from scratch. We constructed our entry from scratch both years. Our first car was inspired by the Delehaye roadster and built of aluminum in an Art Deco style. Continue reading

Blake jumps with his motocross bike

The Carbon Fiber Look

By Daryl Burnett

I was talking to my friend Blake Rivard about doing something different for his motocross bike. We settled on a carbon fiber airbox (air filter cover). On his bike, the airbox sits just below the handlebars where the gas tank usually is. I started with removing the plastic piece and cleaned it so no dirt would be present in the final product.  The original airbox would serve as a mold for the finished piece. Continue reading

Dirt Bike Loading Ramp

By Daryl Brunette

A dirt bike loading ramp is very bulky and heavy but important for loading everything you need in motocross. You can just use a wooden board thick enough to support the weight of your bike, or you can buy expensive aluminum ramps. But I (Daryl) wanted to build one and give it a personal touch, making it lighter and stronger. Continue reading

Goshen students

588 Miles Per Gallon

Student-designed high-mileage prototype vehicles

By The Students of Goshen High School’s Engineering Design & Development Class

We are a group of students from Goshen High School in northern Indiana and for the past six years we’ve had the opportunity to design, build and test high-mileage prototype vehicles in a class called Engineering Design and Development. Year to year, this program serves about 30 students aged 15 to 18. We begin with little to no background in an automotive or engineering technology background, and through the course of this program learn many new skills. Continue reading

What’s New at Staudacher’s Shop

An Enclosed Racecar trailer

By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor

Aircraft designer and builder Jon Staudacher’s newest project is a wooden enclosed trailer for his new racecar. Jon designed a trailer to be suitable for hauling his racecar and living in over a weekend at the race track. The trailer was built by scarfing and gluing together individual pieces of wood to form a beautiful natural wood-finished racecar trailer. Jon always surprises me with how innovative he is with projects. After Jon built an open-wheel race car he had a design in mind for a new plywood trailer. Continue reading

Fabricating an Air Scoop

Using the Lost Foam Method

By Brian Knight

I used lost foam construction to fabricate a fiberglass air scoop for my son’s Formula Continental C race car. Our project started because a modification to the shape of the race car body necessitated the construction of a new air scoop. The air scoop is bolted to the car body so if either the air scoop or the body is damaged (a very likely scenario), the repair will be simpler. To fabricate the scoop, I made a Styrofoam male mold, surrounded the mold with fiberglass, and then dissolved the Styrofoam to leave a hollow part. I used Styrofoam to build the male mold for several reasons. It is readily available at most lumberyards, it is easy to shape with files and sandpaper, and it is easy to dissolve with lacquer thinner.

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The body filler and corroded metal were cut away.

Auto Fender Repairs

with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Ten years ago the rear fender on my son John’s 1991 Honda Accord was damaged just forward of the wheel. It had been repaired at a local body shop, but four months later the same fender was rusting. I took it back to the body shop. The manager apologized and agreed to redo the job, but said there wasn’t much metal for his technicians to work with because the car had rusted significantly prior to the accident. He couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t rust again. Continue reading