Hard To Handle Racing
1969 Mustang Mach 1 Fastback69 Mustang Tube Chassis
In November 2011, I purchased a second 1969 Ford Mach 1 fastback that consisted of a 20 year old square tube chassis.  The card was originally built to run in the NHRA Super Gas class, but time had not been kind to it.  With my friend Michael Ramirez of RAR Racing in San Antonio, TX, we are currently in the process of tearing the body off of the old chassis, cleaning it up, and building up a new mild steel 7.50 certified chassis.  Our plan is to build a consistent electronics bracket car that will also be capable of competing in IHRA and NHRA Top Sportsman Divisional classes.  More importantly, we are having fun with the project build and hope to have years of fun running it on the drag strip.
Tube Chassis Progress

12-14-12  Our friends at Moroso started working on a dry sump oil pan for this aluminum SBF. So Santa is bringing Hard to Handle an oil pan! That should be the last piece we need to set up the chassis. Next piece will be a Strange 9" fabricated rearend housing.

04-16-12  Suspension parts are now on order.  Got a S&W 4-link coming with Strange coil overs for the rear, in the front, a new set of Strange coil over struts and brakes.

01-30-12  My buddy Michael just color coded the blueprints so I could tell what bar is what.  Man there are a lot of pieces to a full tube chassis.  This is a turn key Tinker Toy race car kit for 30 something year-olds!

01-25-12  Yay!  My S&W mild steel tube chassis pipe arrived today on a truck.  We already have I-beams setup for a jig, so now it is time to start burning some wire.

12-21-11  I got the car back from the media blaster last night. The body came out pretty nice, especially for being a 40 year car that has been raced for 20 years and paint God knows how many times. The old body primer was pretty thick in places and did not come off completely (yellow parts) so there will be plenty of sanding to be done. The rot I saw last week was all that really showed up, so going I am going to officially need to patch both quarter panels and the taillight panel.  You can see in a few photos the original lead body seam filler still on the car.  It started getting cold, so I snapped a few photos and then started painting on etching primer to seal up the bare metal.  I'm new to painting, so that was fun and frustrating at the same time. Glad Michael has painted before!  Below are some photos before the priming started.


12-15-11  I stopped by to check on the media blaster's progress.  All four color layers, yes four different colors, are now gone and they cut through it pretty fast.  The bad new is the 1969 primer is super hard, super thick, and not wanting to come off.  I am going to have to break out the old sander because if we hit it with more heavy sand, the sheet metal is going to start warping.  The other bad news is I am going to need some quarter skins and a taillight panel.  There was liberal amounts of bondo used to form up and repair those pieces, but the rest of the car looks pretty good for a 40 year old car that has been rode hard and put up wet.  The blaster should shoot the final cleanup with sugar sand Monday when the weather starts behaving and then the body will be ready for a quick protective coat of primer.

12-13-11  The S&W chassis is on order.  Those guys build the kits as they are ordered, so I am looking at a 3 week delivery time.  Looks like my Santa present of mild steel tubing is going to be a little belated.  I am sure the time will fly with all that still needs to be done on the body.

12-12-11  The car body is currently at the media blaster.  A rainy couple of weeks has slowed down our progress, but that is a small price to pay for the much needed rain.  Hopefully in next week, I will be back to post some pictures of the stripped and clean body parts.  I am currently off today to order a S&W Race Cars' tube chassis to begin the next phase of the project.
12-08-11  Below is a photo album of the tear down of the old chassis and clean up of the body.  The tear down really took just 4-5 hours.  It is funny how much faster it is to tear one apart than it is to put one together.  With the help of a sawzall, a drill, a couple of band-aids from slipped drill bits, and some ratchet straps, the old car separated nicely.  The body condition appears to be reasonably solid which was our primary goal since I did not plan to reuse the old chassis.  The rear axle housing should be reusable, but pretty much everything else is headed to craigslist or the recycle bend.
11-20-2011  Below is a photo album of the car as I purchased it still on the trailer from the trip to pick it up.  The original builder is unknown, but as you can see, the car was in no way ready to race on the track at any speed.  It was probably pretty nice 20 years ago when it was first built, but time and previous racers has been pretty rough on it.
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