It all started like this: Lo' Cash John calls me up and says, "Wouldn't it be cool to build a car and race it on the TV show PINKS? If we win, auction off both cars and give the money to charity and if we lose, oh well, at least we had a ton of fun." I told him that would be cool! He posted some ideas on the Cal-Look Forum and contacted the shows producer. The producer emailed him back within ten minutes and they LOVE the idea of a VW drag racing on the show!!!! So now, the game is on. The idea has taken on a life of its own. Receiving donations from the VW Industries biggest names, down to individual enthusiast, the formula for success is intact. With a confirmed shoot date of Jan.15, 2006, in Phoenix, AZ , the race to finish PROJECT PINKS is in full swing..........
The car, an x-record holder in the Kadron Wars driven by Clyde Berg, was donated by Joel Mohr. This thing has a stretched front end and a pretty nice paint job to boot!
The cars first stop is at Jim McNear's house. He's doing most of the work to get the roll cage installed into the car. As well as the staging brake and drivers seat.
As work progressed at Jim's house, AJ Lawson stops by to get in the thick of things.
Next, it's off to AJ Sims Shop for a Saturday communal thrash. Things on the list to get done: more cage work, wiring, seat, gauge and battery install.
Ric Campbell from Big Wig Racing is hooking us up with some door panels and a wing. We told Ric "Don't do anything too involved." This is what we got. Can't wait to see the wing!
As the car is being worked on, so is the engine and transaxle. Without giving up our combo, here is what we have so far; Jason Lauffer,VW Paradise, will build the long block; Darren Gurrola, DRD Heads, is providing ported cylinder heads; Marty Staggs, Staggs Racing, is providing and building the turbo system; A-1 Muffler is providing the exhaust tubing; CB Performance is providing most of the engine parts; Rancho Transaxles is providing parts as well as building and installing the transaxle; Mendeola is providing parts.
Dyno Don has gotten involved! He has been busy getting the car to look "race ready" after all the work that has been happening. Here he is with the finished product.
Front end before detail on the left. Look at what a little paint applied in the right places can do! Finished front end on right.
The new roll cage and interior before on the left. The completed interior "freshen up" on the right.
New shine inside and out. Things are steadily progressing at this point!
Back to Jim's house for some added roll cage bracing as well as front limit straps and a ballast tube.
Thanks to; Rancho Transaxles, Mendeola and Weddle. We now have the best drag trans available installed in the car!
The car, now back at the Low Bugget shop, gets fitted with rear disc brakes, adjustable spring plates and a set of AJ's bronze silicone spring plate retainers. The rear slicks, Erco wheels and Big Wig rear wing are added as well.
Here is what she looks like. Ready for the next step in the operation. Going to Marty Staggs Racing for turbo install! This thing is really starting to take shape.
While Marty was waiting for the car, he was busy getting the tin and other assorted pieces on the engine. This thing will need to be complete for him to get the turbo in the proper location.
With the engine installed, work on the turbo setup begins.
A few of the goodies going on from Staggs Racing. There is no substitute for positive manifold pressure!
The four barrel carb will be sitting in style. Thanks to the carbon fiber intake from DC Performance Carbon.
Marty, getting into welding up the header. Top notch fabrication from Staggs Racing!
Security is tight around the project. Don't want any secret items known. Marty has his own lovable little doggie on duty just in case anyone tries to get close.
With the turbo system done, time for the next step. The car is going to Mohr Performance for wiring and the motor is going to VW Paradise for final touches and break-in.
With the car at Mohr Performance, firewall install and wiring are top priority.
The chassis received some minor changes as well. Front shock mounts were added along with fuel tank relocation to the front beam.
Once the trivial work was handled, the big "must have" item was taken care of............... The drivers name on the car. After all his hard work and dedication to the project, we decided a name change was in order. It now says JASON LAUFFER!
With the chassis at Mohr Performance, Jason was taking care of the engine over at VW Paradise. All the final touches were taken care of. Break-in on the stand as well as a kick'in custom red paint job on the tins.
With the car back at VW Paradise, the engine is installed for the last time.
John and I arrived at VW Paradise on Thursday Jan. 12th around 1:30 pm. We immediately started working on the car. John took care of wiring the NOS system as well as any other electrical items needing done. I took care of the hardware side of the NOS system. Installing the fuel pump, solenoids and the like. Jason was busy getting the shifter rod to the correct length so the trans would go into all the gears. Sorry but no pictures, all of us were knee deep into it and couldn't stop and pose!
Jason wanted to weigh the car before the scales closed. So we high tailed it out Friday around 4:30 off to the Public Scales! She came in at 1360lbs.
Once the car was ready to run, which ended up being Friday around 5:00, she got thrown up on the dyno. Three pulls were made with the best being 311hp at 25lbs boost. The dyno info below tells it all!
Once the car was where Jason thought it should be, it was up to the one and only DYNO DON to get the placement of the sponsor stickers just right. So, for the next four hours we listened to story after story. All I can say is Don sure has a ton of stories!
Around 1am the stickers are on! Only one last thing to get done before calling it a night............... take it for a test drive.
Jason does a couple passes down the street. Everything works and no cops show up. ALL IS GOOD!
On Saturday, Jan. 14, we load up and head to Barona Raceway for a couple shake down runs. Good thing we did, there were a few little problems that got sorted out.
Jason waiting in the staging lanes for his turn at the 1/8th mile track.
The first run out and the car has a problem right off the line. It bogs and stalls out. Jason fires it back up only to have the throttle cable come loose!
Before the second run, Jason ups the launch rpm and fixes the throttle cable. Then it's time to head out to the water box..
Pass 2 and all is clear for take-off! Jason sticks the nose so high up that he scrapes the oil filter! This picture would come back to haunt us at the first Pinks episode. I posted it on about two hours before the taping and guess what? That's right, as soon as AJ Sims says the car has never been to the track, the Honda team pulls this picture out of their pocket. Sorry guys! Just goes to show how small the internet really is.
At the end of the day, the car was running as well as expected. We hung out for a little while then John, Dyno Don and myself headed off to Phoenix to get ready for Pinks! The car headed back to VW Paradise for some last minute prep.
This was the initial build completed on January 14, 2006. The taping of the show was on January 15, 2006 in Phoenix, AZ. It turned out to be a fiasco. For the complete story go to the PINKS EPISODE 1 page!