Category Archives: 1800

Luigi Crosses the Bricks and Drinks Some Milk

The Holy Ground of American racing.

We made the trip back east to participate in  SVRA’s Brickyard Vintage Invitational held each year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This venue is steeped in history. They have been racing at the Brickyard for over 100 years. It is mind boggling to think about all the drivers who have raced there over the years, as well as all that has happened there.

It sends shivers down your spine the first time you drive off pre-grid, under the “Gasoline Alley” sign and out into the canyon of the main grandstand along the front straight.

The track we used was made up of the front straight and portions of the F1 course. The twisty bits are pretty tight and are separated by 2 long straights. It is just over 2 miles around.

We took the 1800 and Luigi. The 1800 raced in Group 3, and Luigi in Group 12A.

I spent the Thursday  practice sessions learning my way around the track. It isn’t hard, but to get a good time requires some precision. It is very easy to overdrive some of the corners and your lap time will suffer.

Friday had 2 qualifying sessions for each car. Because it was hot (91 degrees and 75% humidity), I chose to just run the morning session in each car. I didn’t think the lap times could be any faster in the heat of the afternoon.

There were several other series racing with the vintage cars during the weekend. The SCCA Trans-Am series was there, along with the Pro Spec Miata series. It was fun to have a close look at the cars and to watch them on track. The Trans_am cars can really haul the mail!

The 1800 suffered down the long straights and I was able to only qualify in 10th with a lap of 2:01.5. Luigi, on the other hand, loved hooking-up coming out of the corners and flying down the long straights. He qualified on pole with a 1:43.8, 2.5 seconds faster than the 911 of Tom Clark.

The feature races on Saturday were in the morning when it was a bit cooler. I managed to finish 12th in the 1800 after a race-long battle with Allen Goode in his TR4.

At the drop of the green flag Luigi surged away from the field and never looked back. I ran the entire race with out any issues and finished almost 20 seconds ahead of 2nd place.

An all BMW podium. Bill Glavin in 2nd, and Kevin Ruble in 3rd.

It was very special to stand on the top step at Indy and get to drink the milk and kiss the bricks.

Sunday morning I ran the 1800 in the 1 Hour Vintage Enduro. It was wet and already pretty hot when the race started at 8:00 AM. I only ran about half the race as I had 2 more races to run later in the day. It was fun racing on a wet track with some big-bore cars. I could have fun with them in the turns, but then they would leave me in the dust on the long straights.

The 2 feature races on Sunday went well. I had back-to-back races, with the 1800 out first. As with the Enduro I only ran a few laps before coming in and cooling down before jumping into Luigi.

Couldn’t do it without Mary’s support. Thank You!

Luigi’s Feature race went just like it did on Saturday. I surged ahead at the green flag and never was challenged.

2 wins at Indy for the old guy- Luigi not me. After 40 years he still knows how to get the job done!

These are the guys that make it happen- Erik, Terry, and Jim (L to R).

Here’s the link to the video from the weekend:

Brickyard Invitational 2017- Groups 3 & 12A Highlights

2016 Season Recap- Part 4- The Hot Summer Months

A box among the Bats. My newly refurbished 1800 Ti got its first track test at the Northwest Historic in Seattle.

The mid part of our season consisted of races in Seattle and Portland, both events close to home.

The Northwest Historic put on by SOVREN are always a fun event. This year was no exception.

This weekend was especially fun in that I was able to track test my recently refurbished 1800 Ti. Terry Forland from Racecraft did a superb job of creating an homage to  proper mid-1960’s touring car. Here’s the short video I made of that test:

I had my trusty Koepchen 2002 at this event. The racing was very tight all weekend. I was in a large group of mixed production cars, sedans, and older sports racers. The grid of the race was mixed up because there was a rain shower for qualifying and some of the faster cars chose to start at the back of the field. Take a look at the video from the event:

The Portland Vintage Festival was the weekend following Seattle. I raced the 1800 Ti and my Chevron at this event.

The Chevron and I were still coming to terms. I was getting a much better feel for the car, but still needed to work on downshifts. I had a fun race with a Lola in the feature:

The race debut for the 1800 went really well. It ran flawlessly all weekend. I learned quite a bit about its idiosyncrasies and had a fun race with Steve Smith in his potent VW:

Redoing the 1800Ti- Part 2

All the metal work has been completed on the shell and it has been powder coated on the interior, the engine bay, the trunk area, inside the doors and fenders.IMG_3787

The powder coating is more durable than regular paint. It is also easier to clean and doesn’t need waxing.

After this Terry will be hanging the doors and fenders on the shell and it will go off to the painter.IMG_3786

Redoing the 1800Ti

In preparation for the big race weekend this August in Monterey we are redoing the 1800Ti into a period correct vintage racer like this famous car:

BMW 1800 wins the 24-hours race at Spa Francorchamps 1966.
BMW 2000Ti wins the 24-hours race at Spa Francorchamps 1966.

We have a lot of work to do to my car to make it look and act like this one. My car was originally built to run in the Carrera Pan-Americana but due to a falling out between the owner and BMW NA it never ran in that race.

It was heavily modified, and we modified it further to make it a better track race car. It had custom rear trailing arms, no dashboard, door frames cut out, exhaust tunnel inside the passenger compartment- just to name a few.

Once the shell was striped, Terry began the necessary metal work.
Once the shell was striped, Terry began the necessary metal work.

The first step was to completely strip the shell, media blast it, and begin fixing all the rust, bent panels, and other necessary metal work.

A new rear seat pedestal and back brace were fabricated so we can put the back seat back in the car.
A new rear seat pedestal and back brace were fabricated so we can put the back seat back in the car.

One big issue was fabricating a new  pedestal and rear brace for the back seat. Those bits had been cut completely out of the car to reduce weight.

The bottoms of all the doors required new panels due to rust issues.
The bottoms of all the doors required new panels due to rust issues.

All four doors required new lower patch panels due to rust issues.

While all this metal work was going on the suspension, fuel, electrical, and other parts were being refreshed and repainted. Here they all are waiting to go back on the car.

All the bits refreshed and repainted, ready to go back on the car.
All the bits refreshed and repainted, ready to go back on the car.

There is still a lot of work to do on the car, but progress is being made. Thanks to Terry Forland and Travis Koch at Racecraft for all their hard work.

Check back in a few weeks for the next update.