The cars are done and sat in the Scion booth at the SEMA Show, but I’m just now recovered enough to sort through the thousands of photos I took of our MAXIMUM ATTACK Scion Tuner Challenge build. Considering that there’s a pretty fierce fan voting war going on between the contenders right now, I decided to quickly choose a few to share. The idea is to shed some light on our build so you have a better idea of what’s beneath the skin when you see it online, or better yet, in person at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week.
With that, here are 12 things you should know about the MAXIMUM ATTACK Speedhunters FR-S. If you like what you see, please vote for it here.
1. We worked tirelessly, the whole time. I barely snapped this picture before the hoist was moved into place to yank the engine out on the very first day of the build.
Seriously, the first thing we did was pull the engine. We had big plans for the engine bay and no time to waste.
2. We built the MAXIMUM ATTACK FR-S in my two-car garage, after work, with the help of only a few talented friends.
3. We customized everything, often using a welder instead of a wrench.
I’ve long been a fan of Chase Bays’ FR-S, so with a picture of their engine bay in hand I set out to weld up every single hole that wasn’t used for something. The Chase Bays FR-S’s bay is the cleanest I’ve seen, so I knew they were the guys to work with.
We also cut off some unused brackets behind the strut towers and fabricated these strengthening gussets using Light Racing dimple dies.
While the TIG was out we shaved the door handles, mirrors and gas door. Nobody seems to notice, and that’s the point. This car will look cleaner than any FR-S it’s parked next to, and you’ll have to think about it for a minute to realize why.
4. It’s a retro-inspired build, so we had to use era-specific parts. I paid a small fortune for these Nissan fender mirrors from Japan, but they were the perfect shape for the ZN6’s fenders.
Keeping with the vintage race theme, I weaseled my way into one of the best stashes of IndyCar parts in the United States. The guy that runs the place buys retired or wrecked cars and dismantles them to resell the parts. He told me I was one of only three people who had ever seen the inside of his non-descript warehouse.
So what did I score from the IndyCar parts man? A killer throttle pedal, footrest, dry break fuel filler and air jack probe – all of which can be seen on the finished car.
I insisted on louvering the hood from the start of this project, and fortunately designer Andy Blackmore found a way to fit it into our tightly-developed theme. Standing in a wooden shack with a hot cup of coffee in hand, watching Chip Quinn of Hot Rod Central work his magic punching louvers, felt like a real time warp.A Period-Correct Livery & Custom Everything
5. Andy researched the correct TRD stripe colors through his resources at the Toyota Motorsport Museum and Dan Gurney’s All American Racers. He not only produced the period-correct Pantone numbers, but also learned that these graphics were applied to the race cars using vinyl instead of paint. We changed our plan just in time and painted a bright white base so the TRD stripes could be applied exactly like the IMSA racecars of the ’70s.
6. The front splitter is inspired by vintage racers of the ’60s and ’70s, and was made from an AeroJacket donor part. Once we were finished there were only two small sections of the original splitter, plus some KM4SH fender bits molded in so everything would flow.
7. It’s not another Rocket Bunny, but rather our own exclusive KM4SH wide body kit – the third of its kind in the world and the only one at the SEMA Show this year. Not only did the overfenders fit our theme perfectly, but we also knew the competition couldn’t get their hands on a set!
8. Unnecessary things were removed, like the AIRBAG markings on many of the interior panels.
The seatbelt openings on the B-pillars were filled in before we sent a whole crate of parts to EIS Fibercoating to be flocked.
But the detail I love the most – and the thing nobody will even notice – is that we extended the door panels out to the exterior trim on the door.
We took out the windows, so in my mind there’s no reason for a glass opening to remain.Bespoke Parts From Our Partners
9. Our partners made tons of custom parts for the build. Raceseng let us cherry-pick their catalog and then sent everything out to be anodized to our specifications.
They did a lot more than just change the colors though. You’re looking at the first FR-S AC-delete in this picture, with an awesome Raceseng/Speedhunters collaboration logo.
Owner, designer and machinist Jarett Seng didn’t miss an opportunity on the face of the pulley either. This is one of many little ‘SH’ easter eggs you’ll find around the car.
10. We used new fasteners even where they would be hidden. Rather than reusing the stock hardware, stainless steel button heads were ordered by the box.
An engine bay bolt kit from DownStar finished things off.
11. We have a lots of industry ‘firsts’ on the car, like the first aluminum filler neck from CSF Race.
We’ve also got the first Cosworth 4U-GSE/FA20 supercharger, which required me to sign an NDA to even open up the conversation. You can see the rapid prototype supercharger they mailed from the UK in the latest Scion Racing video.
The Cosworth Stage 2.0 Power Package includes twin intercoolers that reside inside the intake manifold. Trick, right?
Cobra made us a seat according to Andy Blackmore’s sketches, with the TRD stripes, SH logo and of course a corduroy seat cushion.
Raceseng machined the red Delrin shift knob and e-brake handle, while JPM Coachworks deleted our door speakers with one-off leather knee pads.
JPM also supplied a leather instrument cluster hood to break up the flocking on the dash. Notice the shaved vents and speakers here too.
The final customized parts were a set of custom machined Rotiform BLQ wheels, with blocked-off front spokes to emulate the turbo fans found on vintage IMSA racecars. We specced them in matte gold with a brushed step lip to make the faces as small as possible for a 17-inch wheel. A larger wheel would have killed the old school vibe.
12. The rear diffuser was sketched by Andy, then I mocked it up in cardboard and modeled it in Solidworks. A good friend who owns a sheetmetal shop cut and bent it, and also used brass aircraft rivets (which match the gold on the wheels) to attach the fins. Notice the engraved MAXIMUMATTACK logo?
There’s an SH on each fin too.
I’ll be reunited with the MAXIMUM ATTACK Speedhunters FR-S in just a few days to find out who won the Scion Tuner Challenge. With your help I think we can win it! Follow this link to vote for our entry, and make sure you keep your ears open when the winner is announced this Wednesday at the 2014 SEMA Show!