By the summer of 2000, the car was really starting to take shape.

The rear suspension was made from a design we "borrowed" from another team in our club.  Our old car had to be adjusted by prying back the axle, a stuffing shims under the bearings.  We knew it was something we had to change.  After looking at several of the small, chain driven cars that race at Bonneville and El Mirage, we thought we knew what we wanted.  The we saw Brant & Wright.  The design of their rear axle was far superior to anything else we had seen, so we adapted the idea for our car.

Time to install the engine.  We had our eyes out for a Suzuki - Hayabusa, (as long as we are doing everything else right, why not aim for the best motorcycle engine available), but for the time being, we were settling for something a little more modest.  We had a Yamaha 750 donated to us, and Mark had gotten it in reasonable shape.  In our old car, swapping the engine was a major job.  The old brackets had to be cut out, and new brackets welded in.  This car was going to be different.  We welded in universal brackets, then made adapters for each engine.  Well, that's the way it was supposed to work.  A year latter, we had to make a few changes, but that's getting ahead.  Above, Alan is tacking in the rear engine mounts.

And here's what the engine looked like bolted in.

What's this?  Getting rid of the hardtop, and changing to a convertible?  No, we found that by adding a butt pad, we were able to lower the driver about 1-1/2 inches, and decided to cut the cage down that much.  We knew if we didn't we'd always wonder how much faster we could have gone if only we taken that extra 1-1/2 inches out of the top.

We had installed and removed the body so many times that year, that it didn't seem very special.  Thus there weren't many pictures of it.  Here the body goes on again, (engine temporarily removed for some reason.).  And the new, shorter roll cage has been put on.

One of the many mile stones.  The car rolls on it's own for the first time, Approximately September 2000.

To see what happened next, visit: Late 2000 or to see what came before, go to: Early 2000.  You could also go back to the main page with the link below.

Back to Rice/Vigeant Car #9999 Update Page