Tune and Tech Naas Spitfire
Its one of the few cool evenings in Las Vegas in July, and our indomitable Brian Naas decides to take his Spitfire on a little joyride. It’s nice out, the car is running great and Brian has an idea, a bad idea. A very bad idea. How about a little impromptu parking lot autocrossing? Brian smiling, tires howling, he’s throwing the car around like Fangio. He was having a great time, until he wasn’t.
There’s an odd thing about 40+ year old rubber bushings on a car. They get hard and brittle, and sometimes break. When the swaybar/A-Arm link let go mid corner, the sway bar stopped doing its job, and instantly, a lot of undesirable forces went to work on a driver side front tire already at the limit of adhesion, and the car started to slide. Right into and up and over a planter curb. As the car slid up over the curb, the frame bottomed out and the driver side of the frame was “gutted”, ripping off the sway bar mount, tearing a hole in the car’s frame and bending up the steering rack.
Fast forward a few months, and I finally am physically able to do some work, and we have an open weekend in the shop for a tune and tech session. In addition to repairing the frame damage and fabricating a new sway bar bracket, we ended up doing a complete suspension re-build inclusive of new springs, steering rack, shocks and bushings. Brian brought the car over and we were joined by Bill Wellbaum, Jim Oswald, Jim Hughes and Mitch Vamos. We put in a full day on Saturday, and Mitch, Brian and I were able to button up the remaining repairs on Sunday.
Brian is pleased to note that the car rides and handles better than ever, and we are all happy to see him enjoying the car again. Thanks to all who assisted.