In 2007 there were a number of postings by Luke Chennell regarding a Jern Thunderbolt conversion he was working on. Some neat pics as well. Does anyone know the current status of this car? Would like to know if it is running. Looked like it was going to be a neat speedster.
Here is one on Dave Ruddero's Speedster
The car is still under construction at McPherson College. Our primary goal is to create restorers, not crank out finished cars... but we like to see progress too. Because we're in a teaching environment, sometimes things take a long time to get done... and that's the case with the speedster. Since I posted those pictures, we've made some progress on several fronts of the car. Here's what we've done in brief:
-Created an interior from scratch using beige leather, including snap-on door panels and a custom-contoured seat to match the body lines.
-Finished a custom steering column (all Model T parts), including linkage to make the dual NH setup work, as well as the Bosch DU4 magneto. That took a little time, trust me.
-Found a period-correct air-driven fuel tank, dash-mounted air pump and pressure gauge. Have restored all of those pieces and built a working fuel system for the car.
-Rebuilt a Ruckstell with original 12-tooth pinion, long-nose shifter and a bunch of other goodies. We had this Ruckstell under it, but unfortunately due to a combination of poor axles and bad hubs, we were having serious trouble mounting the Rocky Mountain brakes. I used a set of the longer axles and some good hubs, and we now have an easy-rolling Model T.
-Built side-shift linkages for the Ruckstell and parking brake/clutch lever. That took a while, too, trust me.
-Cast brackets to mount the exhaust to the side of the body. We made the patterns and cast these in our own foundry.
The goal right now is to get the car to a drivable condition before we start the paint process, etc. As I'm sure you know, you don't really know half the problems of a car like this until you get the car on the road. My hope is to get it running and driving well so that we don't have to make modifications to finish-painted items. I wish I had some pictures to show you, but unfortunately I'm an hour away from the car (and my computer with the pictures) right now. I'll try to get some up in the next couple of weeks or so.
One of the biggest challenges we've been facing right now is bending the exhaust. We've built a basic outlet for the car, but would like to make a pipe that follows down the contour of the body in a gradual bend. Of course, every exhaust shop can bend tubing, but their mandrels tend to put sharp, obvious bends in the pipe. We've tried filling a pipe with sand, heating and bending, but haven't had a tremendous amount of luck making anything look nice. If any forum members have ideas about how to make gentle bends in exhaust pipe, we'd love to hear it.
Taken in May at he time of the McPherson College CARS car show-2009. Thought I had some from June of this year but I guess not. J
Heres one going into a '26 Touring
Is anybody putting in the Chev crank and rods at the same time?
Wow! Glad I asked! Wonder how many conversions there might be out there including original or home made? This is a very interesting aspect of T speedsters and racers. Doesn't seem to be much published history though.
Mine (a Jern) is going onto a '26 Canadian engine that I acquired years ago. Not very far along but will share pics and info when I have something to show and particularly if I figure out how to make it run.
Boy oh boy! I really like the college speedster. The NH mixture control linkage is way cool.
That is a beautiful car.