Now that we had all of the components assembled it was time to see if this crazy idea would work. The first steps in the mock-up phase were to start the process of engine placement and initial body fitting.
Considerable effort went into the seemingly simple task of determining engine placement…too low and we wouldn’t have sufficient clearance…too high and there isn’t sufficient hood clearance…too far back and it encroaches into the cockpit space, etc., etc…This critical process was the first step in establishing proof of concept for what we were trying to accomplish. The next step was to start the trial fitting of firewall and tunnel structure from the donor car. Critical interior pieces such as the dash, console, and seats were placed to insure that cockpit dimensions would be correct. Front fenders were hung to verify engine location and establish the basic requirements and location for the radiator core support and inner engine compartment fenders.
Once the basic dimensions were verified, the trimming and fitting began to integrate the new and old together into one. The end result was a “tub” that was made from the 67 windshield pillar supports and frame, the outer rockers, and rear quarter supports connected together via the ’06 firewall, tunnel and a fabricated floor section. The tub was designed to be the central core of the car and designed to bolt directly to the chassis to form the equivalent of the original 1967 uni-body structure only much more rigid and stronger. Once the initial tub fabrication was completed we loaded it up and off it went to the media blaster to clean it up so that we had a nice consistent base to work from.
With a clean base to work from we could now start the engineering and final build of the project.