The Jim Nicoll Dragster

               I have a customer that wanted to recreate an old dragster.  I told him I had permission
          to recreate the Jim Nicoll Dragster that has been seen on TV since 1970.  This car
          was on a run for the final round at Indianapolis Raceways 16 Annual National Championship drags.
          Jim was racing against Don Prudhomme for the final round  at the traps they were neck and neck, then
          suddenly Jim's  clutch let go and cut the car in half, sending the front half with the engine intact spinning
          in the front of Prudhomme.  The chutes had opened and the roll cage with Jim inside went over the
          right  side guard rail and stopped rolling in the soft grass.  Prudhomme wanted to quit racing, thinking
          that his friend was dead, but Jim was only shaken up and had a swollen ankle.

               Fast forward to 2010,  A man comes into my shop and says he has the cage that came off the Nicoll
          car  in the 1970 crash.  He brought it over and I purchased it. It has hung in the rafters of my shop
          waiting  for just the right person to come in and want to recreate this car. Well, that has happened and
          the tubing and several parts are on order. As progress is made, updated photo will be posted.

"Click On Images For A Larger View"

     I put some more time in on the Nicoll car in the last few days.  I think the last shots I put out was just the rear end housing and line up bar on my shorty jig.  The shoulder and butt hoops are bent and fit to the rear upright  the roll bar is fit and all is near the old angles and spacing . The cage is wider and taller than the old cage so we can fit the owner and Jim in (we're not 26 any more). On the old cage the shoulder hoop runs at an upward angle away from the butt hoop . This line would run through the cowl so I had to bend the top hoop legs down the intersect the rear end upright and continue on to the fire wall.  This all looks funny, but the original car had been modified several times from the old Byron Blair construction .  

  Next I will put the block on the bar and center the rear housing and set the tubes up to go past the firewall.


   It's been a long time since I posted progress on the Nicoll car. Below is a quick
catch up on where the cars status.

  I moved the cage up on my long chassis table and added the front tubing along with uprights and diagonals. The next order was to build the seat and fit it into the cage. A look down into the office shows the brake lever, T Bar throttle pedal and steering wheel locations. We ordered a new Browell clutch can and attached to it is my drive shaft cover with a "safety Slider" decoupler installed in it.
  Next on to the body lots of detail shots not shown here, but the cowl is finished and all flush offsets are rolled. Then on to the nose bent from .040 aluminum in two pieces. After some moving around and clamping in place the nose cone was needed. It is hand formed from same metal as the body from two pieces. lots of hammering, shrinking, hammering and wheeling to fit it to the nose top. this Sunday I went and propped the nose up and bolted the steering rods back on ,then marked the slots and cut them out.
More later

Heads on block so Zoomie headers can be mocked up and tack welded .

Chassis is all painted gloss black.

 I put the chassis on stands and snapped the body on so Jim Nicoll could come over and get his first look at the recreation.

Left to right Scott Nicoll, My self Don Ross and Jim Nicoll ,Superman him self.

Jim and I discuss the oil filter adapter that I still need to finish machining. Also I asked him what finish was on the clutch can and several other parts. lots more aluminum to be polished.

Finally the moment of truth, Jim gets his first fitting in the seat. He is all smiles and said he saw nothing that was a major problem on the look of the car. I will have a five inch pad made for Jim as the owner is about a foot taller than Jim and the car has to fit him also.

This is a candid shot of me my daughter took that day . I was glad to see Jim but this shows my nerves were on edge waiting for a comment from Jim. The next hour was all smiles