A rolling chassis is a major step in the creation of a new car, but you can't race a roller. Last month we documented the construction of a unique Super Late Model chassis with a truck arm rear suspension by our friends at Hess Racing Products. But just like eating only half of a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, why stop when you've got a good thing going? So we hung around while body hanging specialist Jim Callard, owner of MetalMaster Custom Fabrication, and the Hess' crew hung the body and fabricated the interior tin.
Car owner Will Kimmel chose an ABC body kit from AR Bodies. The ABC formula is a template so that every make, even from different body manufacturers, will have similar aerodynamic characteristics to improve racing on the track. The Ford engine we're racing means we're using a nose and decals for a Ford Fusion, but AR Bodies also has an ABC-compliant Chevy Impala and Monte Carlo, a Dodge Charger and even a Toyota Camry. Because all the bodies from the different manufacturers have to race approximately the same, the real determining factor on which body you choose will be looks and ease of installation—as well as repair.
We were particularly impressed with how well thought-out the body kit from AR Bodies is. AR sells a wide variety of accessories to aid installation. While none are mandatory in order to install a quality race car body, they all save time and energy by eliminating a lot of fabrication and really do help the final product look better.
"I thought the whole process of working with the AR Late Model body went really well," Callard says. "Nothing in the body kit really gave me any trouble, and the seams and flange fit was right on the money. Hanging a body can be tough because if you are new to it, it's almost like you have to work from all four corners at once, but everything on this project went smoothly. It was easy."
Following, we've documented some of the high points as Callard hung the body and the crew from Hess Racing Products finished the interior, the radiator box and other detail work. We think there are plenty of great tips here that should be helpful whether you are hanging an entire body or simply making repairs to your existing shell.
A special thank you to MetalMaster Custom Fabrication (704-737-3367).
MetalMaster Custom Fabrication