April 12, 2001-It's tax time in the United States and there is great deal of last minute calculating going down. At Ken's Kustom Chassis shop in Pennsylvania, the calculations have to do with the tabs and gussets on Christian Rado's tube-frame Celica. We showed you the 2ZZ building blocks slated to be crafted into an alcohol-burning monster by the Special Projects Division of TRD in last month's issue. Here, we offer a quick, X-File-style look at how the chassis and body are progressing.
The chassis is constructed of 4130 chrome-moly and features a number of "exotic" alloys in the suspension department. Rado told us, "the use of these exotic metals is key in keeping the car really strong and really light." Chassis builder Ken Kissinger told us the spindles are made from a "recently released for public consumption material from the aerospace industry." He said his son Kerry, who is handling the machine work, invested 40 hours in the creation of one spindle. Ken also added that the plans call for axles to be made from this material. The engine will be laid over 55 degrees and the Toyota will run a four-link front suspension with CART-inspired cantilever shocks from Penske Racing. The team plans to add titanium wheelie bars and push the limits of front drive traction in hopes of seeing 1.20-second 60-foot times.
As this issue streams through the presses, the chassis should have the suspension, steering and driveline systems in place and at least some of the carbon fiber body panels should be grafted onto the chassis. Once the TRD-built 2ZZ is delivered and installed, it's shakedown time. Stay tuned.