View Full Version : Tips on Building an Oddball

07-14-2003, 09:46 PM
This forum has been dead of late. Ok, after having finished my oddball ITS car this winter, making it through school and 1 race weekend, I've got the following I'd like to share. Anyone wants to add on, fire away. Would love to hear them.

1. Don't build it. Unless you love it. Because you are GOING to hate it.

2. If the car is a sports car, or "sporty" model, someone, somewhere, raced it. Find them. They will at least give you a start on spring rates, parts suppliers, etc.

3. Spend hours and hours and hours on the internet looking for speciality parts suppliers, shops, etc. I guarantee you almost all of the IT oddballs were raced at one time (if not in IT) and there IS race knowledge and even parts out there for them.

4. Use the race shop for race shop stuff you can't do (i.e. corner weighting, cage construction if you can't weld, etc), not the marque shop. Yeah, the guy can set up a Spica fuel injection for your Alfa, but can he build a cage?

5. But use the "marque" shop for mechanical stuff you can't/won't do. Yeah, the guy builds good cages, but can he really set up your Spica fuel injection on your Alfa?

6. Ebay! Ebay! Ebay! You'll find lots of used spares this way. Consider it your junkyard, for the IT oddball.

Anything else?

07-14-2003, 10:25 PM
1)Hoard parts.. any parts especially little things like windscreens, headlight trim, distributor hond-down thingies.

2) Whatever breaks in the first year, buy 8.

3) Plan your performance attack.. (e.g. don't spend any time looking for a quaife for a Fiat 124/TR-8/Fire Arrow.. weld the rear end and move on)

4) Never ever ever EVER try to figure out the stock wiring. Just run a new one along side of it.

5) If you are creative, you can find parts X-referrence. (i.e. 510 rear end = Subaru front, Fiat pads= rear RX7 pads)

6) 2nd item number 2 on Jeff's list.

7) If someone races that car in Production, GSII, NASA, or SWC.. Go look all over that car. Look for things like the way they locate the rear (if solid axle), do they move the front control arms... Should give oyu some clues about where the car is speed limited. I promise.. No-one changes control arm pick-up points because the stock roll centers are spot-on.

8) Ask the board

9) Read, re-read, and digest the GCR and ITCS BEFORE starting.

07-14-2003, 10:28 PM
Well, this goes for non oddballs as well, but is truer for oddballs....plan on success coming more slowly, and development taking more time and effort than you'd imagine at first consideration. Of course, theres a lot of fun along the way, but it does take time.

Secondly, listen to your gut....if a part looks like it's poorly engineered, even though it's from a big supplier, get a second opinion...you have the final say, and when it rips out from underneath you, you'll wish you listened to yourself!

Jake Gulick
CarriageHouse Motorsports
ITA 57 RX-7
New England Region
[email protected]

07-15-2003, 11:55 AM
Make sure your fully developed odd ball will stay in it's original class.

John Herman
07-15-2003, 05:46 PM
If you develop an ITS oddball, there is nowhere for it to go. http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif When developing the one-off, realize that more fabrication will be needed. Develop a good relationship with a machinist, and a welder. Expect for it to cost more for those parts than buying them from a catalog. Learn what OEM parts work best before fabbing the expensive parts. Realize you may have unique problems to overcome. Talk to others who have other oddballs and learn from them. Understand that the driver will need as much development as the car. Be ABSOLUTELY truthful about your own driving skills before pinning the non-competitiveness on the car. Understand you will be swimming upstream when the crowd is going downstream. Do not listen to those who say you are wasting your time and money. Enjoy the development process for what it is, a fantastic learning tool and a chance to be different. http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/biggrin.gif

07-15-2003, 07:28 PM
John, Tony, Jake, here here. All good thoughts.

John, you hit the nail on the head with the last bit there. Am I slow? Yes. Is it mostly driver? Yes. But does the only V8 in IT sound AWESOME as the 13Bs and 2.5 liter straight sixes fly by? Yes. When building an oddball you learn so much more I think about simple race car theory stuff that a guy who is building an RX7 can just buy off the shelf.

And the great thing is is that in IT, you will always have someone to race with, even in the back. So the learning process is fun.

07-15-2003, 08:21 PM
This is a good strand... Thanks, guys.


07-15-2003, 08:49 PM
Jeff has a great attitude! Even driving an underdog will put you in the same position as the oddball. Just gotta try harder, and work longer, but in the end, hopefully the result is a better understanding of the process, and enjoyment of the journey.

In either case the satisfaction derived from moving through the field as the car and the driver develop is significant. Which it has to be, as legitimate trophies (as opposed to trophies garnered with thin 8 car fields) are few and far between, at best.

Jake Gulick
CarriageHouse Motorsports
ITA 57 RX-7
New England Region
[email protected]

07-15-2003, 09:12 PM
Kirk, you KNOW you don't want to build no stinking Civic...lol...FEEL the power of the Oddball.....

Kidding of course. Civic EX will be a blast.

You in Greensboro yet? If so, I'm in Raleigh. Let's hook up for a beer sometime.


07-16-2003, 07:06 AM
Find a highly skilled machinist with every possible fabriction and metal working tool you can imagine that understands your addiction (and will work cheap out of the goodness of his heart);

If it is a domestic, get on the locator and buy-out every possible OEM NOS part for it--GET ALL THE FACTORY PART NUMBERS;

If it is furrin', still GET ALL THE FACTORY PART NUMBERS in the US system and the country where it was built. Search for parts in that country via magazines and the net.

Learn the language, if non-English!


07-17-2003, 11:28 AM
FEEL the power of the Oddball.....

Great!! gotta love it!! Someone should get bumber stickers made!!

(in my best yoda voice)
Ready for the oddball you are not, young one.. much training you have yet..

[This message has been edited by eh_tony!!! (edited July 17, 2003).]

07-21-2003, 11:53 AM
I agree you will learn to hate it. I have been 2yrs building my oddball. I can't wait for it to hit the track for the same reason as you Jeff. 1.9l Opel in ITB...it don't sound like nothin else. Man this thing sounds mean.

07-21-2003, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by JeffYoung:
Kirk, you KNOW you don't want to build no stinking Civic...

Hey, the Civic WILL be an oddball. Okay - maybe not completely ODD but at least not typical.

I am in GB and have reason to be in Raliegh every couple of weeks. I'll let you know when I'm coming that way and we can get caught up...


07-21-2003, 09:39 PM
My project ITB car is an Opel Ascona 4-door. Now that's an oddball. Most of you have never even seen one, much less raced one.


07-22-2003, 08:45 AM
ALL RIGHT!!! another Opel...and an Ascona to boot, not a Manta or GT...you just had to be different http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

07-23-2003, 09:08 PM
My ITB car is a Volvo 240 (2-door -->242). Oddball as they are thought to be a horrible racing platform, just ask Bob Griffith. They seem to be the epidemy of the slow & heavy Volvo. But it was good enough to win the ETCC Group A championship in 1985, albeit with a turbocharged engine.

To race an oddball does take some time, effort and months of research. But in the end you have the satisfaction of building and developing your car. That in itself is worth the hours that I put into it. At least that is how I see it. I could've easily built another 142E, but that isn't a challenge. I want a car that no one else thinks is any good, and make a contender. The underdog oddball.

David Russell
'80 ITB Volvo 242 under construction
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by rsportvolvo (edited July 23, 2003).]

07-23-2003, 11:53 PM
The Opels are back! My ITB Manta is just waiting for me to finish it's new motor and it will be fully updated to 2003 GCR specs. A lot has changed since I built the car in 1987. Thank you comp. board for the comp. adjustments.

07-24-2003, 08:18 PM
Originally posted by cherokee:
ALL RIGHT!!! another Opel...and an Ascona to boot, not a Manta or GT...you just had to be different http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

Yes, the aerodynamics suck, but it has about 2% better front/rear bias than a Manta and much better visibility front and rear. Just showing up with ANY Opel is different, but I got the bodyshell for free, and I still have a ton of parts left over from my days selling Opel parts, so it makes sense for me to use it. Besides, we already have a Manta and GT here in New England running ITB, I figured I'd fill the void.


07-25-2003, 07:31 AM
I can not begin to tell you how cool it would be to see all 3 running at the same time...Was talking to a guy about a year ago that runs an HP Opel GT. He was thinking of selling his car then. I was thinking of looking him up and see if he still has his car and was still thinking of selling. HP does not appeal to me but pull the little motor and put in a 1.9 and go FP racing...that would be fun.

07-29-2003, 10:19 AM
This thread started to turn into an opel thread and I jsut stumbled across a GT for cheap money ($200) that is already gutted.
I'm sure these cars are pretty rare but they certainly are very fast so someone wout there might need one to build or for some spare parts.
The link is below.

http://www.racecar2000.com/cgi-bin/classif...query=retrieval (http://www.racecar2000.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi?search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=10055&query=retrieval)

PS I have no idea who this is and I can't answer any questions what you see is exactly what I've seen.


Prince Makaha
08-01-2003, 09:11 PM
Those Mantas sure look a lot like RX-2s from a distance.

09-03-2003, 02:48 PM
Well Jeff, at least your oddball looks like a sports car (especially when on dry land!). But mine has a nicer trunk.

-Scott Gallimore
-ITC #88 Pulsar