What is a Legends Car?
In April of 1992, a revolutionary new race car, the Legends Car, was unveiled at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. H.A. "Humpy” Wheeler, President and General Manager of CMS, and EIliott Forbes-Robinson, famed road racing champion, designed these 5/8-scale fiberglass full-fendered versions of the famed NASCAR modifieds driven by legendary drivers such as Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, Buck Baker, Speedy Thompson, and Banjo Matthews.
The idea was to create a fun, safe, and affordable "spec" class of racing for everyone. Competitors are not permitted to make any major changes to the original car. Add a strict set of rules including a $4,300 engine claim rule and a tough technical inspection, and you have a series that is fair for everyone involved. The cars feature a “new” Yamaha FJ 1200 motorcycle engine which produces approximately 125 horsepower. Horsepower is not a significant factor in the Legends Cars Series because the rules require the use of a 13 inch, 60 series BF Goodrich radial "Legends Edition" tire mounted on a 7-inch wide steel wheel. The tire is of a moderately hard compound and no alterations may be made to the tires.
In test runs on both 1/4-mile dirt and asphalt ovals, the drivers found that it is almost impossible to reach the 80% power band because of the limited tire traction. Eliminating the need for the final 20% of the power band prevents a driver from being able to "stand on the gas" in the corners, thus putting more challenge and fun back into driving. This is a great cost containment program since one could spend well over $10,000 on an engine for more horsepower which really would not make much of a difference in performance since the radial tires could not handle the extra power. The "spec" tires also last for many races (at least 30) thus keeping the cost of maintenance as much as 75% lower than late model stock cars, midgets, or sprint cars.
Legends Cars are sold only through 600 Racing, Inc and its authorized dealers. A full tubular roll cage sits atop the frame rails which are firmly braced. The cars utilize a recycled Toyota rear-end, front disc and rear drum brakes, rack and pinion steering, Carrera coil-over shock suspension on all four corners, a four-gallon fuel cell, AC Delco battery, Simpson five-point safety belts, factory manufactured racing seat, Moog Automotive suspension components, Wagner brakes, and Belden wire & cable. Both doors are operational for easy entrance and exit of the cars.
Wheelbase = 73"
Overall width = 60"
Overall length = 10' 6" (with bumpers)
Height = 46"
Weight = 1,080 to 1,200 pounds (maximum 52% left side and rear %)
Engine = stock Yamaha FJ 1200 (compression ratio < 10: 1)
Tires = spec 205/13R60 BF Goodrich TA Comp HR4 Legends Edition
Wheels = Steel; 7" wide; 13" diameter; 3"- 3 1/4" offset
What are the different fiberglass body styles offered?
1934 Ford Sedan1937
1937 Chevy Coupe 1937
1937 Dodge Coupe
1937 Ford Coupe
1940 Ford Sedan
What can I add to my Legends Car and what can I adjust?
The official Legends Cars rulebook is your guide as to what you can and cannot do with the car. It tells you exactly what you can add or change on the car, and if it is not stated, then it should be considered illegal. Some of the things that may be added include oil coolers, electric fans, duct work, tachometers, fire extinguishers, mirrors, and safety related items such as roll bar padding.
The only adjustments that may be made are front end camber, caster, and toe; tire pressures; spring rates and the weight distribution by setting the coil over suspension.
What is the maintenance program between the races for the Legends Cars?
Legends Cars require about three to four hours maintenance between races provided that there are no serious problems. The program includes cleaning the car, changing the oil, checking all fluids, cleaning the air filters, checking the tightness of all bolts, checking for broken or damaged parts, and setting up the car for the upcoming race. A recommended maintenance program and set-ups are all explained in the detailed "New Owner Packet" that every owner receives when they purchase their car.
What keeps Legends Cars racing affordable?
The strict rulebook and the enforcement of these rules has been the method that INEX, Corp. has used to keep the costs of the cars at a bare minimum. With all of the cars being manufactured by 600 Racing, Inc., all of the cars are exactly the same in terms of suspension point locations when the cars come out of the shop. A set of twenty technical inspection jigs have been developed to assure that the original locations are maintained on every car, The "hard" spec tire and narrow wheels do not allow a driver to utilize all of the power from the engine thus eliminating the need to spend more money for extra horsepower.
The only routine cost between races is for oil, oil filter, about five gallons of gas, and quarters for the car wash provided that there are no other problems such as bend bumpers or broken fenders. The fiberglass fenders are easily repaired with a simple fiberglass repair kit and the bumpers can be repaired with a large hammer or replaced for about $30. An average budget for the first year can range from $15,000 to $20,000 which includes the cost of the car, a trailer, driver's apparel (helmet, suit, shoes, etc.), a cooling system and routine maintenance.
How many cars are in competition today?
To date there are more than 1,900 cars in existence. There are car owners from forty states, ten foreign countries and the series is gaining momentum with every race. Legends Cars drivers come from all walks-of-life and range from 15 to 73 years of age. 600 Racing, Inc. recently purchased a 92,000 square foot manufacturing plant in North Carolina and plans are underway to build over 600 Legends Cars in 1997.
In Ireland we already have 5 cars racing this year and with a full National Championship planned for 2009 we expect there to be grids of 12 cars at the start of the season quickly increasing to twenty by mid season.
What makes Legends Cars visually appealing?
One of reasons for the success of the Legends Car is undoubtedly the car's appearance. These fiberglass-bodied cars are almost exact replicas of the 1934 and 1940 Fords and Chevys that founded the grassroots of racing as we know it, and remain extremely popular today. Every two inches of the original car bodies were measured and reduced by computers to insure authenticity. Unlike larger, full-size cars, the Legends Car has a "cute" appearance at first glance. But 120 horsepower of Yamaha FJ 1250 will quickly dispel any notions that this race car means anything but business. Additionally, 600 Racing, Inc. offers various colors of Legends Cars: white, black, red, yellow, and blue gel coat finishes are standard options on every car.
What are future plans for the Legends Cars?
The Legends Cars are here to stay! A full National Championship is planned for 2009, 10 rounds, with 3 races per race day and six race weekends.