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T O P I C    R E V I E W
arrocuda Posted - 04 May 2010 : 11:12:06
As I said earlier I'd post a thread with some pics I have taken of my Rapier Fastback custom build. Unfortunately I didn't take any pics before I started, but to give you an idea, I bought the car on the 'bay' for 280. The guy I bought it off had started to restore it but because of work commitments hadn't found the time to continue and like so many of these projects had decided to sell the car on.

So... all the usual problems to rectify, mostly involving Iron Oxide in undesireable places, I started remedial work. Once I'd completed I had the 'idea' and decided that if I was going to do it then now was the time whilst I had a good sound body to work with but hadn't wasted the time or expense of doing the final paintwork and finishing jobs. Purists... please be warned that the images you are about to see might cause some distress.

Anyway.... for those who have never seen or can't remember what a '67 Plymouth Barracuda looks like... here's a pic.

As you can see the rear section of the car is much more extended than the Rapier's, giving the car a gentle slope down to the rear panel. I considered trying to reproduce this but after spending a few hours with my 'Gimp' program (photoshop if your using windows), decided to just modify the existing panel work as it wasn't as effective on a short wheelbase car as it is on its american cousin.

Anyway.... phase one.... remodel the rear wings and plate over the rear quarter windows to reproduce the basic look of the '67. Here... are the pics.

Apologies for the 'shonky' phone pics but still not got around to buying a proper digital camera. At the time I took them the lock up was absolutely chokka cos I'd lost some storage space I was using for parts for my other cars. Things have freed up a little now as I had a massive ebay sale... even sold a couple of cars in the end. Also, I couldn't move the car cos I had removed the front struts for new springs (Sierra lowering type)

Upside down in the pic, but they are 'progressive' so I'm hoping that they will improve the handling of the car. They fitted the keeps perfectly but despite only being 40mm lower than standard Sierra springs, they have dropped the rapier by about 80mm!! So..... future camber adjustments will most likely be required. Personally.... I love it and helps to give the car a similar stance to the '67 in the pic above. Whilst I had the struts out I painted them and replaced everything with new parts but didn't take a pic, but is something that I'm sure most of you will have seen before. Is just nice to know that I won't have to do any work on the suspension or brakes for a while as it's all been replaced with new components.

Once the struts were replaced I could roll the car out for a better shot. Lost the other pics I took at the time but it gives you an idea of the overall side view.

I gave the car a flash over of paint so I could see the imperfections for when I do the final finish and also to get a better idea of how the car will look completed, so I can make any necessary changes before it's too late.

You can see that the roofline is not as the '67 where it meets the 'C' panel so I decided to do this.....

Re-radiusing the rear windows helped to soften the roofline perfectly so I was really pleased with the effect. Here's some pics that demonstrate my point.

I am on with welding the new pillar panels in at the moment and then it's on to the final stage of refabricating the new boot lid. Here's a pic of the rear end on the car as it is at the moment. I have repositioned the spoiler off of the H120 lid I bought on the bay to give an idea how it would look when it has the filler piece welded underneath and the lid welded to the top. Purists can relax at this point... and breathe a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that the car wasn't an H120 and I'm really not that crazy I'd cut up a Holbay model!!

So there you have it.... comments good or bad are welcomed whilst I retire to my bunker to take cover! Back with more as the project develops!

Building the '2nd series' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
arrocuda Posted - 27 Jan 2017 : 15:10:14
Started the engine up just so as I could be sure that the camshaft replacement was all good before I move on to the ignition. Plan is to run the engine on carbs after every job is completed so if it refuses to run or runs poorly on the throttle bodies I know it is nothing to do with the previous mods.

The engine is certainly drawing a lot more air in and I might have to put a more powerful battery in as it certainly wasn't turning it over quite as lively as it was before the camshaft was swapped out. I primed the carbs with the pump trigger but not sure it's working very well as I had to turn it over for maybe 15 seconds before it burst into life. Runs reasonably well on the strombergs but had to do a fair amount of mixture adjustment to prevent it from stalling at low revs.

After getting the colortune out I had it running very well above 2000 revs but as the revs drop it does get lumpier so a faster idle is needed to keep it running, but I'm hopeful that the EFI system will resolve this problem. Sounds really good though. Enormous 'whoosh' sound as it draws the air through the pancake filters. So far so good.

Next move is to fit the ignition module and the solid state dizzy!

Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
arrocuda Posted - 09 Jan 2017 : 19:10:59
Been out of it since my last post with some kind of seasonal lurgy but feeling better yesterday, so I got back to it. E128 camshaft is installed and needed to finish the front end of the engine off by installing the reluctor wheel and a bracket on the timing chaie n cover to mount the crankshaft sensor.

So welded some lugs on to the inside of the ring so as to make it a closer fit to the pulley by building weld up in 4 places so as to quaterise the wheel. Then carefully ground them off with the disc so as to make the gap uniform all round the wheel. Once I was happy with the spacing I welded the lugs to the pulley.

A little black paint to cover the welds and then got on with making the sensor bracket. The toughest part was the positioning of the assembled bracket and sensor such that the bracket was welded to the cover in precisely the right location so as the sensor face would be set dead on the TDC position exactly the right distance (2mm) from the surface of the wheel. Ended up bending a piece of 2mm sheet around the trigger wheel and using the magnet inside the sensor to stand it up against the timing chain cover with the bracket attached and carefully marking the 'footprint'of it on the timing chain cover and welded it in position

A touch of red oxide primer but no 'recon engine' blue to finish it off with, but here it is with the sensor fitted.

Next move is to attempt to run it as it is with the strommies. Will need to enrich the mixture I'm thinking but be interesting to see how it responds. Just ordered the ignition module that will allow me to connect the solid state dizzy to the ecu. The system will also run stand alone without the ecu by using the vacuum advance mechanism so is no reason as to why I can't run it at least until I have to replace the inlet manifold.

Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
arrocuda Posted - 30 Dec 2016 : 14:30:43
Having decided to stay with the original lump I made a start on upgrading the block with the goodies some of which I've had for a while, some I've recently bought in.

Phase one is to install the E128 camshaft and weld the reluctor wheel to the crank pulley whilst it's all dismantled along wih a bracket to mount the crank position sensor on the timing chain cover. Replace the dizzy with a 'Hall effect' equivalent and install an ignition amplifier.

Phase two is all about fueling. I've got the four Gsxr throttle bodies and the alumimium plate to be taken to a pal of mine who has a laser cutting machine to cut the required holes. Then I need to bolt it to my H120 inlet manifold that in turn will be bolted to the cylinder head as normal. I've already got an electric fuel pump so that will need installing and maybe a swirl pot, not sure about that as I might get away with teeing the overflow back to the fuel line without returning the fuel to the tank. Either way there are no baffles in the fuel tank so will have to do one or the other.

I've got the Micro-squirt ecu and loom. Just need to install it along with a couple of sensors and it should be ready to go.

So plenty to be on with..... right now I've just installed the camshaft with the engine in situ. Removed the mounting bolts and raised it just enough to sneak the standard one out, (and the 'hot' one back in), through the aperture after removing the radiator and grille.

Now it's time to get the MIG out again, weld the trigger wheel to the pulley and make a bracket for the crank sensor.


Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
arrocuda Posted - 31 Aug 2016 : 14:34:38
Been burning the midnight oil this past few months and starting to reap the rewards.....


Half way thru' the painting. Roller job to get some depth on for now, but will have it sprayed when I've completed phase 2.


Looks cool in black though.


Boot lid almost complete. The job had stopped at this point as I couldn't make my mind as to whether to weld steel in and go all black or have a piece of aluminium sheet cut to size and mounted in the recess behind the reversing lights. Decided to go for the ally strip and if I don't like it I'll paint it black. Arrived this morning so will be getting back to it at the weekend.


Brightwork back on the front and I've also sorted out the door window seals that Glen kindly sourced for us some time ago. Very fiddly and took longer than I expected, but they look the dogs 80ll0cks now they're on.

Mechanically the car is done for now and should be taking it for a ticket before the end of September. Just in time for the end of the summer Will be making its debut at the Goth's and Rodder's show in a couple of months. Should fit in nicely with all the hearses and creepy stuff that tends to turn up at this event.

Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
arrocuda Posted - 29 Oct 2015 : 11:27:28
Not been on here much of late cos I've been spending more time on the project car and I'm happy to report that progress, albeit slow, has resumed.

Boot lid as it is at the moment..... (tail light stuck in the hole for effect purposes only)

I'm planning to bring it back to the house for finishing. Needs a lot of sanding and filler primer before painting.

Front end with some quarter bumpers I cut down from a bent one I had in the back. Need a little more trimming off of them I think, but it gives the general idea of where I'm heading.

Was planning to remove the nudge bars as I've never seen quarter bumpers with them on, but TBH I'm beginning to think they look better left on.

Managed to find some box section steel down at the local stockholders that is just the perfect size for fabricating the gutters from, so hopefully more pics soon.


Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
arrocuda Posted - 12 Jul 2013 : 17:37:32
Originally posted by andyb

ready for rapier '13 ?

As if!!

There is still work to do on the rear of the car, but after nearly pranging it inside the garage that time, I decided that fitting the seats has to be a priority. At least the driver's seat. My problem is that I don't have space all around it to be able to work on it without moving it. I can push it if it's a simple move but if I want to get it out for example, I have to reverse 6 or 7 times so as to get the back end over far enough to clear the door. Sometimes I have to lift the diff and skid the back end on a trolley jack.

All being well I'll have all the bodywork and running gear done by the end of the year but there's still the engine to build. That will need a custom exhaust making up and also... I'm still not happy with the windscreen. Right now I'm waiting for Glen to get back to me regarding Hunter windscreen dimensions, but even if it's narrower it would be a lot of work to fit it. I might just paint the car black as that would improve the look by disguising the rubber seal therefore making the window appear smaller. In fact the more I'm thinking about it.... that's what I'm gonna do.

That's probably saved me another year!! Then I was thinking that maybe quarter bumpers on the front would improve the look by exposing the vent underneath the bumper. I might put that to the vote on here cos I've got a rusty spare bumper I could cut up to try it with. If I decide to go with it I'll have to have them chromed. So still a fair way to go.

Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
andyb Posted - 12 Jul 2013 : 16:39:13
ready for rapier '13 ?

I have tried to do little but often in the last 2 months and am now enjoying working on mine seems there is always something I am waiting for !

keep it up will be unusual when its finished

sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand
arrocuda Posted - 12 Jul 2013 : 15:52:23
The time has come for a 'splurge' on the project car. Have done some minor stuff but nothing of any note for a while now. Whilst I was having the clearout I almost reversed the car through the back wall whilst perched on a tool box attempting to control it when my foot came off the clutch. Although I was unable to get my foot back on the clutch I managed to cut the ignition with one hand and yank on the handbrake with the other so.... possible disaster was averted.

Anyways... I decided that having bought the seats the next job was going to be to make some subframes. I had removed them so as I could do some remedial welding to the floor on the drivers side. The original seats were completely knackered, particularly the drivers side so I threw them in the scrap skip. Bearing in mind that original Alpine tombstone seats are 'hens teeth' and not much more comfortable than the standard ones, I bought some modern tombstones so as I can use the car in summer as a daily in reasonable comfort.

I decided after taking the old ones out that there was no point in buying anything bigger than you would expect to find in a small hatchback, so taking them out of a Suzuki Swift seemed like a good idea but TBH you don't realise just how small the interiors of old cars are. Fortunately for me, the Swift seats are just a fit but they are on the limit.

I made up a mock frame using some timber batons I had lying around and found that for me to be able to sit in the seat with my legs under the wheel and able to work the pedals comfortably the seats were going to need to be as close to the floor as possible. By the time I got the seats into the ideal location there was sod all left of the subframe with just the one piece of timber about 20mm thick holding the rear seat mounts with the front mounting points on the floor. I'm not a big fella (about 5' 10"), but even with the seats almost on the floor there is only a couple of inches between my head and the rooflining.

Good news is that there isn't much fabricating to do and I've already cut the metal. Here's how they look resting on the timber 'frames'.

You can see from the pic just how big these seats look inside the car.
Welding set out next and I get to cross off another thing off the list of jobs to do.

Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
ianh120 Posted - 16 Nov 2011 : 23:21:46
sorry too here youve had a bad time but the car will wait look forward to seeing pics regards ian
arrocuda Posted - 15 Nov 2011 : 09:28:28
Hi guys...... apologies for delay in returning to the thread but not been a good year for me so far and have had more pressing problems to attend to.... so not a great deal of progress to report. Rather than explain I'll post some more pics shortly as the car has to come out of the lock up to move an XJ coupe over in order to create a little space.

Hopefully this weekend I'll have the car AND the camera out! Although the bootlid needs the aluminium strip securing and the surface metal finishing, it's more or less complete enough to imagine how it will look when it's painted.

Back with more soon.

Building the 'Mark II' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
sanchaaze1 Posted - 14 Feb 2011 : 18:56:02
hiya Tim any more pics and progress?

man with garage of a thousand mouse holes
arrocuda Posted - 11 Dec 2010 : 21:23:00
I saw that particular episode only last week. Was a tribute car to Boyd Coddington. Beautiful car I have to admit. A few were converted to RHD for sale here and one I saw on ebay made 11,000. Maybe one day!

Also.... is no plan to upstage anyone on here... there are too few Rootes enthusiasts (particularly f/b Rapier fans) as it is! Also.... there is another twist to the plan that I haven't got around to disclosing yet.

Building the '2nd series' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').
UMU Posted - 11 Dec 2010 : 16:08:36
Hey, i was just trawling through the net and came across this site. I watched this car being redone on Custom My ride a while ago - I love it and think you will too.


the link -

UMU Posted - 07 Dec 2010 : 20:39:03
Keep up the good work buddy!!
It really is a very interesting project - just try not to outdo mine hey!!

arrocuda Posted - 06 Dec 2010 : 13:30:13
Thanks UMU.... things are happening but is slow going overall..... just grabbing a couple of hours occasionally when I can, but more pics are imminent and hopefully will demonstrate the bodywork mods complete... if unpainted. Paint will have to wait till spring time.

Building the '2nd series' fastback Rapier ('Arrocuda').

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