Anyone familiar with our operational model at WEVO is familiar with how valuable I believe our carefully chosen supply vendors are. TheseÂ companies we work with are instrumental in the ongoing development of the WEVO brand and the high quality associated with the products in the WEVO range.
Those same vendors are part of our custom car building process and it’s their capacity to make short runs of parts and R&D style experiementsÂ that has always been the foundation of our product development.
Lola, the Peking to Paris 356 is a combination of carefully prepared original equipment and carefully designed an manufactured WEVO systems to complete the Marathon Rally specification of the car.
These companies are all commercial partners of Windrush – so we pay for their services, but IÂ should addÂ that we always enjoy specialÂ treatment andÂ value when we are involved in projects cars like the Peking to Paris 356. This isÂ in part due to the fact that these companies are run by gear heads just like me, but also they enjoy the challenge and opportunity to be involved in something special and be a part of the process and theÂ success.
In no particular order, a big thankyou to;
Performance Fabrication, San Carlos CA. For the manufacture of the 26 liter long range fuel tank that is nested under the original spare wheel (where the battery was originally located). Fabricated in Aluminum with a motorcycle style filler cap, this long range tank allowed us to achieve over 720km range on the highway.
Rustworks, San Carlos CA. For the water-jet cutting on various parts, tow hooks, fuel pump brackets, etc, etc. Plus hands-on assistance from Jeromy BriansÂ as my wing man at midnight one night when I was procrastinating about blasting a hole through the right rear fender to execute the incomplete tailpipe….
ARE, Brisbane, Australia. For the custom engine oil cooler unit nested into the engine decklid. We have worked with Richard and Val at ARE for the past 6 years on a variety of production, custom and experimental coolers. On each and every occasion their work has been superb quality, accurate to drawing and on-time. The absence of the doghouse cooler on this 356 motor put total reliance on the remote cooler. The remote filter and thermostat also played a part in keeping the engine oil clean and a fast warm-up on the sub zero mornings in Mongolia. On the steepest climb, mid 20′s (Â°C) ambient and over 2200m altitude, the oil temp barely made it to the middle of the gauge. This decklid cooler installation has all the hallmarks of a forthcoming WEVO 356 product – with over 16,000km testing already completed! You had better make a fixture Richard….
Edwards Machining and Manufacturing, Longmont CO. Doug Edwards is one of our long suffering and most prolific suppliers. For Lola, Doug churned out the prototype fuel pre-filter housings, fuel delivery block, front upper damper mounts, damper tops for the custom Ohlins dampers, etc, etc. All short runs and all perfect to drawing, then perfect in functionality on the rally.
Quiet Horsepower,Â Newark CA. Pete Weber came to our rescue after a very nicely manufactured system delivered from the East Coast failed to meet our requirements and had to be discarded. We ran my Bursch 912 exhaust on LolaÂ while we coordinated for Pete to have the car for a short period and for him toÂ fabricateÂ a custom system with the muffler mountedÂ in the right rear fender. Pressed for time, Pete had to give back the car without completing the tailpipe. Hence -Â thanksÂ to Jeromy Brians (above) for helping me to finish that necessity. Ultimately inÂ complete contrast toÂ my doubts about the configuration and durability of Pete’sÂ system, it gave zero issues and allowed Lola to ford the deepest water we encountered without concern. Never have I been so happy to be wrong aboutÂ a componentÂ and once we made it through the very rough first 7 days of the event, it barely crossed my mind again. Thanks to Pete for knocking out a functional system in short order and working a Sunday too. The “through the fender” tailpipe drew lot’s of compliments and with my passenger window down, the crackle of the tailpipe against canyon walls and freeway armco is a sound that will forever remind me of the Peking to Paris 356.
Maxsport CompetitionÂ tyres, Rhayader, Wales UK. Purely a phone and fax relationship with Maxsport Competition Tyres. Their RB3D2 tire being one of the only choices I could find in the 175/70-15 size we needed for the 356. A larger diameter tire would have helped our ground clearance, but a larger diameter tire was going to prevent us from having the two tires under the hood – the two RB3D2Â tires barely fit with the top one deflated!Â Maxsports could not validate the longevity of the tires, the most extreme test previous had been on a Classic SAAB managing just 5000km on a set. We bought the last remaining 12 tyres in existence and distributed them across Asia hoping we would rendezvous with the tires before we needed them.
Ironically we logged over 6000km on the first set on the way to Almaty and these were only about 25% worn. We had no punctures and although the front tires both had significant bruises and sidewall scars from rocks, they were still completely serviceable. We changed to our 4 spare tires in Alamaty and those tires took us to Paris and beyond, another 10,000km without being more than about 40% worn.
Maxsport Competition tyres are racing re-tread tires, so if you ever had a doubt about the durability of a re-tread tire, I can assure you that MaxsportÂ company knows how to make a competition tire. The tires were potentially one of the most troublesome pieces of equipment on the event and thanks to Maxsport Competition Tyres, anotherÂ one of our zero issue decisions.
Harvey Weidman, Oroville CA. Faced with the knowledge that steel wheels can be repaired just about anywhere with the simplest of tools, we had to choose between 4.5 x 15″ wheels and 5.5 x15″ steel wheels. The 4.5′s took it with a weight advantage that tallied 21lbs over the 6 wheels we would be carrying. We then rounded up seven 4.5″ wheels, all in the thicker gauge early 911 configuration and sent them to Harvey for his blessing. Harvey restored all the wheels to correct roundness and run-out, then blitzed them with a light spray can silver to ward off rust.Â We dented the Right rear somewhere in Mongolia, probably as we ran without dampers for several hundred kilometers. Even the dented wheel was working fine, we eventually cycled that wheel out of service when we swapped tires in Almaty. Other cars had split wheels, cracked wheels, broken spokes, shattered hubs…..our 40 something year old Porsche wheels were fine with our modest size tires.
Dan Acker Leatherworks, San Francisco CA. First time working with Dan after countless recommendations from others. We chose a late 70′s Recaro seats, then treated them to new leather with black Mohair velour inserts. Dan refurbished the cushions and Pirelli webbing to make the seats safe and comfortable. Our office chairs for over 300 hours, the seats were marvelous. The Mohair acted as velcro and only once was I dislodged clear from my seat and hanging in the belts when we nose-dived onto a huge rock in Mongolia.
Thanks once again to you all for your contribution to our Peking to Paris experience.