Wednesday, 31 October 2007 10:00

Same Game, New Level with the Hardcore Knight Project

Written by Rich Evans
The clock on the Huntington Beach Bodyworks web site is counting down to SEMA. Did I bite off more than I can chew when committing to such a large project with a SEMA deadline?
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Auto manufacturers accept proposals from industry professionals to modify stock vehicles. If the idea is intriguing enough, they will provide the vehicle to the designer to do the project. So  the first step was to do some research and decide what car we wanted to work on. Ford’s new Mustang GT caught my eye. With photos of the car in hand, my team had a brainstorming session to determine modifications to be made.

Next I sat down with my artists and we began making rough sketches of the completed vehicle with the planned body modifications. After creating those sketches, we used them in Adobe Illustrator to create a digital line drawing of the completed project. Using that file, we were able to create a full-color rendering of the project.

With sketches and renderings completed, it was time to write up a formal proposal to present to the manufacturer – Ford. For a major manufacturer to sponsor a designer’s project, a formal proposal must be submitted outlining the planned modifications to the vehicle. In this case, we requested a 2007 Ford Mustang GT coupe with 300-hp 4.6L OHC 3V V8, Tremec 5-speed manual transmission, and sport bucket seats. Why not aim high?

Along with the outline of planned modifications to the vehicle, the proposal must include any other major manufacturers willing to participate. You may also want to lead with a pitch describing the project that you have envisioned to sell the idea to the manufacturer.

We’ve had a countdown on the Huntington Beach Bodyworks website to dramatize the fact that SEMA is just around the corner and I am racing to beat the clock. Progress reports can be found there as well. The team has been working non-stop and, with the steady progress we’ve made so far, it looks like once again we will meet our deadline.

The completed vehicle will feature Rich Evans custom wheels, painted fiberglass headliner, steering wheel, hood scoop, rear wing, rocker panels, and stainless steel grill. These will all be one-off pieces. We are also flaring out the rear fenders. There is a very long list of modifications that are being made. I will explain in greater detail how to fabricate original one-off parts by making a plug – a model of the part – in my next article.

To keep an eye on that clock, go to www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com. Will I make it? What do you think? See you at SEMA and NACE.

Rich Evans, owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks in Southern California, is an award winning painter and fabricator. Currently he is offering workshops at his facility so he can share his special techniques to other industry professionals. For more information about Evans, visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com and www.richevansdesigns.com.