One of the many reasons why we love the entry-level dirt racing classes is the potential to do so much yourself. Not everyone has the tools or inclination to build their own race engines, but when racing a Street Stock there is much else that you can do. Besides saving a buck, doing the work yourself can help you understand your race car and the changes you can make to improve performance in the future.
After building your own race engine, the most intimidating aspect of race car building for most people is probably hanging a new body from scratch. Granted, it’s definitely a big project and does require a lot of time and attention to detail. But body hanging is something that you can do. Although you can spend to the moon and back on specialized tools, all you really need beyond the basic shop tools is a good sheet metal brake to help you make good, sharp bends.
A good, blow-by-blow accounting of every step required to fabricate and hang your own race car body would require a book, and that would only be one method. In this article we hope to provide you with plenty of tips and good ides to show you one way to do it that works well. We recently spent several days visiting the shop of racer Jody Bigham while he helped a friend, fabricate and hang a new sheet metal body on a new Monte Carlo metric Super Street chasssis. Bigham is a perfect example of how this can be done: He is a regular guy who works a regular job and works on race cars in the evenings and weekends. He isn’t a professional body hanger and only hangs bodies when necessary. We suspect, he’s a lot like our readers.
But the end result of this project is a race car body that looks great, wastes minimal material and should be easy to repair once the inevitable happens.