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“We rolled the car into Shadowoods Auto Center in Roseville, Michigan—my dad’s business—at the end of the 1965 race season in order to build it for Experimental Stock. It never left the shop until it was ready to race in the spring of 1966. My dad, brothers, Alex Richards, and I did the chassis modifications, drivetrain preparation, and paint work. We had a great relationship with the guys at Logghe Chassis shop, so they built the front straight-axle suspension. We moved the front axle forward 10 inches and the rear forward 15. The factory lightweight fenders and hood were replaced with lighter fiberglass parts from the Golden Commandos. We also replaced all the factory glass with orange Plexiglas.”
Further modifications included replacing the steel trunk floor with aluminum, installing a rare aluminum dashboard, and mounting a 3 1/2-gallon Moon spun aluminum fuel tank in the front grille. Tom built the Hemi motor with an Isky 550 Le Gerra cam, Chrysler race pistons, and the stock A990 magnesium cross-ram intake manifold with twin Holley 3116 carburetors. The aluminum cylinder heads were race-prepped by Bartley Kenyon, featuring a five-angle valve job. The Hemi was located farther back and higher in the altered-wheelbase shell. Modifications brought the total weight of the UFO from 3,400 pounds to 3,000.
The UFO emerged from Robert Tignanelli’s shop as if it had been abducted by aliens. It was unbelievably faster.