10/16/13 The Stiletto is moving forward as well. After test-fitting the bodywork we took everything apart and did a lot of finish welding. There are almost 150 tubes in the chassis and several dozen brackets and fittings, so it takes a while to make sure each weld goes completely around the seam.

Now that it's done the engine has been refitted and Tristan is well along in building the exhaust.

The interior paneling will be aluminum, simialar to the D2, and there will be shielding between it and the exhaust. It's a tight package but production car exhausts all run under the floor so this is really no different. The more upright seating position of this car makes it work reasonably well. Once I test-fit the latest version of D2 interior I'll have the info I need to design and make the Stiletto one.

There is also continued progress on the bodywork. Now that we've found a suitable windshield, parts of the body can be cut away and new ones designed and made to work with the new glass.

12/31/13 Before the end of the year, a quick update on Stiletto. I've been trying to figure out how to accommodate the new windshield design, both on this first car and on subsequent ones (i.e. mold modifications). After a few trial versions in my head I settled on a method and Jay went about implementing it, first with cardboard prototypes then with aluminum, foam, fiberglass and the inevitable bondo. Seems to be working pretty well.

It definitely looks better and more appropriate for the genre than the earlier version that showed up with the bodywork:

Unfortunately the windshield didn't survive the process so we'll have to get another one, but overall it's definitely a bit step forward. We learn something with every project. This is one more thing in our arsenal now. A fair bit of work remains on this car but it's finally taking shape.

06/20/14 Out of necessity the D2 work has taken up all of our time and resources for the last six months, but now that D2s are rolling out the door and into customer hands, it's time to get moving on the Stiletto again. One factor is the arrival of a new windshield option that may (or may not) work well with this car. We did a quick mockup of both the current solution and the alternative. Personally I kind of prefer the more traditional hotrod look of the windshield we have now (first two pix). The new one does look a lot sleeker but it's a bit narrow and takes the car farther away from the hotrod theme. It's also more expensive and harder to get. Al favors it but the decision hasn't been made yet as we're waiting for feedback from a few people. There are pros and cons for both approaches. Once it's decided we'll get cranking on it.

07/31/14 Well the verdict is that the more traditional windshield wins. I'm glad. The decision was actually made a few weeks back. Besides the windshield, the Stiletto still has a number of things to be worked out. Things like interior, door and hood hinges, wiring, lights, pedals and so on. There is progress on many of these items and most are benefiting from the learning curve we have gone through with the D2.

For example, the D2 experience has shown that my initial suspension settings were too stiff. It doesn't transfer directly since that car has a 40/60 weight distribution whereas the Stiletto is nearly dead on 50/50. We recently put it on the scales to confirm:

This is actually better than I was expecting to achieve with a light front-engined car. As it sits right now the car is just shy of 1,600 lbs but a few things are missing. Finished it will be similar to the D2 in the 1,900 lb range. Same 430 hp / 420 lb-ft so plenty of go although rear tires are narrower (and taller). Overall, it's an interesting exercise to adjust to a different set of priorities.

So going through the suspension stuff (including stability improvements that we've come up with for the D2) I realized new bellcranks are pretty much necessary. This actually helps solve another problem that has been on the to-fix list: the packaging of the intake. In order to work properly the LS engine requires at least a 6" straight section of 4" diameter tube for the airflow sensor. And of course there's the filter too. Redesigning bellcranks provides the opportunity to make more space between them and route the intake directly there.

Pedals and other items are also derivatives of D2 parts - they don't transfer directly because the cars are very different with different missions in life, but much of what has been learned and developed applies as do some specific components.

11/08/14 Now that we have an experienced composites craftsman to do the work, it's time to move forward with the Stiletto bodywork. On the agenda is finishing the windshield and dash, getting the doors to fit, cleaning up some other areas. Also, some may recall that during the process of creating the bodywork plug and molds there was a lot of difficulty synchronizing the STL file and Solidworks chassis model. We had to scale and approximate things to try and get them to fit. With all of that, the body and frame actually fit amazingly well. But one issue is that the rear wheels ended up too close to the body with only 1/4" clearance between the tire and fiberglass.

To address this we have now updated the rear suspension arm fixtures to lengthen the arms by 1" and are making new parts. The car ends up the same width as the D2 in the back which means it will fit on most trailers that have 82" between fenders.

In the meantime the work has begun on the body. Below are some pictures of the progress.

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