Car shell plug for maker
By HUGH KEARNEY
NOT all the racing cars in Murwillumbah's main street on Friday night will have wheels or an engine - yet. Catching a lot of odd looks is a sporty looking car shell hoisted above the Courthouse Hotel, right outside the window of the Little Malay restaurant. The fibreglass shell, or plug, is the work of local fibreglass mould maker, Russ Wade, and like many things to be seen in Murwillumbah's main street this week, there is a story behind it. Russ has a background in many things fibreglass, including repairing and restoring the bodywork of old and damaged high-tech sports cars including Formula One race cars and the famous Porsche 962 Le Mans sports car. The body shell atop the pub has been designed and built by Russ to fit straight onto VW mechanicals and chassis. The finished vehicle will come in both race and fully registrable road versions. The two-seater car shell has been designed to take a variety of engine sizes, up to five litres for competition. Even as it perched in its unusual showroom location, the shell was being closely studied by Gold Coast race driver Peter Saunderson and his mechanic Terry Forsyth. Peter is currently both Queensland and NSW Supersports and AF2 series leader driving a Radical Supersport racer powered by a Kawasaki ZZR 1100cc engine. In Peter's hands the tiny 350kg racer rockets from 0-100kph in 2.7secs, has a top speed of around 300kph and matches the lap times of V8 Supercars at most tracks. Last week he set a new Supersport category lap record at Goulburn's Wakefield Park. Peter's PTS Forcefield race team is eyeing the Russ Wade design for a new race car moulded in carbon fibre for next season. Meanwhile, Russ is planning to start production of the stunning body shells for sale - all it needs is a suitably stunning name.