2021 Goodguys Spring Nationals Autocross

The last time I was in Scottsdale was in November of 2020…
And a lady ran into me.

But no one was injured and I was able to drive The 55 back to LA to have it repaired.
While it was in the shop I thought I might as well have some upgrades done.
That was back in November of 2020.
Fast forward to April 2021 – five months later.
I flew into LAX on the evening of Monday the 12th.
We went to look at The 55 first thing Tuesday morning.
The paint looked fantastic!!
But the Dakota Digital gauges were still in the box sitting on the tailgate.
My buddy Mike said he’s only got 10 wires to hook up and I’ll be on my way.
Famous last words.
Instead of leaving for Scottsdale Wednesday morning, I left for Scottsdale Thursday afternoon.
And in addition to running a bit behind schedule, my new Dakota Digital RTX Speedometer & Odometer weren’t working and the new Dakota Digital Climate Controller read “Communication Error” on the screen and it wasn’t working either.
That really bummed me out because I love to check my milage on a road-trip for some odd reason.
But the gauges were in full operation so I was able to keep tabs on my engine vitals.
I called up Dakota Digital and asked about the “Communication Error” with the climate controller and they were kind enough to send out a new wiring harness that would arrive in LA the following Tuesday.
So I’d have to drive back to LA after the show to get the new wiring harness installed.
We made it from LA to Scottsdale, AZ with no stops and with over 5-gallons of fuel left over.
Friday morning bright & early we got started at the Goodguys Autocross.

The 55 at the Goodguys Autocross

Most of the usual suspects showed up to the FiTech Spring Nationals.
After last years quarantine it was great to see my car-family again.
It was also great to soak in that Arizona sunshine.
When I left Colorado it was 19 degrees outside.
Scottsdale was in the low 90’s all weekend and I soaked it up.
Friday is considered kind-of a practice day at the CPP AutoCross.
So you can get to know the course and how your car handles on it.
Here’s a taste of Fridays CPP Autocross action.
On Saturday, the Goodguys have a new autocross shootout format that consists of four 4-car shootouts.
It’s pretty cool!!
Saturday is the AutoMeter Spring Shootout that you can watch here.
And Sunday we have the Wilwood All-American Sunday Shootout where all the newer cars get to come out and play.
You can check it out here.
Also in Sunday’s video I talk to Randy Weaver from Weaver Customs about two of his latest builds – a C2 Corvette & a 65 pick-up truck.
They’re both built by Randy so they’re both works of art.
The Goodguys Spring Nationals ended on Sunday.
I left Scottsdale Monday morning and headed to Quartzsite for gasoline.
I always fill-up my gas tank before I go back into California – it’s a lot cheaper.
Once in CA I stopped by the Blythe Post Office for a quick picture.

The 55 at the Blythe Post Office

From Blythe I drove into Palm Springs to have a look around.
Palm Springs is known for some killer Mid-Century Modern architecture.
And it did not disappoint.

Check out that double bat-wing house!!
I dig it.
And I dig the big arched roof of the Caliente Tropics Resort.

The Palm Springs Visitors Center is even housed in a mid-century modern building that used to be a gas station.

From Palm Springs I boogied back to LA.
The wiring harness didn’t show up until later on Tuesday afternoon, so I spent the day with my buddy Joey commiserating over cold beer at The Crooked Duck in Long Beach.
Wednesday morning I noticed a weird sound coming from the back of the car and the EFI was acting weird which made me think it was a vacuum leak.
Fuel-injection systems don’t like vacuum leaks.
Great – so now I can add that to my to-do list.
We tore into The 55 and got the new wiring harness installed.
The Communication Error message went away and we were able to program the speedometer to work.
I always like to put the car up in the air on a rack and give it a “nut & bolt once-over” to make sure everything is nice and tight and dry under there.
And thank goodness we did, because we noticed the passenger side drum was wet.
It’s probably just a bad wheel cylinder right?

Not a bad wheel cylinder

It wasn’t a bad wheel cylinder after all.
It was a bad axle bearing.
I’m glad we checked underneath!!
It was late when we got the axles out so we decided to call it a day and head out to dinner.
A buddy of mine lives pretty close so I invited him to dinner.
When I told him we had the axle out he stopped and said
“You’ve already got the axles out and you didn’t call me?!? Call me tomorrow morning at 9am.”
I called Mike the next morning at 9am prompt.
He told me to get down there ASAP.
We drove over to Wilwood Brakes in Camarillo where Wilwood Mike had just pieced together a rear disc brake conversion kit for me.
He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

If you recall, back in November, Mike is the one who texted me about the new 6-piston Wilwood front calipers for The 55.
Now I’ve got 4-wheel disc brakes – all with 12.19 inch rotors.
6-piston calipers up front and 4-piston calipers out back.
It took a little bit to get them situated – it felt like the pedal wouldn’t firm up.
But during a panic-stop I realized that these things stop on a dime!
I’m truly amazed at the difference rear discs make in my stopping performance.
Literally a night & day difference.
While we were dialing in the brakes, my buddy thought the weird sound was coming from the back of the car.
It turns out the sound was the reason the fuel injection was acting weird.
I had a bad muffler.
So before I could hit the open road, I had to get a new one.
I went over to Dick Waggoner’s Muffler & Air Conditioning and they had a matching Dynomax Super Turbo muffler there waiting for me.
Then I noticed it…
A chip in the new windshield.
I just had the windshield replaced before I left for Scottsdale.
I drove to Above All Glass and had the guys give the windshield a little botox action.
They used their suction cups, injected some sort goo in there and worked their magic.
After they made it look as good as new, they sent me on my way.
After fueling up I was on my way to Las Vegas for the Holley LS Fest West.
That story is coming up next so stay tuned.
Until then I hope to see you out on the open road.
My name is Jeff Thisted and I drive a 55.

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