Project Land Speed Racer 240SX: Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
By Chuck Johnson
Photos by Joe Lu
The last chapter of Project 240SX LSR left Team MotoIQ sleep deprived and malnourished with just a handful of days to spare before Speed Week. However, the ever persistent team had just completed the install of a donor SR20DET and the fabrication of the Spearco air to liquid intercooler system. In terms of the powertrain, things were looking up. On the chassis side though, there was still a long list of modifications that needed to be completed to meet SCTA rules.
In 2012, SCTA implemented a new rule stating that “all vehicles in classes where the record is over 200 MPH shall have all non-laminated windows constructed of polycarbonate material.” Translated into English, this simply meant that all of Project 240SX LSR’s glass would have to be swapped out for Lexan. That is, with the exception of the front windshield which came “laminated” from the factory.
Separating out hundreds of pieces of broken glass from millions of salt granules, good luck!
The motivation behind SCTA’s addition to the rule book revolved around the difficulty of cleaning up broken glass after an accident. On the dry lake bed of El Mirage or the salt flats of Bonneville, cleaning up glass is not just a matter of sweeping up the mess with a broom. Imagine the difficulty of picking up thousands of pieces of glass on a salt or dirt lakebed. Then, consider the risk of missing a piece of glass and having it puncture another racecar’s tires and the SCTA’s new rule makes perfect sense.
To our surprise, we had a pretty difficult time finding off the shelf Lexan windows for our S13 hatch. Percy’s Speed Glass had stopped manufacturing Lexan windows for the S13 about a year beforehand so we ended up removing, crating, and shipping our factory glass to Pro Glass Windows.
A little trick to shipping glass and insuring it gets there in one piece is to line the edges with pipe insulation, which can be bought at Home Depot or Lowes.
Our Pro Glass Windows came formed to match the factory shape, a critical feature considering how complex the contour of the rear quarter windows on an S13 hatch are. We opted for Pro Glass to construct the windows from a mar-resistant, bronze tinted polycarbonate material. We selected the slightly tinted Lexan to help keep the cabin temperatures down. In case anyone else needs Lexan windows made for the S13 240SX, Pro Glass Windows kept the tooling to remake them. You’re welcome.