In April 2014 PACE Innovations was once again approached by Tony Quinn to rebuild the PWR colorado that had rolled in the 2013 Australasian Safari Championship by Kees Weel. The damage was significant and once again a strict timeline was in place as the car was to compete in the September 2014 event.
PACE had previously pitched a concept in January for ground-up build for a Colorado suitable for the competition, however with the availability of the damaged PWR Colorado, the ground up build was shelved – with the chassis, engine and running gear to be salvaged from the PWR car. We however wanted to facelift the car to the current shape and improve where possible.
The PWR car was delivered and our engineers rapidly assessed the situation. The car had been rolled; the cab body, cage, doors, front guards and brush bars were all a write-off, in-fact out of the main cab section only the floor and front firewall was salvageable. The fabrication staff quickly broke down the car to the salvageable components and the main chassis was set on the jig table. Once on the jig, it was determined that the ladder chassis was twisted and would need to be reset, this opportunity was utilised for a shortening of the overall vehicle wheelbase. Reinforcement would be added to improve the inherent weakness in the chassis which caused this twist during the accident too.
The homologated safety cage was reverse engineered from the damaged part using a mixture of hard measurements, pre-existing drawings, logbook information and was re-manufactured on the floor-pan of the vehicle. To augment growing CAD model, this was then CCM probed and then modelled in SolidWorks. At the same time, PACE borrowed a Colorado from the local dealership and laser-scanned the front end as a basis for the shape upgrade which would be executed as a composite front clip. The A-pillars, windscreen, front doors and engine of the original shape were also scanned too allow us to meld the shape of a 2014 Colorado front end into a 2010 cab and body.
Mechanical design was progressing too, suspension would be replaced with King Shocks 3.5″ coilovers and double bypass dampers, in each corner. Overall travel was increased front and rear to reduce the vehicles tendency to roll. Fully adjustable wishbones were designed and fabricated for the front and a fully-adjustable front roll bar was also incorporated. Hundreds of small brackets, tabs and mounts were installed on the chassis to incorporate all the added componenty. The front and rear structure was redesigned to collect a rigid structure that would positively lock in with the roll cage in the cab creating a stiffer, incorporated structure. With new panels from our Holden suppliers, the cab was rebuilt. The body-sides (and cab) was shortened by our fabrication staff, to match the equivalent change in wheelbase.
Driveline too would see an upgrade, the engine shipped off for a rebuild and tune, the (former V8 Supercar) Holliger would be replaced by a paddle shifted 4WD Albins ST6 – a full reconfiguration of the front diff, engine driveshafts and CV joints was undertaken to allow for the increased travel. A new fabricated sump was also manufactured for diff clearance, volume and resilience to rally conditions.
With the concept for the shape-upgrade firmly established, bodywork patterns were modelled from the scan data and processed for manufacture, patterns were manufactured by our pattern-maker and shipped to Pace to produce parts. Parts (and some spares for the race) were quickly produced and the panels were trimmed and fit to the car.
With the cab back from paint (in Hi-Vis Yellow) final assembly began.
And was completed on schedule for the customer.