THE MYSTERIOUS TIME MACHINE
Story and Photos by Bob Wicker
Time Machine mysteries revealed!
Pontiacs Online was contacted by Chris Foy, who is the brother of the builder of Time Machine, Richard Foy. Richard purchased the 1970 GTO around 1978 to build a race car. The car was mostly rust free which was not common for a northern car. The only rust found was near the bottom of the trunk lid. Richard was the car's second owner. He brought the car home using 4 push mowers as wheel dollies, as the original owner insisted on keeping the wheels and tires. Richard had just opened a performance shop with his friends Kenny (Fig) Balmer (known as Fig Newton) and Craig (Tig) Moyer (known as Tigger). The shop was called FFT Racing and was located in Kingston Pennsylvania. Time Machine was was a good project for the shop. Richard did the engine build using the 1969 date coded 400 engine that was in the car at the time. The original 400 block was damaged and the dealer replaced it with that block as a service replacement piece. The machine work was performed by Moe Strunk, who also built motors for legendary drag racer Joe Amato. Richard and his buddies assembled the engine, built the transmission, added 4.88 gears and added the components necessary to make the car race legal. Once the car was built, it was turned over to his Dad's paint shop, Auto Craft Body Shop. The shop painted the car bright yellow and added lots of alpha jewels for the intense metallic look.The air brush work was done by a well known area air brush artist, Larry Rasimas. Larry drove up in a 60's VW hippie bus and agreed to do the art work in exchange for cash and a place to stay for the week. Chris remembers that Larry did the entire job freehand, even the stripes. Nothing was laid out with tape and they are dead on, a real testament to Larry's ability as an artist. Once the art was done, the car received 10 coats of clear, which contributed to the paint work being in such good shape all these years later. Not long after the car was completed, the family moved to Garland, Texas. The GTO was only raced one time while in Richard's possession, at the inaugural race at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas when it opened in 1986. The car was put in storage when Richard moved back to Pennsylvania. It was eventually sold to Brian Hardin. Since this original article was published, the GTO has changed hands twice. We were told it is now owned by a collector in Houston, Texas. In addition to being contacted by Chris Foy, we were also contacted in the same week by Jesse Rasimas, son of the late artist Larry Rasimas. Coincidence or fate? Who knows. We feel privileged to have been able to tell the story of this unique GTO, The Time Machine.
Brian Hardin of Kerrville, Texas is the owner of this very unique and mysterious 1970 GTO race car called "Time Machine".
Time Machine was originally a red, 400 powered automatic GTO with power steering, air conditioning and a few other options. Obviously, much about the car has changed since then.
The bright yellow paint is both old school and actually old. It has a heavy metal flake, not just a metallic look. While very well preserved for its apparent age, it would look to have been painted long ago. Some of the decals have obviously been on the car for a long time, as well. According to the graphics on the car, it was painted in Pennsylvania with the graphics applied by an artist named of Larry Rasimas. In addition to the name of the body shop (Auto Craft), and the name of a former sponsor (Jim Dandy's Restaurant and Bar) they include a graphic interpretation of the car on the hood and rear sail panels.
The graphics also include a line from a Charlie Daniels song (Devil Went Down to Georgia) under Mr. Rasimas' signature. The line is "And I'll take your bet you're gonna regret cause I'm the best thats ever been".
Normally, a story like this would include the history of this "from back in the day" drag strip warrior. But very little history is known. You see, Brian bought the car from Larry King. Not the talk show host, but the owner of a storage facility in Dallas, Texas. One of Larry's tenants did not pay the rent for quite some time, so he was able to acquire title to the car. He sold it to Brian in 2003, but he knew nothing of this GTO's history. The GTO resided at Mr. King's storage facility for about four years. That bring's the car's known history back to about 1999. So, this GTO's existence for the first 30 years or so of its life is a mystery. Perhaps one of our readers knows something about this car, knows Larry Rasimas in Pennsylvania, or can somehow fill in part of the story of the Time Machine.
What we do know is this:
After Brian purchased the car, he ran it in various IHRA events in Texas. When it came time to rebuild the engine, The Pontiac 400 engine that resided in the car was sent to Hill Country Kar Klinic in Kerrville, Texas. Owners Herb and John Gerken align honed the 1969 400 block, machined the stock 400 crank, bored the cylinders .040 over, and stuffed them with Eagle rods, and Speed Pro Forged pistons with Sealed Power rings. All engine fasteners are from ARP. A Bullet cam with 230/240 duration at .050 and .420/.423 lift is turned by a double roller timing chain and activates Bullet lifters. After being cleaned up, the #13 heads were fitted with Manley 2.11 intake and 1.77 exhaust valves. Manley springs and roller rockers on big block Chevy rocker arm studs finish off the valve train.
Spark duties are handled by an ACCEL coil and an MSD CD ignition via Blue Max wires.
The potent 400 drives power through a period Hurst shifted Turbo 400 trans, rebuilt with kevlar clutches and band, which utilizes a 4000 rpm stall converter. The rear axle contains 4.88 gears, and employs a spool and C clip eliminators. Traction is assisted with no hop bars and boxed control arms.
While the engine and transmission were being rebuilt, the brake calipers, rotors, wheel cylinders, pads and shoes were all replaced.
The car has a roll cage and a full compliment of Auto Meter gauges.
We caught up with Brian and his Time Machine at the 2010 Pontiac Southern Nationals in Mesquite, Texas. At the Dallas Raceway in Crandall, Texas the next day, Time Machine won the Ram Air class despite experiencing some carb problems. The carb is now being rebuilt and Brian has decided to swap the 4.88 gears for 4.11 gears to optimize the car for the 1/4 mile.
While the car has been updated mechanically, we are sure glad that he decided to keep the vintage metal flake paint and uber cool, back in the day graphics. After all, the old school look of this great GTO racer, and what is not known about its past, is what truly makes it a Mysterious Time Machine.
Brian has decided that the Time Machine needs to move on to the next dimension, so he has placed the car on the market for sale.
Anyone who knows any history of this fine old racer, or anyone interested in purchasing the Time Machine should CONTACT US.
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