Death of the Deztaz
2/27/07 "Oh too thin" chromoly frames have a life. Eventually, you beat, vibrate, stress and wear out the tubing. I finally got to that point and the Deztaz is dead for the time being.
I took the old Dez out into the desert a couple weeks ago for some fun and a shake down before the Whiplash Vulture Mine race. I was thinking about running the Dez in the race if all felt good. The ride started out fine. The car felt good, I was having fun and discovered that ungrooved rear tires pretty much suck. I ran a little horse shoe shaped course that runs about 10 miles. All was good right up to the end of the course. I slowed down to turn around and as I got back on the gas I suddenly found that I only had one wheel drive. Interesting...
I got out of the Dez and wandered around to the right rear. I wasn't happy with what I'd found. The rear wheel was leaning badly and was moved out and away from the chassis. The axle had been pulled out of the CV and there was a large crack that I could see by the downtube of the roll cage. I'd broken something major. I slowly drove back to the pit area - fortunately I was able to just cut across the "legs" of the horse shoe and only had to drive two or three miles instead of all the way around the loop. I loaded the Dez up in the van and headed home.
Here's what I found when I got home and started inspecting the broken car:
The only thing holding the rear section of the frame to the car was the nerf bar mount. I'm glad we made them tough. The entire rear suspension mounting area had been broken off of the car and was still attached to the trailing arm.
The Dez will rise and run again - as a pre-runner. James and I are going to pull out the original jig table and lay out another chassis. We'll stretch the engine compartment three inches too. This time the frame will be larger diameter, thicker wall MILD steel. The .065 walled chromoly that the first frame was made from had just seen too much abuse and finally gave in.
Wow - I didn't realize that this saga's a year old.
Sometime last spring I brought the old Deztaz back to Ohio. I planned on redoing the car at my shop. I still needed to get the other frame to me, though. With the way my world went last year there ended up being a very long delay in receiving the frame - it didn't get to Ohio until after Thanksgiving.
As I got farther into the idea of changing out the chassis with each other and the development of the The 10 Dez, I came to the realization that the life of the Deztaz in my hands was done.
I offered up the old gal to a guy from Indiana that I'd known for a few years via the internet. Unfortunately the duded ended up being a complete snake and shady shit head. He came to my shop, picked up the vehicle, handed me some cash (about 1/5th of what we'd agreed on) and then disappeared. I tried to keep in touch with him but what I suspect ended up being a drug abuse issue, he stopped returning calls and such.
Interestingly enough, one of his friends, of whom I knew, ended up aquiring the car and new chassis from the thief. Over the next couple of year I heard from the new owner, was given a little bit of the owed money and then he disappeared too.
Interestingly enough, my good friend Jay, who was still working at Desert Dog Off Road, gave me a call one afternoon - "You're not going to guess what's just come into my shop for a rebuild and mods. The old DezTaz."
Discussion was had about what to do with it (I was over it) and it was decided that absolutely NOTHING was going to happen to it via Jay & Desert Dog.
Last time I saw the old Dez it was sitting in the back of Desert Dog, looking very sad and waiting on the new owner to come retrieve it. I was contacted by the new owner a couple of times but was pretty straight forward in that I wanted nothing to do with it.
That's the last I know of its existence. It was a good run, taught me volumes of info, provided hours of fun, learning and gave me some of the best memories of my off roading life.
Long Live the original ATV Racing DezTaz!