The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depicted a mild-mannered scientist's transformation to madman after experimenting on himself by taking a mind-altering drug he'd concocted in his laboratory. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the novel, which was published in 1886 and became a commercially successful motion picture in 1970.
Carroll Shelby changed the good-natured straight-six-powered British AC Ace two-seater aluminum sports car into a small- and then big-block-powered, Ford V-8, fire-breathing Shelby Cobra beast in the mid '60s.
Seeking better handling, more horsepower and torque, and an all-out quest to go fast, kit and replicar enthusiasts have performed similar experiments in their garages on various kit car creations for years. One such speed freak is a young man KC's depicted before, the honorable Mr. James Yale. By day, James is a successful, buttoned-down sales manager for Hallmark Cards. Most nights, he can be found in his Radical Roadsters LLC shop in Cypress, Texas, building Backdraft Racing roadsters that are about as tumultuous as an avalanche at full bore, yet perfectly well tempered for street cruising. Radical Roadsters LLC takes the turnkey minus BDR cars and installs engines and transmissions for their ever-expanding customer base in the big state of Texas.
Keith Craft Performance Engines...
Keith Craft Performance Engines of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, built the 410ci stroker powerplant, which the owner mated to a Tremec TKO-600 five-speed manual trans.
In order to get those orders flowing, James first wanted an exemplary demo model for his BDR prospects to drool over. This was Mr. Yale's big challenge. You see, in addition to being a participant at kit car shows, James races his replicars. His BDR had to be beautiful to look at and perform like a comfortable, docile boulevard cruiser. It also had to be an all-out monster on the track. Unlike the resourceful Dr. Jekyll, achieving a true triple-threat showing/cruising/racing machine would require more than just some laboratory-concocted potion. Selecting the right mix of automotive race components and designing the street version of the BDR to give the most visual, tactile, and sonic appeal sealed the deal for the roadster. We've seen James make the transformation from street to race machine on his BDR in less than an hour. Once the race parts are installed, it's amazing how fast No. 44 goes and how well it handles with Mr. Yale behind the wheel.
So, beware of the docile-looking No. 44 BDR. Even in street trim it has plenty of go. Once morphed for the track, James typically attacks in Mr. Hyde monster-like fashion: with a vengeance. Watch out for the mild-mannered Mr. Yale and his racy red roadster at a show or racetrack near you. You'll be lapped before you know it. Don't say we didn't warn you.
For racing, the red-and-black...
For racing, the red-and-black leather Momo steering wheel is easier to grip than the original Moto-Lita wood-rimmed wheel. The owner added a race-proven power steering pump for the rack-and-pinion steering system. VDO instruments fill the dashboard.
Facts BoxBackdraft Racing
Boynton Beach, Florida
|Year and type/model: ||1965 Backdraft |
| || Racing Roadster |
|Price of Kit: ||$31,900 |
|Total Price as Tested: ||$57,900 |
|Manufacturer Estimate || |
|of Hours to Build/ || |
|Complete Vehicle: ||100 |
|Frame: ||Powdercoated |
| || 2x4-inch rectan- |
| gular steel with |
| strengthening |
|Wheelbase: ||92-inch |
|Rearend: ||BMW E36 |
| || Limited-slip IRS |
| with 3.46 gears |
|Rear Suspension: ||IRS with coilover |
| || shocks and 23mm |
| sway bar |
|Front Suspension: ||Coilover struts |
| || and 27mm sway |
|Shocks: ||Custom |
|Rear Brakes: ||BMW 11-inch disc |
| || with race pads |
|Front Brakes: ||BMW 11-inch disc |
| || with race pads |
|Brake Lines: ||Braided stainless |
|Master Cylinder: ||BMW |
|Brake Booster: ||7-inch vacuum |
| ||assist |
|Steering: ||Power steering |
| || with race pump |
| for rack-and- |
| pinion |
|Front Wheel |
|Make & Size: ||Pin Drive 17x9 |
|Rear Wheel Make & Size: ||Pin Drive 17x11 |
|Front Tire Make & Size: ||235/45R17 |
| || Goodyear Eagle |
| || F1 GSD3 |
|Rear Tire Make & Size: ||315/35R17 |
| || Goodyear Eagle |
| F1 GSD3 |
|Paint Brand/Type: ||PPG clearcoat/ |
| || basecoat |
|Windshield/Glass: ||Custom BDR full- |
| || shield or half- |
| || shield for racing |
|Rollbar: ||Dual Stainless |
|Bumpers: ||Stainless Quick |
| || Jacks |
|Lights: ||BDR |
|Mirrors: ||Dual-chrome |
| || Raydot side |
| ||mirrors |
|Fuel System: ||Braided stainless |
| || -8AN from tank |
| || to carb |
|Fuel Tank: ||Custom aluminum |
| || 18-gallon |
|Gauges: ||7-gauge VDO |
|Wiring: ||BDR custom |
|Steering Wheel: ||Momo, red and |
| || black leather |
|Seating: ||Black leather with |
| || red piping and |
| ||stitching |
|Upholstery: ||Wool carpet |
|Material: ||Leather |
|Engine Brand: ||Ford 351W |
|Engine Builder: ||Keith Craft |
| || Performance |
| Engines, |
| Arkadelphia, |
| Arkansas |
|Engine Type: ||410ci stroker (all |
| || forged motor) |
|Engine HP: ||600 |
|Water Pump: ||Edelbrock Victor |
|Radiator: ||BMW |
|Air Cleaner: ||K&N Extreme |
|Ignition: ||MSD 6AL |
|Headers: ||BDR custom |
| || fiberglass wrapped |
|Exhaust System: ||Stainless steel |
| ||sidepipes |
|Transmission Type: ||Tremec TKO-600 |
|Driveshaft: ||BDR custom |
|Shifter: ||Hurst short throw |
|Battery: ||BDR |
|Engine Brackets: ||BDR custom |
|Accessories: ||MP3 player stereo |
| ||system |
Available as an option from...
Available as an option from BDR, the passenger-side rollbar protects the roadster's navigator.
This close-up of the BDR hood...
This close-up of the BDR hood gives an accurate impression of how meticulously Mr. Yale maintains the roadster.
The BDR black leather seats...
The BDR black leather seats have custom red piping, as does the black wool carpet.
In Mr. Hyde racing trim, James...
In Mr. Hyde racing trim, James pads the dual rollbars, swaps the driver seat with a Kirkey racing seat, replaces the full windscreen with a racing plexi half-shield, switches the street wheels and tires for black centered knock-off rolling stock and BFGoodrich R1 racing rubber, and installs a front air diffuser. All up, the street-to-race transformation takes less than an hour.