Ray Evernham 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel Curve

Ray Evernham’s 1936 Chevy Sedan, the “Ghost”

Ray Evernham’s 1936 Chevy race car is named the “Ghost.” It’s a very impressive piece of machinery from the garage of the Championship NASCAR Crew Chief and host of TV’s “Americarna.”

Early on Evernham was heavily influenced by early modifieds, which were the primary vehicles that initially drove his racing affliction. Now that he is retired from racing but not too old to do so, he felt it was time to build something along those lines. He didn’t want some vintage race car that could only be run at couple events a year, he wanted something they could run on multiple venues such as road courses or land speed racing, or even something like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This car was to be a mix of Hot Rod/Engineering marvel/Racer, with that 50s Modified appearance but with modern race car geometry, safety and electronics.

Ray Evernhams 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel Curve

Ray Evernhams 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel Curve

This entire project was designed and built in house by Ray’s main two shop guys Dan Baker and Eddie Bohn. They started with a clean slate, just the skin of an original 36 Chevy Sedan body on a chassis table. Not bound by any vintage race rules, they had a chance to do whatever they wanted, but there’s more to this project than wrapping a mid 30s body around a modern chassis. To Ray, it had to be more than just going fast; this project had to have the right look also. Ray is smart enough to know you need to start with a good design along with some real world measurements, so he brought me in to help visualize where he wanted to end up, the rake it needed and what the hood and grill should look like. I started with a profile to help wheel placement and ride height while mapping out how the body would set in relation that the chassis. Next was to modify the original body in order to get that hot rod look but not sacrifice space or visibility. Once Ray’s team decided on these figures, they chopped the top 1 ½-inches while leaving the rear window opening stock. Up front the windshield area was also left at stock height by sectioning the cowl area above the body line so the driver would have a better view of the road.

Ray Evernhams 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel Curve

Ray Evernhams 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel Curve

The basis for the chassis started with some 2×3 rectangular tubing main rails along with Nascar-style 1.75 round DOM tubing for the integral roll cage. In order to successfully run at so many different types of events, the “Ghost” needed to have a wide range of adjustability. Up front it relies on unequal length A-arms and adjustable degree spindles while out back 36-inch aluminum radius rods and a single adjustable Neuline torque arm and Watts link keep the Winters Quick-change planted and direction-friendly. JRi Shocks and Hyperco springs on all four corners aid in adjustability along with PFC ZR94 brakes to knock down that speed to a manageable number for the turns. V8 power came from Pro Motor. Their all-aluminum 410 cubic inch SB-2 belts out 850 horsepower, more than enough to propel this 2650 lb car around the track or hill, while shifting chores are handled by a Jerico 4-Speed. Brown and Miller Racing helped out when it came time to plum all of these vital systems. Once inside the car it’s easy to forget the cockpit is surrounded by 36 Chevy sheet metal when faced with all latest race car gadgets. Drivers will feel safe and snug in the carbon fiber seat while looking over all the information available on the AEM Digital Dash.

Ray Evernhams 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel Curve

Ray Evernhams 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel CurveAero was probably the largest issue they had to contend with as it’s still based on mid 30s car design. How much down force does something shaped like a potato provide near 200mph? Hence the wide front splitter and roof mounted wing. Initially the rear wing was not in the design. Ray’s team was hoping the full belly pan and rear diffuser was going to be enough but after crunching the numbers they decided it was going to be reaching speeds way over what those alone could provide.

Ray Evernhams 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel CurveYou’re probably wondering where the nickname “Ghost” came from. Ray said the day after its pearl white paint was applied it was sitting all on its own in the middle of the shop with only the soft glow of light behind it. It just looked like a ghost sitting there – the “Ghost” of a ‘36 Chevy. It’s hard to believe the Valvoline Blue that was laid down is actually a wrap. Ray reminded us “it’s a race car and it’s bound to get beat and banged up…..but not by me I hope! The wrap will make it easier to touch up between events.”

Ray Evernham 1936 Chevy Sedan, Fuel CurveWhen it was all said and done, this race car has a show car appearance with its chrome push bars and control arms, and polish work on those deep wide-five wheels. This was a good thing since its debut was at SEMA this year. In person this Chevy is pretty intimidating with its 14” wide slicks and the low front splitter, although I think the rear wing and diffuser is probably the only thing most people will see as it flies by them on the track.

Look for it at SVRA events in Group 10 or HSR at Daytona soon. You can catch videos of the project build on Evernham’s shop page, Big Iron Garage.

Born and raised in the racing-rich confines of Charlotte, North Carolina, Robert McCarter is a lifelong car nut. His life revolves around it. Best of all, he is self-taught in all of his disciplines. Creative photography came first. Automotive concept design came soon after. He also possesses old world hot rod craftsman abilities reflected in his hi-level upholstery work. Evenings and weekends are solely dedicated to driving, tuning and tweaking his homebuilt ’32 Ford roadster or his pristine ’66 Nova. His deuce roadster has traversed the country on numerous coast-to-coast hair-blowing boogies. He now adds story-teller to his repertoire with his editorial work reflected her on our pages.

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