When we acquired the original Circus Circus drivers cowling from Dave Bartush, it had last been used to make a plug for the modified version used in 1982 and beyond. Here is what information we learned upon closer inspection of it.
We knew the original cowling was modified to create the cowling used from 1982 and on………….and it is still attached to the Circus Circus hull today at the museum. We knew we would have to add the 4 inches that were removed back in, fortunately we had the original engine cowling from The Squire Shop to give us accurate measurements.
But as we compared pictures between the 1979-1981 and 1982-1985 versions, there were noticeable difference in terms of length.
The 1982 version is shown in the picture to the left. while the original 1979 version is shown below..........which appears to be considerably wider.
The 1982 version is shown in the picture to the left. while the original 1979 version is shown below..........notice how much further back the original sits in relation to the lifting hooks?
As the restoration team debated on what was changed and what was not, one of the ideas mentioned was that both cowlings on the 1982 and later versions had to have been shortened……………..but the original Circus Circus drivers cowling in our possession showed no evidence of that being done.
After even more research, the answer finally revealed itself to the team. The 1982 and later cowlings were NOT shorter in length per say, but rather shorter in height.
Note: the area marked in red on the picture shows what was removed.
When the 1982 crew decided to make the change to the cowlings, they did the following:
- Both cowlings were narrowed, also eliminating potential drag.
- The plastic windshield section was replaced with solid fiberglass.
- And finally…………………both cowlings had about 4 inches of material cut out from the BOTTOM. This essentially removed all of the curved flanged sections all together. The drivers cowling was then bonded to the deck permanently (the 1979 -1981 versions were removable) and the engine cowlings had removed the vertical fins.
So to put it simply, the drivers cowling we have from Dave Bartush is at the correct length. The only changes we need to do to it are to re-widen it back to original specifications, add back in the headrest area, and remove the remaining wood windshield and Bondo pieces.
And so the mystery is solved…….
Notice the missing vertical fin on the cowling above, where it is on the original version below?
As frustrating as it can be to reinvent the past……………..it makes it all worth the while when you finally achieve it.