My visit to Mooneyes USA

In September last year, my wife and I headed to the US and Mexico for our honeymoon. While I’m not the type of guy to go out of my way to do car stuff when I’m traveling – I didn’t even visit one workshop while I was in Japan! – I discovered that Mooneyes was in the direction we were traveling one day. I would have been crazy not to stop in, I’ve always been a fan of the brand and never once imagined I’d have the opportunity to go there in person. After buying up a bunch of merchandise in the showroom, I mentioned to the gentlemen behind the desk that I was from Australia. Upon hearing that, he asked one of the staff to take us on a little unofficial tour of the place. Apart from sitting in the front engine dragster (the seating position makes me wince at the thought of a diff letting go!), we got to see the Moon discs and tanks being hand spun, and heard a lot about the history of the brand, the building, and some cool stories about the founder Dean Moon, and current owner Shige Suganuma. It was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. Head below to see some of my photos from around the shop (click for larger versions) and please link back to the site if you choose to share them.

I can’t thank the staff at Mooneyes enough for their kindness and generosity on the day. They didn’t have to take the time out of their day to show us around, but they chose to, and that really says something, especially since we were just a couple of tourists. There was a really nice and chilled atmosphere about the place and the people who worked there, the brand is definitely more than just it’s parts and cool logo.


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Nostalgic Dragster Rebuild

Chris, a fellow Aussie & VW enthusiast, emailed me this build a while ago. It’s the restoration of a late 60’s/early 70’s front engine dragster being rebuilt at his fathers workshop. Chris tells me that in the drag racing community this is known as a “Cackle Car”, a car which although not competitively raced, is still fully functional. This particular example puts out about 2500hp. Chris’s dad, Ross, was very grateful for the work put in by many people, and had this to say:

There are a number of people that made this restoration happen.
Scotty Lane for going the extra yard with the body work and sump,
Chris Preen for countless machining and fabrication pieces,
Max Preen for his input into chassis repair etc,
Rob Huysmans who did an exceptional job in recreating the original paint scheme.
Rick MacDonald (USA) for all his help with engine and fuel system secrets.
John Huysmans for doing the bulk of the cylinder head work, under instruction from Rick.

And finally the Preen family for putting up with all this madness.

Not only does the car get rebuilt to it’s former glory, but a gokart trailer also gets modified to house it, so there’s some bonus building for you after the jump. Well done to the Preen family for restoring a piece of motor sport history.

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