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An Up Close Look at FNO Race Cars’ Latest Street Stock Chassis

FNO Street Stock 01

We know lots of great chassis builders, and every one seems to have their own way of doing things. That’s fine. In fact, that’s part of what makes racing so great–there’s no single best way to build a race car.

One of our friends from a previous life (where we actually covered cars that raced on–cough–asphalt) is Charlie Barham of FNO Race Cars in Concord, NC. For years Barham specialized in building winning asphalt stock car racing chassis, mainly Late Model Stock but also cars for upper level touring series. Barham still builds asphalt race chassis but he’s since branched out to become one of the most trusted powder coaters in the area and also does fabrication work on high-end hot rods.

That’s all well and good, but what got our attention is this dirt Street Stock chassis that Barham just finished. Barham isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, but he does have some good ideas. We’ve been keeping an eye on this car as it was being constructed, and Barham invited us to come by and take some snaps once the fantastic powdercoat work was finished. This car isn’t Barham’s first dirt chassis, and we’re betting it won’t be his last.  The chassis builder let us push the frame out into his parking lot and take any photos we wanted. If you are building your own car, we thought you might be able to take some ideas away from this chassis and incorporate them in your own work. We’ve also included Barham’s contact information at FNO Race Cars in case you want one for your own.

We like that the door bars are extended toward the front of the car and there is a down tube that also protects the driver's feet in case of a hard hit on the left-front corner.

Barham has always made driver safety a priority with all his chassis. We like that the door bars are extended toward the front of the car and there is a down tube that also protects the driver’s feet in case of a hard hit on the left-front corner.

Lots of plating also protects the driver from protrusion into the car.

Lots of plating also protects the driver from protrusion into the car.

It takes a little extra effort, but Barham uses curves wherever possible in the driver's compartment. This reduces the sharp edges where a driver can hurt himself.

It takes a little extra effort, but Barham uses curves wherever possible in the driver’s compartment. This reduces the sharp edges where a driver can hurt himself.

Barham prefers a contained driver's area rather than an open cockpit that's the full width of the car. This serves two purposes aerodynamically. First, it increases the area of the decking which improves airflow to the rear spoiler. It also helps by making it easier for air trapped under the hood to make its way out the back of the car.

Barham prefers a contained driver’s area rather than an open cockpit that’s the full width of the car. This serves two purposes aerodynamically. First, it increases the area of the decking which improves airflow to the rear spoiler. Second, it creates an easy path for air trapped under the hood to make its way out the back of the car.

The one-inch square tubing is to mount the hood and fenders. Notice the notch in the center bar--it's to provide clearance for the distributor to make  pulling the engine easier.

The one-inch square tubing is to mount the hood and fenders. Notice the notch in the center bar–it’s to provide clearance for the distributor to make pulling the engine easier.

Barham said he tried to provide as many options for placing lead as possible. The lateral tubing is for holding lead blocks, and the plates between the spring buckets are also for mounting lead.

Barham said he tried to provide as many options for placing lead as possible. The lateral tubing is for holding lead blocks, and the plates between the spring buckets are also for mounting lead.

We thought the side of the frame rail near the rear end looked a little off, and then realized Barham had cut and re-plated it to give a little more clearance so that the inside of the tire won't scrub the frame.

We thought the side of the frame rail near the rear end looked a little different, and then realized Barham had cut and re-plated it to give a little more clearance so that the inside of the tire won’t scrub the frame. As per the rules, none of the suspension mounting points have been moved.

This is no endurance car. The cage is sized for a small, eight gallon fuel cell. It is also raised up high to help with weight transfer in the turns.

This is no endurance car. The cage is sized for a small, eight gallon fuel cell. It is also raised up high to help with weight transfer in the turns.

Where most dirt cars are squared off, Barham has built in a bit of a curve, as you can see from the square tubing meant for mounting the doors and rear quarters. Barham says this is to help cover the tires, but it also increases the area of the upper deck.

Where most dirt cars are squared off, Barham has built in a bit of a curve, with the waist wider than the tail. You can see this in the square tubing meant for mounting the doors and rear quarters. Barham says this is to help cover the tires, but it also increases the area of the upper deck.

Contact is a fact of life in this class. So on the right side Barham welded in these threaded tabs so that the nerf bars on the right side of the car can be quickly unbolted and repaired or replaced if necessary.

Contact is a fact of life in this class. So on the right side Barham welded in these threaded tabs so that the nerf bars on the right side of the car can be quickly unbolted and repaired or replaced if necessary.

There are a couple of features we really like in this shot. First, Barham uses two driveshaft safety hoops so that there is practically no way a loose propeller shaft can blast through the thin sheet metal of the driver's compartment and injure the driver. Also, notice the vertical plate just behind the first hoop. This is for mounting the shifter off the transmission and near the driver to clear up the crazy mechanical linkages teams sometimes use to help the driver be able to reach the shifter.

There are a couple of features we really like in this shot. First, Barham uses two driveshaft safety hoops so that there is practically no way a loose propeller shaft can blast through the thin sheet metal of the driver’s compartment and injure the driver. Also, notice the vertical plate just behind the first hoop. This is for mounting the shifter off the transmission and near the driver to clear up the crazy mechanical linkages teams sometimes use to help the driver be able to reach the shifter.

FNO Race Cars
(704) 793-1811
Email: [email protected]


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  • Henry Miles says:
    June 4, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Very nice chassis, You guys do awesome work.

    Reply
  • David Pesek says:
    August 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    How much is a street stock chassi

    Reply
  • Matt says:
    March 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    What is a Nesmith Street Stock chassis going for

    Reply
  • October 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    how much for one of thease bad BOYS

    Reply

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