The car is a long way from complete, but the new MD3 Evolution nose from Five Star Race Car Bodies looks fantastic. Five Star’s Carl Schultz told us that every curve and angle on this nose is designed to provide usable downforce for the car.
There is no doubt that Five Star Race Car Bodies  is the most trusted manufacturer of high downforce noses in Late Model racing. Their MD3 nose package is found on almost every top Late Model team in all divisions.
And even though their products dominate the market, Five Star hasn’t been sitting around waiting for everyone else to catch up. In the last issue of OneDirt Magazine we spoke with Five Star’s Carl Schultz about the development of their new MD3 Evolution nose. And in case you missed it, here’s the quote that illustrates the company’s devotion to performance:
“Every square inch of that front end has got aerodynamic features built into it,” he told us. “Everything has a function. There is maybe a little bit of styling in the headlight area, but every other shape on that nose is there to help build downforce.”
After learning more about how the MD3 line of noses came into being and Schultz’s enthusiasm for the new Evolution design, we wanted to get a better look for ourselves. Check out these shots as Late Model racer Chris Hargett installs a new Five Star MD3 Evolution nose on a car he is rebodying. This is not a full step-by-step how to installation article. Instead, we wanted to take a general overview of this nose and point out some differences if you are familiar with the previous generation MD3.
Car owner Chris Hargett starts by assembling the nose pieces and the lower valence. Five Star includes a lip anywhere two pieces of plastic come together to aid getting it all lined up straight. Once he gets everything like he wants it, Hargett will pop rivet the components together. But for now removable Cleco fasteners are used.
Here’s a look at the underside of the nose. We’re using Five Star’s lightweight, yet strong, plastic lower nose support (the black rib you see) which will connect the lower section of the nose to the bumper bar.
The fenders come in separate sections. Again, you can see how every edge has been given a ridge or a lip to help make it easy for you to piece together properly the first time.
The old nose has been stripped off the bumper and the new piece is ready to be fitted up. If you already run an MD3 second generation nose, the Evolution will fit to the same bar, so you don’t have to go out and buy a new one.
When we came back around, Hargett had already roughed in the nose, both fenders and the aluminum nose panel (red). It all went surprisingly well. The proprietary plastic Five Star uses is incredibly durable yet flexible enough to bend if the nose gets dug into the mud instead of cracking or breaking.
In case you aren’t familiar, Clecos are removable “rivets” that can be installed and removed multiple times without damaging the plastic nose or even sheet metal. They are installed using this special pair of pliers and fit in the same size hole as a pop rivet, so once you have everything positioned where you like it you can remove each Cleco one at a time and replace it with a rivet in the same hole.
This view from behind the nose shows how the lower bumper bar bolts through the lower nose support we showed you earlier to secure the bottom section of the Evolution nose to the car.
Because it is constructed from flexible plastic, some racers will try to bend the nose to fit the car, but this reduces the effectiveness of the aerodynamics Five Star has designed into the Evolution nose. Hargett found that the existing T-bar on the car was too short, so he fabricated a new one (the unpainted square tubing) approximately two inches taller to better fit the nose.
The MD3 Evolution isn’t a dramatic change from the previous generation, but it is distinguished by sharp lines and a deep lip before each wheel opening to help maximize both downforce and side force.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a shot of the right fender on the previous generation MD3 nose that we pulled off the car.
A short piece of aluminum angle helps connect the nose to the fender from inside the car. It is also used as an attachment point for a piece of spring steel which will support the fender and push it back out if Hargett makes contact with another car on the track.
After drilling a few more holes, Hargett will use bolts to secure the remainder of the Evolution molded fenders to the fabricated aluminum fenders. Being able to unbolt and remove the aluminum fenders quickly is key to getting access to the front suspension so you can make setup changes at the race track.
Five Star has also made available several decal packs to fit the nose that identify your car as any of a number of makes. Hargett tries out the headlight for the Ford Mustang decal pack which looks excellent.
(Photo courtesy HeathLawsonPhotos.com) Schultz told us that Five Star continues to develop its aerodynamic profiles. As an update to the MD3 Evolution nose the company is now offering a right fender that doesn’t extend as high as the left. You can see it here on Scott Bloomquist’s race car. The idea is to allow more air to flow up over the car when it is sliding through the turns and improve overall balance. We’ve seen similar setups on several top Super Late Model cars, so there must be some value to it.
Five Star Race Car Bodies / 262.877.2171 / fivestarbodies.com