1973 Blakely Bearcat Kit Car
In the early 70’s Blakely manufactured a kit designed to utilize the Ford Mustang drivetrain and front suspension. This example is the Bearcat and uses the durable Ford 2.3L 4 cylinder, 4 speed transmission and rear end.
Boasting the original purple metal flake body “Blake” was purchased and then embarked on a drivetrain and interior restoration to make him a dependable driver and a Cars and Coffee conversation piece.
In 2015 the entire drivetrain was removed and refurbished at a professional level hot rod shop. Extensive pictures of that process are available. Upon removal, the engine and transmission were found to be solid only needing a refresh. The work undertaken included replacing all gaskets and seals, rebuilding and re-jetting the Holley carburetor, installing a new timing belt and idler, thermostat, hoses, plugs, wires and alternator. The distributor was rebuilt and the front timing cover and valve cover were both sent to be chrome plated. All the engine and accessories were cleaned and repainted their proper colors.
The transmission top cover received a new gasket and the fluid was changed. While apart a new flywheel and clutch were installed along with the new rear main seal on the engine and front and rear seals on the transmission.
The engine compartment was detailed and painted along with repairing several wiring issues and cleaning up the wiring harness and mounts. The entire fuel system was flushed and cleaned. The electric fuel pump was isolated to dampen that annoying buzz. Then a heat shield was installed on the transmission tunnel to protect the interior from exhaust and engine heat.
The front suspension is the desirable Mustang II type (it’s the foundation used today in many high custom car builds) and was cleaned, checked and painted.
Once the engine and transmission where reinstalled in the freshly painted engine compartment, a new exhaust system was fabricated and installed. After a couple shake down runs to work out the bugs, Blake was sent off to the interior shop for some fresh leather, custom carpet, gauges, a new sound system and Momo steering wheel to hang on to.
Today, Blake is eager to start, quickly coming to life when the key is turned while making a very pleasant sports car gurgle. He is a true roadster with no top. The 2.3l delivers plenty of acceleration in this less than 2,000 lb sports car.
If like getting attention in the car you drive, Blake is your car! Fun, dependable and eye catching, you won’t find another one like him.