• Last modified 1870 days ago (May 2, 2019)


Enthusiast's passion goes beyond driving

Staff writer

Marion County resident Jayce Hett, has a passion for rebuilding that takes him from project to project.

“As soon as I drive them one time, I’m done,” he said.

His most recent build was a Pontiac Firebird previously used for dirt-track racing. Hett finished working on the car Friday, and Saturday was in Fall River for the Gambler 500 Rally.

“It’s going to be for sale afterward, but then I’ll just go onto my next build and do something cooler,” he said.

Hett started rebuilding cars as a junior at Centre, when he worked on a Datsun 280ZX for drag racing.

“I made it go 11.8 seconds with just stock parts and the motor,” he said. “If I could build that, what else can I build?”

While his friends drove sections of the course beforehand, he said he only marginal preparation left for road conditions, Hett said Friday.

“Their four-wheel drive trucks could barely make it through, and I’m planning on taking a two-wheel drive car,” he said Friday. “I’m not sure how this will work out.”

It was Hett’s first time, but he said he wasn’t worried.

“I’m not sure of all the rules or specifications,” he said. “I’m just going to go and have fun.”

The two-day event isn’t a race.

Competitors drive out 250 miles from Fall River and then back, collecting trash both ways. The winner is whoever collects the most trash, Hett said.

“I’m not going to win,” he said. “I’m going to complete the race and drive the car back. I want to be able to say I did it.”

While there are still 12 months to go, Hett is already thinking about his ride for the 2020 rally.

“I think next year I’ll take a Honda Civic that I lift up 6-to-7-inches,” he said. “I’ll put big mud tire on it, but I think it might just be a boring car that has a lift kit.”

Last modified May 2, 2019