COMPLETE KIT CAR MARCH 2017 – ISSUE 124
THE MODERN CLASSIC FISHER FURY BRINGS CLASSIC SPORTS CAR RECIPE UP TO DATE
AUSTRALIAN RACER’S MEGA TOUR OF EUROPEAN HILLCLIMBS
UNDERSTATED THUNDER Hawk 289
ALUMINIUM BODY, FORD V8, SUBTLE LOOKS... HAWK’S LATEST 289 HAS NOTHING TO PROVE
Fisher Fury Westfield sprinter
ALSO INSIDE AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL 200,000-MILE DAILY BUGGY FOREMAN P4 RETURNS
European road trip MK Indy build Chassis jigs
Unique Nissan 200SX based Seven style roadster... full build story
001 Cover.indd 1
Stent’s CC Cyclone is back! And it’s looking better than ever
On sale 3 February to 2 March Issue 124
NISSAN BASED MK GOING GREEN
What they’re for and why you might n d on or a on o car id
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2 March 2017
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COMMENT EDITOR’S LETTER THE CKC TEAM Editor Adam Wilkins Roving Reporter Ian Stent Technical Editor John Dickens Columnists Gary Axon Richard Heseltine Contributors Jeroen Booij, James Horsley, Ed Morton, John Mountney, Chris Pickering, Peter Rosenthal, Martin Scott Running Reporters Jason Burrage, John Clements, Paul Curran, Trevor Crout, Rob Davenhall, Andy Green, Chris Haysom, Ian Jackson, Vivienne Lodge, Ross Maynard, Jon Page Race Diarists Ian Chapman, John Pick, Alisdair Suttie, Jack Walton Graphic Designer Sarah Scrimshaw E: firstname.lastname@example.org Proof Reader Andy Bliss Advertising Manager Karen O’Riordan
t seems such an obvious question that I wondered why I’d never pondered it before or been asked by anyone else. It was posed by Rich Sawtell, whose MK Indy build we feature this month, and it was simply: Why are so many kit cars Ford based? As you’ll see, he sidestepped Sierra parts in favour of a Nissan 200SX single donor, which proved no more expensive while making his car unique and therefore inherently interesting. While I floundered to answer a question I’d never given any thought to, it struck me that the specialist car industry has stuck with the Blue Oval seemingly out of habit. As Ford Popular donors morphed into Escort Mk1 and Mk2 into Cortina into Sierra, it seemed logical to keep up with Ford generations. And even now that there are no viable rear-wheel-drive Ford donors about (it would be a brave manufacturer who instructs you to find a Sierra donor now, such is their scarcity), the Ecoboost engine is already proving popular among kit car manufacturers. That leads to another reason Ford has always been popular with our sector of the market: it has always been willing to supply its new crate engines to specialist manufacturers. Not all mainstream manufactuters make
P ICK UP THE NEXT
it so easy for low-volume makers to acquire their engines, so the loyalty has FRIDAY 3 APRIL worked both ways for decades. Of course, there have always been other popular donor cars. The Mini, Metro, Beetle and various Triumphs have all served their time as key kit car donors during their ubiquitous-and-cheap years. More recently, the BMW 3-series, Mazda MX-5 and Toyota MR2 have found their way to the fore. But no other marque has penetrated the specialist car market to the extent that Ford has... and with the proliferation of Ecoboost powered cars, that doesn’t look set to change. Some habits are hard to kick.
ADAM WILKINS Editor
. E: email@example.com n in assifi ds ell our ar ast W: www.completekitcar.co.uk Editorial
. firstname.lastname@example.org Distribution Marketforce UK Ltd. Newsstand Sales Imagine Magazine Sales And Marketing Ltd. E: email@example.com W: www.imaginemag.net Postal Address Performance Publishing Ltd, Unit 3 Site 4, Alma Park Road, Alma Park Industrial Estate, Grantham, Lincolnshire .
Complete Kit Car is published every four weeks by Performance Publishing Ltd. Sorry, but lack of time prevents us answering technical queries over the phone. We would much prefer you contact us by email or write, enclosing an SAE for a reply. hile every effort is made in compiling the editorial and accepting only bona fide advertisements in Complete Kit Car, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any effects arising therefrom. reelance features and photographs are submitted at the owner’s risk and, whilst every care is taken, no responsibility for loss or damage can be taken by the publisher or their agents. Copyright Performance Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. -
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What current production car engine would you use in modern Lotus Seven style roadster? IAN STENT
A: Latest MX-5 for simplicity of install (already inline with suitable gearbox) and visual appeal of twin-cam.
A: Aprilia with bhp out the bo at glorious rpm. With an Akrapovic exhaust.
A: The Volkswagen 1.4 TSI GT – a turbo and supercharger ensures great power delivery across the board.
A: Not sure if it’s current but definitely the from the onda .
Race diaries and contributor
March 2017 3
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CONTENTS MARCH 2017
30 4 March 2017
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56 READER’S MK INDY BUILD A unique Nissan 200SX based MK eschews the usual Ford mechanical base.
64 OUR CARS
A bumper Our Cars update this month featuring – shockingly! – Stent’s CC Cyclone.
76 RUNNING REPORTS
Plenty of winter progress from our team of kit car builders in Running Reports.
80 CHASSIS JIGS
Do you need a jig to build a chassis? Stuart Mills explains the theory.
12 AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL
A number of kit car manufacturers were present at the NEC season-opener... and so was CKC!
15 BARCELONA AUTO RETRO
Gary Axon has been roving far and wide again... but never strays too far from kit cars.
16 PARIS MOTOR SHOW
& SAVE Save money and subscribe to CKC see page 72
If you think the French international motor show would be bereft of kit cars, you’d be wrong.
17 BRUSSELS INTERCLASSICS
27 WALL OF FAME
11 NEW PRODUCTS
30 HAWK 289
18 EVENTS DIARY
36 FISHER FURY
20 CLUBS & LIFESTYLE
42 EUROPEAN SPRINTING TOUR
48 ROAD TRIP: 3000 MILES,10 DAYS
25 HESELTINE: KITOLOGY
There was plenty of GRP to be found at the second annual InterClassics event in Brussels. It’s always good to see the cars you’ve built. Send pics of yours and you may see it in these pages. We take a look at Rhona Hawkridge’s aluminium bodied Hawk 289. Is it Cobra replica perfection? You saw the build in the last issue... now take a look at Len Jones’s finished Fisher Fury. Tom Hackett came to Europe from Australia with no plan and no car to compete in sprinting. The Westfield club took in a 3000-mile tour to celebrate the club’s 30th anniversary.
The year may only just be under way, but there’s already plenty of activity in the industry. Looking for new kit for your car? Look no further than this month’s round-up of new products. There are plenty of events to get along to in your kit car in 2017... and we’ll be at many of them too! Have you driven more than 200,000 miles in your kit car? At least one CKC reader has! We always like hearing your views on all things kit car related. Write to us at the usual (email) address! Could Richard have uncovered a kit car that predates Buckler? It looks as though he might have.
82 BETWEEN THE LINES
The stuff that went on behind the scenes in the creation of this issue.
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UP FRONT NEWS
FOREMAN MK4 SET TO RETURN
he Foreman Mk4, a replica of the Ferrari P4 – arguably one of the most beautiful racing cars of all time – is set to return to production. Originally offered by Lee Noble’s Kit Deal organisation in the late 1980s, the car spent several years being manufactured by Neil Foreman of NF Autos. When the Car Builder Solutions side of his business expanded, the Mk4 project went on the back-burner before being sold to Dunlop in 2007.
Production since then has been non-existent, but now it’s under new ownership. Steve Griffiths bought the project in late 2016 and has realistic aims to bring it back to the market late this year under the newly formed Foreman Cars. Initially offered in turnkey form, kits will follow in early 2018 as well as the car’s public show debut. “I always wanted a P4 when I was building kit cars 12 or 15 years ago,” says Steve. He has kit car building and development experience having raced in various series, and currently races a Ginetta.
Through those activities, he met Derek Holden who is now the technical director of Foreman Cars. Together, they will be developing and testing the Mk4 throughout this year, updating its engine to the current range of Chevrolet LS V8 engines. It’s early days still, but we’ll keep up with the Ashford, Kent, based company and development of the P4. With other high-end kit cars such as Ultima and Gardner Douglas currently selling strongly, the Foreman’s return is very timely. W: www.foremancars.com
MIXED FORTUNES IN THE SPECIALIST SPORTS CAR MARKET
Caterham posted record sales figures in with over evens sold during the -month period its highest sales volume since . ore than half of those per cent were e ported. ver cars went to rance and to apan.
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rowth in the company’s dealer networ is cited as a reason for an increase in domestic sales. here is no word from aterham yet on how many of those cars were sold as its versus factory finished form but we do now that all e ports are in the latter camp .
his year sees the company celebrating years of the otus aterham even so the firm is clearly hoping to maintain the momentum it achieved in . he announcement from aterham came within hours of the sad news that one of its newest rivals enos ars had gone into
administration. he enos was never offered in it form but its performance focus and similar pricing made it a natural rival to the aterham even. At the time of going to press it was hoped that new bac ing could be found to eep enos a oat. W: www.caterham.co.uk
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Aluminium roadster maker goes full-time Martin Batho built his one-off MB1 on 2009. Based around a mix of Ford Sierra and Triumph Spitfire mechanicals, it’s currently off the road undergoing a conversion to Ford Zetec power – but it’s the aluminium bodywork that has drawn most attention in the time it has been on the road. He started receiving requests from people asking him to make panels for them, so established Batho Sportscars to satisfy the demand. It was easy enough to do as he’d created tooling for his own car in case he should ever need spares. “At first, I did it as a sideline,” he says, “but you don’t get anywhere like that so eight months ago I made it my full-time occupation.” Martin is a sheet metalworker by trade, so it’s no surprise that he knows his way around making aluminium panels for a Lotus Seven inspired roadster. Former career moves included starting out at Triumph Motorcycles fabricating chassis and working on everything from BTCC racers to Jaguar D-Types. Batho’s offerings range from simple panels to full chassis and body kits.
The chassis is based on the Locost design with options of either Triumph based or Haynes Roadster front suspension. The differential is from a Ford Sierra, so it has independent rear suspension and various engine options can be fitted. A chassis and full aluminium bodywork package is £3465. By way of example, prices for individual parts include cycle wings at £30 each, rear wings at £150 each and wishbones at £175 per set.
The Nuneaton, Warwickshire, based company can also offer various welding and sheet metalworking services. We’ll be taking a closer look at the company’s long-serving demonstrator as soon as the Zetec engine conversion is complete. Longer term, the company has plans to offer a closed bodied, mid-engined car which will also have an aluminium body. W: bathoscars.simpl.com
FROM THE ADS: DAX RUSH MC
his one-owner Da ush loo s tempting. As well as being a uality it fundamentally it has a terrific specification headlined by a turbocharged u u i ayabusa engine. t’s had lots of wor internally with only miles covered since new pistons and conrods went in. Based on the lightweight chassis its claimed performance figures are . sec to mph and over mph at out. t’s a little scuffed and used’ but it’s a lot of performance for the as ing price. ou’ll find it on iston eads if it’s still available
100 ISSUES AGO FEBRUARY 2009
CIRCUIT DRIVING UNDER THREAT magine if third-party insurance was mandatory for all vehicles at all times even when off-road. n the case of motorsport this would have a catastrophic effect insurers would demand huge premiums to cover the ris . lub level motorsport and new entrants to the sport would be decimated. e’re all sleepwal ing towards this nightmare. his threat is not fiction. t could happen if a uropean ourt of ustice ruling goes through. he ’s otor nsurance Directive ruling prompted by the nu ’ legal case states that thirdparty insurance is mandatory for all mechanicallypropelled vehicles regardless of the type of use in all places at any time. n December the government opened a consultation process on this issue and it’s vital you oppose the implementation of the nu udgement. hether you li e motocross circuit racing rallying touring cars or even ust trac days this would affect you. ar trac days typically cost around per day. ow imagine that cost umping to or per day with insurance. t doesn’t ta e a genius to see the harm this could cause.
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he problem is not ust one of financial implications either. n some forms of motorsport such as and bi e circuit racing some of the ris s may not even be insurable. his has the potential to end motorsport. ven an off-road uad bi e and a mobility scooter would need to be covered if this proposed law goes through. he governing body the A and the A are all on the case with this but we need as much support as possible to ensure the future of all our hobbies. ou can sign the petition to oppose this at the address below. W: http://bit.ly/2i6Cgsf
A reader’s amborghini Diablo replica was our main cover car this month. he first-time it car builder had ta en on one of the most ambitious it car pro ects going and created a stunning finished result. lsewhere we e perienced two very different motorcycle engines the oto u i -twin of a Blac ac ero and the awasa i unit in a pire - . e also visited otal eadtuners pac ed showroom and threaded the huge torm arrior through the streets of urrey.
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UP FRONT NEWS
Vortex offers GT-EV project for sale
he annual Autosport nternational show at the in anuary invariably sees a few hardy it car manufacturers place their wares in front of an unfamiliar audience... and does the same to help spread the word. wo things struc me about the it car focus at this year’s event. irst there were a surprising number of manufacturers in attendance. t’s not cheap to ta e a stand at the event and yet there were more companies occupying s uare meterage than we’ve seen for a number of years. ou could see that in one of two ways... either desperation to find new sales at any cost or a confidence to meet a broadening customer base... hich leads me to point two. arely in the last few years have had a string of conversations with manufacturers that have been as positively upbeat as they were at the . loo s super busy for the li es of estfield B and others. iger acing launching a new one-ma e race series o ports ars reporting a busy order boo urismo loo ing as slic as ever and otal eadturners demonstrating that the value of pre-owned top-end it cars ust eeps on going up. eople want to buy good uality it cars. he manufacturer stands at the loo ed professional and the products on display are offering car enthusiasts a great alternative to the mainstream motoring world. hether it’s a full-on competition car in the form of the AB abre a fun and affordable home pro ect such as the - based ocet or a rapid speed machine such as the orte it seems the it car scene is confident enough to have a go at anything. ere’s loo ing forward to great . Ian Stent firstname.lastname@example.org
8 March 2017
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While Vortex Automotive is full steam ahead with production of its V2, the GT model is for sale as an on-going business. The slickly styled coupé has always been one of the most accomplished cars of its kind, and anyone who takes it on would benefit from the £750,000 worth of development it has already undergone. As well as conventional car engines, the company is advanced in developing an electric powered version using the very latest battery and motor technology. In its sale proposal – further details of which are listed in the website mentioned below – the company includes
the tooling and rights to the car, as well as managerial and technical assistance during the hand-over period. An outright purchase is preferred, but a majority stakeholding would be considered. The price of the business is available on application. Meanwhile, the latest production GT shown here is under construction by its New Zealand buyer, the lack of windows betraying its part-built state. Finished in British racing green, it features Vortex Automotive’s latest round of visual and technical upgrades. W: www.sportscarsopportunity.com
2017’S TRACK DAY DATES IN YOUR POCKET
e’ve ust published the edition of our sister publication the rac Day Directory. Available as a free to download and use app for smartphones and tablets it contains every trac day date we now of over of them in one place so if you’re loo ing to boo a trac day on any given day you have them in your poc et in one place whether you have internet access or not. ou
can clic through to boo the day you choose directly from the app. here are all sorts of other features in there too and we’ll be updating the diary section every month in . f you’re a trac day regular it’s a must-have and best of all it doesn’t cost a penny. earch rac Day Directory’ in your app store Apple and Android to download it today. W: www.trackdaydirectory.com
GBS secures £125k Niche Vehicle Network grant Great British Sports Cars has received funding of £125,000 from the Niche Vehicle Network. It will allow the company, together with fellow Nottinghamshire company Far-UK, to develop new composite materials technology. These innovations can not only be used in its own cars, but also potentially sold to other industries such as aerospace and rail. The funding will also allow GBS to employ more young people to train them with the skills needed in specialist car manufacturing. The company already employs 14 people and takes on new apprentices frequently. The funding attracted the interest of the local press, who lapped up the story of a growing local employer and the factory was also visited by Mark Spencer MP, who said: “GBS are a fantastic local business creating jobs in this
community, and for me that is the single biggest priority for this area. They deserve more credit and publicity for the work that they do. Medium-sized businesses like this are the ones creating real career opportunities for the youngsters coming out of local schools.” W: www.greatbritishsportscars.co.uk www.completekitcar.co.uk
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UP FRONT NEW PRODUCTS No matter how ‘complete’ your kit car project is, there’s always plenty of tempting gear for you your car and your garage. n every issue we highlight the latest useful and cool stuff... Are you tempted to get your wallet out?
HERE’S THE EVIDENCE
Dash cams are all the rage at the moment, and this little device from Thinkware may suit kit car owners keen to catch the evidence when things go wrong. The Dash Cam F50 is a new entry-level cam from the company, but with full 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second and a 130deg viewing angle. Optional GPS antenna adds speed and location info as well as speed camera location warnings.
Price: £79 or £99 with GPS inclusive of VAT Contact: www.thinkwaredashcam.uk
Sylva Sportscars is currently developing a raft of new products that can be retro fitted to existing Sylva models. The latest is a range of FIA approved and E-marked harnesses featuring the Sylva wording. Made of 3in webbing and with aero style central release, the harnesses are available in either 4, 5 or 6-point configuration and in a number of different colour combos.
Handy multimeter from Gunson (77038). Measures DC and AC voltage, resistance, capacitance, frequency, duty cycle, diode and continuity (audible buzzer). Measurements are displayed on an LCD screen and the unit features an LED spotlight to illuminate the work area.
Price: Dependant on specification Contact: www.sylvasportscars.co.uk
Price: £78.22 inclusive of VAT Contact: www.gunson.co.uk
Sometimes the diameter of the heater hose at the engine is different to that required at the heater itself, and this natty bulkhead mounted reducer may be perfect. It also ensures that there is no danger of pipework being damaged where it goes through a bulkhead. Accepts pipes of 16mm diameter on one side and 12mm on the other. Price: £9.60 inclusive of VAT Contact: www.carbuildersolutions.com
Keeping your kit car battery in tip top health through the winter months and over extended periods of inactivity can be a challenge, but the latest product from charger specialist CTEK might be what you are after. The new CT5 Time To Go unit features a series of LED lights which tell you the state of charge and how long it will be before the battery is full charged. Neat. Price: Typically around £80 inclusive of VAT Contact: www.cte .com to find your nearest stoc ist www.completekitcar.co.uk
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UP FRONT OUT & ABOUT
Vortex V2, as recently featured in our Car of the Year shootout, appeared on our stand. This new demonstrator has a 1.6-litre Ford Ecoboost.
AUTOSPORT ACCELERATION Lots of kit car manufacturers to be found at this year’s Autosport International event and its sister event, the Performance Car Show, at the NEC in January.
Words and pictures: Ian Stent
utosport International, held each year at the NEC in early January, is an annual fixture many motorsport fans keep as a post new year indulgence… a chance to see new cars and get excited about the season ahead. And sitting alongside Autosport for several years has been the Performance Car Show, a respite from the Nomex-clad brigade and a chance for mere mortals to ogle some extreme road cars and supercars. It was our first chance to get up close and personal to a new Ford GT, admire Noble’s M600 and most certainly dream about owning a BAC Mono. The Performance Car Show has something for everyone, from modern BMWs on ludicrous air-bag suspension to rather lovely period Ford Mustangs. And in between all these was to be found a not insignificant number of kit cars. CKC was also in attendance, along with our free-to-download app, the Track Day Directory. With a comprehensive diary of over 450 track days throughout the year, the 12 March 2017
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directory is an invaluable reference to have to hand for when the conversation turns to a future track day. Just search ‘Track Day Directory’ in your app store. In the meantime, here’s the kit car news from the show. Following its recent CKC Car of the Year nomination, Vortex Automotive brought along the new V2 demonstrator. Still in build, the blue demo car features production ready bodywork and a 1.6-litre Ford Ecoboost under the rear deck. With the latest bodywork and chassis refinements, including 40mm reduced track, smaller wheels and the company’s optional inboard front coil-over dampers, we reckon this could be the perfect V2 specification for fast road use. A massive 10-car stand from Total Headturners showed the market for premium pre-owned kit cars is very strong. Is now the time you should invest in a kit car? Panel kit specialist Turismo found itself opposite supercar modifier Liberty Walk, a superb stroke of good
fortune where Turismo’s Boxsterbased Avalanche must have appeared spectacular good value. Two examples of the new Rocket 2 were to be found on the Exo Sports Cars stand, with the first hopefully on the road before Stoneleigh in May. Elsewhere, a classic Rocket featured the tiny 3-cyclinder 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine. Built by Lutterworth Ford as a demonstration of the little Ecoboost engine’s potential, it should be great fun. The latest Avatar gives a more road focused view of this track day friendly road racer. Sadly still not available in component form, the Avatar heralds from kit car specialist, Marlin, and featured a number of subtle refinements and styling revisions from last year’s debut. Featured in CKC back in issue 116, it was good to see MacG Racing using its Ultima (aka Taranis) to promote its motorsport focused products. Both Exocet and Replicar models were to be found on the MEV stand at Autosport, flying the flag for Mazda MX-5 based kit cars.
There was a typically confident display by Great British Sports Cars at Autosport, but there’s much more to come from the company later in 2017. Meanwhile, two tidy Zeros were on display, but it was a cabinet to one side that caught our attention, with the company’s latest in-house billet aluminium uprights on display, along with its very own billet aluminium 4-pot calipers. More on them another time. Impressive combined display by AB Performance and Aries Motorsport, with both the AB Arion S2 and Aries Sabre on show. It was good to see Tiger Racing at Autosport, with the evergreen Avon sporting a full roll cage and promoting the company’s new one-make race series. Although the Westfield stand sported two existing models, it seems there’s lots going on at the Midlands based manufacturer throughout 2017. It should be a very exciting year and we’ll bring you details as soon as we are able. www.completekitcar.co.uk
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his super-tidy modified
arcos will be featured in full in
Aries Motorsport showed cutaway Sabre. Taranis, as featured in CKC, on show.
Avatar has moved on since 2016, with styling tweaks. Was a strong crowd-puller.
Avatar interior looked neat and tidy.
AB Performance shared a stand with Aries. They now work closely together.
Porsche Boxster based Turismo Evo.
Total Headturners had a large stand.
Deep Sanderson in the Coys auction.
You couldnâ€™t miss the GBS stand.
al â€™s ta e on a errari
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Lenham Healy mixes kits with classics.
Modern Exocet and old-school Replicar.
estfield showed the new port
Tiger Racing was promoting its new single-make race championship.
Three-cylinder Ford Ecoboost powered Rocket on the Exo Sportscars stand.
New shape Rocket also on show.
March 2017 13
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A typical Race Spec. Tiger Avon developing over 250bhp per ton, with a 0-60 of 5 secs. Legendary handling and a top speed of over 120mph.
Full Kit - Everything you need to build your kit to our one make race series specification. The car can easily be updated later to general road specification. Contact Tiger for full details on pricing, series format, technical enquiries etc., ask for Jim, Paul or Laura on the number below.
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UP FRONT OUT & ABOUT
MG TD replica based on a VW Beetle.
Robin Hood one of a few British kit cars in evidence. GRP-bodied Spa 24-hour 2CV race car.
Panda with period soft-top conversion.
Ultra-rare Bultaco bike-engined racer.
Serra Dodge is a locally-built rarity.
Shamrock Cobra replica is new to us!
KITS PLAY HIDE AND SEEK AT AUTO RETRO Proving that the reach of kit cars is greater than many expect, Gary came across a few at a classic car show in Barcelona. But he had to seek them out…
Words and pictures: Gary Axon
lthough slightly lost in a sea of older Seats and Spanish-built classics from Fasa-Renault, Land Rover Santana and Citroën, tucked away in the exhibition halls of Barcelona’s Auto Retro show late last year were some interesting kits and unusual low production volume Spanish cars. Among the kit cars on display, Sevens dominated with the new official Caterham Spain importer putting on a professional presentation with a wide-bodied CSR. A few locally-built Garbi Sevens were also dotted around the Auto Retro halls, as was a 2CV-based Burton and a couple of Cobras, one being a RHD Shamrock-branded 427 from South Africa, which was a new one to us! In the austere post-civil war 1950s Spain, microcars dominated the local car market, prior to Fiat helping to establish Seat as the country’s first mainstream passenger car maker. The www.completekitcar.co.uk
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amusing Gabriel Voisin-engineered alloy-bodied Autonacion Biscuter was the most prolific of these, with a few examples of this simple 200cc microcar at the event, including a one-off development prototype with doors – such extravagance! One of just 16 Serra-bodied Dodge 3700 GT Boulevard Coupés also appeared at the show, based around the Barreiros Dodge 3700 V8, the most prestigious car made in Spain during the Franco era. A unique coach-built Serra Roadster, based on a Fasa-Renault 4/4 (the Spanish 4CV) aroused much attention, as did a rare period convertible conversion of an early Seat Panda by Emelba. Other distractions included a nasty Beetlebased MG TD kit, claimed to be a Brazilian MP Lafer, which it was not, plus a competition Citroën Dyane from the annual Spa 2CV 24-Hour race, and an unusual Bultaco motorcycle-engined single seater.
Caterham represented by local distributor. Fabric-bodied Czech Velorex oddity.
2CV based Burton hails from Holland.
Unique Serra Renault 4CV roadster.
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UP FRONT OUT & ABOUT
Intencity from the ever-creative Sbarro.
Renault Trezor was interesting. Production is unlikely, of course. A Berlinetta a low-volume offering.
German trike maker Boom’s e-Crusier.
Electric Noun Nosmoke makes no smoke. Noun also makes this buggy.
Ultima now available in France.
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL IN PARIS ltima single-handedly ew the it car ag at the aris motor show than s to its new local distributor, but there was also plenty of other specialist cars to catch our eye.
Words and pictures: Gary Axon
n line with most of the international motor shows, the biannual Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris has plenty to attract the devoted petrolhead, although not much is aimed specifically at the specialist kit car fan. Sure, the 2016 Paris show saw some exceptional concept cars and new model debuts, but the more niche-orientated vehicles were rather thin on the ground. Interesting exceptions to this though did include a few low-volume sports cars, ranging from the neat ISAT Berlinette and Sbarro Intencity, plus the star of the show, Renault’s stunning Trezor concept. A large selection of (mostly electric) leisure fun cars added interest, including the French-built Noun Nosmoke (get it?), 16 March 2017
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the visually similar Chinese Burby’s (available in medium and large sizes!), the e-Mehari Loisirs, plus German trike maker Boom’s first ‘proper’ fourwheeler, the new e-Cruiser. A Paris surprise was seeing a gleaming Ultima being presented by the British firm’s new French importer, which plans to offer the Evo in fully-built turnkey format only. Noun displayed a neat Chinese-built beach buggy, called Vintage, and sans permis manufacturer Microcar revealed a wild off-road prototype based around its 500cc M-Go model. The craziest creation at the Paris Salon though was the wild Formula Giol, a barking electric three/four wheeled ‘race car’, planned for limited production in 2018. Sacre bleu! Hard to tell the purpose of the Giol, but we won’t hold that against it. www.completekitcar.co.uk
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UP FRONT OUT & ABOUT
Microcar display included a pair of Belgian-built one-off 500cc Formula Juniors, plus the space-age Inter 175.
SPECIALS SPROUT IN BRUSSELS Amongst the more prestigious exhibits, the second InterClassics event in Brussels had its fair share of oddities, and Gary was drawn to them all…
Words and pics: Gary Axon
eld for the second year in succession, late autumn’s InterClassics Brussels show, held within the vast complex of the Brussels Expo centre, shifted up a gear or two for 2016, with the classic car event expanding from just two halls previously, to four now, each packed with prestigious European classic car dealers and autojumble stands. The extensive dealer selection was supported by a wide range of unusual and interesting cars, supported by two special themed displays. The first of these was a light-hearted ‘Fascinating World of Microcars’ feature, including a trio of early self-built 500cc Formula Junior racers, mixed with some quirky 1950s French offerings, including an Inter, Mochet and Voisin Newscooter V129, the latter a one-off intended for use by postal services.
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The other feature, ‘Legends of Spa Francorchamps’, gathered a mouth-watering selection of pre-war and post-war Grand Prix cars, plus saloon and endurance racers that have competed at the celebrated Belgian motor circuit since the 1920s. For kit car enthusiasts, though, some of the individual exhibits may have attracted closer attention, such as a pair of early Lotus Sevens, an Ogle SX – in mid-restoration – a Lenham Spridget, plus the inevitable fake Cobra or three. Though not kits, a low-volume production Fevres Ranger, a 1960s Fiat 500-based off-roader, was a rare sight, as was an early Belgian Apal Formula Vee racer, a German Kleinschnitzer, a Sbarro-built GT40, a brace of Meharis, and a local company offering a Volvo 240 engine conversion kit for the iconic Citroën HY van!
Lenham bodied Spridget on show.
Rare Formula Vee racer built by Apal.
Ogle SX mid way through resoration.
Second outing in CKC for this Ferves.
Citroën 2CV based Meharis en masse.
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UP FRONT EVENTS DIARY Do you have your shiny new 2017 diary or calendar? Great – be sure to make a note of all these dates! The events that CKC will be either attending or involved in organising are highlighted in bold. Do you have an event you think we should list? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org FEBRUARY
Great Western Classic Car Show Saturday 11 to Sunday 12 Bath and West Showground, Somerset, BA4 6QN W: www.bristolclassiccarshows.com Early season in and outdoor classic car show. The Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction Friday 17 to Sunday 19 Olympia, London, W14 8UX W: www.olympiahistoric.com A new classic car event for 2017 run in association with Coys. Race Retro Friday 24 to Sunday 26 Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ W: www.raceretro.com The international historic motorsport show… often with some kit car content!
Goodwood 75th Members’ Meeting Saturday 18 to Sunday 19 Goodwood Motor Circuit, West Sussex, PO18 0PX W: www.goodwood.com Major historic motor racing meeting. B ars and o Saturday 25 Great British Sports Cars, Nottinghamshire NG22 9ZD W: www.greatbritishsportscars.co.uk All makes welcome at this meeting at the GBS factory. Starts 10am.
Classic Rally and Autojumble Sunday 2 Old Warden Aerodrome, Bedfordshire, SG18 9EP W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above.
CKC CARS AND COFFEE
Saturday 15 o c nit it ma ark oad rant am : www com t kitcar co k An informal gathering at the Complete Kit Car o c s in
18 March 2017
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rant am inco ns ir 10am to 2pm.
CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW
Easter Monday 17 ston ark ta ords ir TF11 8PX : www c assicmotors ows co k is nt r ns or two days t Complete Kit Car will be there for the Easter Monday with free access for CKC readers who bring their cars! Email your name and registration number to adam@performancepublishing. co k or yo r r ass
We’ll be at the events highlighted in bold
Kent’s All Ford Car Show Sunday 23 Aylesford Priory, Kent, ME20 7BX W: www.kentsallfordshow.co.uk Classic Motor Show Sunday 30 Catton Hall, Derbyshire, DE12 8LN W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above.
NATIONAL KIT CAR MOTOR SHOW
nday to Bank o iday Monday 1 May ton i ark arwicks ir CV8 2LZ : www nationa kitcars ow co k i on s a kit car nt siast i yo can on y t to on s ow in mak it Stoneleigh. Nowhere else will yo s so many kit cars in on ac inc din own rs cars manufacturers’ demonstrators and the latest new cars.
NATIONAL KIT CAR MOTOR SHOW
nday ri to Bank o iday Monday 1 See entry above for details.
Saturday 20 andow irc it a o amor an B : www com t kitcar co k r ar fi t r in t ca ndar
Castle Combe Summer Festival
and a ways a o ar day akin ookin s now r car or or s scri rs
Bank o iday onday a y a arwicks ir B : www c assicmotors ows co k is nt r ns or two days t Complete Kit Car will be there for t Bank o iday onday wit free access for CKC readers who bring their cars! Email your name and registration number to adam@ r ormanc is in co k or your free pass.
LONDON TO BRIGHTON KIT AND SPORTS CAR RUN
nday ondon to ad ira ri Bri ton : www c assicmotor nts co k y o ar nt or kit and s orts car own rs t at tak s the scenic route from London start oint to confirm d to ad ira ri Bri ton on the run! GBS Summer Open Day Saturday 10 Great British Sports Cars, Nottinghamshire NG22 9ZD W: www.greatbritishsportscars.co.uk
All makes welcome at this meeting at the GBS factory. Starts 10am. Bristol Classic Car Show Saturday 17 to Sunday 18 Bath and West Showground, Somerset, BA4 6QN W: www.bristolclassiccarshows.com Big classic car show for the West Country. ans o r Saturday 17 to Sunday 18 France W: www.lemans.org A major annual pilgrimage for many kit car owners. Father’s Classic Day Out Sunday 18 rentham ardens taffordshire ST4 8JG W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above. Goodwood Festival of Speed Thursday 29 to Sunday 2 July Goodwood House, West Sussex, PO18 0PX W: www.goodwood.com Old and new racing cars, new supercars, a motor show and more all in one place. www.completekitcar.co.uk
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Classic Motor Show Sunday 9 atfield ouse ertfordshire AL9 5AE W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above. Classic Motor Show Sunday 16 Walsall Arboretum, West Midlands, WS1 2QA W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars.
CASTLE COMBE SUMMER FESTIVAL Saturday 22 ast om
i ts ir
: www cast com circ it co k n w rsion o t assic Kit and Retro Action Day is a now an a ncom assin nt or a kinds o cars Complete Kit Car wi onc a ain ost a kit car
NATIONAL KIT CAR MOTOR SHOW STONELEIGH
trad ar a and t r wi s ac d dicat d to kit car c s and kit car on y track s ssions
AMERICAN CAR SHOW
nday y s ord riory nt B : www k ntskitc stomand am ricancars ow co k A summertime gathering with a d dicat d kit car dis ay ar a Nostalgia Show Sunday 30 Beaumanor Hall, Leicestershire, LE12 8TX W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above.
Classic Motor Show Sunday 13 Braemore House, Hampshire, SP6 2DF W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show
that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above.
A unique historic motor racing meeting with lots of nostalgia.
CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW
Kent’s Classic Car Show Sunday 10 Aylesford Priory, Kent, ME20 7BX W: www.kentsclassiccarshow.co.uk
Bank o iday onday n wort o s rt ords ir SG1 2AX : www c assicmotors ows co k is nt r ns or two days but Complete Kit Car will be t r or t Bank o iday onday with free access for CKC readers who bring their cars! Email your name and registration number to adam@performancepublishing. co k or yo r r ass
Classic and Retro Motor Show Sunday 3 Himley Hall, West Midlands, DY3 4DF W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above.
CKC TRACKDAY Sunday 10 B yton ark
inco ns ir
: www com t kitcar co k n w trackday or kit cars on y w ic wi simi ar in character to our established nt at andow in ay akin ookin s now r car or or s scri rs
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Goodwood Revival Meeting Friday 8 to Sunday 10 Goodwood Motor Circuit, West Sussex, PO18 0PX W: www.goodwood.com
Classic Motor Show Sunday 17 Wentworth Woodhouse, South Yorkshire, S62 7TQ W: www.classicmotorshows.co.uk A great outdoor classic car show that welcomes kit cars. Book in your car in advance via the link above. Westenhanger Car Show at rday to nday st n an r ast nt W: www.westenhanger carshow.com A new show raising money for tthe Pulmonary Fibrosis trust in memory of Garry Biddiss. nt wi inc d kit cars c assic cars s rcars as w as i m sic a to m and evening entertainment.
CLASSIC VEHICLE RESTORATION SHOW
at rday to nday Bat and st ow ro nd om rs t B W: www.bristolclassic carshows.com Classic car show with a d dicat d a or kit cars o rin yo r own kit car or to register interest for your own rs c mai adam r ormanc is in co k
20/01/2017 2:14 pm
UP FRONT CLUBS & LIFESTYLE Joining a club is a great way of making the most out of kit car ownership... in these pages, we capture some of the fun to be had. If you’ve been somewhere or done something, whether as part of a club or going it alone, let us know (email@example.com) and you might appear here...
Let the mileage challenge begin!
it cars aren’t generally known for covering huge mileages. Indeed, even when they are on the road, some struggle to cover over a thousand a year. Of course, when they come off the road, some never turn another wheel in anger! So long as the kit cars owned by Complete Kit Car contributors are roadworthy, we all tend to use our cars pretty regularly. When CKC’s Ian Stent had his first Cyclone, it quickly notched up 12,000 road miles in little over a year. And when Adam Wilkins first had his Sylva Riot on the road he amassed 10,000 miles of regular road use in a year without batting an eyelid… and his car doesn’t even have a windscreen!
But all this pales by comparison to Keith Taylor. He built his now rare Kingfisher Kustoms Kango buggy back in 1986 for £2000, and he’s used it as daily transport ever since. And a recent email from him reported, “Today the mileage passed 00000… for the second time! It’s on its third engine now, the first two having been bought for £100 each got the car to 195,000, with the most recent one bought for £95 in 2015 and still going strong.” In terms of affordable motoring, it doesn’t get much cheaper than that and the mileage is truly spectacular. So Keith’s thrown down the gauntlet… can anyone top that?
Spa Classic tour beckons Classic Car Tours has put together a four-night trip in May to the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit to take in the excitement of the Spa Classic, a weekend of spectacular historic racing. Covering the 18th to 22nd of May, the trip includes four night accommodation at a 4-star Radisson hotel. With reserved parking at the circuit, you’ll be in a prime spot to watch qualifying on 20 March 2017
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Friday, and the racing action over the weekend. In addition there is an option to take your own car on circuit for a 25-minute track session on each of the main days. It sounds like a spectacular trip, with the price set at £538 per person. Note this does not include the cost of getting to Spa (ferry etc). W: www.classic-car-tours.com/ spa-classic www.completekitcar.co.uk
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Rare Opus HRF for sale
Brian Turnbull contacted CKC recently, giving us some information on his Opus HRF which he’s sadly having to sell because of ill health. He’s the second owner of the car, having bought from the first owner, back in the early ’90s. Of course, it’s much older than that, originally being built in 1973 as a wedding present for the builder’s soon to be wife. Brian remembers that she told him she was not impressed! Brian tells us: “I used the car regularly to bring Santa Claus to
switch on the Christmas lights in Thornton Le Dale where I live – the kids loved it!” He’s obviously looked after the Opus well, and it will be sold with an MoT and has recently had a new battery fitted. It comes with two spare wheels (as the front and rear wheels are different sizes) and no fewer than four different soft tops! Being a largely original specification car, the Opus is Anglia 105E based, with the mechanical components relocated
Make me a cuppa Back at the beginning of 2016, the CKC crew hauled all of our stuff from our old office in Taunton up to its new home in Lincolnshire, and if you live up that way and fancy bringing your car along to the CKC offices to see what we’re all about, here’s your chance. On Saturday 15 April, we are launching the first CKC Cars And Coffee gathering, right here at the office. It’s a chance for you to give your kit car a run out and park up at the CKC head office and enjoy some kit car banter over a cup of something hot. Who knows, there may even be biscuits if we’re feeling really generous. The office will be open from 10am and we think we’ll be done and dusted by 2pm. There’s no need to pre-book, although it’s always helpful to get an idea of numbers. If you fancy it, just turn up and we’ll get the kettle on! www.completekitcar.co.uk
020 Clubs.indd 21
into a bespoke Opus chassis and fibreglass bodywork that in this case is finished in a metallic red. Brian tells us that it has still only done under 2000 miles since it was built (he has all the MoTs to prove it), so this is a very rare opportunity to buy a quirky slice of kit car history. £1750 would see it in your garage and Brian’s handed over the selling of the car to Tennants Auction House at Leyburn in North Yorkshire. Contact 01969 623780 if you are interested.
MAKING A KIT CAR IMPACT
It’s easy to bemoan the lack of dedicated kit car shows these days (and we all need to support Stoneleigh, the last remaining exclusive kit car show), but that’s not to say that kit cars cannot make an impact at other shows. CKC has worked hard over the last few years to build a dedicated kit car presence at a number of non kit car events, and the fruits of that work are now being felt. Last November we were once again at the Classic Vehicle Restoration Show at the Bath and West Showground in Somerset, with a hall set aside for kit car clubs (and some manufacturers). The Porsche replica club, Speedsters & Spyders, had its usual stand in the hall and the subsequent show report in its magazine commented: “Attendance at the show this year was outstanding. The atmosphere was great, everyone showed real interest in the exhibits, asked intelligent questions and showed good knowledge and real enthusiasm for the cars on show.” These are not our words, but the club’s… the message to others is clear – get involved with these events and you and your members will reap the rewards. So where will you and your club join CKC in 2017? We’ve again organised lots of events where you can be part of a kit car community. April 17 – Classic Motor Show, eston ar taffordshire May 20 – CKC/Omex Trackday, Llandow, Wales May 29 – Motor Show, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire June 4 – London To Brighton Kit & Sports Car Run July 22 – Castle Combe Summer Festival, Wiltshire August 28 – Classic Motor Show, Knebworth, Hertfordshire September 10 – CKC Trackday, Blyton Park, Lincolnshire November 4-5 – Classic Restoration Show, Shepton Mallet, Somerset At these events you’ll find a dedicated kit car presence organised by CKC. Whether you’re on your own or part of a club, there’s lots to do in your kit car. Come and join us.
March 2017 21
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The Pie Valley Buggies mid-engined VW Beetle replacement chassis. Please take a look at pievalleybuggies.co.uk if youâ€™d li e to now more
22 March 2017
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20/01/2017 9:40 am
UP FRONT YOUR LETTERS ot something you need to share with the it car world eed to let off steam about the it car scene Here’s your chance to have your say – email us, and spread the word via this page. mail adam performancepublishing.co.u
LETTER OF THE MONTH
WHERE’S THE BANHAM COMMUNITY?
SIX WHEELS BETTER…
eading the December issue saw ary A on’s comments about a si -wheeled obra replica. ovil Coachworks, whose advert the car appeared in during the s was based in the ld ramyard at the top of the hill out of Maidstone on the A and our heating spares shop and o ce were only a couple of hundred yards away. he beast in uestion was a ranada-based ilgrim umo with a engine and very definitely with only four wheels. t was a fre uent sight around and
Browsing through my very limited shelf and magazine storage space, I found the July 2015 issue of Complete Kit Car and found on the readers’ letters page reference to the Banham Sprint Frogeye lookalike. Seems a pity this kit is no longer available since, being based on the BMC Mini, so much info is out there. Anyway, my point was to ask if any readers know of a club or group of enthusiasts interested in them.
the driver the manager was a customer of ours even ogged him a new boiler a few years later. hey also did a ilgrim that was around for a while, and they possibly wanted to be build agents for ilgrim and they did some nice paint on some customer kits. I certainly met said manager who was helping on ilgrim’s stand at one of the andown ar shows. ’m not sure who was more surprised! Anyway bac to the wor shop... John Clements, Running Reporter
Maurice Stacey, Cheltenham
EVERY ISSUE, LETTER OF THE MONTH WINS A TOP QUALITY CKC FLEECE MYSTERY SOLVED
The mystery yellow gullwinged car on page 16 of the December issue (121) is the Keeble K3. It was built by Jim Keeble, of Gordon Keeble fame, who went on to be involved in many different engineering projects after the failure of Gordon Keeble in 1967. In the 1980s he designed and started to build the gullwinged K3 special, a spaceframed high performance three-wheeler capable www.completekitcar.co.uk
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We’re not aware of any active Banham club, but if any readers know of one let us know and we’ll pass on the information – Ed.
CLASSIC IS BEST
of 125mph but, due to illness, was unable to complete it. He sadly passed away in 2003. The K3 was bequeathed to the Hampshire Industrial and Social History Museum ‘Milestones’ in Basingstoke, Hampshire, and Jim’s great friend Derek Baker eventually completed it.
Gary Axon, columnist
Should have known to ask you! – Ed.
agree with eter osenthal that there is a need of a nice loo ing maybe a bit classical stylish simple-to-build it car. he techni ue of such a car doesn’t have to be very sophisticated. t could be fully electric as an suggested but it certainly has to be usable. he ealy nigma that you crowned Car of the Year looks indeed like a very well made and nice to drive car but still
think that Healy Designs should consider offering a more classic’ looking model. I’m sure that some customers are waiting for a more conventional front end with more chrome, wire wheels etc. D A’s ifty is also a very nice car. he transformation of the looks the part, certainly with the new interior it but still prefer the loo s of ubodi’s alifornia on the same base Antoine Ryckman, Belgium
March 2017 23
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UP FRONT COMMENT
Respected classic car journalist Richard Heseltine has been a major player at Classic & Sports Car and Motor Sport magazine before becoming a sought after freelance journalist. But he also happens to be one of the most knowledgable kit car bo ns you’ll ever come across.
025 Heseltine.indd 25
e all now that Buc ler was the first it car manufacturer right ell maybe not as ichard eseltine e plains.
call it the box-file of the damned. It’s a catchy title, I’m sure you will agree. It contains several terrible photos and scraps of paper pertaining to some of the more esoteric cars to ever turn a wheel in anger. That said, given that some of them clearly look unfinished, they may well not have turned a wheel even in mild irritation, but I digress. The point is this: in some instances, I have spent several years just trying to identify particular cars, let alone find meaningful information as to who built them or what they were based on. Some, I fear, are destined never to be named. Most are clearly homebuilt one-offs, everything from mystery-engined three-wheelers to a bizarre Jaguar E-type ‘lookalike’ with what appears to be a four-cylinder MG Magnette boat anchor beneath its misshapen bonnet. Then there are the many ’30s-style roadsters with bodies so angular as to be serrated, not forgetting a pyramid-shaped device with an elliptical wheel pattern. Which does rather beg the question: why waste time pondering such automotive shrapnel? Who cares? It’s quite simple: I do. I was born with an attraction to the obscure and the unloved that borders on the unhealthy. I eschew the latest cinematic blockbusters in favour of the sort of B-movie crud that makes your eyes water, and listen to music that generally defies belief as much as description. I wish I liked the mainstream. Really, I do. It would make life a
lot easier, but generally I don’t. The same is true of cars. The odder the better, that’s what I say. Occasionally, though, I have a breakthrough, as in the case of the car pictured here. I’ve had the photo for longer than I can remember. Now I have a name to go with it and enough info to form a couple of sentences. And the significance of this? Well, it may be the first British kit car in the accepted sense. That’s all. Popular wisdom has it that Malcolm Buckler ushered in the ‘specials’ movement with his eponymous MkV model (there never was a Mk1 to MkIV…). Ads first appeared in the spring of 1949, with sales starting later that year. The thing is, this car may have predated it ever so slightly, or at least been made in parallel as it too was launched in ’49. It’s just that nobody noticed. The Fairey & Sons ‘special’ featured an Austin Seven chassis with 1172cc Ford power plus an aluminium body draped over a wooden frame. While perhaps more of a conversion than a kit car per se, it was nevertheless offered for home assembly if my info is correct. Beyond that, I know nothing: not where it was made, who designed it nor if more than one was ever completed. I wish I did as I would love to know if it really was the first British DIY sports car offered for public consumption. Should anyone reading this have more to offer, do please get in touch. Do me a favour and put me out of my misery. And I wonder why I’m single…
March 2017 25
20/01/2017 9:59 am
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UP FRONT WALL OF FAME Do you want to see your car in the pages of CKC? Send us some pics and details and you’ll probably see it here – and we may even contact you to arrange a full-size feature. Email email@example.com
WHAT A FURORE
We were pointed to an eBay advert for this Furore F1 by Furore Cars boss Russ Bost. The auction was ended early when builder Dave Stephens received lots of generous offers than s largely to its high specification. isually the things that ma e it stand out are the colour scheme which unusually for a urore doesn’t ape that of any particular Grand Prix car and the bespo e reprofiling of the nose shape. The photo shows the car in its tandem two-seat guise but the rear seat can be hidden with a moc air bo when it’s not occupied.
A PIECE OF KIT CAR HISTORY
But what of its specification he year-old car has a awasa i ZZR1400 engine producing a healthy bhp which is good for around 400bhp per tonne. The paddleshift gearchange is enhanced with a Flatshifter that allows full throttle gearchanges on the way up the 6-speed sequential gearbox. It helps chase the estimated 0-60mph time of 3.5sec. ots of high spec parts such as the Braid wheels i pec bra es and carbonfibre panels went into the build contributing to a pile of receipts that totalled almost . he highest spec urore in e istence t could well be
ere’s an interesting piece of it car history. he late and highly regarded motoring ournalist ussel Bulgin built a idas to see whether a it car could function as a car. After the build he too it to ontinental urope concluding that arold Dermott and ordon urray had indeed created an affordable touring car. hirty-five years and miles later the car is owned by imon i e. ts showing its age so he’s wor ing on a retrim and the possibility of a vinyl wrap. nder the s in the front subframe is being replaced and polybushed. imon is a recent convert to it cars. e’s previously owned inis but grew tired of watching them rust away before his eyes. is first it car was a abre print which he regretted selling and tried to buy bac three times. ’ve owned about cars in the last years and I always sell them but I would never sell my idas says imon. t’s more fun than a ini faster handles better and is uni ue.
TIMEWARP GINETTA The Ginetta G15 we featured in the September 2016 issue (118) drew quite a lot of attention. erhaps it’s because it’s a it car that has attained genuine classic car status but for whatever reason it has widespread appeal. While that car featured some period modifications oger ittleboy’s is much more a period piece. e built it in and a restoration in the mids by inetta specialist David olroyd sees it loo ing as good today as it did years ago without eradicating all of its patina. “The aim was to maintain originality
027 Wall of Fame.indd 27
says Roger. “The car is totally unmolested and is about as close as you could possibly get to Ivor al lett’s original concept. t even has a period JPS radio/ cassette player. uch of its original character of course comes from the lively all-aluminium Coventry Climax engine. It was that which really stood out to Ian Stent when he drove the other car for the feature last year and which had him searching the inetta wners’ lub classifieds. After years it seems unli ely that he’ll find oger’s car advertised any time soon
March 2017 27
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BRIDGING THE GAP A visit to Hawk Cars is always fascinating, and the completion of the latest 289 is all the excuse we needed to make our way to a factory that bridges the gap between the kit and classic car worlds.
Words and pictures: Adam Wilkins
30 March 2017
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n this business, you become accustomed to visiting a wide variety of premises from which kit car manufacturers operate. Some work from what amounts to not much more than a draughty lean-to, others in immaculately presented workshops with tiled showrooms. One fact is well established: the quality of what comes out of any given workshop is not always commensurate with the surroundings in
which it was made. Many an exquisite car has come out of an unkempt workshop. Hawk Cars boss Gerry Hawkridge has never let Stent forget that he once described his factory as a collection of ramshackle buildings, but therein was a compliment. The quality of Hawkâ€™s offerings has never been in question, and the somewhat chaotic state of the workshops was a stark contrast, and therefore worthy of note.
Open wide! Registration number similar to that of a famous Cobra.
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All black interior maintains the low-key appearance of the exterior. Steering wheel is a genuine 1960s piece.
Yet on my most recent visit to the manufacturer, based in Frant near Tunbridge Wells on the Kent/East Sussex border, I almost drove right past. I knew that the company was having the driveway resurfaced (our visit was delayed while the work took place), but the makeover given to that collection of buildings has been utterly transformative. The buildings have been clad in wood, tonnes of detritus has been binned and there’s an order to the stock that seems logical even to the casual observer. Gerry’s old office – a small, paper-strewn room – has been relocated to a spacious area that previously hosted the kind of stuff a hoarder feels they need to keep, but really they don’t. (As an incurable hoarder myself, I’m not having a dig at Gerry!) The whole place feels more efficient, bigger and altogether more impressive. The driving force behind this radical overhaul is Rhona Hawkridge, who Gerry married last year. And it’s not just the sense of order that she has instilled that we’ve come to see. We’re also here to see her own personal Hawk 289, a birthday gift from Gerry last year that made its public debut at
Glovebox lid knob one of many Hawk parts.
...as does the exterior detailing.
Tremec 5-speed box.
Cluster of instruments looks the part...
IF YOU NEED SOMETHING FOR YOUR GENUINE COBRA, IT’S PROBABLY HERE
owhere else can you find such a broad range of spares for genuine Cobras. From the most obscure widget to full chassis and bodies (Hawk has the technical drawings for those), Hawk has it. The consequence is that it has become the
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place that owners of historic racing Cobras turn to when they need parts – and many of those parts can be carried over to its kit car range, too. A tour from Gerry leaves you slightly overwhelmed as to the scale of what Hawk has created.
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Above: Hawk’s cars now displayed more neatly. Row of 289s with a row of athfinder replicas. Right: Latest addition to the eet belongs to Rhona Hawkridge.
the Stoneleigh show. It looks every inch the part when we catch a glimpse of it through the window from the new office. When the main garage door is lifted, it gets better still. As ever with a Hawk, it’s a replica of a very specific model – in this case, the European spec Mk3 289. In period, it was effectively a short block version of a 427, which explains the wider wheelarches usually associated with bigger capacity Cobras. Originally, wire wheels would have struggled to fill those arches, but for the Hawk a set of Halibrand wheels do the job perfectly. Chunky wheels aside, this car has a very subtle look. The subdued blue hue is kept in check with the plain black interior, but that’s not to say it’s without interest. The 16in steering wheel is a genuine AC item from the 1960s while the knob for the glovebox lid is machined specially by Hawk. In fact, there are endless components around the car which are made by Hawk. How many other kit car manufacturers own the tooling for their own alloy wheels? You get used to attention to detail: the BPH 4D registration number is very close to that of a very well known AC. BPH 4B belonged to the car driven at 185mph on the M1 by Jack Sears, which is often ‘credited’ with the blame for the introduction of the 70mph speed limit. With that kind of heritage, the Hawk
The absence of sidepipes and stripes gives the car a cultured look, but it could take on almost anything www.completekitcar.co.uk
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gets away with not being too ‘shouty’ in its appearance. The absence of sidepipes and stripes gives this car a cultured look, yet you still know it could take on almost anything that challenges it. Not today, though. The mucky, salt-encrusted roads mean that it’s staying off the highway. All the more time to take a look around the car. Under the bonnet is a 5.0-litre (or, to put it more evocatively, 302cu in) SVO spec Ford V8 producing around 340bhp. The underslung exhausts mean the thunder the car produces sounds distant, but no less menacing. The Ford V8 drives through a 5-speed Tremec T5 gearbox, while the duty of hauling it all down is given to big Girling alloy brake calipers. It’s all housed in the coil-sprung and double wishbone equipped 4in round tube chassis. While the car’s build was only complete last year – Kingswell Coachworks applied the metallic blue paint in January in time for Rhona’s birthday – the aluminium bodywork dates back futher. Several years ago, as part of a big display at the NEC classic car show, the fabrication of this body was finished in public. Hawk Cars is one of those companies that successfully stradles the kit and classic car markets, not least because it has become the leading supplier of parts to owners of genuine Cobras. That transition originally came about almost by accident around 15 years ago. When Gerry Hawkridge struggled to find parts he needed, he made them himself. He was soon fielding enquiries from owners of real Cobras who had also found parts supply difficult, and the whole thing snowballed.
289 is Rhona Hawkridge’s own car.
Nothing extravagant about the trim.
alibrand wheels help fill the wheelarches.
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SPOTLIGHT TECH SPEC ENGINE AS TESTED: Ford 302cu in V8. ENGINE OPTIONS: Ford and Rover V8s in various guises. CHASSIS: 4in twin tube chassis. SUSPENSION: Front – Double wishbones, coil-over dampers. Rear – Double wishbones, coil-over dampers. STEERING: Rack and pinion. BRAKES: Discs allround. CONTACT: Hawk Cars, Oakdene, Wadhurst Road, Frant, East Sussex TN3 9EP. T: 01892 750341. E: enquiries@ hawkcars. co.uk W: www.hawk cars. co.uk
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With the Hawk stores now much more organised, a tour round them with Gerry reveals a mind-boggling range of parts. And some of the components are so utterly intricate and obsure, it’s hard to believe there’s even a market for them. The range of suspension parts, and the number of variations, could fill a few pages of a parts catalogue on their own. Other parts, such as full hardtops, are more obvious. We may know Hawk Cars as a kit car manufacturer, but to owners of historic racing Cobras it’s the go-to outlet for all manner of spares that would otherwise not be available. It’s no exaggeration to say that most, if not all, historic racing Cobras wouldn’t make it to the grid without the company that operates from a number of out buildings on the Kent/East Sussex boarder. All of which feeds back as a benefit to those of us who couldn’t dream of affording
Ford 302cu in engine produces around 340bhp. Underslung exhausts keep it subtle.
a real Cobra but could aspire to building a Hawk. If the owners of seven-figure racing cars are happy to shop there, it’s good enough for the rest of us. Many of those parts carry over to the kit cars, too.
A visit to Hawk has always been eyeopening and fascinating. Now that there’s some order to the place, the quality and breadth of what goes on there is even clearer to see. ■
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ANGER MANAGEMENT Instead of getting frustrated at the inevitable challenges posed during a typical kit car build, Fury owner Len Jones actively en oyed overcoming problems during his carâ€™s five-year assembly. Words and pictures: Ian Stent 36 March 2017
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e covered the construction of Len Jones’s Fisher Fury in last month’s issue so, after five-years spent creating his car, what’s Len been doing with it since it hit the road back in 2014? Having passed IVA at its first attempt and been allocated an age-related number plate, Len could begin testing his creation. One early frustration involved the padded clubmans style seating he’d fitted. He couldn’t get
low enough in the cockpit to be comfortable and ended up ditching the old seats in favour of some basic fibreglass seat shells from JK Composites. Despite their unpadded finish, Len finds them perfectly comfortable and they’ve obviously given him much needed space. However, even now he still wonders about dropping the floor to lower the seat still further in the cockpit. Another early problem involved the bike carbs he’d installed. On hot days he found that two of
the carbs simply stopped working properly – but on cold days everything worked perfectly. He also noticed on the hot days that when he opened the fuel cap there was an audible release of air pressure. Running the car with the filler cap off made the carbs work fine, and Len realised that on hot days the tank was pressurising the fuel system and causing the problems… it was an easy fix, simply fitting a roll-over valve onto one of the previously blanked-off breathers. Sorted. March 2017 37
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eadlight covers neatly fi ed and add to the overall loo of the car.
USEFUL CONTACTS Kit: ury ports
ars ranbroo . furysportscars yahoo.co.u www.furysportscars.co.u
Inlet manifold: Bogg Bros, Malton, orth or shire. . www.boggbros.co.u Engine sump: cholar ngines towmar et uffol . scholar-engines supanet.com
Gauges: Merlin Motorsport, Castle ombe iltshire. . sales merlinm torsport.co.u www.merlinmotorsport.co.u Parts: ally Design walecliffe . sales rallydesign.co.u www.rallydesign.co.u
The return drive home instantly demonstrated the benefits of the professional set-up. ‘It was a lot more driveable,’ remembers Len
Parts: uropa pares utbury taffordshire. . info europaspares.com www.europaspares.com Propshaft: Bailey Morris, St Neots, ambridgeshire. . sales baileymorris.co.u www.baileymorris.co.u Wheels: Midland Wheels, Southam, arwic shire. . sales ohnbrownwheels.com www.midlandwheels.com Edge starter motor: via Cambridge Motorsport Parts, Letchworth, ertfordshire. . sales cambridgemotorsport.com www.cambridgemotorsport.com Seats:
omposites. . composites yahoo.co.u www. composites.com
Suspension Set-up-up: Track Developments, Nr Castle Combe, iltshire. . trac developments gmail.com www.trac developments.com
38 March 2017
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Above: Donor steering wheel is an unusual feature. Right: Copper heater pipes with built-in bleed valves. Below: JK seats improve the driving position.
Less easy to overcome was the Fury’s initially wayward handling. Len had set up the suspension himself, using suitable DIY kit that should have worked perfectly. But he just couldn’t get the car to work in the way it should. It meant booking the car in with Track Developments, near Castle Combe, where Dave Gallop discovered that most of the suspension settings were out by one degree – it turns out Len’s garage floor isn’t as level as he thought it was! The return drive home instantly demonstrated the benefits of the professional set-up. “It was a lot more driveable,” remembers Len. But still not perfect. A lingering frustration is a degree of bumpsteer that becomes evident over uneven road surfaces. It’s one of the jobs Len may look to address this year, with the location of the steering rack almost certainly needing adjustment. One irritation he was able to address was the sluggish Ford starter motor fitted to the engine. It worked fine most of the time, but would occasionally turn the engine over very slowly. Len reckoned there had to be a better option… and he found it online in the form of an Edge Performance high torque starter. Once successfully installed it’s cured the issue completely. Looking online, we’ve found these units available via Cambridge Motorsport Parts. Over the months that the car first hit the road, Len did lots of short runs to shakedown any issues and hopefully establish that the Fury could become a reliable mode of transport into his work at Heathrow. Breaking down was not an www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:00 am
I BUILT THIS
Name: Len Jones Age: Occupation: Avionics engineer First car: Mk1 Cortina Lottery win: Range Rover Fastest car been in: Honda Prelude Favourite tool: Air riveter
option for him on his 75-mile daily round trip, but once he was confident with the Fury it has become a regular in the rush hour traffic on the M40 and M25! That said, weather plays its part too, because Len has never fitted any form of weather protection to the Fury and, beyond perhaps getting a tonneau cover made for it, has no intention of doing more. “If the weather is that bad then I just don’t take it out,” he reasons. But longer runs are in his sights. While building his car he’s made contact with a number of other Fury builders around the UK and is keen to see how they are getting on with their cars. One thing he’ll be interested to see is how well they have managed to fit the bodywork. No matter how much he tried to adjust it, Len could not get the bonnet to align tightly to the bulkhead. Supplied by a previous manufacturer, it’s hopefully something future customers won’t be worrying about. Given time, Len reckons the only proper fix for him is to cut the bonnet panel along its return edge and space it out with fibreglass so that it correctly aligns with the scuttle. It’ll mean the gel coloured bonnet will have to be painted, so it’s not high on his agenda at the moment. Indeed, it’s another example of where this builder hasn’t let problems become frustrations. While he keeps the Fury clean and tidy, he also understands that a basic coloured gelcoat panel will rarely be as good as a painted one. The flip side is that he doesn’t have to be overly precious about the car. www.completekitcar.co.uk
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ing e tensions wor well to cover e tra wide rear wheels and tyres.
And when you first see Len’s Fury you may not take in the reasons why CKC has been so happy to include it in these pages. The bodywork isn’t showroom fresh and the interior is simple and, initially, unremarkable. But what we really like about this car is the sound way in which Len has built it. Lots of thought has gone into everything before a single bolt has been tightened. In the interior, the original Ford steering wheel with which it passed IVA several years ago is still in situ (Len likes the visibility it affords of the main gauges) and the large aluminium dashboard is uncluttered, but look closer and the dash is actually finished in vinyl to stop the aluminium weathering… and we like the use of aluminium finishing strips in several areas of the car, which give a very tidy result. It’s the same under the bonnet…. not a show-stopper, but lots of great lessons for any car builder to absorb and appreciate… top quality Mikalor hose fastenings used throughout, bleed valves built into the copper piping for the heating system, well
ilwood four-pot front calipers behind in inilite replica alloys.
designed aluminium bracketry for locating the battery on the bulkhead and tidy wiring throughout. None may be headline grabbing, but all are areas where many builders fall down. Move to the exterior and the Fury’s simple and uncluttered styling excels. Models like this, once volume sellers in the ’90s, may now take second place to the myriad of sevenesque kits, bodykits or replicas, but the Fury’s independent styling still makes a classically inspired statement. The headlight covers finish the front end nicely, while Len’s rear light installation is a now typically subtle statement of his thoughtful build technique. The angled mounting plinths are barely noticeable, but unquestionably worth the effort that went into making them. “I enjoyed building it,” comments Len, “and I thoroughly enjoy driving it. I’ll run it for as long as I can get into it!” Two sentences that perfectly sum up what kit car ownership is all about. Could 2017 be the year you begin your own project? ■
ENGINE: 1.8-litre Ford Zetec, Kawasaki ZX6R bike carbs on Bogg Bros inlet manifold, Megajolt ECU. GEARBOX: Sandard Sierra Type 9 gearbox with short shift gearchange. SUSPENSION: Double wishbone suspension all round, with top rocker arms and inboard coil-overs at the front. Sierra front stub axle, fabricated rear hub carriers. BRAKES: Solid discs and Wilwood 4-pot calipers up front with Sierra drums at the back. WHEELS AND TYRES: 13in Minilite replica alloys from Midland Wheels, Federal SS595 185x60 R13 front tyres and 205x60 R13 rears. INTERIOR: Aluminium dash panel with Smiths magnolia faced gauges, toggle switches with switch guards, Ford steering wheel, aftermarket padded seats. EXTERIOR: Le Mans ury bonnet with ared rear bodywork and no doors.
March 2017 39
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CKC ON THE ROAD IN 2017 Weâ€™re running full speed into 2017! These are all the events weâ€™ll be at... and we hope you can be too! CKC TRACKDAY
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Events Map.indd 41
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MOTORSPORT READER’S CAR
EXPLORER Committing to a season’s motorsport can be onerous enough, but what if you do so on the opposite side of the planet to home? Here’s an Aussie’s tale of European racing.
Words: Al Suttie Pictures: John Crae and Tom Hackett
he idea of a road trip is something many kit car owners dream about and plenty turn it into a reality. Tom Hackett took this notion a few stages further with his perfect holiday of touring around Europe competing in hillclimbs. To make Tom’s plan even more impressive, he and wife Marguerite set off from their home just north of Sydney, Australia, to the UK with no car, motorhome nor itinerary. Tom says: “I’m not a good tourist and didn’t fancy bus trips, so I decided to have a look at the European Hillclimb Championship. It was too expensive. Then I thought let’s just get to the UK, find a car, trailer and motorhome and this way we could pick which countries and events to visit.”
om too the
It sounds simple and is pretty much what the husband and wife team did, leaving their farming business in the hands of their children in April 2016. With a motorhome sorted as living accommodation for their grand tour, next up was finding a suitable car. Tom looked at a number of options: “I knew the Caterham type of cars well from competing in Australia where I use my homemade Volkswagen special. The first car I considered was a Lotus Elise, but budget dictated something affordable and also a car I could ship back home at the end of the trip.” At this point, a pre-litigation Westfield came to Tom’s attention and it matched his criteria very well. With a 1700cc Ford Crossflow engine producing a claimed
145bhp, it would be more than quick enough for most British mainland hillclimb venues for someone who had not competed there before. As a bonus, the car is only two years away from being classed as a historic vehicle in Australia, so Tom would be able to send it home and run it on the road and tracks over there. Very little work was needed to get the Westie into shape for its first event. The battery had to be mounted securely and correct seat harnesses saw the car fit for competition at Shelsley Walsh. Taking part in this debut event was simple as Tom had previously arranged to upgrade his Australian racing licence to an FIA-approved Visa Licence, which should qualify in any country. The organisers at Shelsley Walsh were more than happy to
estfield to many of the sunnier parts of urope... as well as cotland
42 March 2017
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They set out for Italy next, where they had entered a hillclimb, only to be met with more bureaucracy about race licences. Undeterred, they turned around and went to Ireland instead
estfield caused a stir in the rench iviera. www.completekitcar.co.uk
042 Tom Hackett Westfield.indd 43
Taking in the views on the Isle of Skye.
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READER’S CAR I OWN THIS
Above: The motorhome was home... so it’s lucky the estfield didn’t need too much attention
Name: Tom Hackett Age: 63 Occupation: Organic tropical fruit grower Best moment of the trip: Being in the line up with the rench ational Championship in St Goueno as part of the British Masters Fastest car you’ve been in: Some old V8 Commodores and recently a fully chipped ol swagen olf
Left: Tom didn’t source his car until he reached the UK.
Tom received a unique accolade at St Goueno’s hillclimb.
ac ling t
44 March 2017
042 Tom Hackett Westfield.indd 44
m trac pitted the
accept Tom’s credentials, but some other hillclimb venues were less accommodating. Tom continues: “We had a great time at the St Goueno hillclimb in Brittany, France, so we thought we’d try another French event. However, the organiser refused on the grounds my licence wasn’t valid, which just seemed odd. So, instead we pointed the motorhome and trailer towards Spain.” Despite not speaking Spanish, Tom and Marguerite couldn’t have been made more welcome and the team running this competition not only fast-tracked Tom’s application, they provided an interpreter. Soon, Tom was a local celebrity and on television explaining his racing vacation. During this time, Tom was still getting used to the Westfield and how it performed.
He laughs: “It took a while to realise the car was fitted with a five-speed gearbox as I was so used to the four-speeder in my VW special. Once that was sorted, driving the Westfield on the road was easier and we used it to visit Barcelona, as well as on the road in France, Ireland and around the UK. This did throw up the issue of insurance, which cost a fortune as we’re not UK residents and didn’t have a permanent address because we were living in the motorhome.” Tom and Marguerite set out for Italy next, where they had entered a hillclimb, only to be met with more bureaucracy about race licences. Undeterred, they turned around and went to Ireland instead, where the reaction could not have been
estfield against some of the best rench and British racers. ortunately om’s race licence wasn’t an issue here. www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:01 am
Before selling the motorhome, Tom and Marguerite had to deliver the Westfield to the docks for it to be shipped back to Australia more different at Knockalla and Mondello Park, the latter being the only track event Tom took part in. “The reception in Ireland was amazing. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, which makes a huge difference when you’re travelling and don’t have a garage full of equipment,” says Tom. “I suppose I was lucky as the car finished every event I entered, despite some issues such as a binding brake and snatching clutch. The latter turned out to be the bellhousing working loose. Fortunately Colin Satchell, who hillclimbs a Peugeot 205 GTI and won the 2015 Leaders Championship, lent me his workshop to get this sorted.” The last event of their unusual European tour brought Tom and Marguerite to Scotland for a British Hillclimb Championship round at Doune. Tom smiles at the memory: “Doune was probably the most challenging hill. European hills are very fast and flowing and the Spanish events were 7.5km long. Doune is incredibly narrow and it didn’t help that my spectacles took a moment to adjust from the darkness of the first section to the www.completekitcar.co.uk
042 Tom Hackett Westfield.indd 45
bright light of the middle part of the course. Still, it was another place where the people made it special and the guys who run Doune couldn’t have been more helpful.” After this last of eight competitive events, it was time for Tom and Marguerite to pack up and head for home. Before selling the motorhome, they had to deliver the Westfield to the docks for it to be shipped back to Australia. Tom plans to use it on the road and in hillclimbs alongside his existing VW special. For many, this once-in-a-lifetime trip to the other side of the world would be enough. Tom is made of sterner stuff, though, and says: “If I did it again, I’d pick events and a championship to give the itinerary more structure, and I’d allow more time to get to places. Europe seems small on the map compared to Australia, but there’s much more traffic and winding roads. “If anyone fancies doing the same sort of thing over here in Australia, I’m sure we could sort out some events and drives. We’d love to see all of the people again who helped us. And we’d even make sure you had the right sort of licence.” ■
Heading over the fearsome East Brae summit at Doune, Scotland.
Lining up for the start of the Alysis meeting in Cantabria, Spain.
March 2017 45
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"You cannot fault the quality of this car as a driving experience or for its build standards" - Classic & Sportscar road test.
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Carburettor Sales and Servicing
Wheel Alignment and Corner Weighting
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GRAND EUROPEAN TOUR ROAD TRIP
o celebrate the estfield club’s th anniversary Dorset members planned an epic uropean adventure ta ing in seven different countries over miles.
TRIP INFO CROSSING: £320 ACCOMMODATION: £750 TOLLS: £120 FUEL: £533
ost people have challenges throughout their lives, and my biggest challenge was building my own kit car after I retired. I made a phone call to Westfield and, after a subsequent test drive, I came away having ordered a complete kit! That was in 2003 and I completed the car the following September. During the early stages I joined the Westfield Sports Car Club and met up with my local Dorset area group. Since that first meeting I have been a regular attendee of various events – Le Mans Classic in France, the Isle of Man TT races and car shows around the UK. One winter’s evening in 2015, the question came
aisleden and Dale
up of where to go the following year for our summer run. It had to be something special as 2016 was the Westfield club’s 30th anniversary. Someone mentioned Europe and our imaginations ran wild. How about a ten-day tour of as many European countries we could cram in? We would start off from Portsmouth and go by ferry to Bilbao. The middle of June seemed a sensible time and we reckoned on nearly 3,000 miles in ten days through seven different countries. Four crews signed up for the trip… Malcolm and his son Dale in the yellow 2.0 Zetec SEiW car, Jon and his son Myles in the orange 2.0 Zetec SEiW-FW, Chris in
DOS AND DON’TS DO
a e two e tra days et an card while you still can a e sure you have everyone’s telephone number. eep your fuel tan s filled along the way. top to en oy the views
ceed the speed limits eave your wet weather gear at home. ely solely on sat nav. Believe you will average more than mph on bac roads. ou won’t. urn down the offer of a trip li e this. Do it
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3000 MILES IN 10 DAYS
the crimson 2.0 Zetec SEiW and myself in my blue 1.8 Zetec SEiW. Day one arrived and we all met up for the 8.45pm ferry from Portsmouth. We were quickly loaded on to the ferry for the long 14-hour overnight crossing. We arrived at the port of Bilbao in the early afternoon to be met by rain! With hoods up we made our way to our first day’s stop at a campsite just outside Lourdes. We arrived late in the evening, and Chris produced a picnic along with a few cans of Old Speckled Hen. The next morning, we made an early start as we had a long day ahead. Our destination was Millau via the Pyrenees and Andorra. Off we went up the twisting road into the mountains with stops for photos, then on for lunch in Andorra… at Burger King! Then it was off for our next night’s stop in Millau, now famous for its spectacular bridge which is 890ft above the valley floor. After a 433-mile drive
which took 14 hours, we were ready for our hotel dinner and a couple of pints followed by a snooze! The next morning we were up early again so Jon could pick up his son, Myles, who was flying out to join us on our way to St Tropez – our next destination. We all left together and, with Jon then heading off to pick up Myles while we took the 35-mile scenic route through the amazing Gorges Du Tarn, then on to the Ledenon Circuit near Avignon to meet up again with Jon and Myles. After a group photo we were all on our way to our hotel, the Amarante Golf Plaza on the hill overlooking the town after a long drive – 327 miles and 10 hours. The next morning we had planned a visit to Port Grimaud in St Tropez on our way along the coast. We were then going to Nice – a relatively short hop along the coast some 60 miles, but with the heavy traffic it was slow going and very hot. After parking up
Above: he group ta e a rest at the top of the telvio ass. Left: Dorset branch of ma es its intensions clear. Below: n the ferry in amongst the lorries
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t’s all too much for
ood -shirt though
Approaching the spectacular
pectacular run en route to t rope .
A group shot at ort
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irst stop at a campsite ust outside ourdes.
for the night at the campsite we relaxed and enjoyed some food and more lager. The day after, we headed for Monaco early in the morning in order to miss the crowds. We did four laps of the circuit at a very sedate pace, plus some photo stops before heading off along the coast road to Nice and then Cannes for lunch. Well that was the plan, but a short way along the coast we all pulled up behind Chris to find that he had a suspension problem. The front offside wheel seemed to be moving from side to side under braking! With a bit of pushing and pulling, Malcolm and Dale, who are both professional engineers, sussed out the problem. The bottom bushes in one wishbone had disintegrated, so it was a slow drive back to base camp. Within a few minutes the car was jacked up, and the suspension removed. The bushes almost fell out and we had to find a temporary repair for Chris’s car in order to avoid a trailer ride back home.
We all scoured our cars to find something to use as replacement bushes. It turns out a wheel brace handle is just slightly smaller than the original metal bush, and we then needed something to make the difference up – turns out Old Speckled Hen cans are perfect. Short sections of the wheel brace were cut to size by three of the team while Jon cut strips of empty beer can to use as packing. Malcolm and Dale then made the new ‘bushes’ up and installed them into the bottom wishbone. Once refitted to the car, Chris took a test drive. They were as good as new and actually lasted the rest of our tour – 2000 miles. Good work guys! The following morning we made our way northwards out of Nice to Italy, where the road winds its way up towards Col de Turini, where we stopped at the Hotel des Trois Vallees. A ski resort in the winter, it’s also the start of a section of the Monte Carlo Rally which goes back down the coast to the finish line. We had just driven the reverse of the section – very exhilarating!
A short way along the coast we pulled up behind Chris to find he had a suspension problem. The front offside wheel was moving from side to side!
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3000 MILES IN 10 DAYS
A photo opportunity at
We left to continue our drive upwards and onwards towards Varese, skirting Turin and Milan on our way through the paddy fields of the rice growing area of Italy. We arrived early evening at our hotel for a two-night stay. The next morning we were off to the Stelvio Pass passing by Lake Como. Then there was the awesome drive up the Stelvio Pass. I have never driven such roads before and managed to get the rear tyres to sing around some of the hairpins going up – not a thing you can do on our everyday roads at home. Pictures just can’t capture the magnificent scenery of the Alps so if you get the opportunity go for it! The return trip down the mountain was just as scary as going up but with a different view – when you had the nerve to look! We then made our way back to Varese along the other bank of Lake Como, driving through the many tunnels but missing the views we’d had in the morning. The following morning we decided to leave at 5am. So we rolled our cars out of the car park so as not to disturb the other guests (Westie drivers are a very considerate bunch) and we made our way out of the city towards Vichy – a journey
e t hotel in the hree alleys area. www.completekitcar.co.uk
048 Road Trip.indd 51
eading out of
of 540 miles. This part of the trip would take us to where The Italian Job was filmed. We approached the St Bernard Pass from the north, where the scene with the Minis being pushed out of the coach was filmed. Then we continued past snow covered peaks, frozen lakes and deserted ski resorts. There was very little traffic up there. Great! After a coffee stop in Chamonix, it was off to the Mont Blanc tunnel. Then we picked up the road over Col Du Petit St Bernard Pass where the other scene of the Jaguar and Aston Martin devastation was shot. Now ‘not a lot of people know that’, to coin a phrase! We then continued our trip via Lyon for our next hotel. Now we were on the way back home, but our route-planning gurus had a couple of surprises up their sleeves. The first one was a slight detour to Nevers, the home of the Magny Cours circuit, where we hoped to visit the Ligier F1 team museum. Parking the Westies outside the main entrance of the track, we started taking photos against the backdrop signs until the security guy on the gate came over and invited us in to have a look around. Well we weren’t about to refuse an offer like that! There was a club race in progress and we watched from one of the stands, then we made our way back
onaco for the hills.
estfield develops a front suspension problem.
on ma ing a bush pac er from a beer can
e li e the rollbar stic er Do you have yours
cenery utterly spectacular at every turn.
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ROAD TRIP conic telvio ass never fails to impress.
Above: n case you wondered where they were Right he stuff on which adventures are fuelled
inal brea fast en route for the ferry bac home.
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to the entrance to where the museum is situated, but sadly it was closed. Then we continued our journey up to Sancerre. After lunch it was onward to our last overnight stop at Muides-SurLoire, not far from Orleans. It was on this last section of our tour that one of our drivers, who will be nameless, fell foul of the gendarmerie whilst overtaking a large lorry. He was zapped and pulled in and fined €90 for speeding! Our last night in France was spent recounting our trip, which was truly the trip of a lifetime, travelling through Andorra, Monaco, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria in ten days. We stopped about 30 times to refuel with me using approximately 94 gallons over the 3000 miles we travelled.
On our final day we left the camp at 5am as we had 250 miles to cover in order to reach Cherbourg for an early evening sailing. I was leading the convoy and it was still dark as we left and drove through the approaching dawn. At about 9am I pulled into the square of a small French village, parked up, commandeered a couple of tables in the sunshine and ordered our breakfasts which came freshly cooked, served with fresh French bread and steaming coffee. This set us up for the rest of our drive to the port and home to England. If a challenge like ours comes your way, try to take it. You won’t regret it. I thoroughly enjoyed our European tour and I am 74! Thank you to all my chums who put up with me on the trip. ■
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BACK ISSUES More issues at www.completekitcar.co.uk Call: 01476 978843 UK £5.30 • EU £7 • WW £9 INC P&P
• Westﬁeld Sport 250 • DJC V-Storm • Autotune interview • DIY wheel alignment • NCF Arctic build
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• Ultima Can-Am • Raptor RR • Dutton Phaeton Pt2 • Haynes Roadster build • Choosing instruments
• Classic kit cars group • MEV Rocket Pt2 • Vortex V2 driven • Ribble Spyder build • Make speedo work
• Caterham Seven Sprint • Autotune Gemini • NCF Arctic Pt2 • Buying used advice • Dutton restoration
• Anu Dimension GTB • RPS RPX driven • NJT Gullwing one-oﬀ • Marlin Alps road trip • MEV Rocket build
• Raﬀo Belva Barchetta • MK Indy Pt2 • Aussie GD 427 • Wind tunnel test • Simtek wiring
• Ginetta G27 driven • Healy Enigma V8 • Spyders Inc 718 Pt2 • Mini Marcos history • MK Indy build
How to Build a Haynes Roadster or How to Build a MEV Exocet worth £7.95 when you buy any 3 back issues Just tell us which freebie you want when you order. More back issues at www.completekitcar.co.uk
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A Ford Zetec gets a makeover inside and out in this month’s reports
What’s the importance of having a jig on which to build kit car chassis?
AN MK, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT – ONE-OFF NISSAN 200SX BASED BUILD
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Stent’s Cyclone makes a dramatic return with a fresh coat of paint
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There are no Ford components on Rich Sawtell’s usually Ford-based MK Indy. Instead, after 10 years of work his example exclusively uses parts harvested from a Nissan 200SX, including a 280bhp turbo engine! Here’s how he did it. Words: Ian Stent Pictures: Rich Sawtell
A career in motorsport engineering makes Rich Sawtell the ideal candidate for a kit car build, but this project began before all that.
Nissan base makes this MK ndy different
ack in 2006 Rich Sawtell’s MK Indy build was meant to be finished in 12 months… as part of his Motorsport Engineering course at Bridgwater College. “They said pick something small…” he remembers, “It wasn’t handed in on time!” No doubt over a few pints it had all made sense. He’d already built an MK for someone else, so joining forces with another student and building one as part of his coursework should have been easy, right? The problem was Rich had an innate dislike for Ford components. Having worked in a road car garage specialising in performance Nissans, he much preferred what he’d come across there, and decided the Nissan 200SX would be ideal and, critically, affordable. Although the college duo managed to source a suitable car for £1500 (complete with spare engine and gearbox), the project got little further before they both threw in the towel and concentrated on a more modest project. But the Nissan was a good buy, with the pair managing to sell off £1000 worth of unwanted parts – it meant the complete mechanical basis for the project had cost just £500. When Rich left college a year later he bought out his mate’s share of the donor and moved the pile of bits back home with 56 March 2017
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“100 per cent full consent of my parents!” The next two years were spent stripping everything down and refurbishing it. And work was most definitely getting in the way. Rich joined a Formula BMW crew, then moved to Formula Renault, then on again with spells over the next few years at A1 Grand Prix, Superleague Formula, German F3, World Endurance, Formula 1 and more recently Formula E. In between, there have been spells at McLaren (building the MP4-12C) and looking after 100 rickshaws in India for the Rickshaw Run Challenge! It’s been a varied decade of work. And also goes some way to explaining the MK’s extended gestation. Knowing that he was going to have to modify so much of an original MK chassis (and create much of the suspension from scratch) Rich wanted to avoid the expense of a brand new frame, and found what he was after in the form of a crash damaged chassis… his for £150. Straightening the frame and doing the welding were both well within his skill set, and once sorted he bought a scuttle, bonnet and nose cone from MK so that he could test the engine installation to make sure it would fit. The only major headache here was the inlet manifold, so Rich designed a new one in CAD, made the sheet metal shapes
ENGINE: 1.8-litre CA18DET twin cam initially running in standard trim with modified inlet manifold. GEARBOX: Standard inline 5-speed Nissan gearbox SUSPENSION: Double wishbones all round, Nissan 200SX front uprights, Nissan 200SX rear hubs on modified MK fabricated hub carriers. Protech coil-over dampers. Nissan LSD and driveshafts. BRAKES: Nissan discs/ calipers all round. WHEELS AND TYRES: XXR 531 16x8in front and 16x9in rear alloys with 205x50R16 front and 245x45 R16 rear Toyo Proxes T1-R tyres. INTERIOR: Cobra Roadster 7 seats, TRS 4-point harnesses, original Nissan gauges behind Perspex dash panel wrapped with aluminium finish. Stack ancillary gauges. Momo steering wheel with Nissan column stalk controls behind. EXTERIOR: MK Indy front bonnet, nose cone and scuttle with aluminium other panels, all wrapped. Hinged bonnet and nosecone, LED rear lights. Rear diffuser. Dax Rush front arches with MK Indy wide rear arches.
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Second-hand MK chassis bought for £150.
Needed extensive repairs to crash damage.
…to establish engine mount positions…
…which could then be fabricated after…
Rich had kept much of the original Nissan.
Standard MK wishbone alongside Nissan arm.
CAD drawings then used to water jet cut steel.
MK wishbone alongside new Nissan spec arm.
…to be replaced with rosejoints.
Unusual location onto Nissan front upright.
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Engine and gearbox dropped in early…
bonnet had been trial fitted.
Rich used CAD extensively. This is part of wishbone.
riginal top wishbone had ends cut off
D trial fitted into
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Rear Nissan hub carrier and CAD replacement.
Rear suspension in place, minus coil-over.
MK hub carrier alongside Nissan original…
ro ect now finally rolling on its donor wheels.
Starting to fabricate the pedal box.
Master cylinders in place.
Performance radiator of Honda origin.
Aftermarket intercooler will need outlets modded…
CAD design for new plenum chamber…
…all components now fabricated…
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…with CAD designed bracket welded in place.
200SX steering column and Micra rack in place.
edals oor-mounted in the footwell.
in order to fit inside nosecone.
…welded together by a mate of Rich’s. www.completekitcar.co.uk
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New plenum in place on the engine.
Aftermarket fuel tank would need extensive mods.
Finally, panelling of the chassis could begin.
Bulkhead panel taking shape.
Beginning to look like a car.
Flared side panels with holes for suspension.
10kg of unwanted wiring stripped from the loom!
Original plugs retained for use with Nissan parts.
Rich trials the location of the original gauges…
and got a mate in the fabrication shop at work to weld it all together for him. Now it was time to get the frame rolling. Up front, that meant using the Nissan’s cast uprights. Original MK top wishbones were modified to use rosejoints, with a water jet cut pair of brackets then locating each wishbone to the upright where it would normally bolt to a MacPherson strut. Replicating the Nissan geometry, Rich once again used his CAD skills to design new lower wishbones and, once again, the bracketry was all water jet cut for a really professional and accurate finish. Indeed, it’s a technique he used throughout the project. At the back it’s more conventional MK, using largely standard double wishbones and the MK fabricated hub carriers supplied blank on request, without the usual drillings. Rich then CAD drew his own carriers for the Nissan bearings, which he then welded to the fabricated uprights. The donor’s limited slip differential replaced the Ford item, and Rich was also able to retain the standard length Nissan driveshafts… the end result of which is a rear track that isn’t much wider than the standard Indy. A bespoke propshaft created by
HJ Chard Engineering in Bristol would connect the Nissan’s 5-speed gearbox to the back suspension. Brakes, as you would expect by now, are from the donor, being discs all-round and including the Nissan’s rear in-disc drum handbrake operation… a really neat solution to a perennially tricky kit car problem. While Rich could use the Nissan 200SX’s steering column, there was no way the original powered rack would work. So a visit to a scrapyard had him digging around the front ends of various knackered Nissans, eventually finding something suitable under the bonnet of a K11 Micra… it even had the right spline pattern to match that of the 200SX! Creating an all-new pedal box was rather more challenging. Rich managed to buy a second-hand MK brake pedal for 99p off eBay, used this as a reference to design and make a new twin-bias brake pedal, hydraulic clutch and aluminium throttle pedal using MK Indy style floor-mounted pivots. When it came to wiring, Rich had kept the huge loom from the Nissan and was determined to re-use as much as possible in the MK, keeping the original Nissan wiring colour code throughout. He’d already
decided to re-use the Nissan’s dash pod, cutting it back and relocating it behind a clear polycarbonate panel that doubles as the complete dash panel. “I’m quite good with wiring,” he admits. Having laid the loom out, he began stripping away everything that he didn’t need… electric windows, central locking etc… saving a massive 10kgs in the process! But the advantages of using the donor loom are obvious – everything is plug and play and it all connects correctly to the corresponding components. And that meant that when the time came to start the engine for the first time in almost a decade, it simply fired straight into life, no dramas! Although Rich had bought some of the fibreglass body panels from MK years previously, the rest of the panels he’s made himself in aluminium. The front cycle wings are Dax Rush items on custom stainless steel supports, although he did return to MK for the superwide rears. Giving the car a modern and aggressive look was important, and to this end the choice of donor once again played into Rich’s hands. While a 16in wheel choice for Ford hubs is OK, the massive tuning scene for Japanese cars meant he had lots of options. The deeply dished rims he ended up with look fab.
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…which will be located behind polycarbonate…
Centre tunnel panelling folded to shape…
ar nearly finished now but yet to be wrapped.
USEFUL CONTACTS Kit: MK Sportscars, Rayne, Essex T: 01376 617792. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.mksportscars.com Propshaft: HJ Chard Engineering, Bristol, Somerset. T: 01179 717341. E: email@example.com W: www.prop-shaft.com Waterjet cutting: Frocester Engineering, Rooksbridge, Somerset. T: 01934 751242. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.frocesterengineering.co.uk Fuel system components: Earls, Silverstone, Northamptonshire. T: 01327 858221. E: email@example.com W: www.earls.co.uk Nuts/bolts: Trident Racing Supplies, Silverstone, Northamptonshire. T: 01327 857822. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.tridentracing.co.uk Silicone Hoses: Auto ilicone oses West Yorkshire. T: 0844 800 5199. E: email@example.com W: www.autosiliconehoses.com
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which was wrapped with aluminium effect vinyl.
End result looks superb.
… and located into the MK.
Surrounds for handbrake and gearlever waterjet cut.
Clearly one of the big areas of the build centred around the engine bay. The 1.8-litre turbo engine had run fine in the original donor car, and Rich reckoned it would be sensible to leave it largely standard for its inevitable meeting with an IVA inspector. But that still meant cooling, fuelling and getting exhaust gases out all had to be designed for its new home in the MK chassis. Keeping things cool is a high performance Honda Civic Del Sol alloy radiator, with an aftermarket intercooler located in front, deep in the nosecone and with the inlet and outlet modified for the confined location. Intake for the engine had been sorted a long-time previously with the bespoke plenum, and on the exhaust side Rich was retaining the standard manifold, with a new stainless system he fabricated and then had a mate Tig weld together. As already mentioned, the standard engine ECU is retained, so an expensive aftermarket unit wasn’t needed. Budget has certainly been a factor throughout this car’s lengthy gestation. “I’ve either had lots of time and no money, or lots of money and no time,” laughs Rich as he thinks back. Without realising it at the time, it’s once again played into his hands with the single donor approach. Using the modified original loom and engine ECU offered big savings, and when he’s had to look elswhere he’s invariably learnt new skills and done much of the fabrication himself. What’s really good about the interior is his retention of the Nissan gauges. The whole dash pod is located behind the polycarbonate dash panel, which Rich then wrapped with a brushed aluminium wrap, leaving only the relevant gauges still visible. If he has splashed out money, then three Stack ancillary gauges weren’t cheap, but the water temperature gauge also controls when the cooling fan comes on, and the back lighting changes colour to show when the car is up to temperature, or when running hot. It’s a trick item. But it’s perhaps the unusual external colour scheme that immediately makes a statement. The MK isn’t painted, but instead wrapped… and Rich did the work himself. When you learn that vehicle
wrapping is his speciality and that he’s wrapped most of the Formula E cars on the current grid, you understand that he must be reasonably handy at it. The bronze finish is certainly inspired. Although this MK build has been on the go since 2006, most of the work was done in the last five years, and things came to a grinding halt when Rich broke his back in early 2016 while working with the Rickshaw Run Challenge in India! That really slowed him down and, even when we meet him late in 2016 to get the pictures of the finished car, he’s still taking things pretty steady. The irony is that after all the work he’d put into the car, it was a friend of his who drove the car to the IVA test… where it failed on a number of relatively minor items, such as the brake balance not being quite right, the VIN number being in the wrong place on the chassis and a list of other relatively easy things to sort out. Eventually retested and passed, Rich then set about registration and was happy for it to end up on a Q-plate. We’ll look at the finished car in the next issue and see what mods Rich has instigated since it hit the road last summer. If he was to do his time again, Rich would have preferred to use a brand new chassis, just to speed up the early stages of the build where time was spent stripping the damaged chassis back to bare metal and repainting it. What he’s delighted with is his dogged determination to stick with Nissan components wherever possible. It has certainly given this car a very unique feel. Not that it’s exactly as it was when it first hit the road… but more on that in the next issue. In the meantime, if you like the MK look and are considering a more conventional factory backed project, then the MK Indy project has recently moved to new owners and with brand new premises in Essex. ■
NEXT ISSUE Don’t miss the finished car in part two in the April issue, on sale Friday 3 March.
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OUR CARS When we’re not writing about kit cars, we can often be found working on our own cars – and occasionally even driving them! Here’s the latest progress from inside the garages of the CKC team. Well, some of the CKC team, at least...
Back from the brink
Stent’s CC Cyclone may have been lacking from Our Cars throughout most of 2016, but that doesn’t mean there has been no progress. Here’s what’s been going on. PROFILE NAME: Ian Stent PROJECT: CC Cyclone THIS MONTH: After years of absence from these pages, the Cyclone is back with a bang!
Below: Previous owner had upgraded to this yellow Kamala.
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f there’s one thing I’ve learnt about this scene, it is that taking a road-going kit car off the road for even the smallest remedial task can often be the end of it. Years can go by, often encompassing several different owners, before a car may, if it’s lucky, return to the road. It has been so long since my CC Cyclone was last on the road (or indeed featured in these pages) that a brief recap seems warranted. This is my third Cyclone, the 25th example created by Lytham St Annes manufacturer Car Craft in 1999, with just seven more kits built before production ended a year later. Original builder Martyn Henson had the car through IVA and first registered by 2000 and in a bizarre twist of fate he recently bought himself a second-hand Cyclone which was one I’d owned several years ago… in effect, we’ve swapped cars! My V5 document reminds me that I took on Martyn’s Cyclone back in 2009, flying up to Scotland and driving it back to Taunton from its home on the Isle of Skye! Looking back, it was a car I should not have bought – it had suffered crash damage to both the front and back, requiring not only repair but also a complete respray. I drove it for much of that year, unwittingly adding to the damage when one of its folding fibreglass doors came adrift at speed. The car was now in a pretty poor state and has not returned to the road since 2010! A refurbishment of the front suspension ensued. The whole front chassis was
Breakdown en route home from Isle of Skye!
stripped and rebuilt, the original front coil-over dampers replaced with similar specification Protech Shocks units. The front headlights were swapped for some tiny Photon units from Furore Products. At the back I had Absolute Horsepower pull out the engine, clean the engine bay, refurbish the rear suspension and put the 2.0-litre redtop Vauxhall engine back in place. And then it was sent down to Which Kit? and Complete Kit Car project car builder, John Watson, for an all-new interior and general check over to the point of returning to the Stent garage with an MoT. That was back in 2013, but the Cyclone still didn’t return to active service! The bodywork was now looking worse than ever and I felt this was an opportunity to update the rear lights (which had already been butchered by a previous owner) and also attempt a more complex redesign of the front headlights. Back on a trailer, this time the car was dispatched to Andy Westgate of Westgate Composites. I’d worked out that Peugeot 405 saloon rear lights would almost slot into place at the back, while I’ve always been a fan of the Donkervoort D8 which has a very aggressive front headlight design that I felt might work for the Cyclone. After 2014 was spent in Andy’s workshop, the Cyclone
was back in my garage, looking even more of a patchwork quilt of different colours! I always knew the Cyclone would return to its birthplace for a new coat of paint. While Car Craft no longer exists, the owners have established a new bodyshop called Auto Mirage and alongside more mundane crash repairs there has always been a steady flow of more intriguing machinery through the spray booth – Terry and Leigh Whiteman have always had a passion for more interesting projects. So after a year of almost complete inactivity sitting in CKC’s storeroom throughout 2015 I could hold back no longer, and my car made the long trip back up to its birthplace and an extended period of repair, restoration and beautification. The work is outlined in the accompanying pictures and captions. It is the most mind-boggling amount of effort, with the car almost stripped to a bare body chassis before the extensive repairs were undertaken, before further mods to the front and rear lights were fine-tuned and paint could be applied. Adding to the complication was my own request for a removable tow bar to be designed, so that my son Charlie and I can drive out to the French Alps this year, with his mountain bike on the back! www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:13 am
IN OUR GARAGES
Headlights and spoiler not to Stent’s liking.
ew headlights fitted and spoiler removed.
Cavalier tail lights had already been replaced.
Stent starts front end refurbishment back in 2010.
Interior retrimmed by CKC’s John Watson.
Andy Westgate shows how Peugeot lights might look.
Cyclone bodywork cut out and new lights going in.
Early prototype of front headlamp pods.
Cyclone arrives at Auto Mirage in 2016.
Leigh, Scott and Terry Whiteman.
Front headlamp pods fowled the cycle wings.
Mounting plinth also blocked an air intake…
…cut down and air intake re-installed.
Early mods to reduce size of light pod.
Shape of pod opening went through several designs…
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...this one was nearly there.
ront under panel also being modified.
Blistering in red paint meant it all had to come off.
Final headlight pod is aggressive.
ront panel had lots of holes to fill.
Bonnet bottom edge being straightened.
Paint removed and panel gaps being sorted.
Repairs to front end being completed.
ear end needs lots of subtle re-profiling.
Rear valance needed trimming back.
Wing mirrors removed and taken apart.
Front wishbones refurbished and updated.
Additional gas ram added for bonnet lift.
Removable tow bar for cycle rack.
Interior being stripped out completely.
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Picture: Auto Mirage (workshop pics)
IN OUR GARAGES
Leigh putting on high-build primer coat.
High and low points revealed.
Base coat is black…
Mist coat applied before next sanding session.
inal little filling obs before
…and is rubbed down again before…
Choosing a colour was actually easy. My previous Cyclones have always had relatively subtle tones of metallic blue, but this time I wanted something more vibrant, and the colour I fell for is more usually found on VW’s Scirocco… Viper Green Choosing a colour had actually been easy. My previous Cyclones have always had relatively subtle tones of metallic blue, but this time I wanted something a bit more vibrant, and the colour I fell for is more usually found on VW’s Scirocco… Viper Green. Towards the end of November 2016 Auto Mirage started posting teaser pictures on social media of the Cyclone going through its final stages of high build primer, primer and then top coat. The panels looked absolutely spectacular. And then nothing… Facebook went quiet and despite almost hourly checks there were no more pictures until the call came through that the car was ready to collect. Blimey! Having cleared the garage of two years’ rubbish I hired a trailer and headed north. The car is better www.completekitcar.co.uk
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than I could have ever imagined. The colour is sublime… and gives the Cyclone a thoroughly contemporary twist, especially when allied to the new front and rear lights. All the repairs are… invisible. The roof panels needed almost complete rebuilding and look like new. The front and rear bodywork is as sharp as the day it left the factory back in 1999. So the Cyclone is tantalisingly close to being back on the road. An MoT is needed, but before that I want to make and fit grills all around the car, since the old ones were dented and horrid. My aim is to do those over the next month, get some protective clear film applied to areas of the bodywork that tend to get peppered with road grit, and fit some front mud guards to the
eigh sanding down the filler coat.
…Cyclone masked up again.
.…more masking up and…
USEFUL CONTACTS Paint and restoration: Auto Mirage, Blackpool, Lancashire. T: 01253 734743. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.automirage.co.uk Bodywork modifications: Westgate Composites, Chieveley, Berkshire. T: 07733 282947. E: email@example.com Headlights: Furore, Ben eet sse . T: 07905 879407. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.furoreproducts.co.uk Coil-over dampers: Protech Shocks, Melksham, Wiltshire. T: 01225 705553. E: email@example.com W: www.protechshocks.co.uk
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…Viper Green topcoat can be applied. Wow.
Colour works well on Cyclone bodywork.
Reassembly can begin.
Roof panels needed complete restoration.
Bonnet being polished.
New headlight housings look good.
our-wheel alignment a final ob.
AND ANOTHER THING…
Terry and Leigh Whiteman with the new Mirage 250.
As previously covered in CKC, Auto Mirage is returning to the kit car market in a big way this year, with the launch of the Mirage 250… a sublime replica of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB. The company has been working on this high-end homage for a number of years and will be marketing it via Mirage Automotive Developments. ou can find information on the car via the current Auto Mirage website, and a new dedicated website will be launched shortly. Alternatively, search Mirage Automotive Developments on Facebook for more regular updates.
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oo ing very different to when it went in
cycle wings to help reduce further damage. And then it’s back on the road for a thorough test in advance of heading into Europe in the summer. The ferry ticket has already been booked… no pressure then! But first I must sincerely thank Terry, Leigh and Scott Whiteman at Auto Mirage for the mountain of work they have put into giving this car a new lease of life. It goes without saying that if you have a car that needs either minor repairs or a full respray, these guys really know their stuff.
rills to fit before upcoming
Loaded up for the return trip.
That’s what the tow hitch is for.
o . Adding protective film is also on the to-do list. www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:13 am
IN OUR GARAGES
Fugitive suspension fettling
ohn’s tas this month was to fit caster shims to improve the ugitive steering’s self-centring. here was ust one y in the ointment
The clamps distort as they are tightened causing the nuts and bolts to am.
Spacers should prevent the distortion allowing the bolts to be tightened fully.
This photo shows the caster shim in place on the nearside of the car.
PROFILE NAME: John Dickens PROJECT: UVA Fugitive THIS MONTH: The post-EFI installation to-do list begins
ith the front suspension rebuilt, I will set about fitting the caster shims as described last month. Although the UVA front beam mounting system is different from the original Beetle fitment, the caster shims can still be used to achieve the same aims. Basically the upper clamps need to be loosened, the lower clamps need to be separated and the shims need to be slid in behind the lower torsion tubes. Once the clamps are re-tightened the job is done. While I have the clamps separated, I intend to make up some spacers to prevent distortion of the clamps when they are refitted. If I’m being honest I should really have done this during the initial build. The UVA clamping system is sound in design but is not well executed and the clamps distort as they are tightened. If correctly
062 - Our Cars.indd 69
Thicker spacers are needed where the caster shims are fitted.
A spacer would have been ideal but these washers will do the ob.
sized spacers are fitted between the clamps they can be tightened to a higher torque without the distortion, giving a better fit. Since the caster shims will move the lower clamps even further apart spacers will be essential here so I might as well do the full set while I am in there. With Christmas over, I got back to work on the car but disaster struck immediately. I had just started turning up the aluminium spacers when my baby lathe ground to a halt. All the switches were working and the relays were clicking but the motor wasn’t running. When I get time, I will strip it down to see if it can be repaired but at that moment I needed to finish the front suspension rebuild. My only option was to use a washer pack instead of spacers. I didn’t want to use a stack of five or six thin washers but I managed to find a source of 4mm thick
stainless steel washers on eBay so I was hoping to use a combination of one or two thick and thin washers to produce the spacer thicknesses I needed. In the event, the caster shims went in (after a lot of heaving) just as I had hoped and will push the lower tube forward by 6mm. The spacer washers did the trick. On the upper clamp, only one thick and one thin washer (5.5mm) was required for each bolt. The lower clamps, with the additional caster shims needed three thick washers (12mm) in each position. This is not ideal but will do the job until I can sort out my lathe and machine up some one piece items. The next job is to get back on track with the rear disc conversion but I will certainly need my lathe working to do this so that’s the first priority. If it can’t be repaired I will have to replace it but the current cost is over £500 so I’m hoping to avoid that option. March 2017 69
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James has been out experiencing the modern conveniences of his Nova, while working through the to-do list on both cars.
Buggy still runs drums as lightweight – needs stripping down to ad ust bearings
Internals in good order – minimal wear on brake shoes.
Outer bearing races drifted in with socket and rubber mallet....
...Change of tone when being drifted in confirms it seated.
Packing bearings with grease is always a messy process.
hen drum refitted correctly pinch bolt holds hub nut in place.
PROFILE NAME: James Horsley PROJECTS: Apal buggy and Nova THIS MONTH: James works towards his new year’s resolution of driving his cars more often.
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ew year’s resolutions? I think I share one of mine with many readers – more miles behind the wheel, please. I did have good intentions of getting out in the Nova over the Christmas and new year break. Weather, and ongoing dashboard work, prevented that, but good progress was made and I did manage a new year drive of around 35 miles. I have tidied up all wiring under the dash and managed to route this very neatly in the support frame with no parts exposed. The additional fusebox is also functioning well, and though hidden is still relatively easy to access. It also has spare fuses for future additions – possibly some interior lighting, and sat nav! Most pleasingly, I have managed to keep all wiring independent of the dashboard aside from a couple of switches, so it can still be removed relatively easily for future access or trimming. The MX-5 mirrors are now wired in for internal adjustment, and the original adjustment switch fitted well into the canopy structure. I even managed to use the spare wires in the multi-core wire run for the wiper assembly which simplified
uter lip on drums had some a y corrosion catching the backing plate.
Drums rubbed down and treated with rust inhibitor.
Back on four wheels – James would like thinner fronts to tuck in under arch.
matters. My initial test drive with the mirrors wired up was a revelation – adjusting mirrors on the move in a Nova has never been easier! My test drive also gave me an opportunity to test the newly plumbed-in heater. I wasn’t sure if just two dash vents would suffice but I needn’t have worried! Despite a cool winter day, I ended up opening the sunroof to cool down! Another revelation – a Nova with a water cooled engine and therefore effective heater! Having lavished the Nova with attention, I drew up a new list of jobs to do on both the Nova and Buggy for this year. Pleasingly, the lists are getting shorter, and I even found time to tick off one of the buggy lists – the last MoT advisory re noisy wheel bearings. I had thought they might just cope with repacking with fresh grease and adjustment, but ahead of stripping down the front hubs I did buy a new set in case. I’m glad I did – with the wheels in the air, it became apparent that there was a lot of play in them – to the point that the rear bearing seal had been damaged and dislodged on both sides. So the seals and bearings were removed and new ones
reseated. Always a messy job, but around two hours’ work had them running a lot more smoothly. Pleasingly, the brake shoes and wheel cylinders were in good order. The drums, though original VW items, are also doing well – though a small amount of rust on the outer rim was in need of a rub down to stop it catching on the backing plate. While the drums were off, this area was cleaned up and all escaped grease removed and the hubs etc degreased so it should be good for many more miles. I do think the wide front wheels are impacting on front bearing wear, as is towing the buggy behind the van on its A-frame. Ideally, I would like to switch to a thinner front wheel comparable to a stock Beetle wheel. This would also allow it to fit inside the bodywork line. However, I want to keep matching wheels front and rear, and have eight steel Wellers in stock (one set left over from the Nova). So I am now thinking about finding a company that specialises in banding steel wheels to do the reverse, and narrow a pair, or combine part of a stock rim with the Weller pattern – if you know anyone up to the job please do let me know. Must stop adding things to the list! www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:13 am
IN OUR GARAGES
Nova dash back in and electrics and heater reconnected – stereo will come later.
Buggy and Nova ‘to do’ lists updated for 2017. www.completekitcar.co.uk
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irror ad ustment switch on
Nova centre console houses heater and hazard switch
March 2017 71
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RUNNING REPORTS Want to know what it’s really like to build a kit car? Our team of Running Reporters tell all about building their cars at home in their garages. Follow their progress every other issue... and maybe even be inspired to get in the garage yourself this weekend...
The final checklist
After a bit of a pause on his build, Ian has now booked an MoT test to give him a deadline to complete the jobs for his IVA retest. The end of the build is in sight…
‘Armour plate’ now gives somewhere to mount belts.
PROFILE NAME: Ian Jackson PROJECT: GKD Legend AGE: 46 PROJECT START: March 2015
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In due course, it will be painted to match the car. Ian found lots of fake belts on the market – buyer beware!
s these articles are written about a month in advance of publication, this is being typed on New Year’s Day. Firstly, I would like to thank Adam and the team at Complete Kit Car for their hard work and commitment to producing the magazine each month. Also, thanks go to my fellow contributors for their input, ideas and support. Finally thank you to those who read this – it is thanks to you I have the energy and drive to go on. My build has stalled a little in recent times due to a variety of reasons and with Christmas it has been difficult to sneak much time in the garage. To motivate myself, I have booked the GKD into a local MoT station for a test. The idea is that with a deadline I will finally get the list of IVA fails dealt with. The fail list had several items that were quick fixes – some extra bolt caps on the suspension and some extra edge protection. These and a few loose bolts have now been attended to. Another issue was to get
together the documents for pipework and engine age. These have now been obtained and are ready for the re-test. More difficult were the issues of seatbelt mountings and vertical movement of the steering column. The seatbelts have now been sorted using 5mm steel to create an ‘armour plate’ behind the seats. They will be painted to blend in with the colour scheme in due course. It has been necessary to change the seatbelts, so not a cheap fix. It was interesting to note that whilst searching for harnesses there are more fakes on some auction sites than genuine ones. The main give-away is the price and careful examination of the images/text for spelling errors, but they do seem to use photos and wording of genuine items. I wouldn’t like to trust a fake item with my life. The steering column was a bit more of an issue. My kit had a bracket mounted to the bulkhead – both made from aluminium and then riveted/bonded to the chassis frame. Talking to Peter (GKD boss) and Keith at Aeon Sportscars (GKD
build agent) there is now a new bracket available made from steel and possibly a change to the chassis in the form of a plate under the mounting bracket to reduce the flex. I have used a piece of box section braced across the dash frame to fix the bracket in place from underneath and may also brace the bracket on top as well. Other jobs included changing the colour of the fog light tell-tale light and new brake pads all-round. The IVA identified that there was a brake imbalance – possibly due to play in the pedal or to the fact I had fitted EBC Red Stuff pads – a semi-race pad that takes some warming up. Fitting standard pads and modifying the pedal to reduce play should sort that. Jobs still to do include a check of the electrics as the loom has been moved to access various fittings and a general check over and adjust prior to the ‘MoT’. Hopefully the new year brings a new impetus to the build. Oh, and happy Easter to you all! www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:15 am
Electrifying the Vortex
Paul resorts to plan B to get his Vortex V2 wired up to keep in schedule to have the car on the road by spring for an appearance at the Stoneleigh show.
Body panel trimming for dashboard.
Dashboard switches and Koso.
PROFILE NAME: Paul Curran PROJECT: Vortex V2 AGE: 55 OCCUPATION: Retired PROJECT START: March 2016
Charge air components arrive.
Front fusebox in place.
hat is it they say about best laid plans? After my last write-up, such plans have gone a little south and the scheduled electrical fit out using the Bodylogic 1 unit never materialised after much chasing Simtek for a possible solution. So to plan B: buy in the components for a conventional fuse and relay set-up and do it myself. Having already received the engine management supply diagram from Power Torque and with my own ancillary diagram drawn up, I consulted with my ex-brother-in-law, who is a diagnostic technician, to ensure my circuitry in theory was right, a couple of tweaks later and the bits were ordered. With two distinct supply circuits (engine and ancillaries), it made sense to keep them separated so they each have their own modular fuse/relay boxes located front and rear to reduce cable runs. While this proves more expensive, it certainly makes for an easier installation and subsequent testing along with any future diagnostics. Unlike the conventional method of building the harness off the car, I decided to run each circuit on the car using loose cable ties to support everything and get the run distances right. With wiring all
Dashboard fitted into body panel.
iring loom loosely trial fitted.
but installed, it was time to test everything prior to wrapping up the harness. However, on connecting the battery I was getting some strange results until I realised I hadn’t fully connected one of the main earth leads, after which circuits came to life. Lesson learned – don’t get over-excited and check through everything fully first. The only issue on the ancillary system was the indicators which I have put down to the LED flasher relay so have ordered a better quality one which should sort that out. The engine side is still to test though and hopefully, after the air charge and cooling systems are finally connected and all ECU sensors are in place, I can give the car a fire-up to see that everything functions OK and gears can be selected smoothly with no doubt some fine tuning required on the cable linkages. I also dropped into my local test station and met the IVA inspector with a list of questions. He was very helpful and reinforced some of the areas that cars often fail on as several of my Running Reporters can confirm. This I would fully recommend as I sensed he was favourable to meeting with the owner prior to the IVA test. I also came across a document on the Gov.uk website entitled ‘IVA for cars – Help to get a pass’ which highlights the
Rear dashboard wiring.
10 main reasons why cars fail the IVA test and serves as a very good pre IVA guide around brakes, lights and that magical world of ‘exterior and interior projections’. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/ jppl85w While I’ll use a trailer to get the car to the IVA test, I am looking into the best way to tow the car to track days. As buying a trailer is problematic from a storage point of view, I am investigating an A-frame set-up common with motorhome owners. There is still a bit of work to do here around braking issues, but I will chase that aspect further when the time comes. Any experiences that people can share on this topic would be appreciated – contact me at email@example.com So with much to still keep me busy, I will report next time with a car that runs as one and doesn’t present a number of problems for an ‘on the road in April’ deadline and a Stoneleigh appearance at the request of Chris from Vortex. Also congratulations to Chris for the runnerup spot in Complete Kit Car’s Car of the Year (January 2017 issue). Pleased to see that the V2 came top of the bunch in the performance stakes, exactly the reason I bought this kit and why Chris spent much time getting this aspect right.
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Pete has taken a look inside his 100,000-mile Ford Zetec engine and found it to be in very good shape. It has been reconditioned anyway…
Having covered 100,000 miles, Zetec was inspected.
Stainless steel exhaust manifold...
PROFILE NAME: Pete Dawson PROJECT: Luego Velocity XT OCCUPATION: Sales Director AGE: 49 START DATE: Winter 2012
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Head reconditioned. It was in surprisingly good shape.
...loo s the part when fitted.
t’s been a period of preparation work this month. As indicated in my last report, I have been busy rebuilding the Zetec blacktop engine and have had a load of engine related bits dotted around the garage. The chassis has been powdercoated for some time, but as I only have a single garage to work in, I have resisted the temptation to bring it back while building the engine otherwise I would have no working space. It has therefore been stored on a large pallet at my work while I finish the engine. In some respects, I think it would have been cheaper to buy a new Zetec blacktop engine, but I wouldn’t have had half the amount of enjoyment, and that’s what this is supposed to be about, isn’t it? I stripped the old Zetec engine some time ago to assess what remedial work was required. It’s of 1998 vintage and had done just over 100,000 miles, so I thought it prudent to at least have a look inside. I sent the block and crank away to Willenhall Engine Centre for the bores to be honed and to have the crank balanced and polished. You could actually still see the original honing marks in the bores when I went to pick it up. The guys at Willenhall said that the bores were only a couple of thou out from
ERA sump came from Tiger Racing.
Cam cover powdercoated in blue.
middle tolerance. Amazing considering it had done that sort of mileage. It’s a real testament to the quality of the development work between Ford and Yamaha – you certainly couldn’t have expected that sort of longevity from engines 40 years ago. I also sent the block away for soda blasting and then treated it to a few coats of Simoniz gloss black engine enamel. Some time ago, I picked up a brand new set of standard pistons, rings and rods on eBay so, together with new mains and big end shells, these were fitted to the block with the re-balanced crank. I’ve also replaced the original two-piece sump with a lowline cast aluminium ERA one from Tiger Racing. The cylinder head was in good condition, so I simply removed the valves and gave it a bit of a porting job. I haven’t taken too much metal out – just removed the casting lines, a bit of gasket matching and a general polish up. I had the valve seats re-cut at Willenhall and then replaced the stem seals and relapped the valves. The head was finished off with a set of Kent fast road cams and Vernier pulleys. I’ve rebuilt the GSXR carbs (40mm flatslides), but I do need to get a Dynojet
Avo dampers revalved and rebuilt.
kit fitted prior to running the engine up. I’ve had the carb tops hydrodipped in a carbon effect finish and they look really good. The whole lot has been put back together with new seals and gaskets etc. I’ve temporarily fitted my new homemade stainless steel inlet and exhaust manifold and the carbs. I’ve also had the rocker cover powdercoated in candy blue and I’m quite pleased with the end result. Since the chassis has been away, I’ve also sent the coil-overs back to Avo for a revalve and rebuild. I took the opportunity while they were in bits to get the damper bodies and the springs re-plated and powdercoated. Avo provides an excellent service – they turned them around in less than a week at a very competitive price. Highly recommended. That’s about where I am to date. I’m going to move the engine into the house while I build up the chassis (I haven’t spoken to my wife about that part of the plan yet though – I’m sure she may have other ideas!). By my next report, I hope to be well on with the chassis rebuild. I’ve had a load of brackets and stuff back from the polishers and just ordered a load of stainless steel fasteners and captive rivets, so I’m ready to go… www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:15 am
On the lathe
John has continued the fabrication of his intricate headrest mountings… well, as soon as he got the lathe working again.
First front supports.
PROFILE NAME: John Clements PROJECT: Tiger Cat AGE: 65 OCCUPATION: Heating engineer PROJECT START: July 2001
Seatback covers the structure.
was just gaining a bit of momentum in the workshop, when as soon as I wanted to use it, the lathe dog clutch to the milling head would not stay engaged. Cue hours spent trawling t’internet and watching YouTube and still not much the wiser. Anyway, I attacked the beast and cleaned out loads of thick, sticky grease. The exploded diagrams did not show any form of spring-loaded detent ball locator for the selector’s two positions, but it was there… and then it was somewhere across the workshop! Luckily I found it quickly, and with everything cleaned up and re-greased it all went back together, pretty much painlessly. During the process, I noticed that the drive to the mill head, which is via nylon bevel gears to the vertical shaft, had a very pronounced notchy feel of teeth engaging one at a time. A little while ago during one of my cleaning efforts, I had also oiled the machine and tightened and adjusted everything and anything. So I eased the mill head fixing bolts back a bit, and the feel became smoother, obviously the mesh was too tight. A bit of ferreting about looking for suitable shims led me to some Stanley knife blades, one inserted between each mating face (sharp edge inwards!) and the bolts tightened back. Perfect – with the motor running, all stayed engaged. The end result of that was over a week of downtime, and in the end the milling operation for the first pair of lower headrest sockets took just a few minutes each. My tea didn’t even get cold while I did the second one. The problem with cross-drilling that I described last time when I scrapped the sphere mainly concerns the accuracy of
Passenger side before paint and fettling.
centering the drill square to the surface of the work. The little lock screws that are being used on each junction between the connectors and the rods, as well as the holes for the rods to pass through, all need to be dead centre and I’ve spent a fair bit of time researching ways to do this consistently, as there will be 14 of them in total. Unfortunately the elegant solution, using a V-block attachment in the lathe tailstock, is out of stock from all the major suppliers but in my wanderings around the internet I found an extremely simple method. A short, rigid drill bit – I used a large centre drill – traps a thin 6in metal rule between it and the workpiece. It is on the centre when the ruler is horizontal, moving the work side to side rocks the ruler in the opposite direction. How simple is that! Just remove the ruler and drill. It wasn’t perfect, as a small round surface will always tend to deflect the drill (milling a small flat might be an answer) but it was quick and reasonably reliable compared to many other means that I tried. I have been able to spend an hour here and two hours there fairly frequently, but being so out of practice, each machining job takes much longer to set up than actually do, so progress is steady rather than quick. Leaving a critical adjustment in place until all the processes that need it are complete (such as the vice angle for the milling of the front or rear supports) also dictates what jobs can be done next. Having to do quite a few repetitive operations led to another ‘time sponge’, the changing of the lathe tooling between operations, and checking that the tool is shimmed to the correct height. Unfortunately, Santa ignored my request for a quick change tool post!
Both fitted. Almost a matching pair
Both sets of supports are held in place by countersunk screws from below, and the rear ones have a small flat milled into their edge to locate them against the aluminium angle that supports them. The front supports sit on 1.5in by 1in angle, and the rears use 2in by 1in. The deeper rear allows the fixings to use the same holes that were there originally, as does the front, just to keep the regular screw patterns – how sad is that! The front base angle is fixed both horizontally as well as vertically, and each junction now has a grub screw to tighten the connection. The result is a pleasingly rigid finished assembly, in the right place over the centre of the seats, and from a quick measure, conforming to the all important IVA regs for height. The structures are below the seat backs, out of sight of a quick glance, which is handy as they are best described as more free-form rather than precision engineering and calling them a pair would probably fall foul of the Trades Description Act. A bit more fettling of the rear support aluminium angle should improve the aesthetics a bit, along with some paint for the mild steel components. I will leave the aluminium to weather-in to match the rest of the car and all the fixings are stainless. I think that I may try and further progress this aspect of the car and get the seats and carpets fitted, as well addressing the other IVA issues of contactable surfaces, before returning to the bonnet and nosecone. That will mean no longer playing pass-the-parcel around the workshop with the roll of carpet, as it’s always in the way wherever it gets put.
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070 Running Reports.indd 79
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March 2017 79
20/01/2017 10:15 am
TO JIG OR NOT TO JIG? TECHNICALITIES
MEV MD Stuart Mills takes you behind the scenes of a kit car manufacturer to demonstrate the importance of a chassis jig – and what you should consider if building a one-off at home. Words and pics: Stuart Mills
he world of chassis manufacturing is an interesting place. Blinding sparks from welding, glass cabinets with lasers operating, smoke, dust and deafening noise from grinders. I say interesting but I mean frightening. The often unattractive workplace can vary enormously depending on the level of investment in tooling and equipment – not to mention the roof over its smoky head. Some have a cheap little MIG welder that gets hot and cuts out every 20 minutes complemented by a chop saw and associated flying debris. Others have state of the art computer controlled robot welding equipment and an almost clinical nature to their surroundings. Somewhere in between is your average kit car chassis manufacturer. In theory, it is the skill level of the operators that is the all important factor here. All we expect is a 100 per cent perfect chassis to be offered with accuracy that enables us to build our kit cars without too much pain and definitely no alterations being required. Easier said than done. Heat metal up and it distorts, weld a bracket on and it can move, form a whole chassis and it may twist or as they say ‘take a set’ which basically means accuracy may be compromised. Interestingly, though, while we are only concerned with kit car chassis here, it is important to note that nearly all mainstream cars
have surprisingly low acceptable tolerance levels. Why else would a Mondeo have adjustable rear tracking? A manufacturer suspension set-up allows adjustment to compensate for manufacturing tolerances. If they were perfect then there would be no need to make adjustments to alignment. Now we kit car boys tend to welcome adjustability of suspension so we can fine-tune our creations to suit our personal taste or application, so it is even more important to start with a perfect chassis. The only way to ensure perfection is to incorporate a perfect chassis jig. The main considerations in providing such a jig are...
A jig is important for getting all those joins aligned.
A part-completed MEV Exocet chassis in the jig.
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080 Jigs.indd 80
■ A stable platform ■ Substantial stops, rests, positioning tabs to ensure accuracy ■ Sufficient clamps to reduce distortion due to heat build-up ■ An efficient set-up to increase productivity ■ Easy-to-use sub-assembly jigs if required such as for wishbones ■ A definitive guide for operators to ensure accuracy, repeatability ■ Safe and healthy working environment, weight lifting considerations, sharp edges, risk of danger should an operator slip, consideration to paint colours to help safety and ease of use
Addressing step one is easy – a substantial frame at an appropriate height for the task, a level surface to mount the frame. The heavier the better, more chance of heat being absorbed from the work piece and less chance of product distortion. Essentially we are looking to create a heavy-duty work station. Next stage is to carefully consider how the finished assembly or sub-assembly if made in separate parts can be removed from the jig. Certain designs will need bolt-on sections. Items such as mounts for engines or subframes, suspension or steering need to be spot-on. These can often be clearly marked end stops or plates that components are temporarily clamped to during the fabrication process. Consideration also needs to be given to access for welding and checking accuracy. A rotisserie may be the way forward to help the welder ensure there are no missed welds. A tripod either end with a car hub bolted on can provide a low cost option for rotation. During the welding process, it may be necessary to move around, part welding one item, moving to another then moving back once cooling has taken place. Less heat build-up means less distortion. www.completekitcar.co.uk
20/01/2017 10:24 am
MAKING A CHASSIS JIG
FURTHER READING Design and Build a Sports Car by Stuart Mills www.completekitcar.co.uk
Clamps are so important here. G-clamps can be used but are not ideal for round tube. Ideally the clamps need to be part of the jig. Over-centre type clamps can speed up productivity whilst providing adequate stability to components. The more the merrier. Often, clear labels are a bonus for operators to reduce possible mistakes, while obvious location points for removable sections can increase productivity and idiot-proof positioning guides are a must. It is so easy to locate a mounting bracket up against a positioning tab on a jig only to realise when welding is complete that it is on wrong side of the tab. Red paint on one side can help alleviate such potential issues. Some chassis require separate parts to be made in order to keep the structures easier to fabricate. The separate items may then be joined together in an assembly jig to ensure accurate repeatability. Wishbones are made separately, too. Often a combined jig can be designed to make left and right-hand versions of the same components. Finally, an obvious point but often overlooked. Unless welders are employed full-time on one www.completekitcar.co.uk
080 Jigs.indd 81
set procedure, errors can occur as they need to familiarise themselves each time they return to a given task. It therefore makes perfect sense to assume guidance is needed. Often laminated pictures of finished items can replace the ones of naked ladies on the workshop wall. A sample of a notoriously difficult area can be left under the bench for checking against and drawings should be at hand for double checking. If you are making a jig for a one-off, you can take a simplified approach. You will need a solid steel work bench of sufficient size that is perfectly flat, then it is possible that you can tack weld stops and angles to help with symmetry and component location. Obviously working with square tube is going to make life easier than using round, but then a mind with a scratch-build firmly implanted is hardly going to be dissuaded by being introduced to corner cutting or an easy approach. Big tip here: donâ€™t be tempted to do anything more than tack the whole structure together before it is complete. I often get carried away thinking how perfect my work is, fully weld something that I am perfectly confident with and then cut it off later! â–
These parts are being accurately laser cut.
The result of all that work! Chassis ready for delivery.
March 2017 81
20/01/2017 10:24 am
BETWEEN THE LINES THE LAST PAGE A behind-the-scenes look at what went into the making of this issue... because not everything can find a home in the main part of the maga ine. Before we go don’t forget the on-sale date of the ne t issue it’s riday ebruary.
THEY DON’T MAKE DEALERSHIPS LIKE THIS ANY MORE
We recently bought a copy of Peter Filby’s British Specialist Cars Volume 2, which was published back in 1977. It contained all kinds of treasures, including a Panther that used a Ferrari 330 as a donor. Incredibly, they built seven of them. But just as interesting were the adverts. One for a Jaguar D-type reminded us that, when the book had been published, the original car’s most recent Le Mans victory had been just a couple of decades earlier. That’s like someone launching a replica of the McLaren F1 GTR today. Our favourite advert, though, was for a dealer called Wheels. Roadside dealerships for second-hand cars today tend to offer only lines of rather uniform Audis and BMWs, but it wasn’t always like that. Wheels’ bold slogan was “For sports cars strange or startling”, and amid the mainstream Triumph TR6 and Jensen-Healey, they weren’t afraid to stick a couple of GRP wedges front and centre, along with a more conventional Gilbern.
82 March 2017
082 Between The Lines.indd 82
Audi in kit form
Audi demonstrated the expertise of their technicians on Twitter with a video of five of them building an Audi A6 with no instruction manual. The short film showed them starting with 1000 parts on the floor and ending up with an estate car. We couldn’t resist complimenting them on their kit car…
We were surprised to see a car engine on the stand shared by AB Performance and Aries Motorsport at the recent Autosport International show. AB in particular has made its name in the bike engined kit car world, having dealt with them almost exclusively since it was established. Following news that the company has now IVA tested an Arion for road use comes the development that they’ll be using car engines. The reason? According to Phil Edwards of Aries Motorsport, demand for motorcycle engined cars is dropping off. Despite AB’s record for excellent reliability, the perception that bike engines are higher maintenance than their car derived counterparts puts many customers off. Consequently, we’ll soon see the Ford Ecoboost finding its way into both the front-engined AB Arion and mid-engined Aries Sabre. There are further developments to come from the companies, too…
So… what is it? Reader Rick Baxter recently contacted us in search of more information on a car he has owned for years, but knows very little about. It’s a traditional roadster based on a Volswagen Beetle complete with its air-cooled engine in the back. It even uses the Beetle’s rear wings. Otherwise, it appears to be GRP bodied and has a removeable hardtop. The only identifying mark on the car is a badge that appears to read ALP. Can anyone shed any light on it?
20/01/2017 4:37 pm
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