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Kit Cars

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by cathaloneill, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. cathaloneill
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    cathaloneill New Member

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    Hi All

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience or know someone who has built a Kit Car. I have just finished renovating our house and I'm looking for my next project. I have been doing some research on the subject and have browsed the forums but the answers that i'm getting to some of my question vary wildly.

    I hope to build a Shelby Cobra replica based on a Ford Serria running gear with hopefully a Rover V8. Here are some of the questions i have asked.

    1 What's the average build time for first timer like me, willing to spend 8 hrs a week at the build.

    2 Whats the average build cost on a project like this to include engine rebuild and finshed cabin to high standard.

    any help/comments would be welcome

    cheers
    #1
  2. Nickynibbles
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    Nickynibbles Damn it where's 7th gear when you need it?!

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    Spooky, this is exactly what i've been doing this week! I too have been doing some planning on building a Cobra replica, wont be for at least another 12-18mths but I want to get an idea of whats involved 1st. I've just been researching on Google & in newsagent at kit car mags. There's a Cobra mag aparently but not found a copy yet, must be v.popular or no one stocks it!! Anyway, for a Sierra based car Google Pilgrim Sumo, they're car is Ford based primarily & their website talks you through whats involved to a certain extent. There are other manufacturers of kits out there & they all tend to base the car on Jaguar XJ running gear, something i'd decided would be better & more reliable an option than a Ford based. This also allows for rear disc brakes over rear drums that the ford option gives you. 200bhp+ with rear drums, i'd rather not personally!! Its a little more for a jag based kit but worth it in my view. As for overall costs, it depends on what you want to do yourself. I've stimated if I bought a rolling chassis & all the bits direct from the kit supplier & an engine ready to rock then it'll be c£15k & take 4-6mths to complete. If you go sourcing bits yourself & overhaul the engine yourself then double the time but lose a few grand off the price. If you pick up a Rover SD1 with the V8 in it as an MOT failure etc, rip it out & rebuild it with new internals it'll probably only cost you £1-1.5k but take you 2 months to do it. Whereas buy a ready-to-go engine for £3k'ish is possible. So the build time basically is down to how much you want to do & what budget your going to stick to. Other suppliers im interested in are AK & Dax cars, although Dax so far is impressing me the most but thats just down to how good their website info is & how close they are to me!! Let me know what you come up with, as I say this is something im looking into doing myself.
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  3. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    My experience is with a different car, but here is my two penneth...

    I part built a Chesil Speedster back in 2001. It was delivered to me by Chesil as a 'rolling shell' - it had the chassis shortened, recon gearbox fitted, recon engine and exhaust fitted, the body painted and the windscreen fitted.

    I did all the electrics, brake and fuel systems, the interior and exterior trim. I had it delivered mid April, and it was on the road in September that year. I spent quite a few evenings and a lot of weekends tinkering. I stupidly didn't keep a diary, so I have no idea how long the overall build took. My inexperience meant that some things took a lot longer than they should have done.

    I chose the rolling shell option as the car is based upon what is in effect a 'cut and shut' Beetle floorpan, and having never welded in my life, I took the option that it was an awful lot easier for Chesil to do this for me with their manufacturing jigs rather than me make a complete hash of it. Likewise, the installation of the engine and gearbox was easier for them to do due to lack of space at my house.

    Everything I had to do was just a question of following instructions, asking questions when appropriate (both to Chesil and the owners club), and buying a decent socket set and some specialist tools as required. Prior to embarking on this, I'd done some DIY plumbing and electrics (fitting kitchens and bathrooms), plus when at school I built a lawnmower powered go-kart as part of my technology project at GCSE.

    I'd like to build another one, but lack of space and the fact I've already got two other cars rules that out for the moment. Given I do track days, my mates say I should have built a Westfield or Caterham. However I built my Chesil as I loved the 356 Porsche shape and styling, and I wanted a car to enjoy driving rather than thrash around a track.

    However it was well worth it - here she is posing in the Lake District.
    [​IMG]

    Hope that was helpful
    #3
  4. cathaloneill
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    cathaloneill New Member

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    thanks for the reply lads.

    as you can see i am based in ireland so the availability of the Jag XJ running gear is very limited hence the Ford option. I know i could source the jag in the UK but that leads into a mine field with local customs & excise re the VRT valuation of the car, they will base the VRT upon the running gear you use if you import it. i like the idea of the engine & chassis rebuild but the time scales involved in this could cause problems at home as you can imaging, ok to spend 2 years on the house but not on your new toy.

    nickynibbles your 4-6 months estimate would that be full time evening and weekends rebuild, let me know how you get on with your research

    jcs356, sweet car!!
    #4
  5. batwad
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    batwad Member

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    I spent pretty much all of Saturday last week watching the entire series of A Car Is Born on Discovery Real Time, where Mark Evans built an AC Cobra kit with a Sierra. He stuck a Chevy V8 in it, and it looked awesome. I'd love to have the space to do one.
    #5
  6. Nickynibbles
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    Nickynibbles Damn it where's 7th gear when you need it?!

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    What about buying a clapped out XJ on its last legs in the UK & driving/shipping it over to Ireland? My 4-6mths estimate is based upon reading a few online diaries of people who have built Cobra's. Came across one of a guy who had it puplished in the Cobra magazine who built the Dax Cobra from a rolling chassis & bought a re-contioned engine ready to slot straight in. Your talking evenings & weekends to get it done in that time though, hard graft basically. It'll take longer obviously if you source & refurb the parts yourself. My current plan would be to re-build a Rover V8 myself to gain mechanical knowledge of the engine. At the end of the day, if the engine goes bang who can you then turn to and get it fixed economically?!
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  7. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    Thanks
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