I knew I wanted to have a go at building a car… And I knew that I wanted it to be a car I love driving when I’m finished. This left me with a few questions to try and answer before I spent any money.
What is important in the kit and the finished car?
There were a few things I wanted to consider, in the following rough order
- I’ve got to like how it looks. Straight off, see a picture and if it’s ugly it’s ruled out.
- What is the rough cost for a starter kit and subsequent stages. Much as I love the look, this ruled out a lot of the cobra replicas instantly.
- How it will drive when it’s done.
- What is the donor car. I was looking that needs a relatively cheap, simple and modern donor in plentiful supply.
- What do other people think of the kit quality and build support
- How transparent is the pricing for the kit and extras. If your pricing on your website is either obtuse or nonexistent I ruled you out here.
What kit cars can I choose from?
Going through this set of questions with google and a copy of “what kit car” left me with a google spreadsheet of strong possibilities. From these, the ones I seriously considered were
- Dax Cobra / http://www.daxcars.co.uk/ – These are unarguably beautiful cars and the temptation is there to break the bank on a rumbling V8. The cost and handling are the only things that stopped me here.
- Locost Haynes Roadster / http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haynes_Roadster – In my braver [sic. more stupid] moments I considered buying a MIG welder, building a jig and letting loose on building my own chassis. I then came to my senses and thought about the consequences of driving this car round a track. May be the next one 😉
- Formula Vee / http://www.veecentre.com – I think if I were to ever be able to afford a 2nd toy or I had confidence in my welding, this’d be it. As far as affordable racing goes this looks pretty good. I like the thought of playing around with an air cooled flat four too
- Caterham Academy / http://uk.caterhamcars.com/motorsport/academy – The first thought everyone has when looking at 7 replica kit cars is “what about a caterham?”… Then your friend says ” they have great residual value!”. The simple fact is though that I just don’t think I can afford one. If I won the lottery I’d definitely buy a caterham academy package 😁
- MEVabusa / http://www.roadtrackrace.co.uk/mevabusa.html – Now I’m down to the two that I really struggled to choose between! This thing looks properly scary… At 430bhp/tonne it’s got a much higher power / weight ratio than the Porsche had. I also really like the aesthetic of it if you catch it from the right angle. Looking around I struggled to find a Hayabusa donor for a good price though.
- SR2 RoadRunner / http://www.roadrunnerracing.net/index.php/the-sr2 – There were a number of reasons I opted for a roadrunner. First and foremost it is a seven replica with an MX5 donor. In the UK you can easily get a good MX5 for under £1k right now. Secondly I have read nothing but good things on the build quality and customer service around the SR2. Lots of mentions of a very sorted chassis and zero fettling when fitting the bodywork. Finally, inboard pushrod suspension is offered as an option on the front. I can’t pretend to understand all the physics around this, but my brother tells me it gets more mass away from the wheels and into the middle of the car.
What do I think my budget is?
I was going to go into a decent amount of detail at this stage, but I think I’ll save it for a later post.
The short version is that after selling the Porsche and paying off the bank loan I had £13k left.
Pay off credit card, tile the kitchen and get blinds in the lounge I have £10k left.
With this I need I have allocated
- £1000 – Donor car
- £250 – Upgrade my toolset
- £8750 – Everything for the actual kit car
I don’t doubt that this will be a long way off and I am expecting I will need to save some as I go. Only hindsight will tell how far off I am.