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Thread: So, you want to build a kit car?

  1. #11
    Senior Member bushboy's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Grays Essex
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    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    Sod all that & just do it.

    It only took me 16 years to get it on the road.

    Driven....daily all weather including sunshine

    Leaks....like a sieve

    Looks....DNBCI (Does not bear close inspection) but still gets WTFIT

    Paint work....needs one

    Engine.........BIG & DIRTY

    So listen to all the good advice...then promptly forget it.......& at least have a go...it is better to have loved & lost then to never have loved at all.

    Bushboy
    "Always do what you are afraid to do"
    "I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying"

  2. #12

    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    Time yes I have plenty now the kids have flown.
    Money well the older you get the more you have ( in theory )
    health well a couple of years before I bought my Nova i couldn't even walk.
    your only born once ( depends on your religion ) so enjoy it get out there and do it and land
    http://jimsnova.page.tl/
    Club Nova / avante membership 031

  3. #13

    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    Thanks for the kind reception to the huge posting, I only hope it inspires as much as forwarns. Wisdom is the name people give to their mistakes.
    p.s. Love the usual Ozzy take on life, kit cars and everything.
    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK
    Genuine and an original, "Grumpy old mechanic".

    http://ukhozi.page.tl

  4. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    South Africa, Pretoria
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    18

    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    Agree with the long story of buying a kit car. That is the truth, but at the end not all of us can draw a pert diagram and plan the financial consequense of our deeds to the last sent. But yes keep all those good lessons in mind but throw yorself into it and get a kit you like. My First Eagle was a swop for a Baja Bug but the second one was a salvage operation could not handkle the sadness of the scene at the moment of weakness in 1997 where the body was lyining under a lot of rubble. Yes as Lauren and the other guys did after seven years it was put through roadworthy in 2002 and after ten years on the road and driving it regularly it still makes my hart jump when I opened up the garage and the episodes at the petrol station remains interesting and still satisfying. It looks like a F1 pitstop exercise everytime I stop at a petrolpump for a refuel. After all I would not have the bucks to buy a completed kit car such as a Cobra or a GT40 but I have got something more unique at the end of the day!! Thanks guys and Ladies in Keeping up the Nova and Sterling for the past 40 years. Lets enjoy our cars!!!

  5. #15

    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    I too totally agree with this thread.
    I am a retired US NAVY aircraft mechanic and composite technician. I have been turning wrenches for most of my life, and Im over 40.
    I am now going to school for automotive engineering and vehicle design.
    I am one of those people, that most who dont know me would try and lecture me about modifying the car. Going fast or with a big engine.
    Well, do I have a big budget? No, but I also have no time line so the budget is there, its just further stretched out with no end date set in mind.
    Do I have tools? yes lots of them.
    Do I have the space? Yes my garage and work shop are larger than most homes.
    Do I have the time? Yes, My college time allows for plenty of off time.
    Do I have the experience? Yes, and like everyone else Im learning more every day.
    Is my project practical, or realistic? Yes, for my skill level it is.
    Is my project well thought out? Yes, This projects every detail is completely planned out, with room for modification if necessary to that plan.

    Working on the mechanical, or electrical systems of a car are fairly easy, and straight forward. When people start trying to go into the design arena, without the skills or knowledge needed things can go awry quickly. Even subtle changes can ruin the look of a car, or glorify it.
    Much of the reason kit cars gained such a poor reputation was the fact that it required no skill to buy them, however the skill required to assemble them, and make them look good was another thing entirely.

    I have the experience of how to mix parts from one thing and apply them to another.
    My projects has parts sourced from:
    mini cooper
    honda civic
    Honda pilot
    porsche 944 turbo
    honda cbr 600rr
    nissan maxima
    Subaru WRX (two different models)
    Subaru Legacy

    Many of the modifications to this car are hand made, such as the dash, center and rear console, rear deck, headlights etc.
    Making these modifications was also not just a spur of the moment idea. A "this would be cool" method. It took careful planning over more than a year, consulting with a graphic artist, and many other trusted people before anything was put into motion. Most of what I have done thus far has also been made in a way, if I decide to stop and go another direction the parent parts are not affected, and can be returned to their original state without damage.

    All too often the "I want it to go faster, or look better" are gut reactions of enthusiasm to obtaining the car. They are often given standard skill sets poorly thought out, or planned for leading to garage queens, or abandoned projects.

    I personally refrain from criticism first, I try to probe and find out someones skill set first, then start asking pointed questions, and pose realistic thought to them for what "it" might take to do it. I try not to discourage, but guide new people on their personal journies with these beautiful cars. But, I try to keep my mouth shut when I disapprove of a planned idea. If they want to make their car into a giant chicken complete with feathers, i may not approve of them doing that to a sterling, or nova, but in the end it is "their car", and they have that right.

    So for anyone pondering a project, like was said before, ponder not the idea, but the reality of what it will take from every angle. If you dont know ask! Some might criticize, others will help you understand. But get your ducks in a row BEFORE you do anything! Then when all is said and done, make sure you did the project for you, and not for anyone elses approval. And enjoy your ride!

    Here are a couple of the projects still in work on my car.

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2007
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    NSW, Oz
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    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    ydeardorff, I often lurk on the Sterling forums, and your build never ceases to amaze me.


  7. #17

    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyCo
    ydeardorff, I often lurk on the Sterling forums, and your build never ceases to amaze me.

    Thanks Cyco, Ive shown as little as I can on this project and am very careful on what I do show. There are many aspects to designing, or redesigning a car. Some are very subtle, some dramatic. Didnt you flare your fender on your car, or am I confusing your ride with someone else's?
    Modifying a car can be a fun journey, but it need not all be done in one month, it can be a slow process over an extended amount of time. All too often I see people with planned projects that have a timeline. They never meet their timeline EVER! In fact I have found going slow on my project to be beneficial. It allows me reflection time, judgements, and decisions can be made that are more thoroughly thought out, and end with a better product.
    My car had, many things already done to it. Like the chassis and suspension are completely new, drop pans (new) shifter relocated,(new). In fact one of the prior owners had a 200hp twin carb motor that the guy I bought it from scalped out of the car.
    When I received it the transmission was shot, motor was running on 3 cylinders and the car had had lots of work done to it, but everything aside from the chassis needed replacing any way. Hence my project now.
    I tore out the wiring harness, for an OEM complete and uncut subaru harness. It was completely installed in less than three hours. Hearing that Ding, Ding, Ding from leaving the key in place was motivating, and put a grin on my face.

    People just need to understand what is involved in doing a mod job like this. If they do, this can be a fun adventure. As far as me abandoning the project, nope, Ill take this car to my grave if I have to.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    NSW, Oz
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    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    Quote Originally Posted by ydeardorff
    Quote Originally Posted by CyCo
    ydeardorff, I often lurk on the Sterling forums, and your build never ceases to amaze me.

    Thanks Cyco, Ive shown as little as I can on this project and am very careful on what I do show. There are many aspects to designing, or redesigning a car. Some are very subtle, some dramatic. Didnt you flare your fender on your car, or am I confusing your ride with someone else's?
    Nope not mine. There is a black one here in Oz with flares on the wheel arches. Hasn't been on the road since I've had mine. It's been off the road for a rebuild, must be going on 10 years now. Mine, I don't have a timeline, just a mental list of things I want done. I save up some money, and when I have enough, I try and get one thing marked off the list. I'm in no hurry, I don't intend on selling the car any time soon. I've had plenty of people tell me to make up a timeline, to which I say why bother? I'm having fun with the car as it is, doing it piece by piece. I've also had plenty of people ask when I'm going to repaint it and do the interior. They're both crap. But I've been focusing on the mechanicals and electrics. When they're done, or close to it, then I'll do paint/interior. Well, I'll do them before I do my wheels/brakes/hubs, which is a wishlist/pipe dream anyway.


  9. #19

    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    Hi jacked thread alert
    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK
    Genuine and an original, "Grumpy old mechanic".

    http://ukhozi.page.tl

  10. #20
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2013
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    Near Eastbourne
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    717

    Re: So, you want to build a kit car?

    I totally agree with what you posted; I my first car with a VW beetle and unfortunately for me, I was totally out of my depth, the first one was a total wreck, but I was young and naive enough to think I could get it fixed up... that one ended up getting dismantled and used for spares, and after speaking to some professionals, I went looking again, but with my eyes open and the experience of my betters guiding me. Ironically, the new bug was older and had some fairly nice mods to it.
    It may have been in better physical condition, but it was a non-runner, however, this time, I knew enough to know what I was doing and while it cost less (just a bit of good luck on my behalf) she was fully road worthy within six months, the old girl served me well for several years and I imagine I would still have her, if fate hadn't had its day, and a combination of bad weather, a slipstream and bad luck reduced her to scrap.
    (pirrouetting on the tail end, then rolling a car doesn't do it many favors, and by the time it landed on its wheels, its engine was pushed forwards, the roof was partially peeled open, like a sardine can, the suspension was gone, the wheels were facing opposite directions and so on, about the ONLY thing that didn't break, was the glass).
    Its taken me a while, but the bug (pun not intended) has bitten me again, and I plan on trying my hand on a future project, or, if I can afford it, buy a more or less complete one and take it from there (yeah, I know Nova's and all classic VW based cars are ongoing projects).
    Unlike some people who go "I WANT THAT", I do have a fair amount of mechanical know how, I know how to rebuild a chassis and more, I've done my fair share of rebuilds and repairs in the past, now, I hope to have something of my own, but there is no rush, I will take things as they come, and unlike some, I won't rush blindly into things, I've seen what that does, both personally, and from watching others make their fair share of mistakes, so, I HOPE to one day, own a nova of my own, and take the time and loving care to rebuild it so it is as good as it can possibly be.
    (I am also lucky in how my girlfriend has a VW bug of her own, and that is HER play project )
    Rory

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