So it’s my birthday today and I can officially describe the build as my midlife crisis. I have to thank my wonderful wife for supporting me building this car and buying me the chassis as my birthday present although it did arrive a bit early.
This is the birthday cake she and my daughter got made especially for me. To say I’m chuffed is an understatement.
Nothing much has been done since my last post so guess I need to get cracking.
So today I finished the first coat of paint. The process involved rubbing everything down with Scotch Brite pads, degreasing with brake cleaner and then giving a light coat of Hammerite Straight to Rust White Smooth aerosol. I used around 3 tins to complete the first coat and as you can see from some of the pictures that I’m not very good a spraying especially with my left hand.
The main reason for giving her a coat of paint was that she arrived in bare metal and I didn’t want her to start rusting in my damp garage.
Next stage once the paint has dried is to flip her over and check to make sure I got a decent covering on the underside.
This weekend I’m mostly giving the chassis a protective coating of paint. She arrived to me naked and with the damp weather up here she really needed to be covered up. There are still some brackets etc to be welded on so I’m not painting her to a great finish. A few light coats of paint just to keep the rust demons away.
So in the last post I said I’d discuss the chassis so here we go. After having read “the book” a number of times I had a decision to make, do I buy the steel and build the chassis myself (££) or do I buy a pre-cut steel kit and weld it myself (£££) or do I buy a prefabricated professionally welded chassis (££££). Bearing in mind that this is a significant safety critical part I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the chassis prefabricated.
After hunting about t’interweb and reading the forums I decided to spend my hard earned cash with Talon Motor Fabrication. His TMXR chassis is a book design chassis modified to accept Mazda MX5 (Mk1/2/2.5) running gear so seemed like the perfect option. He also produces a replacement housing for the MX5 diff which removes the weakness in the standard diff casing. The chassis comes with all the suspension mounts and engine mounts already in place. I may need to weld on some mounts for things like flexi brake pipes and seat mounts etc but will deal with that when the time comes.
The chassis was delivered on the 19th of Feb by a “One Man and His Van” type courier all the way from essex to the Far North of Scotland where I live. It has arrived naked so I’ll need to give her a quick rub down then coat of something suitable.
Not quite sure when the next post will be but hopefully will manage to get some stripping of the donor car and some paint on the chassis.
I made the decision to try to build my own lotus seven inspired car after renting a Caterham CSR200 from Highland Caterham Hire for a 4 day trip around the west coast of Scotland. A trip I will never forget.
I bought the book and read it cover to cover many times before deciding on the direction I was going to take. My main aim is to keep costs down as much as possible but not scrimp on safety related components (like the chassis).