The community of special car builders responded to this with their own . _7abc19b32c_zA Locost with a Toyota engine. Yes, you can build a Locost sports car for just a few grand. May 18, Explore ERN’s board “KIT CARS – LOCOST” on Pinterest. | See more ideas about Kit cars, Lotus 7 and Car stuff.
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In the late s and early s, Europe was still struggling to recover from the crippling after-effects of war. The consumer boom of the late s and s was very far in the future, and if you were a hardware hacker your source materials were limited to whatever you could find from war surplus or whatever prewar junk might come your way.
One field that benefited from this unexpected flowering of creativity was that of motor racing. Before the war it had been an exclusive pursuit, with bespoke cars at famous circuits like the banked track at Brooklands, in Surrey. In a reflection of the wider social changes that followed the war the motor racers of the post-war years came from humbler backgrounds, they raced homemade specials made from tired-out prewar motors on wartime airfield perimeter tracks like the one at Silverstone which still hosts Formula One racing today.
A typical Austin Seven Special. My father raced an Austinderived special during this period. Too young to have been a combatant, in the early s he was an engineering apprentice at a large truck manufacturer. He relates tales of home-made gasflowed manifolds for the sidevalve cc Austin engine, and of wild and crazy cam profiles built up with weld, then ground down and hardened. Prewar Austins were plentiful and cheap, so many such vehicles were created.
Cars like the Austin 7 proved to be less than suitable as high-speed racers though: An early Lotus Seven. Its founder, [Colin Chapman], produced a succession of racing specials from the late s through to the early s, and the company eventually became a manufacturer of production sports cars which were also sold as kits. The signature Lotus of this period is the Lotus 7.
The running gear of a s Ford Popular with its 1. It was sold either pre-assembled or as a kit to avoid the purchase tax that lcost then applied to assembled cars, and it achieved significant locpst. Caterham have built a very succesful business from their Sevens, and you can still buy one with very up-to-date running gear and suspension in a variety of models either pre-built or as a kit from them today.
However that alone is not yet enough to qualify these cars as the most hackable, for that we must look at the final source of their manufacture. A Locosr rolling chassis. Super-seven [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
A personal view is that it is best in its purest form: The chassis itself as described in the Haynes manual and other sources is a space frame welded from box section with a central transmission tunnel flanked by the two seats. Various modifications have been made to the basic design, including wider versions for more generously proportioned drivers, stiffer versions with more reinforcement, and rollover bars and cages for the racing versions. The front suspension is a double wishbone, with verticals sourced from any of a number of possible donor cars and the wishbones themselves fabricated by the builder.
There is considerable scope for a builder creating their own suspension geometry here, though personal observation of Locosts built by friends tells me that getting it right can be a lengthy process. The archetype is the Ford Escort Mk1 and 2, however coincident with the popularity of Locosts, the supply of these cars dried up very quickly.
Locost – Wikipedia
More recent donors have been Mazda MX5s, or any of several small commercial vehicles. At the rear, the original cars sported a live axle. Yet again the Escort units used to be a favourite but supplies have dried up, so alternatives have had to be found. Many designs have for example used independent suspension derived from Ford Sierra or Mazda MX5 parts. If you are nominating the most hackable car, it does not have to be one that achieved a high production run, or even one that has the best overall design.
Nobody is claiming that the Seven is the best car ever designed. There is quite simply no other car design quite like it.
No mention of the electric ones that are gaining popularity. I keep telling myself I will make one some day. Or you could cheat slightly and buy one: No mention of IVA or registation, which is the real nightmare with locosts in the UK where this article was thought of. Really, you can take currently legally registered production cars and they fail the llcost test, let alone a classic car.
The Lotus Sevens: The Real Most-Hackable Cars
The uk may have been locoet car builders paradise in days gone by, but thats long gone. Hot rodding is also under the cosh as of late too. You might argue its about safety, but the accident rate of modified and homebuilt vehicles is staggeringly low compared to producton vehicles, maybe the owners dont want to waste all that work and effort?
SVA was moaned about a lot at the time, though it was just a case of reading the rules and not being completely insane to get a car through I did 2. Most of it is actually not too hard, and thousands of people have gotten kit-cars through so the knowledge is out there. I had locosy help a friend with a Cobra replica a few years ago, had to play the IVA test game.
And then after cutting it all out and putting it back to how it was because the extra ride height will affect stability. My other issue is its a moving target, I have a friend who started building under sva, and now has to redo lots for iva. Lets not even begin to discuss hotrods and the recent zealous enforcement of the 8 point rule. Or say a rebodied scimitar and you trim the rear bumper outriggers where they stick out and form a risk for other vehicles and suddenly youve modified the chassis and have to go for IVA.
The pendulum has swung very very far the other way in a short space of time. I watch roadkill occasionally on youtube, and the requirements seem so lax in the states its unreal.
Its almost enough to make me want pocost pack my machine shop in a few containers and head there at times. Sounds like an episode of Wheeler Dealers. Swear I know your name somewhere MrFluffy. Understood, the complex mire of dealing with a modification is very different from making a regs-compliant Seven from first principles.
As to locoat point about forewarning I considered it, but remember the majority of readers here are not from the UK, so a locos passage about the IVA would be meaningless to them. Aware IVA will mean little to lots of the audience, but each person will have their own local version of the legislation octopus to deal with and getting aquainted with that in advance has to be the 1 task around building your own car.
As I alluded to above, the US legislation seems amazingly slack or at least thats lkcost impression I get from speaking with other builders and shows like roadkill and some of what turns up at shows and meets.
But if you do your homework early enough…. Yes I remember pre sva days. I was invovled with modified and self built stuff back then too. Some of the kitcar stuff was chickenwire and grp filler shocking in the early days but then so were a lot of standard original cars.
I neeearly bought me a pile of octopus wrestling a couple of years ago. Before you pack up and move to the states to avoid the IVA, make sure you are not headed locot California. Most rights infringing draconian legislation starts there and spreads east. My mate changed his Land Rover from fuel-injected to carburetted in about an hour in his garage. Then drove us a couple of hundred miles down to meet our friend.
I was amazed at the time. A Land Rover must be in the running for hackable car. There must be every mod imaginable for a car, out there on a Landie somewhere. I was always deeply impressed by my university mate who changed out the gear box to his austin allegro in the halls-of-residence car park!
As a owner of a MGF also very hackable! I can say that this is something Rover has done very right. Both with the K-type engine and with the MGF as a car.
There are not many special tools required to do any work. Ok, the engine is not very accessible in an MGF but still quite servicable. And it runs very well. Go to any vintage race and you find these little lotus locos cars all over. After the proper tweaks and cheats they can get around a track pretty llcost.
They are not fast cars. They are momentum cars that bring out a drivers skils. That is why they are popular with first time racers and clubs.
All in the sense of speed. Another vote for Mazda Miata MX You can electrify it, put a V8 in if you must. Stock handling is good and for a little bit of cash it can be made locoost in performance and handling.
Watch this about the Miata. Cag be very honest it is just as lofost as my Lotus Exige S. It may not draw as much attention as the Lotus, but the Miata is easier to get in and out of after a meal. Anyone who says the Miata is a girls car has never driven one. Sorry for the hijacking intermission. Frankly, just hearing about what used to happen before collapsable steering wheels is enough to make me avoid this.
We should be allowed to assume our own risks instead of having it decided what is best for us by some third party authority. We all certainly cannot agree on what is dangerous. Remember when Professor David Nutt was asked to resign for comparing the risks cae equestrian activity with ecstasy drug use? Within personal choice lies freedom.
There are counter arguments, but keep in mind, there is no perfect solution. I would rather the choice be my own. A normal V8 in this car would be nice, but I think it would throw off the weight distribution depending on the V8 you use of course.
Instead a few people have successfully added llcost Hartley V8 to this car.