Friday, 20 March 2015

In the Beginning...

...there was a plan.

I have been dreaming of building a kit car for about 15 years - unfortunately, kids came along just as I was getting more serious, so that was that...

Until now...

Having been made redundant in October with no immediate chance of a new job, a pot of cash languishing in my bank account and all the decorating I could do having been done, my kit car dream was re-ignited.

Initial research suggested it could be done in a single garage (hurdle no. 1) and I could find a kit car big enough to take my 6' 2", 18-stone frame (hurdle no. 2).

Hurdle no. 3 is mechanical skills - a quick survey of my brain finds almost none. I service my motorbike myself, so I've got some tools and I can tell an alternator from a Jaffa cake but that's about it. Worse, I have no family or friends who are any better than me, no tame welder lives next door - I am all alone in this. Start placing your bets for how long before I first draw blood.

Budget is about £12k all-in, although I know it will end up being more but hopefully I can spread it over the 2/3 years I expect the build to take (I'm in no rush). I want the kit car mainly for road use (although I want to do some track days as well), so I need to get wet weather gear (windscreen, doors, roof) because I live in the UK, where it rains. A lot.

Further research brought up a short-list of cars, which I've whittled down as described below (sorry, this is going to be a long post!):

Caterham - dealer 5 miles down the road but far too expensive (£20k+ for what I wanted/needed).
Westfield - too expensive.
Roadrunner SR2 - too race-oriented, only just making wet weather gear.
GBS Zero - lovely aluminium body work - kit with second-hand Mazda donor will work out at about £14k.
Tiger Avon - GRP bodywork is not as nice as the GBS but their Ford kit is £13k, which includes a new Ford Zetec engine with 160bhp.

I went up to visit the Tiger and GBS premises yesterday. Tiger is a much smaller and slightly chaotic place but it feels more 'homely'. GBS is far more professional, more high-tech, with a very suave salesman who knows his stuff. But there have been some blogs complaining about hidden costs from GBS further down the line...

At the moment, the Tiger is the front runner but things may change...

Oh yeah - today I got confirmation that I have been offered a job I've been interviewing for. A big pay cut from my last job but sod it...I'm tired of saving my money.

So, the next stage is to clear out my garage, which currently looks like this:

You may think that isn't too bad but my motorbike normally sits in the middle as well!

I've taken some of the stuff out today and put it in the loft - next is to buy a shed for the garden, for all those bikes, lawnmower etc to go into.

Thanks for reading so far - pop back when you can (although no rush - progress is going to be slow).

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