Build Your Own Car – How It All Started

If you want to build your own car, then read on.

When I was a kid, back in the 1950’s, I was bought up when cars looked like cars. I loved the flowing lines, particularly the sportscars. One of my absolute favourites was the MG TF, which for me was how a sportscar should look. My dream was one day to own a car like that. As the years went by, and the TF became rarer and more expensive it seemed my dream would never come true.

I went through the usual array of old bangers, bought for £50, and the thought of the TF went to the back of my mind. Some of the cars I owned, I wish I still had as they have now become collectible classics.

What were they? My very first vehicle was a Ford Thames 15cwt van. This was bought because I was in a band and we needed transport to carry our gear to gigs. Other vehicles owned were a side valve Morris Oxford, a pre-war Austin 8, a Ford Consul, a MK1 Ford Cortina, and a whole array of Triumphs including 7 Heralds including a coupe and an estate with a 2 litre Vitesse engine and a Spitfire. All very much run of the mill cars.

Then I saw my first Bond Equipe GT 2 litre. I fell in love with it. I kept looking at the ads in the Exchange and Mart and finally bought one for £300. Basically the Equipe was built using the Triumph Vitesse chassis and running gear, but clothed in a fibre glass body. The one I bought was the coupe model (they made a convertible as well) and had a 2 litre straight six engine .

Bond Equipe GT 2 Litre

This isn’t a picture of my car, mine was black. Very sexy.

When I went for a test drive, the guy seemed very keen on showing me how loud the radio was. What with that and the load exhaust, I didn’t notice the noise coming from the engine. I guess you know where this is going. Yep, the engine was shot. It was burning oil and the ends were not very happy. I’m a little wiser now when I buy a car. Anyway, a couple of months later I managed to find a low mileage 1.6 Vitesse engine at a breakers yard at a reasonable price, so this was fitted in the car.

I’m sure that you’re wondering what the heck has this got to do with building your own car. All will be revealed in the next episode:-)

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