Build Your Own Car – The Locost

If you have read my previous posts and still feel you want to build your own car, then you are probably as crazy as I am. The problem is, that once you have done it you are hooked.

I went for many years driving various production vehicles and had absolutely no intention of doing it again. On October 5, 1996 my wife pointed out an article in the Daily Mail “Schoolboys Make Classic Roadster From Scrap” featuring a book by Ron Champion called “Build Your Own Sportscar for £250”. At the time I was working for a large book wholesaler, so I bought the book (at discount) and read it and thought “I can do that”. The Locost book sat on my bookshelf for 2 years as I didn’t have a suitable garage, or the time. In August 1998 my wife and I moved to a house with a garage that was large enough for “The Project”. In December 1998 I ordered the steel for the space-frame chassis and started to cut it according to the dimensions in the book.

Meanwhile, I was also on the hunt for a donor. The book suggested a Ford Escort and I managed to find an Escort Huntsman estate. This is not the actual car below!!

Ford Escort Huntsman estate

All the major were stripped from the car, engine, gearbox, back axle, radiator, instruments and anything else that may be of use. The engine was shot, but I managed to find another 1300cc one that had been rebuilt. The carb on the old engine was virtually brand new, so that was cleaned up to be used. The rebuilt engine was stripped down and checked as it had never been run. Whoever had rebuilt it had done the bottom end, but not touched the head. The bottom end was stripped down just to check that all was OK. I’m very glad I did as although it had been re-bored and new pistons and rings fitted, several of the rings were broken!! I also had the crankshaft polished, but re-fitted the bigend and main shells which looked new. The head was stripped down , new valves and springs fitted after de-coking. They oil pump was also badly worn, but I managed to purchase a brand new one at a reasonable price.

Many other new or refurbished parts were bought including Cortina hubs and stub axles, alternator, battery, electric fan etc etc.

Next epsiode: The building of the chassis.

Meanwhile, why not have a, or check out Ebay to see what cars are available.

Are you looking for kitcar or special insurance? These folks are specialists!!

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