THIS GIVES YOU THE IDEA. I've been collecting parts and working on a design for my next project car. I've already restored or resto-rodded a number of old cars and motorcycles... next, I wanted to build a car from the ground-up. I considered kit cars, then read a really great book:
I got the idea from Build Your Own Sports Car by Ron Chapman, but I wanted something more... I don't know, something that resonated inside of me, an American raised in more modern times. Yes, I love the hell out of 1950's racecars, but when I hit that impressionable age when I was deciding what looked fast, it was the Kawasaki H2 for motorcycles and the Can-Am racers. Both early 1970's -- no coincidence, methinks.
I was also inspired by the Formula SAE racing program, which encourages colleges to build tiny race cars. Bing! A light went off in my head: Why not build a Can-Am replica racer, but one that uses a supersport motorcycle engine rather than a 1000-hp monster as in a Can-Am or a tiny 600-cc engine as in an FSAE racer!
But interest in these things alone isn't enough to spend the time and money needed to build a street-legal racecar from the ground-up. The Chapman book gave me another inspiration: I'm going to write a manual that shows any garage mechanic how to build the racer I build!
Build Your Own Street-Legal Sports and Racing Car for Less than $5000
Hands-on, How-to Guide to
By Christopher McKitterick
Here's from the introduction to the book, which I've started (yeah, yeah, I'm writing with the assumption my reader will be male. If you think the case is otherwise, let me know!):
Why build your own sports-racer? Two reasons:
Even basic sports cars cost pretty much what most people earn in a year or so. That means your wife is pretty darned unlikely to approve such a purchase, even if you somehow managed to convince a bank you need that $80,000 loan for a car. Now, there are lots of affordable factory sports cars out there like the Mazda Miata or Subaru WRX, but these are in a completely different league than even our baseline Corvette. You wanted really fast, right? Perhaps most important, they still cost as much or more than the family sedan or mini-van you actually need. I think you see what I’m getting at. Sure, we all want a sports car, but very few of us will ever actually own one because we just can’t justify the cost. And if you’ve read this far, you – like me – are not someone who can drop fifty grand on a non-essential vehicle without also getting kicked out of the house. So what’s a guy to do?
That’s why I decided to write this book. I, too, wanted a high-performance fun machine that I could take to a track day – or even to a sanctioned Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) event – I’m not a wealthy person, but I do have some skills with tools.
The goal of this project is to build a car that is fast, fun, and frugal. That is, a car that will provide the thrills associated with a real race car at a cost that almost anyone can afford. Something cheap to both build and operate.
So there it is: "Fast, fun, and frugal" are the key words.
By the way, why "Lil' Vehicle of Danger"? Well, a friend of mine thinks a street-legal racing machine is just asking for trouble from the law. Well, I suppose that's possible. But I just like the name.
Is this a book you'd buy? Let me know and I'll hurry the project along! Kij has offered to make me a custom logo for McKitterick Motors (too cool -- I'll post that image as soon as she does it), which will adorn a patch I'll send to fans of the project.
I'll post new pages here as the project progresses. Wish me luck!
YOU ARE GUEST 459 . THANKS FOR VISITING! UPDATED 10/12/2007. CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES.