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Thread: Custom designs for the cars

  1. #1

    Custom designs for the cars

    Hello all!

    Iīve been following the forum for a while and seen some amazing projects, people with great skill and creativity.
    That often makes me wonder as to why arenīt there more original designs here. Not that thereīs anything wrong with building the replica of the car of your dreams but, as they seem to require a crazy amount of work and adaptation anyways, why not go the path Fugazzi took and build your own design?
    That is a dream I want to pursue some day and wonder where my kindred spirits are.


  2. #2
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    There is a big difference between doing blatant copies or derivative knock-offs of other's work, and actually coming up with worthwhile original designs of your own.

  3. #3
    there are lots of original designs on this site, the difference is the interest in them isn't necessarily as high as your ferraris or lamborghinis.

  4. #4
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    Honestly besides the vaydor I haven't seen a single good looking finished unique kit

    There are always a few promising ones in the works , but they seem to never make it to actual production beyond a single prototype .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by brunobalestra View Post
    Hello all!
    ...why arenīt there more original designs here.
    If you've never built a "kit car" or replica before, it's easy to underestimate the effort and money needed to complete a "basic rebody", let alone design your own and fit it to a chassis.

    I don't know your level of experience, so bear with me for a minute or two: Simply to fit a pre-designed body onto an existing chassis like a Fiero, Infinity G35, or Celica usually means you have to modify the suspension, wheels, tires, and other chassis systems like doors, roof lines, bumpers, electricals, lights, exhausts, and glass. You also typically have to design and fabricate mounting brackets for most of the body, and then spend countless hours finessing typically sub-standard fibreglass panels that don't align well, and have pin holes, weaves, ripples, and uneven seams in the gel coat. It usually takes a couple years to have the money, space, time, and tools, and to learn the skills needed. And that's only if you're starting with a donor car where you can live with an unmodified interior, brakes, engine, and transmission. If you're starting from a tube chassis, absolutely everything has to be considered, and purchased separately. A lot of kits are abandoned either because the owner underestimated the time or money to complete a car, or because the cumulative effect of taking shortcuts to "get'er done" reaches a critical mass and undermines the structure/quality/safety/reliability of the entire project.

    Adding the extra step(s!) of designing your own body would likely add several years (have a look at Ikaros' thread!) and thousands of dollars to an already long and expensive process, and that's if you already had experience and knew what you were doing. If you were simply thinking of covering a stripped down chassis of some sort, and carving foam until a stylish shape emerged, then consider what medium you would use to make the body, whether you have any experience in the medium, how you would ensure symmetry from side to side, whether you have the space, whether your spouse and/or neighbors would tolerate the fibreglass fumes, the late night buzz of power tools, or the clatter of a planishing hammer if you decide to make it out of metal. Consider that you'd want other people to find your design attractive too... and that may be the hardest part to achieve. Without broad support for a design, it would be tough to keep motivated. How many times are you prepared to go back to the drawing board until you get the reaction you're looking for?

    If you're thinking of a clean slate digital design, then you'll need advanced knowledge of your entire layout, and digital dimensional drawings of all the major mechanical components to design your new body to cover them. For some perspective, I spent nearly 600 hours drawing Fiero suspension components, mapping out the kinematics with an analyzer, and modifying the designs to suit my needs for an F355 replica. You'd be talking about a much, much more complex integration. Have a look at 76MX's ground up development of the Chupacabra here on MM for some insight. Even then, the body he's developing is a modern rendering of the Countach.

    There are just so many variables to consider. I haven't even touched upon how the right-brain artistic skills needed to develop an attractive body are usually out of reach for a left-brained wrench-turner with the mechanical skills to build a car, and vice versa. I don't mean to discourage you or anyone else... but there are many good reasons why original body designs aren't hopping off the pages of this forum and being turned into reality. It would take years of dedication to develop one, tens of thousands of dollars to build one, a good sized shop, and extraordinary design, engineering, and fabrication skills. Perhaps you have all of those. Most of us either design, or build. Few of us do both.

  6. #6
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    Bloozberry - well said sir.

    This should be a must read for those considering on building a car of any kind with a button of accept or decline. lol

    When I first stumbled onto kit cars, I was deer eyed and all I could see in my mind was a driveway full of exotic looking replicas for all in my family to drive daily thinking only a year or two at the most to build them... BOY WAS I MISTAKEN!!!

    Now, given all you said and all I have learned, none has detoured me from wanting to attempt at least one kit at some point.

    That said, yes, I agree, there are a number of things to consider before taking on such a project no matter the starting point.
    It's a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself. - Dale Earnhardt Sr

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloozberry View Post
    If you've never built a "kit car" or replica before, it's easy to underestimate the effort and money needed to complete a "basic rebody", let alone design your own and fit it to a chassis.
    I don't know your level of experience, so bear with me for a minute or two: Simply to fit a pre-designed body onto an existing chassis like a Fiero, Infinity G35, or Celica usually means you have to modify the suspension, wheels, tires, and other chassis systems like doors, roof lines, bumpers, electricals, lights, exhausts, and glass. You also typically have to design and fabricate mounting brackets for most of the body, and then spend countless hours finessing typically sub-standard fibreglass panels that don't align well, and have pin holes, weaves, ripples, and uneven seams in the gel coat. It usually takes a couple years to have the money, space, time, and tools, and to learn the skills needed.

    #TRUTH
    wish i would have read this before i started - fiberglass is a bi+({}. Takes alot of hours to make panels align and alot of trickery to make them stay with custom brackets that look good and will last. Also sometimes if your crafty; its amazing what works with just a little effort. SO you just have to be willing to go the distance.

    I jumped right in as i was deer eyed like MIKE but what i have been finding after 6 months on my latest project is : things i thought would be a pain and not go well were actually easy and fell into place while other things that i thought were no-brain-ers have coast me a huge amount of time and money and wasted weeks of figuring. -Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Everything that Bloozberry says in his eloquent answer is dead on except for one small detail. In his opening sentence, he says that if someone has never built a kitcar before, it is easy to underestimate a rebody. Well, I have built them before, and while at Fast Lane Engineering I built over 300 other cars, and I still greatly underestimated the Chupacabra effort. This has been my full time pursuit for over two years now, spending at least 40 hours per week on it, and we are still several months from the final presentational car. Needless to say I have spent over a dollar and a half on this as well. Besides the R&D costs, the engineers sitting at my dining room table as I write this do not work cheap. Also, there has been three cars built and scrapped to this point, just the cost of doing business. If I can email someone the current engineering drawings to post them, I will show you what the first two years and first few dollars look like.

    Skynet, I know what you mean about the easy parts turning difficult. When someone asks what has been the most difficult part of my project, I tell them the sun visors.
    Last edited by 76mx; 05-24-2017 at 09:40 AM.

  9. #9
    Hello all, and thank you for your responses.

    Before anything else, I just want to reiterate that I do not intend to knock anyone's efforts, rebody or not. All that you have said not only makes sense but is a tremendous insight for people considering building a car like myself. I appreciate all the info and the warnings.
    The reason I brought up the topic is that I see so many talented people here.
    You guys are an inspiration to me!
    I have checked out most your guys threads before and follow the build's progress as much as my schedule allows.
    Have a great week, everyone!

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