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Thread: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    I was wondering if anyone in the forum has built an "original design" car, using either a new chassis or donor chassis, and a newly fabricated fiberglass body?

    If so, please elaborate on the pros and cons and where I could find out more about doing something like that, i.e, who makes the molds, what problems did you run into, expected costs, etc.

    Thanks in advance,
    Joe

  2. #2
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    Well, I can tell you that something that ambitious requires "baby steps." I mean, I've been building kit cars for myself for 35 years now and I've just started to do some "one off" body parts (wings, ground effects, air cleaners, etc.) for my cars. I'm hopeing that by the time I retire and can do some custom car bodies for myself and car buddies. At the stage I'm at the "lost foam" method is the best for making the parts I need. That involves laying up polyrethane foam bricks, carving and shaping them, then glassing over and dissolving the foam from the back. On wings I leave the foam in along with some steel tube for strength.
    First thing you need to do is get a handle on knowing your materials. Go to this web site first and get their free Fiberglass Book on DVD, they'll only charge you a few bucks for shipping and handling...
    www.fiberglasssite.com
    Next go to www.fiberglast.com and check out all the info. in the Learning Center tab at the top of the page.
    I think that once you've figured out the characteristics of the different materials you would try your hand at some smaller parts the way I'm doing right now.
    To me the tough part about cars involves creating something that is artistic but can generally use a widely available chassis and some type of standard DOT approved window glass, headlights, tail lights, etc. The problem with using many of those items in a swoopy looking neat design is the fact that the car ends up turning into another production "clone." Even Factory Five admits to incorporating several existing design cues from existing supercars into their GTM. I think that it's just unavoidable. "Original" is a hard thing to come up with in cars especially for the novice builder.

  3. #3
    Bobi1
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    I had some experience with "original design" car few years ago. First of all, do all the research before you start with the actual building. As DarrelK said, there are lots of things which you have to learn before put your time, money and effort into the building. Secondly, you have to determine which method of plug/molds building is most suitable for your purpose. If you need only an one off body (a single copy), then you can lay up the fiberglass body directly over the foam plug and then remove the foam plug with some kind of acid. On the other hand, if you need 2 or more copies (or want to create some body parts for repair after a damage), you have to create removable molds (this is the standard way). And get more of your time into research and decisions before start anything. The choice of glasses will determine how original will be your "original design". Using glasses from an existing car(s) will make your "original design" to look more ordinary and less original. It's the shorter and cheaper way to get your glasses. The more expensive way is to get custom made glasses according your requirements. With these glasses your car will look far more original and you won't make any "sacrifice" with the design.

    You can see how DDR Motorsport made their plug here:
    http://www.kitcarmag.com/featuredveh...sp4/index.html

    And a little part of my building. The front curved glass is from Peugeot 206 (a small European car), and as you can see I made it look totally different on my design. Also, the side glasses are from Mazda MX3. You can combine glasses from different cars for best results:
    http://www.kitcentral.com/pn/html/mo...view_album.php

  4. #4
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    Of course there is the B1 Concept thread right here on Kitcars and Neal is in the middle of building the buck right now. So by watching that thread you can actually watch as the project progresses. Another build I have been watching is this one:

    http://www.gt40s.com/forum/gt40-buil...ground-up.html

    This one is specifically designed to pull molds from, but many of the techniques are the same.

    I am involved on an original build that 3DEngineering modeled for another man on here that goes by the handle of Bartman. I am cnc carving the foam for the body and then he will do the finish work to get the buck ready for pulling a mold from.

    Mike

  5. #5
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    There are quite a few skills you need to have or have access to. Good design knowlegde, from aerodynamics, strength of materials, mechanical engineering skills, to hands on skills like welding, fiberglassing, moldmaking, bodywork. People skills to bring it all together. Not to mention patience and deep pockets. I am not trying to discourage but you will only be successful if you go into it with an idea of what to expect, it can be done, it has been done many times, it is a lot of work. Please heed one piece of advise: use production glass from another automobile, don't go with custom glass. Cost is high, I do not want to discuss my budget. If you have to hire someone (a composite molding company) to build your molds you are between $30K and $75k depending on complexity and quality of molds just for that one piece of the puzzle. I have seen $7k "splash" molds but they will not produce a good body and will not produce more than a handful before the heat distortion distroys them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member FerrariFan's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    I built an Artero a few years ago. It's made by PISA in Arizona. They have a few original designs that go on a Fiero.
    Even the longest journey begins with the first step.

  7. #7
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    Sorta. Back in 1987, I built the convertible that Datsun never did. I started with a '77 Datsun 280Z, cut off the top and made a trunk lid from the old cut-down rear deck lid. A lot of bracing had to be added after the top was cut off to prevent the body from bowing inward and twisting diagonally. Long "U" shaped steel was welded onto the bottom of the car. A nicely shaped rollbar (that accented the lines of the car) was welded to the new steel underbracing, and a couple steel diagonals bars were installed just to the rear of the door and welded on which effectively tied the roll bar and underbracing together. I then slid long steel rods down through the A pillars and capped the top of the A pillar. A steel brace was welded between the rear shock towers and a piece of tuck & roll covering was applied to a piece of plywood, and the plywood then attached to that steel cross piece. Then, to keep out the weather, I went to a junk yard and bought the front portion of a TR7 convertible top where it clamps the ragtop onto the top of the windshield frame. I then bought a new TR7 ragtop, screwed snaps onto the cockpit rim, snapped the ragtop onto the car and stretched it up and over the rollbar and clamped it down onto the windshield frame. I kept the car for several years and didn't make any other modifications to the body, so it was always a "double take" car. People would glance at it and just see another old but nicely maintained metallic blue Z car, then sort of do a "huh?" and look back at it again when they realized they'd never seen a convertible 280Z before. Although the convertibleization may sound complicated, it was easy to do and took almost a month, working on weekends only.

  8. #8
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    Hello all,

    I realize this is an older post, but I'm attempting my hand at new car designs for 3 manufacturer prototype. It's nothing like the stuff here and not as technical (at least I think), but I'm looking forward to finishing the build. Two are being built using the current Civic as a donor (2006) and one is being built atop of the last (7th generation 2003-2007) Accord coupe.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TwilightZ's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    pics?

  10. #10

    Re: Anyone here ever build an "original design" car?

    Quote Originally Posted by turmite
    Of course there is the B1 Concept thread right here on Kitcars and Neal is in the middle of building the buck right now. So by watching that thread you can actually watch as the project progresses. Another build I have been watching is this one:

    http://www.gt40s.com/forum/gt40-buil...ground-up.html

    This one is specifically designed to pull molds from, but many of the techniques are the same.

    I am involved on an original build that 3DEngineering modeled for another man on here that goes by the handle of Bartman. I am cnc carving the foam for the body and then he will do the finish work to get the buck ready for pulling a mold from.

    Mike
    Tried to see it but the sight makes you join before you can see the pictures so I can not see it.
    www.kikkerbikes.com

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