I'm Paul, the Mechanical Engineer / Designer behind this Trio of LoCost builds with the Triumph 955 or 1050 Engine.
I'm not a desk-bound engineer, I started my career as a machinist and fabricator. In fact, I never finished my Eng. degree but I play one on TV.
I'll be modeling the parts, frame, and whole car in Autodesk Inventor 2012 (& 2013 beta).
I can FEA the assembly and parts for some verification of durability and the right amount of lightness added (yippie!)
1st step, Complete gearing calcs to achieve decent cruising RPM. (So we can choose a final drive solution)
(*Its looking like 3.0 to 2.7 right now, weighing our real world options of E30 325 BMW vs Ford 7.5 IRS.)
2nd step Build a model of the 955 motor, then start in on Modeling some Miata parts.
Our idea here is to minimize the garage floor hammering and hacking, by having a hard plan in a 3D model and prints. Then harness the efficiency of building 3 or more cars off one plan and splitting the assembly/Fab stages amongst us to save set up and "where's that tool" wasted time. (I've played with a FFR Cobra kit, and was disgusted by the lack of planning, a manual that was wrong half the time, and ill fitting parts...)