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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Hello, I'm new to the forum but have been checking it out for some time now. As a hobby I love to design and build my own cars. Up until now I have used C4 and C5 parts Corvette parts. I recently drove my friends Miata and thought that it would be a cool platform to build a light little sports car from. I thought that some of you might be interested in seeing what I am building.

I am constructing a Locost style frame to which the stock Miata suspension cradles and drivetrain will bolt into. I have been constructing a similar but larger frame for my Corvette builds. I was going to sculpt my own body but I found the pictured body being made in England. It was designed to fit on a Triumph Herald chassis which is 6 inches narrower than the Miata. The picture is photoshopped to fit the stock Miata width. The head fairing will be switched to the correct size. I think that the body is pretty cool and good looking. I am working with the creator to adapt it to the Miata parts.

The goal is a cheap, cool, little sports car. The target weight is 1400lbs. Thanks for looking. John


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:35 am 
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Location: San Antonio
That is a pretty body!

Do you have a build log somewhere of this car? Previous cars? I'd like to see what you're doing and have done.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:38 am 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
They are working on a group buy of bodies over on the GRM forum.

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I drive therefore I am

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
[quote="JSullivan"]That is a pretty body!

X2! :) Love the lines and scale.. I looked briefly into building a Berkley, but in the end went a different direction- shades of it in this car- this one being a bit more sleek.. so cool. Good luck with the build- gorgeous platform..

-ccrunner

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My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:24 pm 
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Thanks for the comments. I love the shape of the car so much that I have just finalized a deal with the creator of the original body. The designer, Gary Janes is working with me to make the modifications to fit the Miata's 6 inch wider width. In addition I have made the decision to lengthen the hood slightly between the wheels and cowl. The car will have a 95 inch wheelbase. I am tall so the extra leg room will help. Gary is doing the changes and will make production molds with those changes. The first body and molds are being shipped to me. I have purchased the rights for North America for the car, the SAMMIO-SPYDER.

I will build the first one out and then if people like it I will be able to reproduce it. We'll see how it turns out.

The molds and body won't be in my hands until late August. I am gone for the month of Sept so the build will start in OCT. The goal is to have it on the road next spring. I will learn how to do a build thread and set that up.

I think it will be a fun project and a cool little car.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
Hey John..

Your post made me curious about this little gem, so I went and did some digging.. pretty cool concept- I like how the owner 'hopes that no two will turn out the same.' I also like his less expensive approach.. What a cool find, and cool that you're able to get the body modded out to fit onto the Miata (read US parts available) platform.. you're truly on the verge of one slippery, sexy little car with reliable underpinnings..

Are you planning to distrubute the 'Miata' version of the body here in the US?- or maybe you'll build a turn-key Sammi as a dealer? I saw your post on GRM to get a container full of these shells.. I'm personally not in a place to get in on a body (right now :wink: ), but it would be a cool thing to keep in mind for my inevitable next project- there's always a next project, isn't there?

I suspect most of us here are not turn key guys- but there is a definite attraction to that body...

Good luck John- please keep us posted on your progress.. lots of us here are using Miata stuff, and all of us here enjoy seeing a truly unique vehicle come together.. :cheers:

-ccrunner

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My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Last edited by ccrunner on Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:15 am 
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Location: Oregon, usually
Pretty cool body, John. Where are you located?

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Locost builder and adventurer, and owner/operator of http://www.kineticvehicles.com


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:09 am 
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Thanks for the comments. I wasn't the person trying to put together a deal for a container full of bodies. I was interested in getting 1 of them though. It has worked out much better as Gary (the creator of the body) is making changes to the body to fit the Miata for me. To be honest I think that there might be a small market for a body frame kit here in the US. I will build the car and see how it comes out. If it turns out like I hope I may have the parts produced for me and sell them. This is a ways off though.

I am in the Adirondack mountains of New York. A long way from Oregon!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:13 pm
Posts: 311
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Fantastic!

I really like the Sammy since I first read about it in Complete Kit Car magazine.
The intention of having no two be the same, the reasonable price and the classic looks without being a replicar.
Like you, I thought of using the Miata subframes and a very simple bolt on chassis. A one donor build.
I am looking forward to seeing the build of your car.

Shipping to Alaska makes it far too expensive for me to join in the group buy unfortunately.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Very much like a 289 Cobra or other AC type car. This may be of interest to you:

http://www.unijig.com/cobra.html

Stumbled across it this morning.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Wow, it's been a long time since I have posted. The body that I thought that I would receive in August is just shipping this week. I did have it widened to fit the width of the Miata. I will make the final changes to the body once it arrives to tweak the looks and to fit the Space frame that I am going to build for it.

Over the summer I purchased 2 Miatas. I have stripped the body off of the suspension cradles from one of them. But, I really can't begin the frame until the body gets here. This is suppose to be in 3-4 weeks. I am anxious to get going.

The goal here is to keep this simple and inexpensive. I intend to use pretty much needed from the Miata, bolt it the Miata parts into my frame and then have a 2 piece body to slip over the frame. The nose will be full tilting.

My goal is to produce the parts needed to sell this as simple and inexpensive kit.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Hello Everyone, I thought that it was time for an update. My body has arrived in New Jeresey. As soon as it clears customs it will be trucked to me. I can't build the frame until the body is here. The frame will be a space frame. It will utilize both the front and rear Miata cradles. I am keeping the car the stock Miata wheelbase. I plant to have full functioning doors. I have the design and I think that it will be a quality piece.

I have taken some measurements and have discovered that the body as I am getting it will not clear the Miata engine and front upper shock mounts. I have been working with Gary in England and his Photo shop specialist to redesign it so that it does clear. This is the look that I am going for. I think that it looks real good.

The standard wind screen will be made from Polycarbonate. I know that some will want or will be required to have a DOT approved windshield. I have purchased a Porsche 356 frame and windshield. The 356 is almost the same width and I think the look is perfect. I plan to offer this as an option. This would allow the use of the 356 top as well.

My goal for the complete kit is $4990. I am not looking to get rich. I don't need the money. I am looking to have fun.

I have the 2 views of the car in Bright red, Yellow, British Racing Green, Black, Silver, Iris Blue, and Dark Blue. If any one wants to see them just let me know and I will post them.

I am working on setting up a blog to post the development of the kit. It will be up soon.

Thanks for looking, Having Fun, John

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Location: Vista (north of San Diego CA)
Wow, looks good to me! If you can keep the frame and body to <$5K you should have a winner.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:03 am 
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Locost_Johnh wrote:
Wow, looks good to me! If you can keep the frame and body to <$5K you should have a winner.


That's a business model I would like to see.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:48 pm 
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If this were to be a stand alone business and I needed to make a living from it, it would be difficult to hit my target price. But, I am retired, 56 and bored. I love kit cars. Have since I was a teenager. I know what the cost is to build frames. I know what the cost is to produce fiberglass bodies. I have designed and built one of SEMA's car of the year. It was 1 of 7 cars honored at the Hot Rod Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2003. Some people wanted that car so I sold a kit for it. I sold a good number of them then gave the business to a relative so that I could pursue something new. I sold the kits as a hobby. I am doing this for fun. I don't care if I make any money at all.

The key to keeping the cost low for this car is to eliminate the need for aftermarket parts, the need to modify or custom fabricate parts. By using everything from 1 Miata the cost can be kept low. By using the cradles and keeping everything in the stock location it eliminates a lot of frame building work, keeps the geometry as designed, and allows the use of any part designed for the Miata. I am using the electrical system, gauges, fuel system, exhaust system, steering, suspension, wheels tires, brakes, E brake, radiator, fan, ect. The kit will be the frame, body, windscreen(Dot approved glass as option), aluminum skins for the floors, foot boxes, and bulkheads. There will be some other small parts as well. It will be up to the builder to provide seats, seat belts, and trim pieces. They can customize it they way they want.

Here are a couple of recently finished cars I have built for myself.

The black cars have the same aluminum chassis. The bodies can be switched in 45 minutes. Drivetrain and suspension is C5 Vette. I made the bodies.

For my Cobra I purchased the body from Shell Valley. I built the frame. It uses C5 suspension modified for the narrower Cobra. I converted the Diff so that it accepts a drive shaft. It bolts in to the stressed trans tunnel. The tunnel becomes a large torque arm. The LS6 is bolted to a T56 6speed.

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