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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:47 am 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
...which brings me to an important question, alluded to by Grintch:

Grintch wrote:
Great. Looking forward to the future offering of Lalo bodies and kits.


is it going to be worthwhile to make a full set of body molds so I can make more of these bodies?


I'm game Jack, I'd really like to widen the footwells when I start my chassis, if your panels are going to be commercially available in the few months to a year I'm going to build to suit.

From your post I'm guessing you're looking somewhere in the $1600-$2000 range for the completed panels? I'm definitely game. I know you don't traditionally do deposits but I'd gladly pay up front if that would help fund the molds.

Cheers, Ted


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:50 pm 
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I'd be up for a rebody too.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:11 am 
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JackMcCornack wrote:

I don't plan to make the rear fenders in two steps, and the front fenders are about good to go as they are now, so I wasn't planning to make molds for them. I think a Lalo body, in production, would cost about a thousand bucks more than a standard Locost body. So let's be realistic now--is there a market for such a thing? Are there likely to be a half dozen locost-spirited home builders who would want one? To me this seems more of an alternative body for a Locost than a potential new kit in the marketplace; is it going to be worthwhile to make a full set of body molds so I can make more of these bodies?


The UK has a fair number of full bodied 7 derivatives like the Fisher Fury, Stuart Taylor Phoenix, etc. Plus the Lotus 11/15 replicas. So there seems to be some market. I know I am interested in this type of car. But my job is in jeopardy, so I am not a potential buyer in the short term.

BTW - Is Lowla (pronounced Lola) a better name than Lalo?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:05 am 
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I definitely thing there's a market for a good pre-fab body. One of the things I like least about the traditional 7/locost is the styling, actually. If there were a good sloopy vintage body available for a reasonable price, then I'd be far more interested in building one.

The one potential problem I see is that with Lalo, it looks like your hood will be very low profile. For a commercial product you may need to offer a version that will have a tall enough hood to hide a typical Miata or Ford engine install.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:58 am 
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'Scuse me for ignoring this for a couple days, I've been getting orders packed and out--sheesh, work is distracting me from my hobby. I'll post again when I've done some more work on the body.

I think I can get away with a variety of hoods for the variety of OHC bangers out there (Miata in particular) but I doubt it'll ever fit a five liter V8.

Once the Locost add-on body kit is done, I'm going to make another rectangular cockpit car--that's one of the major advantages of a full body, IMO, is you can have a full footwell.

Like the Locost vs a Series II Lotus Seven, this car will be substantially bigger than a Lola Mk1...but I doubt many folks will notice unless they're parked next to each other, which is an unlikely scenario. Size is the price of comfort, fit, and having your head high enough to see other traffic. Still, I think most folks first impression will be that it's pretty damn small.

And yes, Grintch, Lowla is probably a better name than Lalo. Lowla goes well with Locost...but now I have to write a new theme.

Ted and erioshi, I'm planning a slight Kamm tail, with the squared off end a trifle taller than a license plate and inset slightly from the rounded tips of the rear fenders, a la Matra. It'll be lighter and lowcostier than a rounded stern, it'll have a slight drag reduction advantage, and it'll be a heck of a lot easier to mount the license plate and tail lights. But it won't be the only way to go, should your first impression be "Yech, ptooey!"

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Depending on what the final product looks like, I'd be very interested in getting a body. I never thought the traditional Seven was that attractive, and its far from aero. Your body addresses most of my concerns, and looks great so far! So put me on the list!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Jack,
So is the rear end going to be like a Ginetta G4?
Image


Or more like this:

Image
(again a stolen image)


Last edited by cs3tcr on Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:26 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
... Once the Locost add-on body kit is done, I'm going to make another rectangular cockpit car--that's one of the major advantages of a full body, IMO, is you can have a full footwell.

Like the Locost vs a Series II Lotus Seven, this car will be substantially bigger than a Lola Mk1...but I doubt many folks will notice unless they're parked next to each other, which is an unlikely scenario. Size is the price of comfort, fit, and having your head high enough to see other traffic. Still, I think most folks first impression will be that it's pretty damn small. ...

Interesting, but I'd be careful to make sure the body will still drape on book & 442 (442E?) frames. I think straying too far from all the resources and support available for the book chassis could shrink the market & increase risk. If I'm starting with a book (or 442) build, I can decide how much I want to kick out the passenger area & foot well as long as I know the allowable dimensions of the body. That opens the door for a wide variety of user options; external stiffening, storage, wider seating, etc. The same benefits you're suggesting, but customized to fit my personal needs. One additional thought: weight generally increases faster than size, and low weight, in addition to low cost, is one of the key defining characteristics of the locost.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:28 pm 
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I dunno...if you're going for a body like that, why would you try to cram it into a Seven frame? Like Jack said, we don't actually *like* our cramped footwells. I'd say if you wanted to sell bodies like that, develop/adapt plans for a frame that suits the body and takes best advantage of it. Sell frames or whole kits if you want, or sell plans, or give them away. Folks will do what they want under the skin, but they'll all end up buying your bodywork.

$0.02,
-dave

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:43 pm 
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I've just been spitballing a few changes, I'd widen my footwells by extending the straight sides of the chassis to the firewall
Attachment:
McSorley.jpg
McSorley.jpg [ 249.29 KiB | Viewed 2261 times ]
, essentially making the "D" tubes parallel to the "A" tubes (and moving the "kink" to the middle of the "J" tubes), make a few changes to the rear tubes (extend?), add some tabs to attach the bodywork and call it good. I think you could get away without a wholesale redesign. For a re-body, since the envelope is bigger you might be able to just add some tabs and brackets.

t


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:26 am 
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cs3tcr wrote:
So is the rear end going to be like a Ginetta G4?

More like the Ginetta than anything else, but I'm going to (this is today's plan, so don't think it's cast in stone) leave the little roundy bits at the end of the fenders so the kamm tail is recessed a trifle...or maybe not.

erioshi wrote:
Interesting, but I'd be careful to make sure the body will still drape on book & 442 (442E?) frames


And fit the Haynes Roadster as well. To change track, all that has to be changed is put a different width hood between the fenders (it's why I didn't make a one piece nose), and widen or narrow the simple curved sheetmetal for the "trunk". To change wheelbase, the pontoons can be lengthened or shortened and that's no prob. For different engines, different hoods.

But if one is planning to build a full bodied Locost (as opposed to retrofitting) it's pretty dang easy to make a rectangular cockpit. I should probably draw up some plans; just the tube lengths and the layout, not a whole book. Basically, (using ted's McSorley drawing above as a reference) you make the C and Q tubes the same length as the B tubes, extend the A and N tubes forward to the firewall, and increase the angle of the J and F tubes. Lots of foot room, lots of engine bay room, what's not to like?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:32 pm 
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Maybe this should be a thread oon its own, but are those bubbles used over the turbo a stock piece from somewhere? Aeronautical or street rod, either way not exactly what I am looking for but might give me ideas where to look.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:28 am 
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iadr wrote:
...are those bubbles used over the turbo a stock piece from somewhere?


I guess they are; I made a mold, might as well make more of them. It's a bit arcane and probably won't be on the KV parts list, but sure, I'll make you one. Contact me at kineticvehicles.com and let me know what you want. I prefer not to do KV business on LocostUSA, this being where I hang out with my friends and swap info and stories.

iadr wrote:
...either way not exactly what I am looking for but might give me ideas where to look.


To me, the locost sport/affliction is more about finding what'll work on a tight budget than it's about finding exactly what we're looking for, and if we want exactly what we're looking for then we make it. It wouldn't be all that hard to shape a piece of urethane insulation foam into the exact bubble shape to suit your vision, and then cover it with fiberglass and resin (or bang it out of metal) and have just what you want. Look at Dale's car, look at the Rufus Special, it can be done! At heart I think I'm more of a rat rodder, I tend to stop at "this'll do" and rarely shoot for perfect.

One reason I love the vintage race car look is (ooh man, am I going to get comments, or what?) that before the era when they had to write John Player or Marlboro on the cars (that is, before they had to draw big money to stay competitive and looks became a race car's most important feature), real racers were pretty dang slapdash. Good enough to win was good enough, and as far as an homage to the character of Lotus-back-in-the-day, locosts are closer than Caterhams. But back to your question: I don't know of anyplace to buy bubbles of this nature (except for moi, and I only have one model) but I can advise on how to make one yourself that's just what you want.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:58 am 
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If you want to try making a blister in aluminum by hammer-forming instead of shaping a wood or foam plug and doing a reinforced plastic fiber layup try

http://www.streetrodderweb.com/tech/070 ... index.html

I disclaim any knowledge of how hard or easy it really is!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:52 pm 
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Jack, I'm a board lurker, but I've ordered bits from you several times.

I say make the moulds, easier to do now then after paint. Escpecially if you do them in quarter panels as opposed to front/rear shells, easier to ship. Price dependent, I'd put down a deposit. Looks great


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