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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: November 12, 2014, 7:32 pm 
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Joined: November 12, 2014, 7:07 pm
Posts: 4
Hello All!
I'm a college-age classic British car enthusiast. I own a 1969 Triumph Spitfire, which was my first introduction to the hobby and it has been a good five years living with it, and I look forward to many more happy years. However, it is my goal to expand and fit a few more classics under my belt with my Spitfire, and as a fan of the original S1 and S2 Lotus Seven, as well as being eager to tinker, I'd love to build a Locost Seven with vintage equipment (either a Ford 1600 Kent engine or BMC A-Series, Ford T9 gearbox, skinny wheels and tires, Lucas lamps, Smiths gauges, and other assorted classic Seven parts).
However, I have a fear of even considering starting a project in California (I'm in the Los Angeles area), with all of the complicated registration and smog regulations, and the daunting task of obtaining an SB 100 - which reminds me of registering for college courses, where you try to register first thing and get booted out because of limited availability :wink:
Smog won't be an issue because I plan on using pre-1975 drivetrain components, so I am thinking of parting out an old MG Midget/AH Sprite or small Ford for the engine and other useful items, and using the VIN and ID data from that vehicle on the build (so in essence, it would be like re-registering an existing car, only it doesn't look the same). Or should I just brave the SB 100 process? I'm hoping to start a build in the future, as it would be a great introduction to building a car and cheaper than restoring an original Seven (which are too expensive for my budget, as are the Caterhams).
Thanks for your help!


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PostPosted: November 12, 2014, 8:53 pm 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
Posts: 3181
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Since you're using (or planning to use) an early 70's driveline, I think you'd be OK with the SB100 process. Just make sure to document where you get everything. If you get a complete car for a donor, do document your gutting it (photographically) and preserve copies of the registration with VIN numbers and so on.

Most 70's engines (72 on, I think) do require some minimal SMOG equipment if you don't get one of the first 500 SPCNS (Specially Constructed Vehicle Certificates), so don't throw anything away until you have yours in hand and see what sequence number you get.

Also document taking the donor carcass to a salvage yard if you do so.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: November 12, 2014, 11:50 pm 
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Joined: November 12, 2014, 7:07 pm
Posts: 4
Perfect! Thanks for the guidance. With that in mind, I might stick to parts from the 1960 to 1970 period, pre-smog and during the period of manufacture of the original S1/S2 Lotus Seven. It would probably be more cost effective to skip a full donor vehicle. I'm thinking a Kent 1600 crossflow with twin Webers is the way to go for my car.
Is there anything else I should look out for before I start planning the build? Thanks again for your help!


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PostPosted: November 13, 2014, 10:53 am 
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Joined: June 12, 2012, 8:40 pm
Posts: 466
Location: York,Pa
I went through Pennsylvania not California so I can't be specific but I was given some good advice in the beginning, save receipts for everything. I saved receipts for nuts, bolts, paint, metal, just everything. I also transferred the donor car title to me to make sure there was no legal problems there. And I took pictures. I was done before I came on here so I have no build log but you have no excuse. :wink: Maybe you won't need any of those things in CA but I needed all of it here in PA.

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PostPosted: November 13, 2014, 11:03 am 
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Joined: April 22, 2010, 4:43 pm
Posts: 277
Location: Livermore, Calif.
The Calif. SB-100 process is not as bad as you would think. You wouldn't necessarily be limited to the pre-70's cars or engines and tranny. Just document where you got the parts and the cost. These past few years the SB-100 certs have been easier to get with some still available into the later part of the year. The CHP will check the VIN of the engine you use to make sure it's not stolen. So make sure your purchase is legit. The Brake and Light Inspection Station will check to make sure those component work. But it's not a tough inspection.

Good luck and welcome to the "club".
Roy

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Build log http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16510


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PostPosted: November 13, 2014, 3:06 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 5747
Location: SoCal
And don't forget to have the receipt for the steel used to make the chassis. The CHP was extremely adament about seeing it and wouldn't proceed until they did.

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Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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PostPosted: November 19, 2014, 4:32 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
Posts: 1858
Location: Novato, CA
I built my Locost with all vintage parts, and registered it in CA. The process took some time but was not too difficult. Here's a link to a guide based on what I went through.


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PostPosted: July 23, 2015, 3:07 pm 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 10:29 am
Posts: 398
The SB-100 Process isn't that bad. But one thing that I wonder about is how hard they are to come by? Years ago they were sold out for the year sometime the first week of January. Last I asked, availability had stretched out to April. But with the stronger economy and the popularity of cars like the Exocet and the 818/Cobra/356 et cetera, I wonder if it's become a horse race again?


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PostPosted: July 23, 2015, 3:46 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
Posts: 1858
Location: Novato, CA
I don't think so. I picked up my SB100 in November of 2013 and there were still a couple hundred left.

Things were different in the early years of the program. Back then they'd give you an SB100 just for asking, no proof of a vehicle or anything. People got certificates and never built a car. Also, a lot of people were trying to get their older kit cars re-registered (illegally, it turns out). Nowadays you have to have your car checked by the CHP first, and a VIN assigned, so certificates are only going to legitimate homebuilts.


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