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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Re: New member intro
PostPosted: December 17, 2015, 2:52 pm 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 5925
Location: SoCal
1055 wrote:
... How do you measure time monetarily? Say your time is worth $100/ hour, the average labor rate for a shop around here. You're now talking 30-40k in "labor" time. along with parts. I have mine budgeted to 2k, with a 1k contingency before It's drivable. I'm also massively frugal, and patient, and have a bunch of parts left over from previous cars, and managed to get a complete donor for $200. So in my example, 33,000 - 43,000 including "labor" and parts...

"How do you measure time monetarily?" Who does that? I'd be surprised if any home car builder figures his hobby time is worth anything at all since it's not a business. The reality is that a Locost builder has some money set aside for a car and has two ways to achieve it. He can either buy the metal and and start welding, which takes many hours but also spreads out the expenses, or he can buy a kit and get a lot less for his money. What his time is worth never enters the equation. Perhaps you're a businessman who must decide how your time is best spent, welding in the shop, or making $100/hr at the office - but this isn't typical for the majority of buiders. They do it because they can't afford a kit and/or simply enjoy building things - the financial worth of their time doesn't enter into it.

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


Last edited by KB58 on December 17, 2015, 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New member intro
PostPosted: December 17, 2015, 3:37 pm 
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Joined: November 16, 2015, 2:38 pm
Posts: 729
Location: Outside Hartford, CT
To me, there are two reasons to buying a frame/kit over building one.

a. You don't have the fabrication skills, or means to cut, design or weld an entire chassis
b. You don't have the patience to do so.

Whats the old saying?

Cost, quality, time.. pick any 2?

I was simply using the "dollars per hour" to help equivocate one item to another. You asked for a cost comparison between the to for a fully built car, how else would you do that? Raw material alone?

I don't think raw material alone is a fair enough apples to apples comparison between building a lotus replica from scratch, and buying a kit car that you quite literally, lift the body off of one car, and drop the new frame on the roller skate. There are other factors involved in this. I have to heat my garage in the winter (so cost of fuel, whether its electric, wood or other..), welding uses electricity and consumables, so does grinding ETC.

You're right about putting a dollar amount on time spent on a hobby though, It's hard to do. Maybe it is my business mentality interfering with fun. Maybe its because of how budget conscious I am. Maybe it's because there aren't enough hours in the day for what I want to do, so I have to allocate an intrinsic value to each item in order to prioritize them in a way that I can stomach.

If you are simply comparing the raw materials between the two, the Lotus will win every day.. After all its a book about building one for 250 pounds that brought most of us here.

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 Post subject: Re: New member intro
PostPosted: December 17, 2015, 6:57 pm 
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Joined: August 27, 2005, 1:04 am
Posts: 1362
Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
I can see how buying a well built kit could speed things along. I bought a not so well designed frame for my build, and I think I would have been better off if I started from scratch. It was essentially a fully welded book frame with less than half the brackets, no motor mounts, wrong radiator brackets, wrong steering rack brackets, no pedal box, some really crappy suspension arms, and some mystery ball joints. I made a bunch of changes to the frame, plus a lot of brackets weren't there or were wrong for my parts. The only stuff that I didn't change was the rear suspension brackets and lower front a-arm brackets. The only suspension parts from them that were usable were the front lower a-arms (which broke) and the panhard bar. I ended up on my own for everything, because the company went under just after I finally got the stuff I had bought from them. For me personally, I wouldn't be buying a kit of any kind unless it was from a big, established company with a good reputation, like Factory Five or Westfield.
Kristian

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 Post subject: Re: New member intro
PostPosted: December 19, 2018, 1:41 pm 
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Joined: December 10, 2015, 12:39 pm
Posts: 17
How about I bring this one back from the dead and give an update?

Much has changed, much has stayed the same. As it turns out, there was a third option for getting on track - a $1,500 '79 BMW 320i (former SCCA ITB car) that I brought back to life and have been racing for the past two years. I now have a full SCCA comp license. I also got into a great group that races Miatas with ChampCar.

The Healey project still rolls along and it should be on the road this spring/summer. The '65 C10 is gone, replaced with a '67 F350 that drags the racecar to the track.

Why am I telling the Locost people about this? This weekend I will be taking delivery of an almost complete +442 frame with a Miata rear subframe! It will hang from the ceiling of my shop for the foreseeable future but I've spent a considerable amount of time on this forum over the last couple days looking at builds and getting wayyyy too excited. The deal was too good to pass up coming with a '82 CB650 that was intended as a power plant donor. I'm leaning towards using the extra M10 I've got laying around the garage but nothing is set in stone.

Anyway - I said I'd be back and I am! Once I have the frame in my possession, I'll probably start a build thread to post pictures, progress (if any) and bounce ideas off all of you.


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 Post subject: Re: New member intro
PostPosted: December 20, 2018, 12:45 pm 
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Joined: December 17, 2010, 1:24 pm
Posts: 1367
Location: Gainesville, Mo.
Welcome back! And yes... do be sure to start a build thread! Looking forward to seeing it! :D

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 Post subject: Re: New member intro
PostPosted: December 21, 2018, 2:08 pm 
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Joined: December 10, 2015, 12:39 pm
Posts: 17
Will do! The frame and bike were supposed to get dropped off today but the guy I'm buying them from woke up with a migraine. It'll be next week sometime.

Already ran into an issue... I realized that I would probably have to prove that I did, in fact, purchase the extra M10 and didn't steal it. Called the state patrol and they verified this. Since I have no way of tracking down the person I purchased it from to get a notarized bill of sale, I guess it's out of the cards. Looks like maybe I'll keep the bike.


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 Post subject: Re: New member intro
PostPosted: December 22, 2018, 11:08 am 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 8:12 am
Posts: 1537
Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
Getting a kit frame or unfinished project to fit your power train and suspension components without some major modifications is probably a 1000 to 1 odds. If given a choice most builders would be far better off get a dimensionally correct frame that is just 90% tack welded together, so brackets and tubes could be re-located easily. But finding one of those frames would be, 1000 to 1. You Just Can't Win!
DaveW


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