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Can I really build a car? Is this for me?
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=12072
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Author:  dhempy [ March 15, 2011, 12:12 am ]
Post subject:  Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

Maybe. A few other builders have asked the same question. Here's some of the replies, complete with some tough questions you need to answer honestly before committing thousands of hours and dollars:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4048
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=4716
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=9388

Author:  dhempy [ March 15, 2011, 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Seven Questions for the potential Locost Seven car builder

Chet wrote up a great flowchart to help decide if building a car is for you:

chetcpo wrote:
I've been working on a set of "Seven Questions" for new, would be builders based on my experience building one of these cars and reading this site for three years. (I've seen a lot of folks come and go in that time)

Ask these questions of yourself: (and be honest with your answers, the truth can hurt)

1. Do you enjoy metal fabrication, problem solving, and general dirty, greasy, sharp metal shavings strewn in all directions type hard work?


Yes- Continue to question 2.
No- Stop now. Buy a completed Caterham, Birkin, Westfield etc.

2. Do you have a place to do aforementioned work, without offending the people who allow you to work there?


Yes- Continue to question 3.
No- Sorry but now is not the time. Wait until you are older and own your own home or have access to a good working environment.

3. Do you have the space to dismantle and store parts from a donor car? (backyard only counts if you live in the southern US :wink: ) Make sure it's your property you are junking up, your parents may not be as tolerant of the mess. You will have lots of car parts to clean, degrease, paint and drag in and out periodically to test fit as you fabricate.
Yes- Continue to question 4.
No- Sorry but now is not the time. Wait until you are older and own your own home or have access to space to do with what you please.

4. Are you the type of person that obsesses about things, but abruptly looses interest and moves on to something else new and fascinating? (girls count too)
Yes- Maybe this project is not for you. It will take years of your life and must be regarded as a huge committment due to the cost and time involved. If this is what you want to do with all of your spare time and money for the next several years then go for it, but otherwise consider another hobby. Building one of these things requires altering your lifestyle. (for most folks)
No- If you are a cold calculated, singleminded determined SOB then continue to question 5.

5. Do you have the disposable income to pull this off? The most frugal of builders will spend at least $3-$5k on this project. If you have the time and brains to plan your build well the cost can come down some, but you will need to be very smart when choosing a donor. Buy something that will allow you to sell anything you won't use. It means a bigger buy in up front, but it also allows you to recoup most of the cost if you are a good Ebayer/Seller. Another thing of note, if you live in a densly populated area it will be easier to sell parts. Shipping a $75 Miata door across the country doesn't make sense to many people. If you live in the boonies, consider it a disadvantage when it comes to selling the larger heavier parts of your donor.

Yes- continue to question 6.
No- Wait until you are more financially stable.

6. Are you married to or do you have a low maintanance, understanding girlfriend?
Yes- Good, you are a lucky man, treat her nice and move on to question 7.
No- You need to decide which is more important to you, staying together or building a car. There will be friction at times. Time you used to spend with them will be spent in the garage making sparks fly.

7. Do you have, or are you willing to aquire the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to pull this off? You need to know or be willing to learn how to weld. (Mig at least) You need to cut, miter, and fit together steel. You need to cut, bend and fit aluminum. You need to lots of expensive tools or access to them. (Make sure to budget at least $1500 for tools if you're already got basic hand tools, and maybe $2000+ if you're starting from scratch. These tools last a lifetime, so they don't count in the cost of the car.) You also need to have a basic understanding of, or be willing to learn how the different systems of a car work. Brakes, fuel, cooling, electrical, you will need to do it all.

Yes- Congratulations, you just might be driving a car you built from scratch one day.
No- Sorry but this task may be a bit more than you can handle. Many more Locosts are started than are ever finished. Consider yourself luckier than the poor SOB who poured every spare minute and dollar into one of these projects only to have to sell it off before completion.

Author:  StickshiftFreak [ July 12, 2011, 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

Thanks for that Chet and Dave!

Really helped put things into perspective for me. I may just want to save for a year or two and give a well-done completed project a good home.

I love tinkering, but the idea of starting from a bunch of tubing and learning to use a welder is a bit much for me I think! :? Perhaps later on...

G

Author:  Whartonroadster [ December 18, 2015, 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

We can build your car for you and you can be part of the process. Check us out at http//:www.whartonroadster.com

Author:  rx7locost [ December 18, 2015, 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

If you are going to advertise here, you might get better results if you wrote the URL down properly.

Just sayin'

Author:  1055 [ December 18, 2015, 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

rx7locost wrote:
If you are going to advertise here, you might get better results if you wrote the URL down properly.

Just sayin'


I find it kind of comical they're trying to market fully built roadsters to a community that's based on building your own.

Author:  Briggs [ December 18, 2015, 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

1055 wrote:
rx7locost wrote:
If you are going to advertise here, you might get better results if you wrote the URL down properly.

Just sayin'


I find it kind of comical they're trying to market fully built roadsters to a community that's based on building your own.


LöL. Man has a point though. Are you showing off the car or the forklift?

Author:  KB58 [ December 18, 2015, 4:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

Seems like they possess the necessary enthusiasm but aren't displaying the business nor marketing knowledge to make it fly.

Author:  Autox19 [ October 3, 2023, 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I really build a car? Is this for me?

Part of the reason I chose this for my next project was the timeline. I like the "build" of my past few projects almost more than the cars themselves. If this takes 10 year. ok. I am good with that. Something to do to get out of the wife's hair.

Odie

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