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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:12 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Minneapolis
I know this is a sports car forum but has anyone here built a practical car that could be used for daily transportation? I think the auto manufacturers are stuck with foolish regulations and alot of other things that have kept the adding of technology from building an actual efficient car for transportation. The 1979 VW rabbit gets about the same MPG as anything we have right now and is just as practical as an example. The new peoples car?

I must admit that my project is a step in this direction as this has always been an interest of mine. Who wants to help me with the design?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:57 am
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Location: Waterloo, WI
The build I am planning is meant to be used as a DD. It might even get <gasp!> a radio! :ack: (Note, I did not say "sound system"...just something to catch NPR on the way to work)

Regarding your '79 Rabbit, I had a '79 Diesel Rabbit for over 10 years back in the 80's and early 90's that I don't think I ever got less than 40mpg, even living at over 5000' elevation. It was comfortable and, while it was certainly not fast, it was practical. My dream car would use a 1.9l TDI :D

For me the biggest adaptation that needs to happen for most of the cars we see here is a practical way to get in and out with all weather coverage. So we need a roof of some sort, doors and windows. One of the methods that I've seen that intrigues me is instead of using a conventional door, use sort of a gullwing style style that pivots from the roof. The glass could perhaps slide back in a track and the whole thing could be removeable for nice days in sort of a "targa" top type arrangement.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis
My daily driver is a 1983 GTI with 438whp and 391wtq and weighs 2010 with me in it so we probably need someone else to be in charge of what is acceptable for daily transportation. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:22 am 
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Location: Waterloo, WI
:lol: I want a ride! My DD is a '95 Golf 2.slow modified some but nowhere close to that. :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis
Acerguy wrote:
:lol: I want a ride! My DD is a '95 Golf 2.slow modified some but nowhere close to that. :shock:


That is actually the engine I have in my car.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:56 am 
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More than happy to help out.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis
Lets start with the last thing most home builds deal with and that is how to get in the car. Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Location: West Chicago,IL
Ummm...... open the door? I know we Locosters don't normally have to deal with those but for a DD one must have roof and side windows and such luxurious devices.........no?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis
rx7locost wrote:
Ummm...... open the door? I know we Locosters don't normally have to deal with those but for a DD one must have roof and side windows and such luxurious devices.........no?


This is what I was thinking. LOL I am all for the simple version of things as well. I dont know if any of you guys have ever been to the Philippines but when I have gone there I have always seen some of the most unusual vehicles and some of the best ideas. If your familiar with jeepneys but its one of the crazy means of transportation they have there. For those of you who dont know what a jeepney is this is what im taking about. Its very much an example of pinoy ingenuity and problem solving.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeepney

Image

Something like this but a little more eyeball friendly would be a good start.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:20 am 
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Location: West Chicago,IL
If that is what you had in mind, you squint real hard, you might be able to see a slightly stretched Locost book frame under a body like this..... not for the twistys due to the high CG but might work out for you as a DD...... It shouldn't be too hard.


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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:36 pm 
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slappynuts wrote:
My daily driver is a 1983 GTI with 438whp and 391wtq and weighs 2010 with me in it so we probably need someone else to be in charge of what is acceptable for daily transportation. :mrgreen:


lol. Ditto. ~100whp or so more, but you've got me by a full locost on weight. :P That's got to be a fun little toy when it finally hooks up. :D

It's always fun watching reactions in the Walmart parking lot when pouring bottles of 91% Isopropyl into the small cell for the alchy injection in the hatch. :mrgreen:

I'd lean towards just using motorcycle rain gear, and a heated jacket/gloves/seats in the winter. (I'm sure I'll scare the purists... But if you've ever reupholstered a seat, adding the elements is straightforward, and oh so nice on brisk nights.)

If you're looking for something fully enclosed, you could always go '32 Ford and finish to your liking. Tons of options for glass bodies, manual/power windows, power seats, etc. With 50-100lbs of Dynomat / other deadener it'd probably be quiet as a new luxury land yacht. Drive line's the same story. Stock LS1 would likely do 25+mpg, you could go ecotec, or even a spiced up diesel. If you do, I demand a ride to a local show to watch the purists throw fits and shake their heads when they walk by. :lol:

I drive a '67 Firebird in the winter... I'm probably disqualified twice for "practical" on this one. :cheers:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Ok, question, do we want it Locost-like? How many do we want it to sit? My thinking was yes, locost-like, a 2+2 seating arrangement. Does this sound like what we had been thinking?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Consider something like my Alpine: Seats for two with space behind the seats for a couple of cases of beer. Makes it a very practical car without even opening the boot. But in this car, the boot would probably get the boot.

Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Well, I did some digging for dimensions, using some compact 2+2 vehicles for reference (VW Beetle, Willys CJ-2a, for examples) and realized that the McSorley 442 seating area is almost the right size for such a vehicle. I am using a Mustang 4-link suspension instead of a double wishbone for the rear, which means I have more room behind the seats than the typical Locost for the one I am building, so I am thinking of adding the extra room I would need (about 11") in here. It would mean that one would be sitting up, and would need the dashboard moved up a bit to compensate along with a few other adjustments if I went for a seat there. Alternatively, could use that space, as BBlue mentions, for storage and not move the seats at all.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:10 am 
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If you do go 2+2, consider giving the rear passengers a few inches of height to offset car sickness / leave more room for running gear.

Before the CG argument comes up, not much point autocrossing or with 3 passengers from the get go. :wink: It'd just be empty shell assuming you're looking to toss it about solo/tandem.

I've got a 2+2 I daily, but the only way to get someone into the insurance seats is sideways, and that's if it's a sub 115lb female. lol A small lift with thinned padding at the front of the seats would allow easier access and more overall legroom.

I once rode in the back of a 911 @ 5'11" 190lbs... My knees were somewhere between the drivers seat and door. :ack:

Just because they claim it has 4 seats doesn't mean it'll hold more than beer.


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