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Talk me out of this idea
#1
As some of you might know, I’ve always harboured a desire to build my own kit car. Ever since my teens I’ve had this long term plan to build myself a Caterham 7 but never really got there because, just like everyone else, real life gets in the way. Anyway, I’m at a point in my life where I believe I can free up the time to commit to doing it but because of various factors (not least the uncertainty with this covid pain in the arse) I don’t want to be sinking in the huge amount of cash required for a new Caterham kit. Even the most basic ones are bloody expensive!

So, plan B – lower my sights and build something still fun but a lot cheaper. Been looking at the MEV Exocet for some time now (lurked on their forum off and on for years) and I really fancy having a go at one.

https://www.mevltd.co.uk/kit-cars/mev-exocet

Mazda mx5 based so donor cars are cheap and plentiful, though springtime isn’t usually the best time to buy them for cheapest. Also they are simple cars so even if they need mechanical work (generally the engines are bulletproof) the parts are out there to keep them running. I’ve seen a suitable donor mx5 advertised locally for not much cash. MOT failure failed for rusty sills (which obviously will be skipped anyway) and I’m sorely tempted to buy it if the guy selling it can deliver. Don’t have a car with a towbar and don’t know anyone with a car trailer so this is going to limit my options for sourcing a donor.

I made a list of pros and cons.

Pros:
  • Cheap way to build a summer fun road / track car
    The donors can work out dirt cheap as a lot of the unused parts can be ebayed. Comprehensive Exocet kits are then about 6k after VAT. I reckon you could build a stunner for well south of 10k
  • A great builder community forum with helpful people who seem very willing to offer advice and support
  • Plenty of options for performance tuning the Mazda lumps as loads of peeps race mx5’s (supercharging / turbocharging are options down the line)
  • Opportunity to learn and make mistakes on something that isn’t costing 30 Grand plus! I’d class myself as mechanically savvy, spent much of my younger years tinkering with old cars and bikes but I’ve never done a kit car. Reading the previous build threads on the owners forum there is plenty of scope for invention and solving various problems your own way. I like that kind of thing
  • I’m just about still young enough to have a go
  • The government are hell bent on screwing people's enjoyment of internal combustion vehicles, so it could be "now or never"
Cons:
  • The kit is not exactly a looker. It isn’t a Caterham 7, that’s for sure!
    This isn’t a big con for me as I’ve never been a vein bugger. Besides, no car is going to look pretty with me sat in it!
  • I have limited working space (only have a single garage) and working on donor and new chassis at the same time will be impossible.
    That means I’ll have to do all the prep on the donor running gear before taking delivery of the kit. Wish I had a large double garage, but I don't
  • If I decide to do this I won’t see much of Mrs M
    Couldn’t actually decide whether to list this as a “pro” or a “con” Laughing
Come on then chaps, somebody convince me this is a stupid idea and I don’t want to do this.
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#2
Go for it, when I was a pup I regularly helped my dad re-shell vehicles....all done in a bog standard garage (donor vehicle kept outside with a cover) with basic hand tools, yes you may have to fabricate some brackets etc (always room for improvement regardless of who designed and made the chassis....I experienced this when building an off road buggy for my son) and may have to ask for help here and there online & look at a few (read lots) youtube vids but in this day and age there is very little that cant be found online walking you through every step.
Like most projects they can be as cheap or expensive as you desire.

edit: shit, sorry I was meaning to talk you out of this project Wink

"You live more for 5 minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all of their life"....Marco Simoncelli
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#3
Really can't talk you out of some thing I suspect we would all like to do if we had the time & money.

If your anything like me there will be some swearing, sweat & tantrums before your done...…. BUT..... how worth it!

Would be a fantastic feeling at a track day knowing you built the car yourself mate.   Cool

"When a man holds you round the throat, I don't think he has come to apologise" 
Ayrton Senna on Nigel Mansell, SPA 1987.   Angel  
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#4
(04-04-2020, 12:07 PM)forzaferrari Wrote:  Go for it

(04-04-2020, 12:26 PM)PapaofGags Wrote:  Really can't talk you out of some thing I suspect we would all like to do if we had the time & money.

Thanks for nothing fellas Laughing

Should have expected that reaction I guess. Think I'd better clear it with the boss before I try to make a move on this MOT fail then.
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#5
(04-04-2020, 02:01 PM)morini Wrote:   Think I'd better clear it with the boss before I try to make a move on this MOT fail then.

F*ck no! seek forgiveness.... never ask permission.....unless you want to be in the dog house long BEFORE you ever get started....has all these years married taught you nothing? Wink

"You live more for 5 minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all of their life"....Marco Simoncelli
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#6
(04-04-2020, 03:18 PM)forzaferrari Wrote:  F*ck no! seek forgiveness.... never ask permission.....

That provoked a chuckling fit on my part Wink But you are spot on with the general advice.

Mrs M is doing an extra shift at work today to cover people off sick. I took the opportunity to do a "feasibility study" in the garage Big Grin Our garage is currently a complete sh*thole dumping ground, but even if it were tidy it has a couple of functions other than just a "garage"

1. It houses a full height 19" rack full of server equipment used by yours truly. Can't lose this, deemed "essential".
2. It houses some other household appliances deemed essential by others (not by me), ergo an "extra" freezer and a tumble drier.
3. A "multigym" weight machine thingy which nobody has used for at least 10 years (uses up almost half the space in garage).
4. A cross trainer which people (not me, obviously) do actually use occasionally.

So, I've been out with the tape measure and concluded it is still potentially a go-er if I :

a) Lose the multigym thing completely (no biggie apart from dismantling the heavy f*cker)
b) Move the freezer to the side wall rather than end wall
c) Reposition the cross trainer once freezer moved (it is longways in garage and there's not enough length for it and a mx5 in line)
d) Dump a load of crap that's sitting there which nobody will ever use or miss.

I've measured up and doing the above I could house the donor Mx2 (13 foot long) and have enough room to work around it. Garage is actually a decent width for a single.

Now, how to go about this rearrangement without Mrs M noticing and asking awkward questions? Hmmmm...
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#7
(04-04-2020, 05:51 PM)morini Wrote:  Now, how to go about this rearrangement without Mrs M noticing and asking awkward questions? Hmmmm...

Dont worry bud, got you covered.....remove your wedding ring, place somewhere safe (read she will never find it....but you will) before mrs M returns then go about your business until she notices and inevitably asks why you have removed it.....answer "I was faffing around in the garage and it must have slipped off"..........pretty good chance she will order you out to "find it & dont come back until you have" or words to that effect.....garage emptied in no time and ring magically appears....winner winner!

"You live more for 5 minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all of their life"....Marco Simoncelli
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#8
(04-04-2020, 06:03 PM)forzaferrari Wrote:  Dont worry bud, got you covered.....remove your wedding ring, place somewhere safe (read she will never find it....but you will) before mrs M returns then go about your business until she notices and inevitably asks why you have removed it.....answer "I was faffing around in the garage and it must have slipped off"..........pretty good chance she will order you out to "find it & dont come back until you have" or words to that effect.....garage emptied in no time and ring magically appears....winner winner!

That would be a great plan if only I had a wedding ring!

My wife's family always thought it was extremely weird, but at our wedding I gave her a ring but did not receive one myself (out of choice). I was brought up in a family where blokes don't wear jewellery (unless you count a watch as jewellery), so I respectfully declined to have one on the grounds I would never wear it. My grandfather and father held the same views, so I guess you could call it a family ethos. Not done out of a "licence to cheat" either, more a case of "blokes don't wear rings".

I'll have to think of another excuse for sorting the garage out Big Grin
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#9
When I went to collect our wedding rings the old guy who tended to me said something I will never forget...." they are the most expensive things you will ever buy, you will spend the rest of your life paying for them" Wink

"You live more for 5 minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all of their life"....Marco Simoncelli
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#10
(04-04-2020, 06:51 PM)morini Wrote:  I was brought up in a family where blokes don't wear jewellery  "blokes don't wear rings".

 ^^^ This must be a welsh thing  Big Grin

"When a man holds you round the throat, I don't think he has come to apologise" 
Ayrton Senna on Nigel Mansell, SPA 1987.   Angel  
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