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reneanglia 16th March 2015 21:38

Bought a Z3..........what a bummer.....
Last thursday i bought a z3,decent low mileage car with a little parking damage to use as a donor for a SWB build.
I was happy with it as it was a solid base car to use as a donor.
But.........i have it driven 3 days (1200 km)and realize i don't like it at all......
As much as i like the SWB tribute and was all prepped to purchase a kit and build one i now know it is NOT my car,don't know how to say it.........think it is a too modern car for my taste.
I am only use to drive classic cars up to 1974,i even don't like to drive the wife's brandnew Ford Focus,my daily is a Peugeot 404 and with nice wheather the '48 Hotrod or the '62 Anglia so i think a Z3 based SWB would be a dissapointment..............sold the Z3 to a trader today.........
Perhaps a Sammio will be better for me...........

8 Valve Ed 16th March 2015 21:49

Sorry to hear that René, At least you got to drive it before you started the build. I have never driven a Berlinetta, much less one with a Rover V8 engine. I just hope I like mine when it's finished.

Scottie22 16th March 2015 22:05

I know what you mean Rene, I based my build on a 1971 Spitfire so I would have a "period" old-car feel to what will look like a 1950's car.
Good luck with whatever you choose to have in future!


Mister Towed 17th March 2015 06:28

Good call Rene, if it's not for you it's not for you. :(

I had similar reservations about the modern donor route for the SWB - if you look back through Geoff's thread you'll find me asking if the MGB GT could donate its mechanicals - but I've come to terms with the Z3 as a suitable starting point due to the difficulties of cutting the shell on the MG.

I'm aiming to lose a lot of the modern feel when I build mine: the interior will be totally late '50's, while I'm leaning towards original sized, 185/80/15 tyres too (excuse the pun), which should soften the ride and give a more authentic feel to the handling.

Best of luck with whatever project you choose next, keep us posted. ;)

Jeffr4 17th March 2015 09:48

I find the driving characteristics of a modern car in combination with a classic model a good choice. Rene, since you are not used to drive in any modern car, I'd still have gained some more driving experience and precisely because of the comforts to enjoy this.
Then also the MX5 would be no basis, because then you can still choose this one :

Jeffr4 17th March 2015 10:00

Maybe this project will appeal to you, as it is a complete body-on kit, so no panel change, it must be mounted on a R4 chassis, which you can choose from 1961 up to about 1992, it will also give you for sure a classic driving experience !

The model has a lot of vintage british elements and a lot of influences from the legendary Morgan.

The first complete prototype will be ready soon

My link :

And for you........It's in Holland !!

IanA 17th March 2015 11:50

That's a shame Rene.
I found that the longer nose on my Z300S, the narrower higher profile tyres and the exhaust note sufficiently changed the character of the car to leave the "modern" feel behind.
I don't intend to change the interior on mine apart from a possible colour change.
I've used my Jago as a daily commuter (it has no hood) so I appreciate some creature comforts.
Perhaps when you are able to try a demonstrator...

reneanglia 17th March 2015 14:43

Thanks for te support guys,it's a bit difficult to explain what i want with a car that suits me.........
Lets start...........seatbelts,i definatly hate seatbelts.I feel like a prisoner wearing seatbelts,they cause pain in my left shoulder(smashed shoulder and collarbone in the past because of a motorcycle crash) but they are mandatory after 1972.
Electrikety.........modern cars have too much electronics for me,i like to drive myself and not a bloody computer telling me how to drive.
If a modern car brakes down you need an electrician instead of an mechanic and you can not repare it yourself most of the time.
Inside room..........i find modern cars small on the inside,almost no leg room and mostly a very big gearbox tunnel console thing to house all of the electrikety thingies.
My '48 Ford Anglia Hotrod is a small car,very narrow as all sit up and beg's are,but there is enough room for my fat ass,the '62 Anglia is also a small car but again enough room to sit in.The Peugeot 404 is big car wit large front seats,no tunnel and very comfortable.
If something breaks down on one of these cars i can repare it myself and thats what i want.
@Jeffrey..........sorry to dissapoint you but the R4 kit you are building does it not for me,it looks like more of the same as you know what i mean,there are already so many Morgan-ish kitcars.........
I am having thoughts about a A352 tribute,Miglia or Sammio at the moment as they are build on a classic car and have a classic racing look.
For now these thoughts are not concrete but i have to let some time get over it.
Like the tribute A352 with the hardtop though............:icon_lol:

WorldClassAccident 17th March 2015 15:23

Seat belts - no way round that since 1972, sorry

Electrikety - the only possibly intrusive thing is traction control and that can be wired off, unless you count a radio and working headlights as intrusive. The ECU etc give you a fault code to tell you where the problem is. You still need a brain to fix it. Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow is still all mechanical

Inside room - Cars have got bigger as people have got bigger. All the soft padding can be removed. much more room in my Z300 after ripping all the plastic centre console and glove box out

Yes old cars had proportionately more room as the contained less stuff. If you take the stuff you don't want out of the modern car you regain a lot of the space.

I don't understand what you can't repair on the Z3 compared to the 404 (great car). Okay, if the fuel injectors fail you have to replace the part but that is the same for the old cars too. Some bits you mend and some you replace

My Z300 with skinny wires and partially stripped interior feels totally different to the Z3. It actively encourages you to change your driving style too - turn in, let the tyres settle and then chug out the corners.

In my Mercedes it is accelerate towards the corner, turn in and accelerate through the corner - just watch the flashing yellow light on the dash sort out the problems for you. I am guessing this is not what you want.

I am not saying you are wrong in your views or judgement, I am just suggesting you might try the finished product rather than the raw materials...

reneanglia 17th March 2015 15:54 said before it's difficult for me to explain,i think a modern car just does it not for me.
ECU,injectors,no carburettors,katalysator and traction control,too many warning lights and several sound warnings(forgot the seat belt,door is not locked,abs is not on,possible ice on the,ping,ping)makes my cranky and thinking the car manufacturers think todays drivers are total idiots.
It is not only about the z3,it's the general feeling i have about modern cars.
At work i do a lot of maintenance on trucks and light commercial vehicles,most of the problems are electrikety related.
Plug in the computer and it tells you what's wrong...........NOT!
In case of a truck with air suspension failure the computer had no less as 47 possibilaties to check.......after an hour i found a broken switch wich te computer had not mentioned.
Oh well,i am curious to see the SWB developing and hope everyone who builds one is happy with it.........

Mister Towed 17th March 2015 17:44

Case in point - just picked my Micra up from the dealer as the ABS light wouldn't go out. Bill for plugging in a diagnostic box to reset it? £96.00 :(

8 Valve Ed 17th March 2015 18:06

I think the 'enthusiast' owner is going to have to add one of these diagnostic boxes to their tool kit.

I have had to endure a variety of warning lights, some of which go away, some don't. I have been looking at the diagnostic units Machine Mart sell but I don't know what features I need, so am reluctant to invest until I understand more about it.

Around here it costs £35 for a basic diagnostic session. I have had to get two done up to now, one more and it would have cost the same as a basic diagnostic unit...

redratbike 17th March 2015 18:43

Buy a z3 shell with suspension strip all the crap out and fit a basic engine .. Older bmw 6 with no gadgets off you go ?

8 Valve Ed 17th March 2015 20:13

That could be a minefield! As I understand it when an MOT Tester inputs the VIN for a vehicle he is testing it lists the relevant 'junk' applicable to the test and expects it to be present. Again as I understand it even if stupid items like headlamp washers were factory fitted the now have to be present and working for the MOT. It really is getting out of hand but these are the rules we get from our masters who know best.

How are you going to meet the emission standards of a later car with an early engine which doesn't have all the 'junk' to keep the emissions in check? Cars need all this 'junk' to meet emission standards and other important requirements.

IanA 17th March 2015 21:25


Originally Posted by 8 Valve Ed (Post 64560)
Around here it costs £35 for a basic diagnostic session. I have had to get two done up to now, one more and it would have cost the same as a basic diagnostic unit...

I bought my "C110 Creator" scanner on eBay for £36 with an adaptor for the underbonnet round plug for another £5. Not tried it on the standard socket under the dashboard yet.
Just used it to read and clear codes.

***Now £37.95 ***

WorldClassAccident 17th March 2015 22:04

Didn't mean to stir up a hornets nest. It is just a lot of the points you make don't apply to the Z3.

The only warning buzzer I am aware of is for when you leave your head lights on. It is dis-connectable.

Headlight washers only required when factory fitted to xenon head lights.

There is a lot of bullshit spread by people comfortable with a spanner but scared of a screwdriver.

It is like technology racism.

Can you cope with an alternator instead of a generator?

I do understand where you are coming from but don't bury yourself in some weird past that never really existed. I can remember the 'fun' we had chasing down faults in Dads 504 where the indicators wouldn't work if the head lights were on.

Some people post on the internet complaining about modern technology without feeling any sense of irony.

froggyman 18th March 2015 05:09

I had thought about the route 'Redratbike' suggested as then you could fit the engine and box of your choice and the dashboard and instruments could be assembled from scratch rather than modifying the original loom.
Emissions are based on the age of the engine so if you can prove the engine is e.g. pre-cat then you don't need one.

8 Valve Ed 18th March 2015 05:18


Originally Posted by WorldClassAccident (Post 64582)
Didn't mean to stir up a hornets nest. It is just a lot of the points you make don't apply to the Z3.

WCA, I am sorry if my post came over as a fierce reaction, that was NOT my intention. I was simply pointing out that retro fitting an old engine in a more modern car simply to disable the electronic gismos could be a risky exercise, given my understanding of the requirements of the MOT. I don't know if there is a mechanism for the tester to over-ride the requirement for fitment of headlamp wiper-washers if you remove the xenon head lights and fit halogen. I don't think so, I think the principle is you can upgrade but not downgrade.

I have no doubt that the many of most exotic features in todays cars will be common place and standard fitment eventually. Just like disk brakes and front wheel drive have become, Alvis were I believe the first manufacturer to produce a production FWD car in 1928, but the popularity then was limited, due to it's 'novel' nature. According to K.R. Day Alvis stopped production of the FWD because of adverse publicity about a couple of fatal crashes which were probably wrongly attributed to the FWD aspect of the car, but had an adverse effect on sales. So the fear of new technology is nothing new. It probably tempers the manufacturers ambitions.

How would you feel about steering a car by wire? It could be incorporated in cars right now and it has been contemplated by major manufacturers but they have held back because of public reaction, yet modern aircraft are flown completely 'by wire', most people fly without giving it a second thought. What happens if the battery goes flat for whatever reason...

I think René is concerned about making a car he is comfortable with and I don't see a problem with that. Eventually we will all come to terms with cars being completely controlled by electronics, but until then some of us find them intimidating because we are not completely familiar with the intangible. I have been reading with interest a thread on this forum about trying to coax a BMW engine to operate properly outside it's original chassis. It seems it needs many of the components from the parent car to be present even when they are not strictly part of the engine management process. Circumventing this is causing difficulty even for highly experienced software experts.

Mister Towed 18th March 2015 06:11

Eee, modern technology isn't what it used to be...

Scottie22 18th March 2015 07:25

Rene, I understand exactly where you are coming from, and find myself agreeing with a lot of what you say.

My everyday car is 20 years old, and really is still too "modern" for me, as it has an ECU and some sensors.

What we both like are the simplicity of a Morris Minor or a Ford Capri, and cars like that which have no sensors, the engine is simple, everything on it is d.i.y. adjustable and fixable at the roadside, right?

Unfortunately, people that like modern cars will rarely be able to see your point of view by default!

Perhaps if you can find an older, simple car, and uprate the suspension and engine a bit, you may find what you are happy with. Keep us posted!

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