So, now we have lighter evenings and some sunny days on the way, it's time for me to start my next build thread.
I've been meaning to do this for a while, but life just tends to get in the way of the best laid plans and all that.
To bring anyone who isn't aware of my previous build up to speed, between June 2011 and July 2013 I built a Sammio Spyder that turned out to be quite the attention grabber -
The Sammio was great fun to build and own and I used it as much as possible, with three trips to Goodwood Revival plus lots of exhilarating blasts around the mountain roads of Norfolk*.
After four years of ownership and tinkering to get my Spyder just the way I wanted it, I waved it a sad farewell in September 2017 -
The reason for the Sammio's departure was to make space for one of my dream cars, a Porsche 356 Speedster. I've wanted one of those for about 35 years now, so, as I'll never be able to afford a real one, it's about time I got my act together and built one.
But, having run a 'restocal' bug back in '89, I don't really want a wheezy bug engine hanging out back, the unpleasant sensation of having no control over the front wheels at anything over 50 on the motorway or the complete ballache of needing IVA after building a car with a chopped up a Beetle chassis underneath.
So, a plan formed in my head that may or may not be possible, but I'm going to give it a go anyway.
To cut a long story short, this build is going to be a low-drag Outlaw Speedster body sitting atop a Triumph Spitfire chassis and running a water cooled twin-cam up front.
No, really it is.
I've made a start already, having found a '67 Spit with a pretty much rust free chassis and all its running gear but with a very rusty bodyshell from an abandoned project.
I've treated it to all new bearings, brakes & bushes, given it a good clean and a couple of coats of a glass reinforced anti-corrosion paint that they use on North Sea oil rig legs -
AS you can see, it's fitted with 15" MGF 'Square Peg' alloys which have the same PCD as the Spitfire, but I've uprated the hub studs to Freelander ones all round to make sure they stay attached. The back ones bolted straight on but I needed 5mm spacers on the front as the nuts reached the end of their travel before securing the front wheels properly without them.
The wheels are currently wrapped in perished MGF rubber, but I have five Hankook 175/65 HR 15's waiting to be fitted which will look more period and not make the steering too heavy.
Oh, and once the car's finished I'm toying with the idea of getting some adaptors made so I can fit wide-five 356 style wheels, but I might just keep the MGF ones as I rather like the Outlaw look.
So, the next step is to take this -
...out of this -
...bolt it up to this -
...then drop this on it -
...followed by a bit of trim and some paint to make it look something like this-
There are a few hurdles to overcome on the way - the Spitfire wheelbase is only 9mm different to the 356, but I've managed to buy a Banham body by mistake which is 180mm longer than either, but I do
own an angle grinder.
Once the Puma engine is mated to the RX8 'box and offered up to the chassis I'll be able to check to see if it's going to fit under the 356 bonnet. If it doesn't, this is going to be a pretty short build thread...
*April Fool, Norfolk's as flat as a pancake