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Lucky@LeMans 13th June 2020 09:34

Z3GTc New Build
I collected my Z3GTc part kit last week from Chris at Tribute. Its a part kit as I've only got the front end and the sills so far, the rear end should follow in a few weeks time.
My donor is the blue 2.2 that I've owned for nearly 4 years now so its was ripe for conversion. The strip down was pretty standard stuff and all the unwanted parts were sold on ebay. Got some good prices too given the current climate and it all sold quickly.
The front end and sills were bolted up and the alignment of the panels was pretty good right from the start. I'm making a few subtle changes along the way to put my own stamp on it and to give it more of a period look. These plans include;

Addition of an oil cooler vent under the main grill.
Addition of brake cooling ducts each side of the oil cooler vent.
Delete the bonnet scoop and make it into a bonnet hump
Oval side vents and trim to conceal the joint between the bonnet and wing
Smaller period style front indicators
Modified grill with honey combe style mesh
At the rear I'll fit a pair of Aston style filler caps sunk into the upper part of the rear wings.

I bought a set of 8"- 17" spoked alloys which are really deep dish with a 20mm ET. I thought they might be too wide but there is plenty of room under the arch. In fact I'm might try some 15mm wheel spacers to get them to fill the arch better. Tyres are currently 235/45 - 17 which look slightly small in diameter. I could fit 50 series tyres which work out about an inch bigger diameter.
Photos to follow !

Jaguartvr 13th June 2020 11:36

The classic triple bulge would look good, especially if it were incorporated with a separate Bonett as in the 250swb.
Add the Bonnett and lose the coupe rear window and I think it will transform the look of it.

Lucky@LeMans 13th June 2020 11:51

The triple bonnet bulge does look good but it would be a lot of work as would a separate opening bonnet. The open scoop is ok but some cars of this style had large single bulge which is my plan, I think it will work well.
I'm doing the soft top version so there's no rear window to worry about, although saying that I'm getting a new plastic window for the hood as the old one is split !

WorldClassAccident 13th June 2020 21:09

Must add pictures - lots!

Lucky@LeMans 14th June 2020 18:46

Made a start on the front end, cut the slots for the front oil cooler and brake ducts. I've made a couple of moulds and glassed up the ducting and offered them up.
I'll move onto the side vents in the week along with the bonnet bulge modification.
I had some honey combe grill left over from my last project so I've offered that up to Mondeo grill surround, I think that will work quite well and tone down the otherwise blingy stock grill !

Lucky@LeMans 14th June 2020 18:50

3 Attachment(s)
Photos …..

Weecharlie 14th June 2020 22:23

Looking really good bud

molleur 15th June 2020 15:49


Lucky@LeMans 15th June 2020 20:00

I moulded up some smaller indicator surrounds tonight and glassed them in place. These will take the small clear lense, L594 type indicator units with amber bulbs, same as on my 275.
I'll have a look at the side vents tomorrow and see what will work best. I think there is plenty of room behind the existing moulding to make them partly functional.

Lucky@LeMans 17th June 2020 19:14

I made a mould and glassed up a pair of side vents. These are oval in shape and will be split into two length ways. I'll glass them into position , top half in the bonnet, the lower half in the upper side of the wing. I need to get some 13mm half round section aluminium to make the trim which will hide the bonnet to wing joint and extend across the vent.

My 15mm wheel spacers turned up and I've fitted those on the front. The wheels fit in the arch really well now. I need new tyres anyway so I'm going to go up a size to 235/50 - 17". I might wait until I've got the rear end in place just to see how the proportions look before I commit to buying.

Munky 18th June 2020 01:19

Pictures or it didn’t happen!!!
You are riding the crest of a wave here and keeping us all in suspense!

Paul L 18th June 2020 05:39

Lucky – Great to see your build has started. :cool:

What did you use to make the duct moulds?

Not sure if you saw my AM photos from Goodwood Revival 2019?

But one of the cars featured has those ducts.

Good luck, Paul. :)

Lucky@LeMans 18th June 2020 09:10

There are lots of versions of the early Aston cars that feature various front grill and vent variations. The front of the Z3GT has some styling ques that I've added to. I like the smaller indicators which I've now fitted and blended in. The moulds are simply made from scrap aluminium sheet.

Lucky@LeMans 19th June 2020 16:22

2 Attachment(s)
Started on the side vents, a bit of filling required to finish then I'll make an aluminium trim to go over the joint.

Front indicator recess's need a bit more filling and rubbing down.

Munky 19th June 2020 17:53

It’s going to be a stunner Mr LeMans!

Lucky@LeMans 19th June 2020 19:36


DaveP 19th June 2020 22:13

Looking good so far chappie.

The smaller indicators look very cool. Nice colour gel coat in this model. Was it std or did you negotiate colour when ordering from Chris.

‘asking for a friend’ :)

Lucky@LeMans 19th June 2020 22:43

I think the smaller indicators are more in proportion, nothing wrong with the larger options if that's what you choose to go with.
The gel coat colour wasn't specified when I ordered the kit, midnight blue all over would look really smart but I'm going with a very dark shade of green.
I think Chris will use any of the standard off the shelf colours, just ask when you order. To be honest you will want to paint the car anyway, the Z3 doors will always stand out if you don't !

molleur 20th June 2020 13:59

The best color in very dark green seems to be BMW 307 Dunkle Grun.
Standard on earlier Z3's. 1998-2003

Lucky@LeMans 23rd June 2020 16:59

The front end work is just about done. I'm waiting on the head light covers and trims then it will be case of rubbing down ready for paint. I watched some youtube footage yesterday with various car colour options. I'm in two minds whether to go with dark racing green, gun metal grey or midnight blue !

Lucky@LeMans 28th June 2020 08:13

More parts arrived in the post yesterday. I've got some Fiat 500 side repeater lights that will fit neatly in the back of the side vents but still be visible from all angles. Rear lights are the Lucas L691/2, just need the rear end to fit them now ! Think I'm decided on dark British Racing Green satin finish rather than gloss for the final colour. I didn't want a blingy finish on the car, more a toned down classic look.

Lucky@LeMans 9th July 2020 19:34

I've progressed the car a little, still waiting on the rear end and boot lid so I can get the car finished.

The under bonnet wiring has been cut back and thinned out ready to be fitted and extended where required. I've gone with black "stone chip" finish on the under side of the bonnet. This is the Hammerite stone chip, the only product they make that I actually like and would recommend ! Not to be confused with Hammerite underseal which is crap !!
In the bonnet photo you can see I've fitted cable tie pads to secure the wiring. I scraped off the double sided tape backing ( which dries out causing the pads fall off ) and attached them with PU adhesive.

That's about it until the rear end turns up. I might remake the door cards for a more retro look and I need to order a nice wood rim steering wheel, probably a good time to get the wheels freshly powder coated too.

Lucky@LeMans 9th July 2020 19:37

3 Attachment(s)

Munky 9th July 2020 22:44

Great progress. Again I must admit to being a little envious of your project! I bet the time seems to be dragging until you get the rear end. :)

What does the windscreen glass proportion look against the front end when it is in place? Do you think it will need any chrome edging to try and reduce its size like the 250swb in comparison to the other proportions of the car or does it balance out well?

Lucky@LeMans 10th July 2020 11:22

I will fit a half round profile aluminium around the screen including the lower edge, probably a 16mm width. This worked well on my other project giving a retro look and giving better proportions to the screen. It won't need a scuttle trim like the Grassbank cars featured.

Lucky@LeMans 10th July 2020 17:35

Just realised I've cut out the front side light wires as part of my tidy up exercise yesterday ! Lol, not too late to reinstate those before the extended loom goes in place !

I've fitted a garage door on the front of my car port ( £12 off ebay ! ) All non car related stuff ie gardening stuff, lawn mowers, garden tools, push bikes, ladders etc etc will now live in there and free up my main double garage ! What a luxury !!

Munky 11th July 2020 00:24

Thanks for the thoughts. A couple of the pics I’ve seen from above the car makes the front glass area look quite large. More a problem of perspective than anything else by the sounds of it.

I can’t wait to see some more pics of a finished kit from a few angles.

I’ve been dreaming and checking out possible local donors for this swap and just found something quite tempting. A Z3 with a V8 LS swap... Not cheap though but 400 horses at the wheels.

I still have a Caterham on its way... dang!

Lucky@LeMans 25th July 2020 20:14

That photo above makes the screen look out of proportion ! I'll be fitting an aluminium trim surround around the glass, that makes a big difference.

Got my wheels back from the powder coaters together with a new set of rubber, one size bigger at 235/50 - 17". These fill the arches really nicely , well at the front at least ! The old 45 profile tyres looked a bit small, the 50 profile are about 1 1/4" bigger in diameter.

Whilst I was thinking of a dark shade of Racing Green, I'm now considering Midnight Blue ! The dark blue might be better on the convertible perhaps ?

Still waiting on the rear end, hopefully it will be ready in the next week or two.

Munky 2nd August 2020 01:55

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This looks interesting - just noticed it on Chris’ Facebook page.
Could be a great addition to a Z3gt.
Lots of work though.

Any updates on your rear end? :tea:

Lucky@LeMans 2nd August 2020 13:29

I'm happy to live with the Z3 dash. Replacement door cards, seats and a smart steering wheel is enough for me.

Chris has promised an update about the rear end moulding this week so I'm hoping it will be ready soon !

IanA 3rd August 2020 15:05


Originally Posted by Lucky@LeMans (Post 104867)
I'm happy to live with the Z3 dash. Replacement door cards, seats and a smart steering wheel is enough for me.

+1 from me. I'm long past rewiring unless it's for new functionality. I can get most diagnostic info via a wifi OBD sender onto a phone. Just more things to worry about if they are in front of you all the time!!! My driving in the Z300S doesn't include trackdays, etc where I think I might need it.

Lucky@LeMans 4th August 2020 16:29

Started making some new door cards. I'm using the top curved part from the Z3 with a new lower section which will have simple pocket and a pull handle. It will be more retro and less Z3 ! Another bonus is that it will do away with the moulded trough at the bottom of the stock door card which always rubs on my ankle on a long drive.

I've nearly finished the aluminium screen surround that I'm forming from 16mm half round aluminium. This worked particularly well on my 275 and is quicker and easier the second time around ! It changes the visual proportions of the screen as well as giving a retro style. I'll probably extend the trim to the door top and front quarter glass to complete the 60's look !

Lucky@LeMans 5th August 2020 22:22

Chris sent me the headlight covers and trims today. I've offered them up and they fit really well with just the minimum of trimming. Haven't decided whether to chrome wrap the trims or paint them, probably the latter. The perspex covers are nicely done and crystal clear !

Munky 6th August 2020 01:32

I would love to see a couple of pics of the screen surround if you get a chance please.

Lucky@LeMans 6th August 2020 10:20

1 Attachment(s)
The windscreen trim is a kit of parts at the moment that will be fitted after paint ! Here is a photo of my 275 which was given the same treatment. The only difference on the Z3GTc is a lower trim across the bottom of the screen. I'll also do the quarter window and door top the same too.

Munky 6th August 2020 11:42

That looks great.
Thank you. :)

Crofty 9th August 2020 18:36

How did you manage to bend the corners of your windscreen surround.

I would love to do it to my tribute 250 GTO headlight covers.

Lucky@LeMans 9th August 2020 19:25


Originally Posted by Crofty (Post 104908)
How did you manage to bend the corners of your windscreen surround.

I would love to do it to my tribute 250 GTO headlight covers.

To do a single 90 bend is easy. Simply heat the aluminium strip with a blow torch and bend it around a former that is cut to the correct radius. A bit of tweaking once its cooled and your done.

Headlamp surrounds are a different ball game and are best cut from a sheet of aluminium having first made a card template. More time and effort but probably the most effective method.

Lucky@LeMans 10th August 2020 19:38

2 Attachment(s)
Here are a couple of photos of the headlight surrounds supplied in the kit. The initial fit is very good. They are pretty wide though so I've trimmed them down from about 20mm wide to around 8mm wide. They look a lot more in proportion now and will be painted bright silver which will contrast well with the midnight blue paint ! I've ordered some 3mm black piping which will go between the perspex cover and inside edge of the surround just to finish them off.

Crofty 10th August 2020 19:50

They look great, what thickness aluminium are they and what did you use to trim them down.
Thanks regards Andy.

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