Mid May - July '99
This period was where the preparation really started. I gathered all the information I needed and made some very important contacts. I spent a lot of time reading other builders and trying to form a picture of the path forward. I had a number of challenges that made my construction a little unique because of my location. Weipa is one of the most isolated places in Aust and for the 5 months of wet season no vehicle gets in or out so things like transporting parts become a major planning issue. The other thing is that because no one actually owns any land here things like wrecking yards are non existent. This made using all the conversional construction parts very difficult to get and potentially expensive to get right simply because you can't look before you buy
There were a few rule I put on myself for this project.
1 I must be able to put together a users manual at the end.
2 I wanted an IRS.
3 The diff must be Limited slip.
4 Engine needed to be upwards of 130 kw.
5 90% of all parts MUST be unmodified and from a single donor vehicle.
6 ALL parts other than form the donor vehicle must be standard off the shelf items
Simple really. When you get down to the basics like this the only problem before I could start was to decide on the donor vehicle that satisfied all these needs and get my hands on one. Apart from this being the biggest decision to get right it also turned out to be the most frustrating yet in the end the most satisfying. The only other better moment will come from the feeling I will get when I take my future car for its first drive and reflect on the similar moment when I took my donor car for its drive thinking.
So I started surfing the net for things that would give me ideas for cars to look for. Engine performance, Independent rear suspensions, etc and also for car makers that interested me like Honda, Mistubishi, Mazda, Nissan etc. I pulled together some wonderful components and engines but nothing that I could say was wrapped up in a donor car that fitted my needs.
I took some inspiration from Benny's MX5 based construction and at that stage was resided to the fact that I will have to pull together the project from a number of cars and purchase every thing I need in large chunks. Front cut, rear cut, and try to match things as best as I could. It was starting to feel like a bit of a logistics nightmare and still no clear picture on what to buy. So I ordered the steal and made that my token
(Continued on page 5)