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Old 08-26-2009, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Metro-powered sports car project

I'm noodling away on a mid engined DIY sports car with a Metro donor. The intent is to write a book a la the "Build Your Own Sports Car on a Budget" book the Locost (home built Lotus Seven-ish cars) community is based on. It won't be any rocket ship, but it should be good and spritely, with 2/3 the frontal area of a Metro and about 1100 pounds empty weight. The objective is high fuel economy, small construction footprint (most of the parts will be used), fun to drive and cheap and easy to build.

I guess this could be considered an extreme ecomod of a Metro. I think of it as an inexpensive alternative to MAX, which you Mother Earth News readers may be familiar with. Metros are bunches more common and affordable than Kubotas (Metros with decent drivelines but beater bodies and interiors go fairly cheap, a turbo Kubota will set you back about five grand) and it's easier to streamline a mid engined sports car than a front engined sports car, and a sports car is sufficient for most driving tasks...anyway, it seems like a good idea to me but I may be only entertaining myself. Is this of interest to anybody else?

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Old 08-26-2009, 07:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm interested in the idea. I don't know when or if I'll ever have the time to actually do it, but I would love to have something like the original Lotus Europa. Don't know if I'd choose a Metro as the donor, maybe a Honda Civic or Fit. Maybe a lightened frame & suspension, with a tube frame and fiberglass over foam aeroshell?
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackMcCornack View Post
anyway, it seems like a good idea to me but I may be only entertaining myself. Is this of interest to anybody else?
If you're asking "would people here be interested in following a build thread of such a project", I believe the answer is "unequivocally, YES!"
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're asking "would people here be interested in following a build thread of such a project", I believe the answer is unequivocally YES.
Seconded, and I'd like to see drawings and ramblings of what you have in mind.

Specifically, what would it look like when you cut down a Metro to 2/3 its frontal area and 1100 lbs?
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like an interesting project!
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a slow sports car once. '64 Spitfire.

Put the driver's seat about 3" off the road. At least then you will have the illusion of speed.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Seconded, and I'd like to see drawings and ramblings of what you have in mind.

Specifically, what would it look like when you cut down a Metro to 2/3 its frontal area and 1100 lbs?
He is talking about putting a metro engine in a Locost:
Building a locost lotus 7 replica in the USA
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
I had a slow sports car once. '64 Spitfire.
If you think that, you just don't understand the meaning of the term "sports car". A sports car is not about going fast in a straight line: all that takes is a big engine. It's about going through curves - and if you live in real sports car country, the fun roads to drive are those where the signs on the curves say 20 mph or thereabouts :-)
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Like I said, I had a slow sports car once.

Stupid thing couldn't corner either.

One time I thought I was going hell-bent for leather on a cloverleaf, right on the edge of control... looked in my rear view mirror and there's my best friend in his mom's Chevy station wagon right on my arse. That big ol' solid axle Impala wasn't even breaking a sweat.

Useless swing axle.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sports cars overlap with racing cars, but on public roads, I think that a car with a gentle, predictable breakaway at moderate speed is more fun than one that sticks like glue but needs room if anything goes wrong.

Personally, I think that most light, streamlined cars should have front engines for crosswind stability, but something like a 3/4 scale Porsche RSK or Lotus 22 would charm my socks off. I hope you'll keep us updated.

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