There’s always been something special about driving a car that you built yourself. While there are probably as many reasons why you build your own kit cars as there are people who build them, I think its down to the same spirit of adventure that the very first car builders such as Karl Benz, Henry Ford, and messrs Rolls and Royce possessed in abundance.
However, the modern day kit car builders have technology on their side, from wind tunnel testing through to rolling road performance tuning, right up to Computer Aided Design software to ensure everything works together for optimal road holding.
Chris Gibbs’ book, Build Your Own Sports Car is a great example of what you can achieve with the right approach and just a little money.
Gibbs takes the familiar Locost sports car concept that has become such a favorite amongst kit car builders for both the road and on the track and shows the reader how to assemble one from scratch.
In order to see why the Locost design is so popular, you need to take a look under the hood, so to speak, at what a project like this really offers.
First off, the low center of gravity of a locost gives the feeling of speed, while also improving the cars road-holding. Stick on some wide rubber on each corner and you feel like you are charging down the country lanes in a go-kart!
This is down to the lightweight yet rigid cross-braced chassis and the fact that there is very little in the way of extras, making it not much more than a motorcycle with two extra wheels. In fact, if you shoehorn a motorcycle engine into the generously spaced engine bay the performance is truly mindblowing.
Understandably, many builders choose to assemble a ready made kit provided by a known manufacturer with a proven track record rather than do everything themselves.
Even so, the techniques laid out in Chris Gibbs’ book will help to keep them on the right track.