New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

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Mesuge
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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by Mesuge » Sun, 06 Mar 2011, 17:37

Alert, psycho news from the great underworld of EV conversion donor candidates tonite!

Apparently the best blast from the past is still possible..
There is a company in the UK which builds not only replacement panels and parts but also produces completely finished brand new bodyshells of famous british sportscars, including MGs, Mini, Austin-Healey Sprite Mk4 and Triumphs(unfortunately panels only here), using and that's the kicker ~contemporary welding techniques and metal materials(zinc plated), adding modern rust protection layer from the day one, ..

And that's not stopping there, upgrades such as brand new lightweight IFS (modeled on BMW M3 geometry) or rear independent suspension do exist, which transform the vehicle (MGB/Mini) platform into 2000s, and also help with the ev conversion, e.g. the whole rear sub assembly can house two hub motors connected to half shafts (as seen in that Miata tests by EnerTrac/Markcycle + their e-transmission and e-differential tech.) or as single hybrid transaxle. Not mentioning the great benefit of these new suspensions kits in dropping the un-sprung weight by several dozens of kg. The third link also provides new chassis for TR6 -so perhaps, completly new Triumph vehicle is theoretically possible with those body panels mentioned above, but that would be considered somewhat advanced kind of project one of a kind.
http://www.v8register.net/subpages/hoylesuspension1.htm
http://www.fastcarsinc.com/ifs.htm http://www.fastcarsinc.com/chassis.htm
edit: plus the IRS assembly seems quite modifyable, here enlargment for V8, so should be doable with ev components as well:
http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/RobsProgress.htm
More details about the factory: http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Briti ... -Intro.htm
+ stunning blue/white roofed example of Mini: http://www.collectorcarsforsale.com/260 ... ailse.html

Often times the reconstruction of these rusty classic cars runs into several thousand hours in total, and it's a pretty messy job in this very department. This approach, however is something completely different, by swaping ev drive into new body-chassis with some added mix of new-recycled running gear. The roller could be done in days/weeks. Basically in the end getting almost brand new futu-retro antique sportscar! Well, you might say, there are also various kitcar companies focusing on that historical time frame, but most of them are either resin joke, already belly-up or not feasible for ev conversion purposes. The advantage of MGB/Minis is that there is a huge global community of builders and vendors to support it, incl. racing clubs and related suspension upgrades.

I gather that for those interested in this area of using historic donor platform, unless they have got some of those super rare californian/desert state rust free Porsches or italian Spiders, don't bother with these rust buckets of 60s classic cars.

Obviously this segment is not everybodys cup of tea, the dimensions are quite tiny (e.g. recalling it was kind of snug fit long ago as youngster sitting inside MGB for the first time - what about now lol), people got really bigger in the recent ~40yrs, plus if you want to run a gearbox the place for batts. is rather limited, so other options as mentioned above like direct drive or recycling hybrid transaxle could be a better approach.

Overview of their factory starts at t6:50 (and continues in the 2nd vid):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4yjNdr3 ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVS97MCD9FY&NR=1
http://www.bmh-ltd.com

ps these guys should definately hook up with some advanced carbon shop, that would be the ultimative retro, carbon body based on original factory dimensions and knowhow (plus optional EV drivetrain changes)..

ps2 Land Rover SeriesII (Defender) AWD could be done in similar fashion, it's even more easier and less expensive, new galvanized chassis/frame + new/recycled body panels, plus some mix of recyclo/new running gear, + EV drivetrain
http://adventure-ev.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEzRPXZt ... re=related
long v. (109) restoration: http://www.seriestrek.com/109.html

The fantastic world of LR 130 and Foley 6x6 conversions:
http://www.foleyspecialistvehicles.com/
http://www.defender130.com/

more extreme 4x4 experimentals ready as suitable donors:
http://www.doric4x4.co.uk/photos/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6bSMMHifp0
(incl. 1980s gutted RangeRover based AWD platforms)
Last edited by Mesuge on Fri, 11 Mar 2011, 03:32, edited 1 time in total.
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leadwings
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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by leadwings » Thu, 10 Mar 2011, 17:45

I looked hard for a kit car when I did my conversion - logic was fiberglass shell (light and no rust), cool body shape and often on a beetle chassis (very agricultural, but power nothing (no power steering, no vacuum brakes) and dead easy for parts/maintenance).

Really wanted a Porche 356 replica, but just got too expensive.

So what your suggesting above is a good alternaive - EV gets rid of the worst aspects of the classic british cars (rust and unreliable engines).
Last edited by leadwings on Thu, 10 Mar 2011, 06:58, edited 1 time in total.

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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by Mesuge » Fri, 11 Mar 2011, 00:32

There is also aspect we probably didn't mention yet. And that's how the conversion would hold value. It's a completely another story from either recycling old rusty clunker or using generic kitcar, this is a brand new bodyshell of the famous 60s period british sportscar manuf. from the genuine molds but upgraded to antirust material+coating like modern cars, independent front&rear suspension (optional), modern AC drivetrain (rumor has it Curtis will offer 70-90kW 140V drive soon, or P&S opensource AC controller soon, or IGBT powestage based Tritium or Tumanako HV). I'd say such combo just can't drop in value.

The above mentioned setup won't be exactly "very cheap" either, a roller of the MGB roadster with all the extras with brand new parts - I guess goes for $18-23k - plus the edrivetrain and batteries.

In terms of best value ratio, it seems that their Mini Cooper MK5 with optional inside welded safety cage (it's a sub 700kg car) is the way to go, and it will only need 50-60kW for very good performance. So apart from the option of selecting fixed gear quality front drive tranny (e.g. Honda Civic/Jazz) for it, there is also the option of direct drive to differential (or HV inverter/HSD transaxle) possible with some of the upcomming low-mid voltage AC systems. Another edrivetrain option is obviously a DC system with Soliton jr. or P&S DC opensource controller.

Decisions, decisions, for the price of that classic Mini roller you can have very low milage, almost mint condition and options loaded 2nd gen of Smart ForTwo, which is a much safer and easier platform to conversion. However, there is this ESP integration issue, which I'm not sure will be dealt with on the diy level, I think someone has done it for the Toyota and mid 2000s gen of BMW already, but not sure about Benz. Certainly not a problem for relaxed legislation US/UK conversion applicants, but could be even a project stopper for EU/Australia-NZ.
And not that much keen on the first generation Smart (less batt pack space), which supposedly doesn't have it?

Personally I've got also crush on Porsches, but the 50's model replicas on offer are all rather unsafe and very overpriced for the very simplistic tube chassis/old suspension/fiberglass body setup.

Perhaps the best kit on the planet in terms of quality, safety and price is made by FFR (CNC factory, racing track), but that's either version of Cobra, which I'm not that fond of, actually their mk4 is gorgeous, or their supercar platform GTM, which is certainly very nice, but perhaps too much of a low rider for practical all year application.
Last edited by Mesuge on Thu, 10 Mar 2011, 20:06, edited 1 time in total.
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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by leadwings » Fri, 11 Mar 2011, 00:44

Mesuge wrote: There is also aspect we probably didn't mention yet. And that's how the conversion would hold value.


"Value" is a minefield - ask anyone who has undertaken a major restoration/conversion project. What you value it as will be very different to what the market will value it as.

Agree a properly done conversion should hold value, but only to someone who appreciates the value, and that may be a small audience.

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Mesuge
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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by Mesuge » Fri, 11 Mar 2011, 00:55

That's true, but the market for clean/not rusty MGs and Minis will be drying up with progressing time and that's the factor I tried to address here.

It's quite possible that as the tooling, material and knowhow (incl. CAD/CNC) for complex carbon shapes goes down each year, that in not so distant future, everything will be done in this or similar material. I think some OEMs like BMW and VW are now heavily investing in some pilot plants for panels/ext. skins, that's serious contribution how to increase fuel economy at the same not compromise comfort level, i.e. keep gargantuan size of todays vehicles, especially SUVs which channel the most profit to them.

The question of historic donors for ev conversions could be part of it, at the moment it's mostly based in the car racing and UL airplanes domains, where they can offer the premium price, but it's trickling down, slowly.
Last edited by Mesuge on Thu, 10 Mar 2011, 14:01, edited 1 time in total.
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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by ZIPPIE11CAR » Sat, 23 Apr 2011, 16:17

Hi there,
        I'm new to the forum/EV world so hello.
On the above topic, I found this website the other day for 4x4 fibreglass body shells in Australia for old Landcruisers, Suzuki Sierra's & Daihatsu's. They are full ADR compliant & would would reduce are fair bit of weight. Just don't know the cost???

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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by ZIPPIE11CAR » Sat, 23 Apr 2011, 16:19


AMPrentice
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New bodyshells for classic roadsters and 4WDs

Post by AMPrentice » Sun, 24 Apr 2011, 00:51

I think these are great ideas and will retain the value of the cars converted.
The reason being is that there are few non unitary bodied vehicles available and
todays cars are overly complex to convert and maintain. They are not made to
be played with or service with ease.
If you can change the body and keep the chassis intact it goes along way to reduce the energy required to crush, melt and start again.
Last edited by AMPrentice on Sat, 23 Apr 2011, 14:53, edited 1 time in total.
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