Re: A Very Light Car


Unfortunately also the fate of most of the Porsche's I actually like that they don't make now (I think most of what they make now is fn'ugly....) - the 914's - never have had one, but if I was to get a moneypit car that might be it...
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On Tue, 26 Mar 2013 18:36:50 -0400, Ecnerwal

I'll ask my neighbor if he's ready to part with his. I don't think you'll be happy about it if you get one, but each to his own.
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On Tue, 26 Mar 2013 18:36:50 -0400, Ecnerwal

I checked; my neighbor says his brother wants it. If you want one, I'll keep an eye on it and see what happens.
It's the four-cylinder, which is a LOT cheaper than the six.
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I did say "if" I got a moneypit car. I suppose the Miata is fairly similar in something NOT 40 years old, but it would lack the cachet of being a car I thought was really cool when I was a kid. Also it would be following embarassing members of the family in car choice.
May be I ought to build something instead...perhaps even a wood framed job ala Morgan. Haven't really looked into how hard homebuilts are to register in Massachusetts (probably hard - they have 3 laws for everything and at least 2 of them contradict) or Vermont (might be easier.)
I spent a few years driving around an aircooled flat 6, but it wanted a lot more garage time than I could give it to be happy, and it was only 25 or so at the time (Corvair - 6 cylinders, 4 carbs, don't leave home without 300 lbs of tools in the trunk.) The standard Chevy parts were easy and cheap at NAPA, the specialized stuff all came from Clark's.
My 1968 ford is a pain the ass with its age and decrepitude, but since its parts now come from the New Holland dealer, it's not as hard as you might think to find many of them (though it can get awfully expensive.) Top speed of 18 mph, but it digs a mean hole. Not very lightweight.
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On Tue, 26 Mar 2013 21:19:16 -0400, Ecnerwal

In the cachet department, consider that the 914 was never really accepted as a Porsche. It was built by VW, and the 4-cyl. is a VW engine.
However, parts are available; it handles better than a Porsche 356 and maybe an early 911; and it's not particularly hard to work on. I'm not a fan, but each to his own.

Caution: The "wood frame" on a Morgan is the body frame. First you build a boat frame (the wooden body frame) and then you bend sheet metal over it. The chassis frame is steel, and conventional.
Kits are a whole lot easier. If you really want to build from scratch, consider the Locost by Ron Champion, or one of its clones.

My first car (a '63, bought new). If you had four carbs, you must have had a '65 or '66, or else you had a John Fitch GT conversion. The '65s and '66s actually were very nice cars, with excellent suspension. Not so the '64s and earlier. But it was the first car I drove at SCCA driver's school, and with the Fitch suspension, it was Ok.

A lot of the engine parts were from a Chevy 348 or 409. Hydraulic lifters were the big one, because they were always getting sticky.

I guess not. If you want an old sports car to play with, be prepared to pay 'way more than they're worth, by any sensible measure.
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Yup, '65 "post-Nader revision." Convertible, from which the turbo motor had been removed and replaced with the 4-carb 140 long before I got it. Worst breakdown was when the fan bearing mount broke (the top of the motor.) Made a horrible noise, figured it was toast - after a long cold wait for the tow truck, a look at what had happened at home, and a $25 refurb part from Clark's, back in business.
Another time the ignition gave out, but I had actually already gotten an electronic replacement, just hadn't installed it yet - so I did it beside the road where it expired (with some of the 300 lbs of tools...)
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On Tue, 26 Mar 2013 12:22:09 -0400, Ed Huntress

Ed, you stopped looking a couple of years early in Colin Chapman design evolution, take a look at the Lotus 11 Club racer (the LeMans version also but more expensive rear suspension) really slippery, really light spaceframe and Al. bodywork, Coventry Climax, went like the clappers, can be used on the road! C+

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Yes, the 11 and 15 were very slick. I don't think they'd be called club racers by my generation, though. Chapman raced them in international competition.
As for "can be used on the road," I suppose someone could. For that matter, Lotus made (almost as a joke, but you could buy one) a "road" version of one of their smaller formula cars. Headlights and cycle fenders did no add to the car's panache. <g>
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On Thu, 28 Mar 2013 07:33:22 -0400, Ed Huntress
snip

I did in the early 60s and there were others... the only real change we made was a Triplex windscreen instead of perspex and a hood - all the rest of the road gear, lights etc. were all as original Lotus. Ah! The days before limits!! A couple of fading pics if your interested!
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/76602553/Lotus%20XI%20in%20Conversion.jpg
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/76602553/Lotus%20XI%20Roadgoing.jpg
C+
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'Looks like it was fun, C+. But where would I put my stereo speakers? <g>
I lashed eveything I owned onto the back of my MG Midget, and into the cracks and crevices. It looked like a dung beetle hurtling down the road.
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On Thu, 28 Mar 2013 16:06:54 -0400, Ed Huntress

Well the XI was a lot roomier than say the Lotus 7 but you would have got miles more into your Midget! We put a radio in the Lotus XI but only any use when the roar of the engine and tyres were silent!! Very light cars have their disadvantages but the fun and need for speed outweigh the comforts - when your' young enough!! :) . Id hate to try insure such a beast for the road nowdays! C+
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I didn't even try putting a radio in my Midget. I had a Stebro muffler on it when it wasn't racing. I couldn't have heard the radio anyway. Most of the time, I had the heater out of it, too.
I'm sorry to hear about the insurance situations in Canada and the UK. Here in New Jersey, I could get liability insurance on your car, cheap. Collision would be iffy -- we have an insurance inspector make a judgement on that, for homebuilts and exotics. It would be expensive, in all likelihood, or it would have a large deductable.
But we have a way around it. If the car is over 25 years old, we get "historic and street rod" registration (cheap). And if we don't drive it more than some mileage limit -- 5,000 miles per year, I think, with my insurance company -- insurance, again, is cheap.
This all varies by state. And "cheap" is relative, of course. d8-)
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On Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:50:10 -0400, Ed Huntress

Interesting Ed - No doubt about it, the US gets it a lot righter than we do in many areas! C+
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But there is no way around it if you build a replica of a 1965 Lotus 7 in 2013. It needs to meet all emission and safety requirements of a 2013 car unless it is a "kit car" and nobody wants to produce the "kit" because of liability issues. If they do, they price it high enough to cover the liability insurance and the car isn't worth the money any more.
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On 3/26/2013 8:44 AM, whoyakidding's ghost wrote:

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/29/chevy-volt-again-tops-consumer-reports-owner-satisfacti/

http://gas2.org/2011/11/21/jay-leno-drives-chevy-volt-11000-miles-without-gas-nets-2365-mpg/

If you want to see some very light cars, check this out:
http://www.dw.de/popups/mediaplayer/contentId_15638742_mediaId_16680710
Just found it this morning.
Paul
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On Tue, 26 Mar 2013 09:39:38 -0700, Paul Drahn

Hey, those are fun, Paul. I rode in a Messerschmitt when I was 7; my camp counselor had brought one back from Germany, where he had been in the service. The ride was my prize for something I forget -- maybe for being the first to boil water in a stove made out of a #10 tin can. d8-)
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On Tue, 26 Mar 2013 09:39:38 -0700, Paul Drahn

Yeah but that's an older model. Here's something current. :) http://abcnews.go.com/WNN/video/top-gear-host-test-drives-worlds-tiniest-car-18417017
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