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29 July 2015
Haynes book feature
 Build Your Own Sports Car  Build Your Own Sports Car
 on a budget

 How to build a quick, fun car to rival many far
 more expensive and exotic roadsters.

 by Chris Gibbs

Many people dream of owning a sports car to drive during that rare sunny weekend, but how do you justify the expense of a second car? With Build Your Own Sports Car you really can! There is a great tradition in Britain for building "specials" - cars built using just the ingenuity of the builder, donor parts from redundant cars and whatever materials are to hand. Cheap, but sporty, two-seat roadsters were commonplace in the post-war "golden age", and even led to the creation of the very first Haynes publication - Building a 750 Special - written by Haynes Publishing Chairman, John Haynes, in 1956.

Many people think that the days of the affordable sports car are at an end, but
Build Your Own Sports Car proves that with a little ingenuity, perseverance and application, it's still possible to get a stunning two-seat roadster on the road without breaking the bank.

The all-colour practical Build Your Own Sports Car provides all the information needed to build a road-going two-seater, open-top sports car, the Haynes Roadster, on a budget, using standard tools, basic skills and low-cost materials. The down-to-earth text clearly explains each step along the road to producing a well-engineered, high-performance sports car, providing a learning experience in engineering and design - and opening up a whole new world of fun motoring.

Build Your Own Sports Car covers every aspect of the build in-depth, from fabricating the chassis and suspension components, to moulding fibreglass body panels and preparing for the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) test.

The Haynes Roadster, which has fully independent rear suspension, has been designed with the aid of CAD software to develop the chassis and suspension, resulting in a car with performance and handling to challenge many established kit cars and mainstream sports cars.
Build Your Own Sports Car contents
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The design is intended to make use of components sourced primarily from a Ford Sierra donor, still plentiful both on the roads and in breakers' yards around the UK, although alternative donors are mentioned.

The prototype car was built to demonstrate what could be achieved on a tight budget, in the true spirit of "specials", using as many components as possible from the donor car, including the alloy wheels and completely standard Ford Pinto 1.8 carburettor engine. The end result is a quick, fun car to rival many far more expensive and exotic alternatives. The core design is easily adaptable to accommodate a range of alternative engines and running gear, including the popular Ford Zetec and motorcycle engines, enabling enthusiasts to build a car tailor-made to their own specifications.

Buy a copy of Build Your Own Sports Car on a budget, be inspired and plenty of smiles per mile are guaranteed!
3D and 2D colour working drawings showing how to build and assemble all components in a logical sequence.
Details of how to build simple jigs to ensure accurate assembly of critical components.
Advice on sourcing the power unit, transmission, steering, brakes and other parts from a donor vehicle.
Step-by-step instructions on how to build a strong tubular-steel spaceframe chassis.
Details of how to make and fit body panels.
Details of the requirements of the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) test, and advice on how to avoid problems.
Appendices providing scaled, dimensioned drawings for all steel tubes and plates to be cut, as well as a list of useful contacts.
Dedicated forum at Haynes Forums
Author: Chris Gibbs is Vice Secretary and Technical Adviser of the Locost Car Club. He first built his own sports car between 1997 and 1999, and has used the practical and technical experience gained since to design the all-new car featured in this book.
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