I’m building a car. Yup, I’m building a real road-worthy car. Real size, real motor, real registration, real everything, except that you can’t walk into a showroom and buy one for yourself. It’s an actual car you have to put together. And this isn’t my first rodeo. As some of you know, I’ve previously built a Cobra replica (a Factory Five “Type 65 Roadster”), which I sold when I went to B-School. That was a really fun project and I learned a ton about cars. It had Ford 428 with a Tremec TKO, Halibrand knock-off rims (i.e. you have to use a mallet, not a wrench to get them off) and was painted a pearl red.
What I’m building this time is something original and very modern called a SuperLite Coupe, “SLC” for short. It’s made by a company called Race Car Replicas (RCR), which is best known for their Ford GT-40 replicas. To the right is a pic of what it looks like. It’s very customizable and accepts a wide variety of drivetrains, ranging from the various Chevy LS engines to Lexus, Audi, even a Mazda rotary being built locally in San Francisco. I’m doing something almost as odd as a rotary by going with a late model Porsche engine (more on that in a later post), but I should be getting around 400 HP naturally aspirated with a moderate setup of the ECU. That’s plenty in a car that weighs short of 2300 lbs.
The rest of the options broadly break down as follows:
- Everything you need to be street legal, such as hand brake, DOT lights, windshield wiper, etc.
- White exterior, matte black rims (hoping to use car wrap to get a design onto the car at some later point)
- No spoiler, like the red car in the picture. The car has enough downforce for a street and track day car.
- ISIS electronics, likely a Motec (or similar) custom ECU.
- Interior – you tell me… likely some continuation of the white exterior with dark Alcantara.
So why build a car? Excellent question, simple answer: it’s fun! Even without the car delivered for another 12+ weeks, there are already lots of things to get smart about, choices to make, drivetrain to secure, machining of add-on parts, planning of various build stages, etc. For example, I spent a lot of time researching gear ratios for transmissions and started to understand why certain cars are geared in a certain way. More to come later, but it was very interesting research that really taught me something. I’ll post about some of that very soon. More to come here: https://blog.timtt.com/category/slc/.