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I have just commenced a project to build my own open-top sports car based upon the excellent book by Ron Champion "Build Your Own Sports Car For As Little As £250 - And Race It." This book is published by Haynes and is available in branches of Halfords or from Amazon for a list price of £17.99. I fully recommend the book for anyone thinking of building or even buying a Lotus 7 type car.


Build road legal Locost sports car based on Ron Champion's original chassis design and with an engine which will meet the following performance criteria, budget and time-scale:

  • Fuel Consumption approx. 35 MPG in normal motoring
  • Weight 450 - 550 Kg
  • 0-60 MPH time <= 5 seconds
  • Top speed >= 120 MPH
  • Lateral grip capable of >= 1G
  • Standard service intervals and good reliability
  • Easy access to cheap spare parts
  • Maximum cost of £2000 all inclusive
  • Estimated time-scale of 12 months from start (21-Feb-2003 to 21-Feb-2004)


There are some design choices which once made are difficult (never impossible) to change without incurring extra cost or time. So far I have identified the following such choices:

Chassis Type - Live Axle, IRS

IRS due to availability of Sierra donor parts and better performance

Update 15-03-03 - De-dion from a dax rush is looking more likely due to a lack of established IRS design. Trying to source de-dion beam axle tube from Dax.

Chassis Source - Make, Buy

Make due to lower initial costs plus the sheer challenge!!

Donor Vehicle - Sierra, Escort, Cortina, Other

Sierra at present due to IRS chassis (also used for de-dion system)

Engine Type - Rover V8, K-Series, Toyota Twin-Cam 1.6, Ford, Bike

Rover V8 due to availability, reliability, torque, simplicity (carb model) and above all the noise! (Click hear to hear Rover V8 engine)

Estimated time-scale of 12 months from start (21-Feb-2003 to 21-Feb-2004)