Simon's Clubman Site
My story started back in 1978 when as a spring chicken, I bought "some kind of home made kit car" from a friend of my then girlfriend. It was the typical fibreglass body laid over a VW Beatle floor pan scenario. It had a massive 1500cc power plant that would blow the pants off only another 1500 VW. What it did do however, was lay the bait that would reemerge some 20 years later.
There was no escaping from the wind through the hair, close to the ground, totally exposed sensation that only an open top car can deliver.
All that experience was locked away into the "ambition" brain cells with the plan (dream) being to build a real kit type car "later in life". Every once in a while I would purchase Kit Car Magazine just to maintain the dream. As they were full of American made Cobra kits, a Cobra became the pipe dream. With that dream came the need to have heaps of $$$$. This was the main reason that the idea has remained dormant for 20+ years. At one stage I even searched the Internet for "kit cars", but as I got bombarded with crap links, I gave up. Unfortunately I didn't actually know the name of any kits to be more specific when searching.
The break through came during the 1998 Adelaide Motor Show. As always I checked out the Porches and Ferraris, but disappointment usually sets in when the only sports cars in sight are the mass produced, big dollar types. There are also the prototype concept type cars, but they are only good for a quick look. You don't actually drive those things, do you ?
Anyway, whilst walking around, I came across Beven Young's motoring book shop. There staring me in the face was a book by Ron Champion entitled "Build Yourself a Sports Car for Under £250". This sounded too good to be true. After a quick flick, I decided it was worth buying to check out the feasibility of such a car. Since that time, Ron Champion has released a second edition update, which also includes a chapter on racing the Locost. The book is pictured below.
The next step was to do a Internet search on "Locost", to see what information was available on the project. To my surprise and delight, a wealth of information came to light. I spent a month or so reading all I could on the Locost cars in general, and fairly quickly decided that the Locost was feasible and the way to go. Other Lotus 7 replicas available in Australia such as the Caterham, Westfield, PRB, Leitch etc meant a $20,000 + outlay which was out of the question. The Locost held further appeal in that being a car that was basically home made (crafted ??), I could put my own signature on it. I could do what I want without being forced to assemble someone else's ideas. Something that looks good, is affordable and can be really quick! I'd like to see that.
So, the first step was to join the Locost Mail List and the Sevens Mail List. The Locost list is excellent with many people across the world (now 600+), going through the same emotions and issues as yourself. When I joined the list, there were about 80 members and probably up to 20 projects were under way in various corners of the world. You're never alone !!!!!