Wednesday, 22 September 2010

New Build Update

I have ordered the new build from GD. I am hoping to take delivery of it at the end of October or beginning of November. This time I am taking the chassis and body together , along with all the other parts. I am having the body fully polished this time (hated doing the last one). The colour scheme and feel of the car is going to be a bit more traditional. Here is my inspiration.



As I said before the body will be in gel and polished. GD are going to try and put a metallic gelcoat stripe in it for me. It’s all a bit experimental yet so watch this space.

I am also going for sidepipes which GD are making, I believe they are going to be an option for all in the future.

I have already stripped the donor


I had all the parts powder coated. It actually worked out cheaper than sand blasting/stripping and POR15 and the finish is first class.


The colour for the chassis and running gear is Gentian Blue RAL 5010

Finally I am only going for outward period looks and have gone for an LS2 as the power plant. I just couldn’t bring myself to swap to a rusty old iron block after the fun, reliability and I have to say it, economy of the LS1.


The engine was courtesy of Vauxhall Monaro VRX with 12K on the clock. It was still in the car and running before I helped remove it and all checked out OK.

A small mod to the gear lever and it’s ready to drop in the new arrival.


Just cut off the gearlever mount and welded it back to the original position.

So that’s about it for now, I will post up a few pics when the new one arrives.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Hood Fitting

I started to fit the hood today as I want a bit of weather proofing before I go to Le Mans

First job is to lay the roof over the frame and centralise it


Two things you will need are plenty of ,masking tape, and duck/carpet tape.

Once it was centralised I fixed it at the front with carpet tape and stretched and glued it to the GRP moulding at the back. Then glued the front.



That’s it. You might of guessed by now that I forgot to take pictures again. but it’s all pretty straight forward, just lots stretching pulling and sticking. SimonR has a good write up about it (with plenty of pictures)

Side screens next.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

New Steering Wheel and Some Mods

Picked up a nice wooden steering wheel and boss from GD the other day. While I was fitting it I thought I might as well do the stalk mod and sort out the cancelling on the indicators.

The first stage was to take out the steering column and strip out the plastic stalks, these were then cut off


A hole is then drilled in the end and then tapped out with an M6 tap


The stainless steel stalk can then be screwed into the plastic stalk end


One done, just a repeat for the other side and put all the steering column back together.


Next on the list was to sort the indicator self cancelling out. One approach and probably the simplest is to insert two studs into the boss either side of the cancelling peg.


Simons Blog shows this quite nicely

I however opted for the method that Paul at GD uses which is to make a little bracket up and fix it to the boss using a couple of M5 caphead bolts. I don't think there is any difference in the workings of the two methods, so the choice is yours.


Some careful measuring is needed to determine the placing of the bracket and it’s length. Once that was done all that remained was to reinstall the column and fix the new wheel on.


On to the roof now.

Great Day At GD

I called in at GD the other day to pick up the soft top, steering wheel and a few other bits and bobs. When I arrived I was greeted by Andy complete with a couple of walking sticks. Apparently he had pulled his back while lifting a parcel (wimp).

It was a nice sunny day and Ian Stent, editor of Complete Kit Car was there to do a piece on the GD Cobra. Now unfortunately I didn’t have my camera so was unable to take any pics. but suffice to say we had a good old chat, and he nipped off in the GD demonstrator to take some arty shots.

While he was gone the guys from Holland turned up with a GT40 that they were attempting to get through IVA


Andy commented on the fact that the bodyshell would probably fit on their GDT70 chassis. So out came the tape measure and it wasn’t far off. Food for thought, Day dreaming Maybe GDGT40 Day dreaming

When Ian arrived back he wanted to do some action shots with the car moving. Now this is where it got interesting, Andy hobbles over and says “ would you like to drive the demonstrator while Ian hangs out the back of a car and takes some photos” Let’s just say he didn’t have to ask twice.

Action Shot 

Ian kindly sent me this shot.

Ian was also interested to hear about my build and asked me to send him a picture of myself and the car and he would put a little sub box thingy in with the article. He then went off to give it a good old test drive. When he got back he seemed quite impressed with the car, but we’ll have to wait and see what he writes in the article.

I’m not sure when the article is being published in Complete Kit Car but it’ll be one copy I’ll be buying.

So fame at last, I’m going to have to get an agent and everything, do you thing they’ll give me an Equity Card.Talk to the hand

So all in all a really good day. Ian was a really nice chap, as were the Dutch guys. We all sat and had lunch, talking cars and other blokie things, sun shining what more could you want. Just wish I’d had a camera. I thought of a few more bits I wanted and Paul made them while I waited (he’s another really nice chap)Winking and then went home to explain to the wife where I’d been all day.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Rear End Shot

Here you go Marcel Rear ender just for you.


And pic underneath without cherry bombs and turns.


!!!!! IVA PASSED !!!!!

Today was the big day, I turned up at the Nottingham test centre bright and early 8.30am for a 9.00am test,full of optimism and hope.


3 1/2 hours later it was all over and I had the very precious MAC certificate in my paws.


First time pass, better results than I got at school, they obviously didn’t teach the right subjects.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Gardner Douglas who have been more than helpful and met every question / need I had with a smile, advice and explanation regardless of how many were asked or how stupid.

Their enthusiasm for their product and brand is as genuine as it gets and is testament to the magnificent car you end up building.

GD logo

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Bonnet & Scoop Polished & Fixed--- Thoughts About The Next One…………

I gave the bonnet and scoop the Farecla treatment today and fixed it on with some M4 stainless bolts. 27 off the bl***y things. Just need that man from VOSA to call now. I suppose I’d better clean the garage up while I’m waiting.


The scoop is just for show really. I haven’t gone to the trouble of cutting the hole in the bonnet as the LS engines do not require the extra cooling or air intake for the carburettors. In fact Andy’s demonstrator at GD has the same set up, with no hole in the bonnet.

I have to say that the whole thing has been a truly enjoyable experience and I would recommend it to anybody.

As can be seen from the pic below I already have the donor for the next one. A 3.6 MK3 Manual XJS with powerlok diff.


I have already started to strip the front running gear with the rest being dismantled over the summer, ready for a winter build again.

I will be building another GD427 but will be going for a more classical look this time. Although I will be using another LS engine (probably an LS2 400hp+) so I know a few out there wont agree. But personally I think they are outstanding in performance, reliability and fuel economy which I am afraid is getting harder to ignore in today's market.

I have already had discussions with Andy regarding colours and build options and feel just as excited about it as I did this one.


Having said that I’m not sure if I will blog the whole build again as I didn’t make a brilliant job of blogging this one. I will though, be definitely posting updates as I go along.

So fingers crossed for the IVA. I already have the DVLA inspection booked for the 24th June, so barring anything disastrous at the IVA I should be all legal then and ready for Le Mans Classic.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Car Finished and Ready For IVA

Well that's it. I'm afraid that I have missed loads of the build stuff out due to no time to build the car, run the business and keep the blog up to date, suffice to say the blog has took the back seat. The car is now finished and awaiting it's IVA.


I just have the bonnet and scoop to polish and fix. A nice job for Sunday morning.



I went for a simple dash layout, note the labels that now have to be applied to identify what each switch does to comply with IVA regs.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Biting The Bullet

After finding every last little job to do except polish the body I could side step it no longer. I thought I’d secured the services of a master polisher to do it for me, but he didn’t materialise this weekend and as the IVA is looming in the next couple of weeks (hopefully) I set to on the hottest day of the year Cool with the buffer and lots of Farecla.


I used the Farecla Profile range, Paul at GD uses this and gets absolutely stunning results. You start with Profile 100 which will remove wet and dry marks from grade 800 and then work your way through the range using 200, 300, 500, Glaze or G10 and finally a nice wax.


I used Harly Wax is made from 100% Pure premium yellow Brazilian carnauba and gives a really nice shine.


While not as good as Paul's masterpieces I am very pleased with the end result considering my short attention span when it comes to polishing. Peace Sign

Time now to bolt all the bits back on and get those carpets in ready for the IVA.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Pedalbox Fitting

I’m not really going to say much about the fitting of the pedalbox because it would involve to many expletives. suffice to say it’s done.



The main problem is the weight of it and the tight confines of the space you are working in. Some people have used a spreader plate on the back, but I was happy with some large thick washers as the GRP is over 10mm thick at this point. There is also a strengthening bar that fits to the steering column support bar which I will fit at a later date. So all in all I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

On to the carpets now. I just hope you don’t have to take the b*?**y pedalbox out to fit them.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


One of the new requirements for IVA is the need for a headrest. This can either be built into the seat or fixed to the car in some way. There are various measurements and rules that have to be adhered to depending on which route you go down. If anybody wants to delve into it more, all the information can be found in the IVA Manual HERE

I decided to have seats without the headrests built in and GD provide a headrest that fix to the roll bar.


I think they looks quite smart, but unfortunately Mr IVA man says it is to small.

So I set about making some larger ones.

The first step was to make a template out of some card and then use it to cut some 12mm ply.


I then put a radius on the edge with a router and with help from a small chisel and some epoxy resin I captured some M10 nuts on the foam faced side of the ply.


Next I shaped a piece of 75mm thick foam to fit and stuck it on.


Then came the tricky bit of wrapping the vinyl around it. Using what I can only say was a lot of brute force and a very small amount of ignorance, I managed to stretch and pull it so that I was happy with the result.


All I needed to do then was trim off the access, cut a piece for the back and I was all done.


I am quite pleased with end result and they should be fine for the IVA, my fingers are a little sore from all the pulling though.


Just another one to do now Sigh

Pedalbox Arrival

I got the call from Andy at GD that I’d been waiting for on Thursday, The pedalbox was ready for collection Dancing


I have to admit that it is a very nice piece of engineering and bl*$*y heavy too, which should make for a few choice words when fitting it this week.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Put the symbols to work last night and added a couple to the stalk that controls the horn.