Friday, November 27, 2009

Original Parts Restored

Some of the original parts I am using on the new Supercar build. These parts were restored throughout the year while working on the frame and body.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Floor Panel

 Here is what the floor looked like when detached from the body of the red Supercar. Hard to believe that I actually paid monies for rust of this magnitude says my wife but I only envisioned a finished car with all new materials. I did not see the rust but rather a pattern for my new prototype.
 Before the frame and chassis was built I made a test floor out of 12 gauge steel. Very heavy and much stronger than needed so I decided to go with an aluminum diamond plate floor 1/8" thick at half the weight. Plenty strong. Stronger than the original 20 gauge floor. I will use the 12 gauge floor panel on another build. Nothing goes to waste especially since the price of metal has gone thru the roof.

 The floor was made as a one piece section but installation was difficult and so I cut it in two parts. Much easier to work with, removing only the section that requires attention. I made the floor different than the original. The floor, body and chassis is designed to be stronger than the original.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Body Frame

Once the chassis was built I began to build the body frame consisting of iron angle . I hand bent all the metal using only hand tools and a vise. Two vises actually as they took quite a beating. Not having all the proper tools, it was more difficult than I had imagined. I did get a good workout though. Again, this is my first build and did not imagine I would want to build another model after this experience. I thought, let me build the minicar I always wanted and get it out of my system. Then the minicar bug bit. Now, I need advanced tools to further my goals.

When frame was completed and was satisfied with the results, I often returned to improve or modify something. Learned in the process to identify the weak spots and improve on the design. Used the original idea while incorporating some of my own, reinforcing the new frame in different ways. Am using a Lincoln MIG 140 welder. Very good control and penetration up to 5/16" thick metal. Started out with flux core wire, then switched to the Super Arc wire. Better results with less cleaning involved.
Looking forward to TIG welding for advanced projects that require more precision. A good TIG machine can be many times the cost of a MIG machine but the investment is well worth it.

Having other models in my collection like the Ihle Bruchsal and the Speed King Racer helped me to use the best ideas of all the cars. They all have similar frame structure using iron angle, yet unique to their own design. So much material and parts available in the market today that the difficult part is choosing the best materials for your projects. Time frame and cost for materials vary greatly. It all depends on how far you want to take it. My cars are simple in design. I am basically repeating what has already been done. Just trying to refine the build a bit more and hopefully the final outcome will reflect that. Most importantly for me is how much fun I am having building them.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The difference

The Supercars were hand made and apparently had some design changes through the years that are very obvious. No two are alike. Both of my cars have a different (boat tail) rear lid. The first car has a full rear lid and the red one has a 1/2 or partial rear lid. The full lid would make it easier to work on the engine and the half lid was probably introduced when they started using electric motors due to easier maintenance.

The petrol engines would stall when hot and this gave the operators allot of trouble so they introduced electric motors for better reliability. I was told that the engine in the 1st car is very rare. But not sure if its a Villiers or a J.A.P. engine. There are no names just a serial # that no one can seem to trace and I have asked all over the world. The only other known engine like this one belongs to my friend Steve Bingham who owns and operates his restored Supercars in the UK. He uses them in fairground events as originally intended.
For a look at his site and his cars please click on the following link:
Canal & Vehicle Services Restoration & Repairs

The engine in the 2nd car is a Villiers engine that was originally used in a 2-man chain saw. Although Villiers is casted all over the engine it has a brass tag with a manufacturer of a saw Co. Seems like this engine was taken out of a saw machine and used to run the car or was going to be used to run the car. Since the red car came with no chassis I cannot say for sure if this engine was actually used on this car. I have consulted with engine experts and one of the engines is currently being worked on. The older engine is siezed and I am reluctant to force it in any way so it is being soaked in a special solution?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Supercar's 1 and 2

The first car has no floor and the body , well as you can see, is shot. The red car's body is in better shape and has most of its floor although severely rusted. At least I have a better idea of how it was laid out. The cars were acquired aprox . 6 months apart. After taking many pictures of them, I had to ask myself what I wanted to do with them. They are too large for display inside a home and I was really thinking of restoring and taking them to shows. Then I decided on building an entirely new car.

First car came with its chassis, Villiers 98cc petrol engine, front and rear axles, tires and rims. No steering column or steering wheel. The red car came with no chassis but had everything else including a steering column and wheel. I built the chassis from same material as the original, 1/4" thick iron angle . I also built a 3/8" thick aluminum angle chassis. My idea is to create two models. I am using the aluminum chassis for the Supercar (electric) and the steel chassis for a Scootatruck (gas).

The Supercar will be electric powered by a 36v PM motor. It is still quite heavy but not as heavy as the steel chassis. When I add the motor and all the batteries it will probably end up weighing as much as the steel chassis, possibly more. Since this is an ongoing project I will posts updates as time permits. 

Monday, August 3, 2009


  This is the second Supercar (red) found. Built by Supercar Co. LTD Coventry, England. I decided to build a new version of this model because of its simple and clean design. It also looks like a 30's Ford Roadster, one of my favorite cars. This is the largest build I am taking on and the boat tail design is proving to be very challenging. Slow and steady finishes the race.