The CAD for the new bodywork is done. (There are still some bulges and creases to iron out, but that can wait until the panel beating stage).
The bodywork has been formed around the standard Haynes Roadster chassis. The lights are missing from the model, but the rear ones are taken off an old Fiat Punto and the front side lights are from a Nissan Juke.
Although it maybe hard to tell, there is also a tailgate from a modern VW Beetle and a windscreen from an Toyota MR2 hiding in there too.
I haven’t quite worked out how the doors are hinged, mainly because the standard chassis rails will limit the access. At present a conventional hinge is winning, but tall people might need a physio therapist upon exit.
The plan is to make a full sized model from MDF and expanded foam. This will be used to form the panels for the real body.
I wanted something that wasn’t emulating something else and wasn’t too retro. I felt that the last attempt was like a TVR that had been melted. The modern crisp lines of the BMW Z4 were quite an inspiration, but remember the Locost chassis is very small, even smaller than the Mazda MX3. The driving seat is a long way back, with the engine almost centrally mounted; which when you have already spent months building a chassis, makes styling fairly restrictive. Some of the crease lines, hard to tell I know, were supposed to echo the lines of the old ‘clam-shell’ wings you see on Lotus super 7’s. A couple of the initial sketches, which ended up in the bin, looked like the old Marcus Mantula and this wasn’t my goal.
It is -4°, icy and raining outside today and the idea of a enclosed body and roof has obvious appeal over a Caterham.