Hi all – though that some of you may be interested in my other project: a Reliant Scimitar SS1 of 1985 vintage. Originally this was fitted with a Ford 1600 CVH engine (about 85bhp) but over the course of the last 4 years I’ve replaced it with a Ford Zetec 1800 engine (108bhp as measured on a rolling road). Along the way I’ve rebuilt the suspension (polyurethane bushes throughout & new shock absorbers), modified the interior (MX5 seats & sports steering wheel – it still needs finishing off), replaced the sills (I had someone do this for me), fitted a roll bar, new exhaust, new inlet manifold & carb, new radiator & fan (both from a VW Polo).
I bought the car in 2008 & finally got it back on the road in June this year (2013) – it’s a great feeling driving a car you’ve put such a lot into, much the same way as it’s a great feeling riding a bike you’ve built up yourself.
I had various problems getting the car to run correctly as fitting a single carb onto a Zetec engine isn’t the route that most car builders follow – most prefer to use fuel injection, twin 40/45 Weber carbs or a set of bike carbs/throttle bodies. I’ve used a Megajolt ignition system which sends the sparks (via the coil pack) to the correct spark plug at the correct time. I was hoping to keep things simple – not that it turned out to be simple at all – hence the decision to use the single carb. The manifold is designed for banger racing as fuel injection isn’t allowed in certain classes of banger racing. Wiring the Megajolt up appeared daunting at first but turned out to be pretty simple in the end (though my friend Muhammad did most of it so the credit should go to him). Other than that most of it was just nuts & bolts & altering/adapting & moving items so that they’d fit in a different position or mate up to something they weren’t really designed to mate up to in the first place.
Since getting it back on the road I’ve had the car rolling road tuned which was really needed to get the best out of it, the power run gave a figure of 108bhp (limited somewhat by the single carb & the restrictive exhaust). So the car’s not outrageously powerful but it is quite light (the body panels are either glass-fibre or plastic) so the fairly small amount of power goes quite a long way – it’s deceptively fast & will comfortably keep up with modern much more powerful, but much heavier, cars. It also handles extremely well & being rear wheel drive it’s great fun belting round corners & roundabouts
I like the car & feel that the effort has been worthwhile. I get a buzz every time I drive it even though it’s not the most relaxing/quietest of cars I’ve ever driven (understatement).
On with some photos:
¾ view - one of the best views of the car I think. The car is generally considered to be ugly in the extreme & a hideous thing to drive - while I don't think it's the best looking car in the world it certainly isn't the worst looking car I've ever seen & it's great fun to drive which, surely, is the whole point of a car like this??
Engine - inlet side
Engine – exhaust side
Boot - there’s a compartment underneath the boot floor that holds the battery, fuel pump relay/fuses & tools. So the space you see is the space you can use for luggage carrying, it’s surprisingly roomy. The alloy panel allows me to access the petrol sender without me having to remove the whole boot box.
The under floor boot compartment minus tools
There you have it – thanks for looking & if you have any questions give me a shout & I’ll do my best to answer them