Super 7 finished and licensed!

After many months, lots of do-overs, the car is finally finished.

I did all the body work, priming, painting, new windshield, upholstery, and everything else to get the car to where it could be registered and licenses. A very painful process in the State of Texas. Rather than going over all the details, here is a video telling the whole story.

Windshield, front fenders, trunk and shop.

Been a while. Needed to make a windshield frame and wanted to have something different than just a flat sheet of glass. Before I could position frame, needed to mount wiper motor. 20170403_113008.jpg


I also was able to form the trunk. Now have a covered trunk and license plate holder. Trunk lid opens and will have to fabricate inside housing later.



Next I needed to make some front fenders. Tried using trailer fenders, not wide enough. Tried forming using foam and fiberglass. Foam melted from heat. Eventually came up with this solution.

Take 3/4″ tube and bend around tire for proper radius.


Cut tube in half on band saw


Weld in spacer between two halves.


Fabricate bracket off of wheel frame to support fender


Then use roller on sheet metal to create radius for fender


Clamp metal to fender frame and tack weld.20170530_113517.jpg

Temp mount both fenders for position


Also made some mods to the shop. Move the lift to a better position, cut the welding table in half and got a new Tig welder. 20170503_134724.jpg


I now have all the welding equipment I need, Plasma cutter, Tig Welder (aluminum and steel), Mig welder with Aluminum spool gun and oxy acetylene.  Of course the welding table now has table for tig welding. (Need to learn to tig weld next).


Peddles, Seats,Tilt Hood, Trunk and Fenders

Making progress.  I had had to move the peddles forward about 6″. This meant eliminating the brake booster and getting a different peddle assembly. Peddles are very close as the foot well narrows the farther up you go but at least now I can straighten my legs.

After that, I worked on the seats. I had to make them slightly narrower and I shortened them by 8″. I also added a seat track to the drivers side and mounting brackets for passenger seat.

As any builder who is building a car you look for inspiration from other builders.  I saw a car that basically tilted the entire hood forward and then decided to join my front cowl and the hood I had fabricated from scratch as one piece and then hinge it so it would open as one piece.  This involved temporarily fastening them together and then joining them together using a cardboard beam that was then covered with fiberglass to make a structural component.  After assembling them, it was time to move on to the body work to cover up the raw fiberglass.

I also needed to make a grill for the front.  I fabricated one out of 1/4″ rod and 3/16″ rod for the horizontal bars.

Next I needed to build a frame for the trunk. Although it will be small, it will at least provide someplace to store my stuff.  It is always nerve racking welding over a gas tank.  I covered the gas tank with wet towel but that did not always work.  At one point I smelled something burning and it was a corner of the towel that had dried out.  Glad that part is over.

And I was able to finish welding the rear fenders (with some help from Brian). Still need to do some work but just getting them set was a challenge.

Still to do.  Fabricate the back half of the body work, top for dash, windshield, lights front fenders, upholstery, interior and a whole lot of other stuff.

Dash, exhaust, fenders and seats

Finished the sheet metal on the interior, got muffler and reworked exhaust. Started fender fabrication by figuring how much I had to widen them. Also the racing seats were just not going to work so managed to get two Diablo seat shells from a friend. A little fiberglass work and they fit.



The S2000 exhaust would not work for this car. I cut everything off at the header and fabricated new headers into a 3.5″ collector. I simply routed it out the side. Will add a muffler in the future.  Was able to salvage the heat shield for the headers (not shown in the pictures)

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Engine In

Finally got the engine mounted, all brake lines, clutch lines, fuel lines, emergency brake are installed. Still need a couple radiator fittings before that can be checked off.  Did get body panels mounted as well. Still need to fabricate hood that will clear engine. Oh, yes, just a few wiring issues to resolve.

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Body Panels (made from fleece) and Floors

As mentioned in previous posts, I wanted to do a little something different from the pop riveted aluminum panels on the side. I heard that you could use fleece stretched over a frame and then covered with resin, you could make a shape. Then add layers of fiberglass cloth to build up the panel.

20150702_141625I started by building a frame with a body line that I could use.  I then covered the frame with regular fleece (you know like sweatshirt material). I used heavy duty cord to stretch it tight in all directions.


Next I soaked the fleece with fiberglass resin. and then applied two layers of fiberglass cloth.




20150711_14171520150711_14173820150712_113731 End result was a removable panel that will be finished with body filler for the final shape.





Next It was time to paint the chassis.20150925_111718 20150925_123845 20150925_123807


After paint, time to make a template for the floors, Mark the aluminum, trial fit and then pop rivet in place. I know have floors.

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Fantastic Diablo Roadster for Sale $60K – SOLD!


A friend of mine is selling his Diablo Roadster. This is a fantastic car with LS1 engine on a replica chassis. Car is currently on eBay for $60K.  This car was originally listed for well over $100K

eBay sale is closed but if you want more detail, see

California Diablo

eBay listing

Radiator and Front Cowl

The front cowl that I use was meant for a model that had a smaller frame.  It was necessary to widen it over 4 inches.  This involved several steps. Having worked with fiberglass before, it was no big deal to use temporary bracing and screws to secure it in place, A little fiberglass matte, resin, time, some duraglass and  sandpaper got the rough cowl together.20150430_15455020150430_15450920150501_13270420150507_122610

Now it was time to find a radiator that would fit in the space.  Thanks to different forums, I selected a 1993 Volvo 240 radiator.

Next because there was no mounting points, it was necessary to design and fabricate the necessary fixtures and still leave room for a fan. (Yet to be purchased).


Recap and progress

This is a typical Lotus Super 7.

Caterham Lotus Super 7 Roadsport I am going for something a little different.


This is what I am basing my design on. Because it is a Right hand drive car and I flipped it in the picture, ignore the license plate reading backward.


Because this is not typical, there was no place to mount the taillights so I had to fabricate the entire back end of the car.  This turned out to be more complex than I had figured but think it will look good when done.





You will notice that instead of the standard roll bar, I decided to go with two loops.

I welded tubes to the chassis and will later adjust the height to match the seats.

20150417_10335020150409_13332320150409_13331320150417_102656Next thing was the fenders. I found steel fenders at Tractor Supply but they were not quite the needed radius so I decided to notch them and make a smaller radius.  Made notches every 10 degrees, reshaped and welded.  Here are steps involved.


I have totally removed everything from the car back to the bare chassis and will be looking to paint the chassis next.  Unless I change my mind.