But of a yarn to start, but bear with me...!
I had a nice Westy a few years back... SEiW with a pretty highly-tuned XE engine:
Much fun was had with it, then @mauricibought it off me and we became great friends!
I was Westfield-less for a bit, but then bought another via Luke @Plays-Kool. This time a more simple car, SEW with tuned 1.8 Zetec - the Canary:
Once again, much fun was had, but I wanted something else to play with... So I bought the below item to put into it over winter:
A 2012 CBR1000RR engine with a Stage 4 head, courtesy of Mr @mark.anson
Andy Bates reckons these make ~180bhp at the hubs with a good installation (increased power over the bike due to non-restrictive exhaust packaging and improved igniton map) so that's, er, pretty exciting. With a 3.54 diff and 205/60r13 tyres that means 64mph in 1st and 128mph at the top of 6th, perfection!
However, Maurici then sold his car and made a very sensible offer for the Canary. So it trundled off on a trailer down to Crewe and I felt a bit sad (can you see the theme here? )
Well, it continues. Weights of the Westfields I'd owned came down from 590kg to 520kg and with each step I noticed the car became even more alive. So, I decided to go all out and build something very light. This meant an SE, preferably a rolling chassis but a complete car would do. A bit of Whatsapping with @tkm_dave via @John led to a phone call to Luke @ Plays-Kool again and then this ended up in my possession. Behold, the Lobster!
I was happy about this:
It's a very early 1988 SE which was put on the road in July 1992, but doesn't seem to have done much work at all since (the clocks show around 9200 miles and it's been dry stored for over 10 years). I like how the W has been squashed in before the SE!
It came with most of the car minus engine, gearbox and prop - quite a lot of stuff to sort through!
Why the Lobster? Well. It's a pretty fetching shade of red / orange / brown
On second thoughts, maybe I should call it the La Langosta because Maurici will probably end up buying this one off me at some point too
It WAS red once, honest! (Peeled some stickers off to check)
What's the plan? Well, I couldn't resist chucking it on the scales to start. As it is there with rear axle, brakes, steering rack & column, wheels, wishbones, roll bar, etc it came out to 243kg. The wheels and tyres I plan to use take nearly 20kg off that. It also has M16 calipers with meaty discs, and steel front hubs, so I'd guess I'm starting at somewhere around 220kg once I swap them out. How much am I going to put in? Well the engine weighs 70kg, not sure about the rest of the stuff but I doubt it'll be more than 150kg.
So that's my target - a genuine sub-450kg car without spending loads of cash on specially lightweight bits and all the carbon Mr Mickmade can muster! A no-frills build - but with some nice bits in what I deem to be the important areas: ergonomics, brakes, handling. It'll get used on the road so it needs to be completely usable in that respect, but also at home on track and given the power:weight should end up a very quick sprint car, with as much of the work done 'in-house' as possible.
It's going to be a 2 stage build; first up I'll get it working mechanically with the current bodywork, then chuck it through an MOT so I can drive it a bit and learn the car. Then stage 2 will be a strip back down for titivation (either a new set of bodywork or a respray, probably) and any tweaks needed to the mechanicals.
I've got quite a lot of the bits either on the way or already in the workshop, but the next few months look pretty busy so I think it'll be a case of chipping away rather than huge leaps forward.
I'll update when important things happen, not going to take photos of every fine detail because these write-ups take as long as working on the car otherwise!
A big thanks to all the guys tagged in this post for helping me get thus far