"The Next One" - Handcrafted Mid-Engine Sports Car

I really appreciate everyone's enthusiasm on my Rhythm fabrication thread. That really shows the passion you guys have for not only your projects underway in your garages but as well as other members' rides. Thanks very much.

I had mentioned that I wanted to share a new project vehicle that was in progress. Like the first vehicle build, it's something that both my dad and I are involved with...I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Idea

Rhythm was in the final stages of assembly and as crazy as it sounds in the back of my mind I found myself already tossing around the idea of creating a second mid-engine vehicle. However, taking into account what had been learned over the course of the building Rhythm, I decided that if and when this new project began, fabrication would have to be approached from an entirely different perspective.

You may have previously seen that Rhythm’s body was essentially hammered and dollied out entirely by hand. While this sounds impressive and taught me how sheet metal behaves, it was immensely time consuming – not something I wanted to repeat. So an English wheel would have to be bought or built to help in creating the panels. I decided to build one. Also, with the next one, a fixture would have to be developed to not only provide a base for shaping the body panels, but to also ensure higher fabrication tolerances. These fixtures are usually referred to as bucks and can be created many ways including carving a full-scale shape out of foam or building a wooden buck. To meet our requirements we decided to create a wire frame buck. This buck would provide the flexibility to alter particular aspects of the design features relatively easily if it was ever necessary. To ensure that the buck was always square and remained true during the sheet metal shaping process an extremely rigid frame table was necessary. I dislike doing things over again, so the frame table was designed and built in such a way that it was fully adjustable in all 3 planes and to not only work for this project but for others as well.

Design Overview

Starting out as a fresh sheet of paper design, ‘the next one’ loosely resembles Rhythm. Simply called R2, the lines have been re-proportioned and tightened up resulting in a modern aggressive appearance. Since it’s being built as a driver, we want a final fit and finish that only a metal body can provide. An LS6/LS7 engine mated to a Porsche G50 transmission called for a redesign of the chassis for increased rigidity as well. Rolling on 275/35/R18s in the front & 315/30/R19s rear R2 is 28” shorter, 6” narrower, and a little over 900lbs lighter for a total weight of about 2800lbs. The final horsepower to weight ratio is expected to come in around 6lb/HP.

Here are the specifics:


Creating the Wire Frame Buck

Once R2’s final design was established and renderings completed 2-dimensional construction drawings were created. These were then taken to a print shop and scaled to full size side, top, front & rear views and posted on our shop’s ‘build board’. Then the exciting part began. To create the wire frame buck, the wheelbase, engine/transmission, seating position, and front windscreen locations were set using sliding jigs on the frame table based on design dimensions from a common datum point. Construction of the wire frame buck began by simultaneously working with four drawings and translating reference dimensions from the ‘build board’ into 3D and 'stump shaping' steel rods, square-stock, and flarbar to match the appropriate feature curves.

Initial 20 minute mockup... I grabbed some parts from storage to get an idea of the new proportions. Ahh.. no worries, those won't be the final wheels... :D


We're into the thick of it with the fabrication of the wire frame buck. The various lengths of box tubing were fabricated to slide along the frame table, then lock into place at set positions. Other lengths were tacked to them.


To make room for another job, R2 is rolled out of the bay and covered up. At this point, with most of the wire frame completed, the tarp actually created a temporary surface on the buck and outlined some of the body lines.


Just to clarify, the wire frame is a temporary structure. Once all the inner & outer panels have been created it will be removed and all the panels re-assembled on their own.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 
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obi_waynne

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This will be interesting (pulls up a chair and pours a coffee waiting for the next isntallment.)

I don't think the cardboard gearbox will be strong enough though?;)
 

old-git

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I don't think the cardboard gearbox will be strong enough though?;)

Oh, I don't know. You have to bear in mind, Waynne, that it is only an American V8 in front of it and they struggle to get 100bhp/litre out of them - this is only 72 :) As long as the box is reinforced with corrogated braces there shouldn't be a problem.
 
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invision

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Oh, I don't know. You have to bear in mind, Waynne, that it is only an American V8 in front of it and they struggle to get 100bhp/litre out of them - this is only 72 :) As long as the box is reinforced with corrogated braces there shouldn't be a problem.

Easy there gents! I know you guys are biased with respect to European power...but we here in NA are trying to go green and up-cycle. Reusing cracked blocks and corrugated automotive components are the way to go these days. :p

In the up coming posts you'll also be exposed to a mountain of metal work...no carbon fibre or glass panels here. We're after a fit and finish that only a sheet metal body can provide :D Buckle up...hope you guys enjoy the ride.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

old-git

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Easy there gents! I know you guys are biased with respect to European power...but we here in NA are trying to go green and up-cycle. Reusing cracked blocks and corrugated automotive components are the way to go these days. :p

In the up coming posts you'll also be exposed to a mountain of metal work...no carbon fibre or glass panels here. We're after a fit and finish that only a sheet metal body can provide :D Buckle up...hope you guys enjoy the ride.

Well, as long as it's recycled corrugated :)

Even though I am a fibre glass man, I am jealous of all the metal working toys available. I am looking forward to following this build.
 

invision

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Well, as long as it's recycled corrugated :)

Even though I am a fibre glass man, I am jealous of all the metal working toys available. I am looking forward to following this build.


You may have me there on 'recycled' corrugated ... hmmm :blink1:

I'm on the other side of the coin Old-git. I have a lot of respect for those that know what they're doing with fibreglass... I've seen the results of when an inexperienced hand builds a vehicle from glass... Car was rolled out into the sun mid-summer for the primer to bake ... due to the heat ... roof kinda leaned over a bit... @_@ And it was soo close to paint....

I stick to what I know... and thats moving metal. Saying that though...the interior will have plugs made...molds taken and glass panels created in an effort to save weight. I may be picking your brain on proper techniques buddy. :D
 

invision

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With the car's buck back in the shop and that great looking tarp gone, we're starting to fabricate body panels. In regards to the hood, hatch, and door openings independent wire frame sections were created and bolted into the holes. Decided to start with the more straight forward structural sheet metal components that will support the exterior sheet metal skin.



Templates are created from drawings dimensions and the wire frame. Since everything is identical from side to side - only revered... ie. rockers, inner wheel wells, A-Pillars, etc only one template is created and then transposed onto the sheet metal. Depending on the what structural components are being created we're running with 18GA & 22 GA



This is the rocker cover after being transposed from the template with the interior lip created after being run though the tipping wheel...with a soft lower wheel.



The blue line indicates the second exterior bend of the door seal step. The first exterior bend is 11/16" to the left of the blue line...one down and one up.. as per the shape needed.



Then using a shrinker/stretcher, the lips are stretched and shrunk to create the appropriate curvatures. Doing this a series of times and putting the different pieces together gives you this...



Here's a shot of the driver and passenger side door openings. With the wire door frame sections removed, the almost complete jam perimeter panels have been temporarily 'pinned' into place on the buck.



__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

invision

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The beginnings of the rear cab wall. Pieces are laid out on the sheet metal in such a way as to reduce waste, yet created as large as possible to eliminate fitting and welding multiple pieces together.



Rear wall with final forming complete. The beads put in with the bead roller before the ends were rolled over.



Rear wall temporarily pinned into place with some self drilling self tapping metal screws to the jams and floor pans which were created earlier. This method allows the piece to be removed if necessary for tweaking. An old seat thrown in to add some perspective inside the cab.



Creating the drivers side scoop for ducting air into the rads. Once the desired shape is attained with cardboard, it's translated onto sheet metal.



Completed drivers side scoop shaped, welded and installed. The flange will be incorporated and fixed to the engine compartment's interior panels later.

 

invision

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2009 RTM
Working on my tan with that great little arc...while welding together the front moisture trough.





Once the front trough pieces were created they were tacked together.



Carefully controlling the metal in the heat affected zone(HAZ) while welding the front trough to eliminate warpage.







Tipping one of the flanges on the wiper mechanism cover.



Using the foot actuated shrinker/stretcher I built, the curve created after tipping up the flange is straightened on the cover.



With the pieces installed...it's slowly shaping up.



Rear hatch perimeter complete.

As a little side note, after completing the front moisture trough...I wasn't happy with the way it looked. So it was redone. ;) More photos on this area later...
 

RedGriffin

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I'm impressed with the bodybuilding skills and looking at that lump of engine block I hope your engineering skills are as impressive, if that gives an indicate as to the driving power to come.
 

invision

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Thanks for the thumbs up on the metal shaping Red :)

... and looking at that lump of engine block I hope your engineering skills are as impressive, if that gives an indicate as to the driving power to come.

I hope so too ;)

That lump was a SBC350 I had laying around ... only using it as a mock up to give guys who stop by for a shop tour some relativity when they look inside the engine bay. We've got an LS6 slotted to be dropped into that big hole in the near future.

Thanks for looking :D

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

invision

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Points
202
Location
Ontario, Canada
Car
2009 RTM


Once the rear cab wall was fabricated and located the rear cab mounts were created. Since these will be supporting a little more than 50% of the cab's weight, they have to be tied into the sub structure really well.



D/S front kick panel being measured up....



... fabricated and installed. Ran with same gauge as the cab mounts since this area will also be supporting the cab and door hinges.



Horizontal DOM impact/support beam mocked up.

After temporarily pinning these panels in place work on the doors began...



Inner door shells tacked together. Exterior skins will be created later and then hemmed over the perimeter flanges.



Inner door shell gapped and installed. Access and mount holes will be created once impact beams, latch and hinge mounts have been fabricated.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

RedGriffin

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Impressive as it is, I don't see anything that would give any ensurity to the needed body strengthing element to this project, unless I am missing a critical piece of this jigsaw. (only thinking about your future wellbeing).
 

invision

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Impressive as it is, I don't see anything that would give any ensurity to the needed body strengthing element to this project, unless I am missing a critical piece of this jigsaw. (only thinking about your future wellbeing).

All in due time my good Sir :D

The body and chassis have both been designed to work together as stressed members with integrated front and rear impact zones. The doors have tubular impact beams to protect the occupants from side impacts.

And I do thank you for your sincere concern.

Cheers!
__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 
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bigbadjoe

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I wish I could design things like that. Id love to build my own car.

Come to think about it, there would be more chance a car building and creating there very own BBJ then me creating one of them! :p

She is looking good. Can't wate to see the end product.
 

invision

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Thanks guys!

Yeah, I can't wait to get the car done too. With one scratch built car under my belt all I can say it takes a pile of hours and attention to many details people don't think of. I see the end result in my head and just work towards it...at times pulling all nighters just to push things along.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

RedGriffin

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Dedication is the path to success and following your project I feel that not only will the end product be a work of art, but that you will, with your determination succeed in your endevours. Heres to the car on the road.
 

BlueCruiser

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wow this is an awesome project you have going! i someday hope to be able to do this, but being a young guy, i have a lot of learning ahead of me. this would be an amazing thing to be part of. look forward to the future installments of your project. good luck!!
 

invision

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Ontario, Canada
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2009 RTM
wow this is an awesome project you have going! i someday hope to be able to do this, but being a young guy, i have a lot of learning ahead of me. this would be an amazing thing to be part of. look forward to the future installments of your project. good luck!!

Thanks buddy!

There's no better way to learn than by getting into what you want to do then learn as you go. Saying that, the most important aspect to any project is laying out a realistic plan for a custom ride based on your budget...with an established timeline... and then jump in with both feet.

For my first vehicle build I set up a 10 year plan...which at the time sounded crazy, but allowed me to develop my skillset at the same time I was building . Looking back, I see it as an apprenticeship. There are a lot of cases where guys skipped the planning stage or created an unrealistic budget before starting a project and after some time they basically lost interest in what they were building.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :D
__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

invision

Torque Junkie
Points
202
Location
Ontario, Canada
Car
2009 RTM
Getting back to R2's build...

Once the engine compartment opening was determined and the moisture trough surround created, fabrication on the hatch's substructure began. Profiles of the perimeter areas were created and dimensions were transposed onto sheet metal. Then the fun part came next...actually forming the sheet metal.


Here, after the pieces were formed, the hatch sections are being fitted together and prepped for scribing.


A section of the substructure is dropped into the opening for the initial fit.


Substructure welded together and approaching completion. Flipped over for some hammer and dollie work.


Hatch tacked to the wire frame buck for some additional pieces to be completed. Still need to do some hammer and dollie work to even out the HAZ.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

invision

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Ontario, Canada
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2009 RTM
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years holiday. :bigsmile:

Moving onto the rear of the vehicle now. While some pieces were already created, such as the wheel tubs and scoops, structural pieces needed to be fabricated. After the templates are produced they are laid out to best utilize the sheet metal.


A picture of one of the channel box member pieces. The shapes of some of these pieces get a little interesting at times.


Pieces, pieces and more pieces...


Rear sub-structure have been almost completed and mocked up. The rear wheels will take up most of the space in the wheel well hole.


Now the pieces need to be tweaked, mated and welded to one another.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

Jagz

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I will follow this thread with interest, I am doing something similar myself but just cheating and using the tub of an existing car, I watched your last creation and thought it was superb.

It might not look to everyones taste, but everyone can certainly admire the engineering and skill going into a project like this.

Well done
 

invision

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Points
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Location
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2009 RTM
I will follow this thread with interest, I am doing something similar myself but just cheating and using the tub of an existing car, I watched your last creation and thought it was superb.

It might not look to everyones taste, but everyone can certainly admire the engineering and skill going into a project like this.

Well done

Thanks Jagz :D

I wouldn't consider it cheating if one uses the tub of an existing vehicle if it lends itself to what you want to create. Saves a pile of work and fabrication time. I look forward to seeing what you're building...you should start a build thread.
 

RedGriffin

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Happy New Year.

I see things have moved on at a pace I hope you gave yourself a break for the festive holiday. Studying the lastest additions to your design will it be a rear or mid engined. If it is to be mid engined access to the power module seems a little restricted, but if it is to be rear engined has sufficent consideration been taken as to the front ballast. Your product has certainly attracted an audience on this side of the pond how long do you anticipate until completion. I look forward to the next chapter.
 

invision

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Points
202
Location
Ontario, Canada
Car
2009 RTM
Happy New Year to you to Red :)

Had a great time over the holidays catching up with family, a bit/lot of eating :bigsmile:, and working on some projects ... including R2.

..... Studying the lastest additions to your design will it be a rear or mid engined.

Regarding your question, check out the title of this thread :D

Cheers!

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

invision

Torque Junkie
Points
202
Location
Ontario, Canada
Car
2009 RTM
Continuing on with fabricating the doors and hinges for R2...

After the inner door shells were spaced and mounted into the openings work on the hinges and impact beams could begin.



The plan was to create a hollow hinge so that the door's control wires could pass through leaving a clean jam perimeter. The second challenge was to have the doors open diagonally upwards (butterfly) through the use of a single pivot pin. Here's the door opening for the first time on the new hinge...will it work?



Success! The door swings up as designed. Now to install some cylinders to make the swing effortless. Open 3/4 of the way already provides sufficient space to get in the vehicle comfortably. The door can be finalized with the installation of the latch, window frame, glass and handles...later on.



Thanks for looking.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

invision

Torque Junkie
Points
202
Location
Ontario, Canada
Car
2009 RTM
Can't help but being amazed at what you are doing, truly superb :cool:

love the doors

Thanks very much Gents.

With one-off projects such as this, one can't anticipate every single little fabrication detail prior to starting. You get an idea of where you want to go, aim, then shoot for it.

In the case of the doors, I wanted butterfly doors on this car. Ideas as they say are the easy part...the work is in executing those ideas. The exterior cut lines/door seams were determined on the 2D drawing and then established on the wire frame buck. They looked 'right'.

So then as you guys saw, the jams were created...followed by the door shells. It was upon designing the hinge in 'real-space' that we learned the A-Post door seam didn't quite work where it was .... by about 3/4"/19mm ... at the top edge...can you believe it?! Sooo, we had to back up a little, make some adjustments to the curvature of the jam and door shell...on both sides so that it still looked 'right', then proceed with the hinge fabrication.

Thanks again for visiting the 'funny farm' :confused: ...more on the way.

__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

invision

Torque Junkie
Points
202
Location
Ontario, Canada
Car
2009 RTM
Firewall located and installed. The tunnel which was temporarily removed needs to be trimmed before going back in.


A view of how the inner fender protrudes into the cab. The frame will shoot diagonally past the front of the hole you see under the inner fender


Inner front fender mocked up for the first time after being created by the english wheel. A little tweaking here and there will have it sitting where it needs to be. Now onto the other one...only in reverse!


Fabricating the seat rail supports.


__________________
Nick M.

A journey in design and fabrication begins with a vision, a single pen stroke ... and in some cases the blow of a hammer.

Some projects: http://www.facebook.com/iNVisionPrototypes
 

RedGriffin

Wrench Pro
Points
23
Location
UK, Castleford
Car
Corsa D CDTI 1.7SRI
We all hope that we have the capability of creating a work of art once in our lifetime. Following your product gives me hope that one day I will acheive that quest, but in the meantime, I enjoy following your endevour as much as you enjoy showing the world your skills. What do you envisage will be the completion timescale.
 
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