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Author: Subject: It's really quiet...
hughpinder

posted on 11/6/19 at 09:44 AM Reply With Quote
When I first came on here that was a lot of discussion about various design aspects - people trying to decide if round tube or square was better, exhaust tuned lengths etc etc, but mostly people can just search the existing forum discussions to get the answer now, so less of that sort of question.

I think people do not accept the cheap bits that were used at one time - builds seem to be about 12k with most bits bought rather than scavanged and that must put people off.

The discussion on whether people can afford a house has interested me a bit, as the flat which was my first home was sold last year. Since I am an old git and an engineer I did some calculations to see if this is true: the price had increased by 4.5*, but that doesn't mean you need 4.5* the salary!

I graduated in 1985 with a degree in chemical engineering at Birmingham university. I started on quite a bad salary for my degree, but got pay rises at the end of the 3 months trial, 6 months and 12 months, at which time my salary was 7000pa
I paid 40000 for the flat, last year it sold for 180000, so apparently a 4.5* increase. (I could only get the mortgage as my girlfriend (now wife) had a job offer and only a couple of months from finishing her degree). One of my friends was 'rather well off' and his mum bought him a bedsit in Kensington which cost 250k in 1985 and now about 1.2 million, so I suspect 4-5 times multiplier is normal.

In the same time the 'cost of living index' has gone from 55 to 137 a 2.5* increase.
In the same time the 'retail price index' went from 96 to 285.5 a 2.97* increase, so I suppose everything should cost 2.5 to 3 times as much in pounds

However income tax, NI and interest rates have changed a lot since then -
'basic rate' tax started at 2205 pa and was 30 %, now 12500 and 20%
'NI allowance' was 35.50 per week and rate was 9%, now 166 pw and 12%

I paid 10% deposit and 9% pa interest rate, so crunching all the above numbers I had 5396 pa after tax/NI and paid 9% on a 36k mortgage over 25 yrs =3634 pa, so my disposable income was 1768 pa - I did a lot of overtime for the few months until my other half started working!

To do the same with the same flat now - 180k minus 10% deposit, interest rate 3.9% as first mortgage = 711 pcm or 8532 pa. allow for my' disposable income * the highest of RPI/CLI' and you would need an after tax salary of 13765 or a gross salary of 15041.

Minimum wage for 21-24 yr olds 7.70 per hour, so full time with paid holidays is 16k, so in full 'grumpy old man' mode, someone on minimum wage working full time, could buy a home as "easily" as I could. Ok, that is in Luton which is not the most expensive place to live obviously.

Or, you could say lower end graduate salary for my course now is 25000, = 20400 after tax, minus 8532 mortgage gives disposable income of 11.8k which is actually equivalent to about 70% of my net salary back then allowing for RPI, or support a mortgage now of 320k and be as badly off as I was! It might be a little tricky arranging a mortgage at 12* salary though.

Conclusion:
Grumpy old git mode justified :-)

It would be interesting to see how other peoples numbers turned out.

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Charlie_Zetec

posted on 11/6/19 at 10:11 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by phelpsa
quote:
Originally posted by phelpsa
P.s. Here's what i've been upto this weekend....




[Edited on 17-3-19 by phelpsa]


In case anyone is interested, here's what it's been doing 2 months later.....





Random question, but are they Carling switches on your dash? I've got some in my Landy, but never seen them used on a 7 before - trying to figure out if I like the look of them or not?!?





Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

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907

posted on 11/6/19 at 04:25 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rusty nuts
quote:
Originally posted by Nile_rt
I think you're being a bit harsh on the "younger generation". Most people I know in their 20s and 30s struggle to afford to buy a house. Building or even owning a kit car is a luxury most young people can't afford.


Most of them have the latest phone that needs to be surgically removed!





I'd bet a pound to a penny that over time the latest phone costs more than scratch building a car.

Paul G





Member of the Suttol Owners Club, the MX5 Owners Club and the BMMC

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907

posted on 12/6/19 at 04:22 AM Reply With Quote
It's not just the Locost forum, it's the Locost scene in general.

Remember the pub meets, the BBQ's, and all the shows we met up at. There was something every few weeks.

Virtually nothing now, in fact I haven't bothered to tax & insure the Suttol this year, although before the insurance expired I did MOT it.


We held a village "Cars on the Green" show last summer but that was the only outing the car had. 1 mile there and 1 mile back.







Member of the Suttol Owners Club, the MX5 Owners Club and the BMMC

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G13BLocost

posted on 12/6/19 at 07:05 AM Reply With Quote
I think if I read another post blaming the "young generation" I am going to spit out my cornflakes.

I am probably one of the youngest members on this forum and I am going on 30!

The world is a very different place from the one where you could build a sports car for 250 and all it required was an MOT.

CARS have changed. You can't by a Mk1/Mk2 escort donor for 50 anymore and get everything you need to put a car on the road. A carb'd crossflow was an easy engine to get running and given you HAD to work on them most people weren't scared of them and had a loose knowledge of how they worked.

I think the IVA test, and distantly the SVA test, has had a large role to play in crippling the scene and raising the cost of building a car. This was never going to be apparent the day these tests were implemented, people who had been building their car for 15 years weren't going to stop right there on the spot, but what we are seeing now has been a long delayed response.

Why build a Lotus 7 when you can by an MX5 for cheap that is already on the road? In hindsight, I wouldn't.

If I hadn't fallen in love with these cars watching them at Silverstone I could have saved myself an incredibly large chunk of my life!





Between Building Robots, Building Cars, Playing D&D and Walking Dogs, I have no time at all!

Long time car builder and ex-F1 engineer; no silly questions please.

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02GF74

posted on 17/6/19 at 07:21 PM Reply With Quote
I'll take a moment to reply to each point and you will have to spit out your coco pops

Firstly do you really believe that even when the Ron Champignon book came out in 1996, that you could build a sports car for 250? If uncle Jim was scrapping his mk2 escort so let you have it for free and Aunty Sally had moved out of her caravan so you could have it for the aluminium panels, I doubt even then that it would be possible.

If the book was titled "Build your own sportscar for 2,500", how many copies do you think it would have sold? In case
you haven't figured it out, the 250 is BS.

Also bear in mind that 250 back then is more like 500, still woefully inadequate.

The techmology, in particular in engine management, has moved on over the intervening years with electronics replacing carburettors.
Yes, ofcourse it is more complex but there are options to either use the donor or after market, the popular models of the latter
have their own support forums. That is a massive help and can be overcome.

Back in the day if you needed some information, you had to read through the Haynes manual or if you were lucky, could ask your mate Tony, now you search the now you can search the internet or can post a question on one of the many forums and it would be very rare not to have an answer and pretty quick too. Back then if Tony did not know or it was not covered in the Haynes book, you were stumped.

IVA and SVA are unfortunately necessary evils, would you be happy sharing the roads with dangerous cars, or be driving one?
Admittedly there are tests that IMO are a frankly ridiculous, namely sharp edges but overall it is not a bad thing.

I will agree that it has put up the cost of building and there was a noticeable drop in builds post IVA, not much we can do about but I guess grateful that it is still possible to build your own car, many countries in Europe won't allow it.

Ultimately it is down to time and money, it does take some effort and it will cost, both of which you have some control over.

Anyone can buy a cheap MX5 but very few can say they've built their own car, isn't that something to be proud of?
Instant gratification seems to be the order of the day now.

I don't know any young people but from what I can see, they spend most of their lives with their noses at their mobile phones.
For crying out loud, look at the real world around you, life is too short to be living it out on Facepage, Instaphoto or whatever.

As time goes buy, interests and hobbies change, how many practise the longbow nowadays? Building a car is too much like hard work so why not buy one, after time in the garage is time not tweeting.





Visit China. Meet the child that made your trainers.


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Irony

posted on 18/6/19 at 07:56 AM Reply With Quote
Personally I believe that the manufacturers have to take a share in the blame. Far to many are engineers and spend little or no time marketing their companies. Todays marketing scene is extremely aggressive and the kit car scene just doesn't do it. The only company that has a decent marketing department is Great British Sports Cars and they have even managed to turn around the stigma of Robin Hoods reputation.

Just look at how many posts there are on here about manufacturers not even answering the phone. Where I work the boss sometimes rings from a random mobile and if it doesn't get answered within 6 rings someone gets a verbal warning. Last time I phoned my own manufacturer he told me he doesn't normally answer as he has greasy hands!!!!

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coyoteboy

posted on 18/6/19 at 11:40 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by flak monkey
...on here these days, compared to the good old days at least It's nice to see a lot of the old faces are still here though and I am enjoying being back.

Are less people building the 'Locost' cars now and instead going down the route of the manufacturers spin offs? Or is it just quiet like a lot of forums due to FB killing it off a bit?


Facebook is the death of forums like this and persistent knowledge repositories. The moment any of the car forums I've been on have gone to Facebook the forums become a desert and the Facebook group gets continuous guff repeatedly posted by newbies and no way (or will) of easily searching or organising. The social content moves to Facebook, the technical content never progresses and eventually the group folds.

Sad times.





Report your local potholes, it actually works!

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Mr Whippy

posted on 18/6/19 at 12:10 PM Reply With Quote
Modern cars with all their gizmos are hard to compete against.

Plus there is so much choice of fun second hand sports cars available, really it's hard to justify (in most peoples minds) spending hundreds of hours and thousands of pounds turning a rusty MX5 into something which in many aspects is an inferior car to the donor for the same price as just buying a nice MX5 in the first place...or any of the current hot hatches

[Edited on 18/6/19 by Mr Whippy]

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Doctor Derek Doctors

posted on 19/6/19 at 07:44 AM Reply With Quote
Just a thought, cheap kit Car (Road legal) on eBay is 5000. A cheap Porsche Boxster is 3000.

I love kit and race cars, but at prices like that it's a bit of a no-brainer for someone who just wants to have fun in a car.





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David Jenkins

posted on 19/6/19 at 09:12 AM Reply With Quote
Lots of sensible comments here, and it's hard to argue about it being possible to buy a good ready-made car for less than the cost of doing it yourself.

However, actually making the car was where all the fun was for me - when I started I was working 40 hours per week behind a desk in London, testing software (60 hours, if you included the commuting). I desperately needed to do a project that was not even barely connected with software and computers, and involved actually creating something real that I could touch with my hands. Although I finished it ages ago I still enjoy driving it, and even now I like making bits for it. I don't think I'll give it up just yet, although I'd love to convert it to electric... (ducks down beneath the parapet, ready for all of the incoming missiles! ).

Now that I'm retired I'm still designing and making things: I tried making multirotor aircraft, but all of the recent nonsense with drones has killed that for me. Now I like to put together designs using my 3D printers - very little to do with cars, but still very hands-on. The design tool (OpenSCAD) requires a lot of programming, so that gives me the computing fix!

Here's the latest project I've published on Thingiverse (a website where designers can share their latest ideas)

Geared tracker for astrophotography

star tracker
star tracker






The older I get, the better I was...

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Mr Whippy

posted on 19/6/19 at 11:37 AM Reply With Quote
well that's the thing, the cost is the cost of a hobby and you time is your own

As my wife's Granddad said "at least you know where he is and he's not in the pub..."

I love the building things and driving something you have actually put together yourself. I said I was finished with working on cars but can't wait to get going on this reverse trike, once I have finished designing it...

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Irony

posted on 19/6/19 at 12:31 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
well that's the thing, the cost is the cost of a hobby and you time is your own

As my wife's Granddad said "at least you know where he is and he's not in the pub..."

I love the building things and driving something you have actually put together yourself. I said I was finished with working on cars but can't wait to get going on this reverse trike, once I have finished designing it...


I like this, said more or less the same thing to my missus. 'Before the Kit Car and all my building things hobbies I used to chase women'.

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02GF74

posted on 19/6/19 at 05:41 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Doctor Derek Doctors
Just a thought, cheap kit Car (Road legal) on eBay is 5000. A cheap Porsche Boxster is 3000.




... But that is part of the full picture.
Fully comp insurance for a 2.0l zetec 7 Type car is 127 compared to 535.

Road tax less for the kit car and likely give better mph.

Then there is cost of spares and cost of replacement major components such as engine and gearbox.

Finally when you drive in your kit car people wave and smile whereas in a porsche they give you the circle made with thumb and first finger followed by shouting what sounds like a reference to the weight of a pinto.





Visit China. Meet the child that made your trainers.


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