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Author: Subject: Skinny wheeled Locost?
JC

posted on 30/1/18 at 11:40 AM Reply With Quote
Skinny wheeled Locost?

Hi all,

Disappointed to hear recently that Caterham have stopped production of the retro-inspired 160 as the supply of components have dried up. Personally I love the idea of a car with skinny wheels and low power which has limits that are far more achievable on the road, rather than the wide tyred monsters that most seem to build.

So, if you were going to build a retro-7 - less than 100hp, skinny tyres, maybe even clam shell wings, how would you do it other than an original book car and Mk2 Escort?

I am aware of the Tiger HS6 - which I like - but it seems to be very wide at the front, which spoils the look a bit I think? Any other manufacturers products suitable to modify?

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jps

posted on 30/1/18 at 12:34 PM Reply With Quote
This is basically the thinking behind the spec of the Haynes Roadster I am chipping away at (I take it the Caterham 160 was their latest chassis but with a basic spec?)

Although it will be IRS as I have a single donor Sierra I will be using the 1.6 pinto (69bhp when new!!!) and 4 speed box, with perhaps a swap to bike carbs. And ideally I will use the original steel Sierra wheels which are 5" - although I may put some Escort GTi (6" on at first, I think the rear hub carriers need rethinking to fit the 14" steel wheels.

I suppose it won't look particularly retro - but the performance will be! I am hoping for what you point out - a car I can actually push a bit on the open road, instead of having far more grip and power than I can really use!

[Edited on 30/1/18 by jps]

[Edited on 30/1/18 by jps]

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dinosaurjuice

posted on 30/1/18 at 12:43 PM Reply With Quote
those little suzuki rascal vans must be useful for something?
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hughpinder

posted on 30/1/18 at 01:15 PM Reply With Quote
I always fancied the retro look of this

http://www.thepembleton.org.uk/OwnersCar/mm/HPIM4819.jpg

http://www.thepembleton.org.uk/ePAG/ePAG34/IanCameron.shtml

- the brookland 4 wheel version, although based on a 2CV chassis so no great handling I assume! Fitted with a bmw or moto guzi air cooled motor so very simple to build if you keep to the standard power output. Some of the touring BMW models have reverse if you dont mind using the BMW box (which would probably mean moding the chassis, or modifying a haynes type body.
I believe they are very light - iirc the brooklands with a guzi engine was 380 kg.

Regards
Hugh

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big_wasa

posted on 30/1/18 at 02:09 PM Reply With Quote
1.6 mx5
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JC

posted on 30/1/18 at 02:10 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dinosaurjuice
those little suzuki rascal vans must be useful for something?


Not sure whether it was the Rascal or Jimny rear axle that the 160 used?

Could always break a cappuccino!!!

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JAG

posted on 30/1/18 at 02:44 PM Reply With Quote
So I built my car with this ethos.

I'm not sure I fully achieved the goal but my car is 565 kg, has a live axle, 116 bhp (Mazda MX5 1600cc and 5 speed box) and 185/60/14 tyres.

It's a hoot to drive but the cars limits are still a bit too high to be breached on-road.

I fitted 14" Toyo R888 tyres which was probably a mistake





Justin


Who is this super hero? Sarge? ...No.
Rosemary, the telephone operator? ...No.
Penry, the mild-mannered janitor? ...Could be!

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nick205

posted on 30/1/18 at 03:52 PM Reply With Quote
I built an MK Indy with 2.0 Pinto and type 9 - it went fastest enough for me and only really misbehaved in the wet if pushed. In part I agree with the lower power ethos. The cars are so light even 100 bhp makes them accelerate faster than most drivers are used to and certainly fast enough for road driving!
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David Jenkins

posted on 30/1/18 at 04:25 PM Reply With Quote
My car was built with the same thoughts in mind: 1660cc Ford x-flow engine that gives around 100BHP, 185/70 x 13" tyres, no frills, no heater, and weighed in at 600kg. It's still faster than many on the road, and certainly quicker around corners than all but proper sports cars. Even with this low-ish power, it's still spiteful on wet roads so I have to be really careful else the back end overtakes the front.

There are many 7-style cars that are way quicker than mine, but I still get a real buzz when I manage to get out in it - but sadly I haven't been out for quite a while as it's either raining or the roads are still wet. With all the salt they're dumping on the roads I prefer to only drive on bone-dry roads. It's a huge shame as I love driving in the winter, as long as I dress up warmly - the engine loves the cold air and it's really rewarding to drive.





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

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JeffHs

posted on 30/1/18 at 04:54 PM Reply With Quote
I like this thread. My car is deliberately old school. It's my Mk2 Mexico recycled, before I realised how much it would have been worth now! 1600 Pinto with about 100 bhp with fast road cam and twin 40s on 185 70 13s on RS alloys, 4 speed rocket box, live axle. If I was starting again I would go for skinnier tyres. It's fast enough to be a lot of fun and makes wonderful noises (I like Pintos!).
Prior to building the Locost I made a 4 wheel 2CV special, a one-off hand made ali-bodied thing on a 2CV chassis, nowhere near as pretty as a Pembleton, but the same general idea. Even lowered the 2CV ride is very comfortable, unlike the Locost but FWD understeer spoils it. But with 602 cc and 30 bhp you can screw the nuts off it without troubling speed limits so its great fun, a bit like I remember mopeds when i was 16. It's languishing under a sheet in my garage just waiting to qualify for Historic Vehicle tax exemption

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StevieB

posted on 30/1/18 at 05:46 PM Reply With Quote
I've always thought it'd be good to put together a car using mini running gear, in the same way the Terrapin racers do. Then scale the overall car down a little bit all round, running 10" wheels etc.

Engine wise I also like the idea of a small, compact, lightweight engine that isn't overly powerful but keeps the fun in an accessible range. Maybe a BMW flat twin motor from a 1200GS could be an interesting way to go - good torque and linear delivery of power and about 100bhp. And it's basically derived from a car engine design, with a big flywheel etc. Only issue is that all but the later model were air cooled, so a bit of lateral thinking needed on that front.

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mcerd1

posted on 30/1/18 at 07:11 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JC
quote:
Originally posted by dinosaurjuice
those little suzuki rascal vans must be useful for something?


Not sure whether it was the Rascal or Jimny rear axle that the 160 used?

Could always break a cappuccino!!!


The 160 uses the Jimny rear axle with an updated version of the cappuccino engine and gearbox - but that's so that they can be sold as new parts/cars - I'm sure there are plenty of other options when your looking for second hand donors...





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jps

posted on 30/1/18 at 10:40 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JeffHs
It's my Mk2 Mexico recycled


Ouch... As much as I like 7's, I'd drop mine for a Mk2 RS escort in an instant!

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PorkChop

posted on 30/1/18 at 11:55 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JC
Disappointed to hear recently that Caterham have stopped production of the retro-inspired 160 as the supply of components have dried up.


Where did you hear of this? There's nothing in the press nor on Caterham's website that I could see.

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907

posted on 31/1/18 at 07:18 AM Reply With Quote
Must be showing my age.

I'm reading on several posts about 185 tyres which I would never describe as "skinny".

On a car that weighs 4/5ths of f.a. I would regard them as quite a reasonable fitment.




As an aside yesterday I was sitting in traffic watching the minutes tick away, in sight of Addenbrooke's but unable to reach it,
when I glanced down at the huge tyres on the lardy Audi in front. They were mostly wide circumferential grooves with little
rubber in-between. If you could compress them into slicks they would have been about 145's.


Paul G





The one and only member of the Suttol Owners Club. Now also the MX5 Owners Club. A few more in that one.

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JC

posted on 31/1/18 at 07:31 AM Reply With Quote
I read it on a Caterham forum then a call to Caterham Midlands confirmed the bad news! They said there were a lot of disappointed people at the news!
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David Jenkins

posted on 31/1/18 at 08:19 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 907
Must be showing my age.

I'm reading on several posts about 185 tyres which I would never describe as "skinny".

On a car that weighs 4/5ths of f.a. I would regard them as quite a reasonable fitment.



I was thinking that as I typed my previous post! I was comparing them to the really wide wheels that people like to fit to these cars. They are quite wide - when I take a wheel off I can stand it upright without it falling over. Thinking back to the original 7 at your BBQ Paul, that did have really narrow tyres.

My tyres are much higher profile than most - I'm not sure that I could get 70's easily in decent brands now - but I'm sure the high profile contributes to the ride comfort.

[Edited on 31/1/18 by David Jenkins]





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

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JC

posted on 31/1/18 at 08:41 AM Reply With Quote
I'm thinking Toyota Aygo type skinny - 165/65 R14!

As it happens they are the same PCD and centre bore as Mk1 MX5.....

did some research and found an interesting width comparison of cars - I think if the car is wide then it doesn't look 'right' with narrow tyres?

Caterham 160 1575mm
Raw Striker 1550mm
Westfield (Narrow) 1560mm
Westfield SDV 1640mm
GBS Zero 1720mm
SR2 1750mm

Anyone any others to add?

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theduck

posted on 31/1/18 at 08:42 AM Reply With Quote
This thread has made me think, and the car I enjoyed daily driving the most, from a fun to drive perspective, out of everything I have ever owned, was my spitfire 1500. So, light, low power, rwd, and skinny 155/80r13 tyres. It was brilliant fun, on a short commute and driving around to local appointments and great for a quiet sunday drive, but, for me at least, it was lacking outright performance when it came to a "b road blast".
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JC

posted on 31/1/18 at 09:43 AM Reply With Quote
I just watched the latest Project Binky Q&A and they said words to the effect that ‘there’s nothing like low power and dodgy handling for a fun car!’

Lol

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alistairolsen

posted on 31/1/18 at 11:32 AM Reply With Quote
One of the biggest issues with this nowadays is that properly skinny tyres of decent quality simply dont exist.

your 145/155/165 section 13 inch tyres are pretty much all awful and even 185 in something of decent quality gives too much grip to properly exploit at sensible speeds.

It's a problem which is hitting many classics. The E30 community are either under-sizing to 195/50 15 in the absence of decent 205/55 15s, running the stock M3 size in some bridgestones or RS3s, or moving increasingly to 17s for tyre choice.

Minis have the same problem, except its even more acute as even the available 13 inch track rubber doesnt fit properly.

You basically end up with 195/50 15s in quality road rubber, or 13s and 14s in track spec rubber which raise the limit even higher in the dry, but lower in the wet, or plump for some horiffic ditchfinders.





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JeffHs

posted on 31/1/18 at 04:35 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jps
quote:
Originally posted by JeffHs
It's my Mk2 Mexico recycled


Ouch... As much as I like 7's, I'd drop mine for a Mk2 RS escort in an instant!


Yes! not one of my better decisions. My only defence is it was a long time ago

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Sam_68

posted on 31/1/18 at 05:57 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alistairolsen
One of the biggest issues with this nowadays is that properly skinny tyres of decent quality simply dont exist.

Specialists like Longstone Tyres can help.

For example, you can still get Michelin XAS in 155 x 13" for Lotus Elans.

OK, they're not Yokohamas or Toyos in terms of grip level, but they're perfectly good tyres, and anyway isn't that the whole point - surely the idea here is that we want less grip, so that the car's limits are accessible at more road-friendly speeds?

Personally, I'm looking for an equivalent to the 125/80 x 13" used on the Renault Twizy, but with a decent speed rating (the Twizy's are only M rated, for a maximum of 81mph).... I reckon that if 155 section was enough for my old Elan (about 700 kilos and 145bhp), then the Twizy's tyre size should be just the job for a really light car with maybe half the power?

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alistairolsen

posted on 1/2/18 at 09:36 AM Reply With Quote
That's exactly what I'm getting at though. One doesnt need Yokohama A048R in soft compound, but a tread and compound design from this millenium would be nice, even in terms of wear and wet performance.

Michelin XAS is available, sure. It services the originality bufties and historic racers, but there is a snowballs chance in hell you'd find me fitting them.

It's just a shame that lack of demand means you cant get something like Goodyear Eagles, Uniroyal Rainsports, or even some of the modern hankooks or Kumhos.

I mean going on the fact that the original book was based on recyling a MK2 escort, a 1979 mk2 mexico was 1.6l, 94bhp and came on 175/70R13

https://www.camskill.co.uk/m73b0s366p0/Car_Tyres_-_MPV_Tyres_-_People_Carrier_Tyres_-_13_inch_R13_inch_-_175_70_13_175_70R13

Of those I'd probably plump for the efficient grip if I'm honest.

Dropping to 155 just makes it worse.

Even Caterhams Seven 160 was sold on 185/55R14 Avon ZT5, which is the smallest size Avon sell.

http://uk.caterhamcars.com/cars/seven-160

http://www.avon-tyres.co.uk/car/zt5





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JC

posted on 2/2/18 at 05:59 AM Reply With Quote
The Suzuki engined 160 was sold with 155/65/R14 ZT5 tyres !!!!

Maybe the way to go for low grip low power is to loose a wheel! Buckland B3 anyone?

I keep looking at the Sylva Striker and remembering a comment by Steve Hole. He had a discussion with Jeremy Philips about the ‘sweet spot’ in the range and AFAIK it was a low powered cross flow version...

How about a Striker with a K series and nice skinnier tyres?
What were the 1100 and 1.4 single cams like - I presume they aren’t as Revvy and sweet as the twin cam?

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