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Captain Plastic

Were gonna need a bigger boat!

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Where do I start? Hello, I guess. Hello. That's enough about you - lets talk about me. My name is Declan. It's Irish. From Ireland. Like Bono. For a few years Iíve have been toying with the idea of building my own super-car. As I type that phrase I realise just how ridiculous it sounds. I know less than nothing about cars and I can barely dress myself. I like to drive - but not that fast, in fact Iím like Miss Daisy on valium. However, show me a track and I drive like a fat, blind, semi-naked Sebastian Vettel on an acid and crack cocktail.

So after literally minutes of deliberation I decided that I would build a KIT CAR - something, fast, something mid-engined, something reliable - possibly something like the ULTIMA [url][/url] - then I researched the arse (Ďassí if youíre American) out of it - and eventually decided it wasnít for me. However, on my journey through the internet I found EXTREME [url][/url], DNA [url][/url], EXACT REPLICAS [url][/url], JH CLASSICS [url][/url] etc - with their MR2 based Ferrari clones. I donít want a Fakari. Nothing wrong with them - just not for me nowadays (did it in the early 90ís with a Karma Dino - exacerbating the onset of penile dysfunction with lasting damage to my dignity).

During this marathon research (itís still going on) I discovered WOODSPORT [url][/url] and the amazing mechanical V6/V8 surgery that Dr Paul Woods (and team) perform on the MR2. It was that alone that truly reignited my interest in the MR2. I researched further and found [url][/url], [url][/url] and obviously [url][/url] with itís smorgasbord of fantastical MR2 ace-ness.

Now Iím a big fan of the Mk1. Iíve blasted a couple of them around tracks in the past. Had one on long term Ďborrowí off a mate for a few months. I even owned a rusted out Mk2 for a while. At risk of offending the MR2 purists, as good as they are, I donít just want an MR2. Actually, get me a cigar, Iíve just impeached myself. That last statement isnít true. I DO want an Mr2 Mk1 in my garage - but an absolute unmolested pristine example. BUT, to get back on topic - I want to build my own super-car. A relatively fast, road-going, daily driver (occasional track) - that puts an ESPRIT S1 smile on my face, with the reliability of a Toyota. Not asking much am I?

Okay, so what about employing the premise used by Extreme and Exact and others; GRP panels that fit over/replace the existing bodywork. Most car manufacturers use Ďplatform sharingí so why canít we? And, a plan, of sorts was hatched; use the Lotus inspired AW11 chassis/platform and replace the panels with my own design GRP (ultimately Carbon Fibre). Upgrade gearbox, brake and suspension components and fit a V6 1MZ-FE engine (ultimately with a TRD Supercharger) from the Woodsport stable. Bad idea? Probably. Worse case scenario I totally cock it up, it looks like a mid-coitus Jeremy Clarkson and drives like a sciatic three legged drunk donkey. So Iíll re-strip it and use it as a cheap(ish) track day car.

Obviously, finances will come into play - or lack of. Dreaming is cheap, free even. Just ask Martin Luther King. Actually, that's a bad example, he was assassinated for his dream. Moving on. Turning that half baked, mis-guided notion into a reality is going to take hard cash. So I am trying to do this a cheaply as possible (I donít have a choice). If I want something doing - I will either have to do it myself, blag it - or save up. The reality is itís going to take bloody ages. Also, I will be coercing help from anybody that is willing and able.

As I mentioned, Iím seriously no mechanic. A dyslexic dyspraxic. Donít know how to weld (yet). Donít know how to fiberglass (yet). Have no tools (yet). Actually, the biggest problem I have at the moment is I donít have a garage (yet). You can see Iíve thought this through.

So, when the day job isnít getting in the way (it will) -- Incidentally, my day job is a film and television director; links to showreel/resume; [url][/url] and [url][/url] if anyone interested. Anyway, I may even video the progress of this lengthy project and make a build DVD - maybe even take it to a cable network at some stage. But for now, Iíll stick occasional, sporadic lack-of-progress reports and updates on this here inter-web-thingy.

So where do I start, really? I donít know. I guess I draw up a designs until Iím happy with them. Right? Wrong. That's what Stephen Hawking would do. I impatiently bought a clapped out AW11 with a flat battery and a water leak on eBay for £300. It cost another £125 on Shiply to get it moved to my house. [url][/url] for those of you that donít know it - is well worth checking out if you needed something moving. Also bought a Haynes manual from eBay for £19. So, far £444. And I have a red MR2 MK1 sitting on my drive. Itís a start. Now what?

I suppose I design and make a buck - using the basic Ďchassisí or Ďspace-frame of the AW11 and construct the shape of my super car. And whilst Iím waiting for lightning to strike instilling me with divine design inspiration - if youíve got time itís worth checking out the BAILEY BLADE [url][/url] especially on YouTube as they have charted the projects development. Itís fascinating - and inspirational. Clever guys.

Apart from the build journal, photoís (once I work out how to upload them) discoveries and misadventures Iím hoping to include links and useful Ďstuffí as well as a running account of the spend. Occasionally, I may have to do a bit a creative bookkeeping so my Missus doesnít know how much Iíve actually spent - but anybody in the know will know. Actually, sheíll read this - so perhaps I wonít. Or will I? Double Double bluff!

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  1. nik's Avatar
    entertaining read! will look forward to seeing some progress now ;-) cmon what are you waiting for? build thread at least! best of luck with this project fella..sounds like you have the right attitude for a swap of this nature, as usual anything you need just ask.
  2. Captain Plastic's Avatar
    Thanks brother. My backside is like that Japanese flag - but may whatever god we pray too be just in their ridicule.