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The story of how I built my MAC#1 Type R Worx kit car.

In early 2007 I made a decision. I wanted to build me own sports car! I have always loved cars and really wanted to do something that would take occupy my time, give me new skills and also give me something I can be proud of at the end. As if building a car (and learning every skill I would need along the way) was not enough, I also decided that I wanted to document my journey to provide me with something to look back on but also to hopefully be of some use to others contemplating doing something similar.

So over the past 9 months of work, I have kept taken as many pictures and documented as many jobs as possible and posted my progress on my blog, as it happened.

This site is intended to provide access to my kit car build blog as well as some other information and resources that I have found useful. This site tells the story of how I built my MAC#1 sports car.

But why am I building a car? Good question, one I have been asking myself for months but I think the answer is that it has been inevitable for some time.

The first time I even even noticed a kit car was a few years ago when I pulled up to a roundabout in my RX8. I thought that car was a fast car and I enjoyed shooting off from roundabouts and leaving the other cars behind. I pulled up next to a what I thought was a Caterham (although I now know it might actually have been one of a dozen different cars) and remember thinking that it looked nice but would be left behind by the rest of the traffic. How wrong I was. Lights changed and there was roar from the Caterham and all I could see was it's tail. Try as I might I could not catch it and come the next roundabout, I had to slow but it did not. That was the first time I realised that kit cars were not cheap plastic body kits from the 80's but powerful, exciting sports cars.

But I still, I never dreamed of building one. That came some time last year when the Top Gear guys built a Caterham in 12 hours. I thought that if they could do it then so could I. That is when the plans started.

First hurdle was asking Heidi (my wife) what she thought. Amazingly she was and still is very supportive, without her support and understand, spending 10k and 200+hours in the garage would not be possible.

So with the major problem behind me, I started the process of deciding what car I should build.

My initial thoughts were for a classic sports car such as a Cobra. These are fairly difficult cars to build but I was fairly confident. In order to help me make my decision, I actually purchased a Pilgrm Sumo (which is a Cobra replica) to drive around in and learn from. I learnt two very important things;

1. They are fairly large. It fitted in my garage but only just so building one would be difficult.

2. They are expensive. When you first look at the kit price list it looks ok but once you start to add on all the essential extras, the costs start to spiral.

So eventually I decided that, for the first car at least, I would go for something simpler, smaller, cheaper and faster. There really was only one choice, a Lotus 7 style car, just like the Caterham I was impressed with all them years before.

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Next was months of reading websites, visiting companies and attending exhibitions. After much research, it came down to just a few possibilities.

Tiger: This was the first choice for ages even to the point of me taking my cheque book along to pay the deposit but something always stopped me. Tigers are cheap but everyone I spoke to said the kits were low quality, the cars are heavy and slow. In the end I decided that a Tiger was not for me.

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Raw Striker: These are small, fast and have won more championships than any other make. I was very tempted but the cost was a little higher than I wanted and they really are very small which was a factor.

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Westfield: I like the Westfields. They are not that quick but look good and have good residual value but at the end of the day, they were just too expensive for a car that is essentially the same as all the other in this list.

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Caterham: All of the other cars on this list are Lotus 7 replicas where as a Caterham is a Lotus 7 (they purchased the rights from Lotus). I also think they are good value as 13k buys you full kit to build a new car. But, the kits are far more developed and do not really represent any challenge which was the whole point so Caterhams were out.

MAC1: This was a real wildcard. I had not seen them at any shows and new nothing about them other than the fact that they had glowing reviews in the forums. It turned out that their factory had burnt down around the time I first started looking and they only just go back up and running around the time I was ready to place an order which is why I did not know much about them.  I went to the factory and was impressed with the cars, the knowledge but most of all the friendliness and of both Mark and Colin (the owners) and the customers I have met. Plus they are in Sheffield which is not too far to drive when I need help.

After a lot of debate and at least 20 changes if mind, I finally decided to that I would go for a MAC1. I had settled on a nice, road focused MAC1 Type ZR with a Zetec engine, a wind screen and comfy seats. I went to the factory the following Saturday to place the order but somehow, while I was there, I totally changed my mind.

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I went for a ride in the car above which is essentially the same thing but it is optimised for track use which means lighter chassis and bodywork, minimum equipment, no windscreen and the engine from a powerful motor bike.

This results in a car that is fast as hell, revs high, sounds like and F1 car and looks cooler than a cat in shades.

That was it, I was sold so I placed an order there and then for a Type 9RR Worx with a Honda Fireblade 954 engine and full roll cage. Three weeks later and the kit was ready to be picked up. The journey was just beginning.

 

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