The company DK Racing, which introduced the first Russian serial sports car Shortcut in 2017, now offered it in the form of a kit car, that is, as a car kit for self-assembly. This is the first such offer from a Russian manufacturer, and it can seriously save money, as a ready-made sports car will soon rise in price.
The very idea of kit cars, when a customer buys an unassembled car and assembles it, is not new: according to this scheme, for example, the famous British budget sports car Lotus Seven has been offered for many years. Here, there are savings when buying, and the pleasure of turning the nuts yourself, and the ability to more carefully prepare the car for racing.
Chassis and steering kit.
Now there is such an offer for the Russian sports car Shortcut. In this case, the client will be able to choose three variants of the car kit for self-assembly. The cheapest Chassis and Steering kit since February 15 costs 385,000 rubles and includes a painted frame with a safety cage, suspension elements, pedal assembly, steering and axle housing assembly. An owner can create a hood, wings and other external elements independently, having received a sports car with an author's design.
This is followed by the "Advanced Kit" for 745,000 rubles. It includes all parts from the first set, plus plastic and aluminum body panels, brake system, interior elements, fire extinguishing system, forged wheels and half-tires. This option is suitable for those who want to install their engine and transmission into the finished frame.
Finally, there is the “Complete kit for assembling a car” - this is a sports car completely ready for racing for 1,050,000 rubles, which you just need to collect in your garage. (By the way, a sports car assembled by DK Racing costs 1 000 000 rubles, but from February 15 its price will increase to 1 195 000 rubles).
Any of these kit cars can be supplemented with plastic panels, electrics, shock absorbers or an engine, if the client is not ready to modify these parts on his own or wants to always have spare parts on hand. Each kit comes with video assembly instructions recorded on the memory card. If necessary, mechanics will help in the assembly.
In addition, in 2018 the DK Racing Cup racing monoseries will start (owners of kit cars will be able to participate in a separate class). Sprint racing will take place in 5 stages at five racetracks in Moscow, Smolensk, Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan. The entry fee for the owner of Shortkat will be 15,000 rubles.
The term "kit-car" can literally be translated as "a car from a set." A kit car in the classical sense is a set of parts from any company, which the buyer, if desired, as well as the availability of hands and a certain amount of tool, can turn it into a car.
The term "kit-car" can literally be translated as "a car from a set." A kit car in the classical sense is a set of parts from any company, which the buyer, if desired, as well as the availability of hands and a certain amount of tool, can turn it into a car. After all, it is certainly great to put your hands on the creation of your car and control the entire assembly process from and to on your own.
Let's try to figure out where to get such a constructor and what will be the result.
Often, any homemade product is mistakenly called a whale car, due to the fact that in the lion's share of cases they copy the same models as the "factory" kits - since the exchange of drawings in the age of the Internet is no difficulty. Firms selling "prefabricated cars," usually take the famous model as the basis for the kit.
For example, Lotus 7, Ford GT40 or Lancia Stratos. And in most cases, this is exactly what happens - when you buy a whale car, you acquire a replica of a legend of the past century in 90 percent.
Initially, the idea of "whale car building" came about not only from the desire to build a car with one's own hands, but also because of the peculiarities of taxation and the opportunity to save.
In the 50s of the last century in England (it was there that the whale cars first became massive), the owners of such cars were exempted from taxes - after all, they bought, in fact, not a car, but spare parts and parts from it. Also, money was saved on the fact that it was not necessary to indirectly pay workers who assemble the car at the factory. For example, the legendary “seven” Lotus of the ingenious Colin Chapman, which has become the most famous representative of kit cars and the prototype of most modern “designers” over time, at one time costed as a set of parts almost half the size of a finished car.
Today, a whale car can be both extremely cheap and approach the cost of its prototype (if one exists). It depends both on the frame - it is on the basis of the longitudinal or spatial design of pipes and profiles that most of the models for assembly are built - and on the main machine components: engine, transmission and suspension.
The beauty of the "whale car-building" is that you can adapt to the business any units you like. The easiest way to find a used or broken car for a penny and use it as a donor. Then the total cost of the project will be extremely low. For example, no more than 7-10 thousand dollars, if an analogue of the Lotus Seven model is being built, that is, a car that is quite uncomplicated in its design.
The main problem with building a whale car is finding the time for this. In the ideal case (with complete set of kit and trouble-free fitting of parts to a friend) and sufficient qualification of the assembler, you can meet two weeks, and even then - if you turn the nuts daily. If you devote only weekends and rare hours free from family and work to this business, then you should not be surprised not until the end of the finished car, and two years later
Therefore, it is often wise to seek the help of the assemblers of the company that made the kit - they can fully or partially convert the whale into a car. Partial or “screwdriver” assembly here means roughly the same as in the large automotive industry - a car is assembled on site in a single unit from large parts previously connected to the main production unit. In addition to the engine and transmission, this can be the entire suspension, wiring, instrument panel and some body parts.
But the problems do not end even after tightening the last screw - at least in Russia. In the entire civilized world, whale cars are treated calmly, and to register them you only need to pass a set of standardized tests that resemble our inspection with additional checks of some especially important parts of the design. In the UK, this procedure is called the SVA (Single Vehicle Approval).
In our country, the registration of self-assembled cars is regulated rather conditionally, therefore, there may be problems when registering such a car. Alternatively, according to the documents, a whale car can become a car that was used as a donor. But most often they will not even understand traffic police with kit cars and simply refuse to register by sending them to the certification body - to the SSC FSUE NAMI. Ahead will not be the simplest procedure, but in principle feasible.
Of course, you can recall the experience of Soviet self-made people and immediately declare your whale car as a home-made vehicle - in this case, the procedure promises to be not so difficult and dreary. However, it must be remembered that for homemade products there are still restrictions on the volume and power of the installed engine. On September 23 of this year, a new technical regulation came into force that sets whale cars into a special category - “single vehicles”. The document contains general provisions on the procedure for obtaining an opinion in an accredited testing laboratory, as well as incredibly detailed specifications for each node "car out of the box." In general, in the process of registering a whale car in our country, you definitely won’t be bored!]
As for manufacturers, today there is an incredible number of companies offering kits for building kit cars. Among the most famous in the world are the British company Westfield, which produces its interpretation of the legendary Lotus 7 sports car, a replica of the racing XI Lotus, as well as the XTR road sport prototype, AK Sports with its replica of the Shelby Cobra icon, a GTM office that produces original sports cars, as well as BGH Geartech with its Fisher Fury Roadster.
By the way, English firms are given as an example for a reason. Great Britain, as the birthplace of the entire culture of kit cars, still remains a leader in this area, and the number of “home-made” people of various calibers on the island is just off the charts. Other countries are also trying to keep up - kit cars are being built not only in America, Australia, France and other “developed” territories, but even in Malaysia, Lithuania, Mexico or Brazil. There are firms (mainly representative offices of foreign offices) and enthusiasts in Russia, for example, Pegas Cars.
In general, if you set a goal, you can find a kit for assembly or, in extreme cases, a ready-made replica of almost any remarkable car of the past and present. In confirmation of this, you can refer, for example, to this resource, and below we will talk about the most popular solutions around the world.
The most popular designs for whalers are the so-called Locost (Low cost) or LSIS (Lotus Seven Inspired Sportscar). As you might guess, it is based on the brainchild of legendary designer Colin Chapman - the super-lightweight Lotus Seven sports car. The reason for the popularity of this machine is its very simple design and outstanding performance. The space frame is based on a square profile, so welding is easy even for beginners.
But this is if you decide to make the car yourself, since the manufacturers supply the frames that are already welded and ready for assembly. Hinged panels are also very simple in shape, made of aluminum sheet or plastic. Another undoubted plus - the layout allows you to install almost any engine, transmission and rear suspension (either in the original solid axle or modern independent) from the rear-wheel drive car.
The front suspension is a simple double wishbone. Since any Locost weighs no more than a ton (and even then you really have to try to find such bulky units so that their mass exceeds this value), then a motor with a capacity of even 100 hp enough to endow the replica of the Seven with decent dynamics. The most famous manufacturer of "sevens" is the British company Caterham, but this company is the copyright holder of the original license from the Lotus company and makes only full-fledged cars, not kit cars.
Another British company licensed to release Seven in the third series (Catherham has the right to fourth) is Birkin. Outwardly, their cars also copy the original Lotus, but can also be sold in the form of an assembly kit. Another well-known manufacturer is the aforementioned British Westfield, but their “seven” is LSIS, since Caterham once sued Westfield for “plagiarism” and won the case - the defendant had to slightly modify its products.
If we talk about companies closer to us, then there is RaceTech from Estonia. Hence, by the way, the name of their variation LSIS is ESTfield. If desired, they can build a replica of "Seven" on the basis of units even from the VAZ "classics" - and it will turn out no worse than the "islanders".
Carol Shelby, who has enriched American automobile history with his evil “reptile” Cobra roadster, can safely be called a seasoned whale-carrier! After all, he took the chassis from the English manufacturer AC and after that, in his homeland, put in it the engine that he considered necessary - V8 from Ford. Well, what is not an example of a "prefabricated" car? And in general, the design of the car also fits the standards of a kit car. After all, the original Cobras were built around the same spatial frame of square pipes (thanks to the English roots).
Modern replicas (like the original, which is still being produced) are based on the same power structure. “Sheathing” can be made of fiberglass, and on expensive versions - made of aluminum. As in the case of the "low-cost", the classic layout of the Cobra allows the use of any units and schemes of the engine-transmission-chassis. But if you think about your own Cobra team, then you should dream about a mighty V8 - at least from Ford, at least from Chevrolet.
Cobra replicas are very fond not only in America (for example, the company E.R.A.), but also outside the United States. Among the manufacturing companies, one can cite the example of English AK Sports or DAX, German Cobra-cn, Brazilian Americar, Estonian Rexer, Polish Easer. They mainly copy model 427 and a little less often - 289.
Ford’s "weapon of retaliation" successfully fired at the 60s Le Mans Ferrari and, having excellent external data, has rightfully become one of the most frequently copied cars. It was not for nothing that the Fords revived the GT40 themselves several years ago in the modern interpretation of the GT, which outwardly differs little from the original car. Today, both racing versions of the 40-inch are copied (the index in the name of the model indicated its height in inches) and the road version of the GT40P. However, both of these options, like 50 years ago, are not particularly difficult to manufacture. Depending on the manufacturer of the whale, the basis is either a copy of the original steel frame, or even an aluminum or carbon fiber monocoque. Parts of the body can be fashioned from fiberglass or fiberglass. Chassis elements are usually original, but there are also sets based on modern cars. The engines most often used are those close to the original (Ford 289 V8) modern Ford Eights (series 289, 302 or even 427).