Build In Progress: A 20B E-Type Screamer
A Different Approach

The ferocious rise of social media means that, as auto enthusiasts in 2017, we’re now exposed to a much wider gamut of niches, genres and subcultures than ever before.

Whereas not too many years ago we’d all be neatly divided off into our specific interests in the way of online forums, nowadays everyone is mixed up in the big melting pot that is your chosen form of social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Bebo, Myspace, whatever.

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This is a great thing for opening your eyes to what’s out there, and bringing in influences from other areas. If all your saw was what was being done in your immediate owners’ club circle, then you’d only be able to draw upon that for inspiration, and very quickly lots of cars would start to look the same. This isn’t hyperbole – whatever make or model it may be – it happens. Most of us can spot an ‘owners’ club’ car a mile away.

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But there’s one definite downside to the fall of the online forum, and that’s build threads. I don’t know about you, but for me there was something massively satisfying about seeing someone’s initial ‘may as well start one of these’ posts with lofty ambitions of what they wanted their car to become, and then seeing their plans come into fruition months or years down the line. It felt like you’d been on that journey with them, and maybe even influenced the direction that their car has taken.

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Now instead, we see carefully curated and filtered snippets of builds, if we’re lucky, and follow the right people. It’s much less community-based and more everyone scrabbling for their own slice of the limelight. The right cars of course get featured on fine automotive portals such as this, but even in bringing you the finished article in as much detail as we possibly can, I feel that we miss a trick in showing you some of the processes that went into making the one person or company’s vision a reality.

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It was with these thoughts swimming around in my mind that I wanted to bring you a unique build thread of sorts. Ironically, it was a build that I discovered via social media, and one that’s been causing a heck of a commotion every time there’s an update posted. This is very much a work-in-progress record of Pipey McGraw’s 20B-powered, wide-body Jaguar E-Type.

Yes, you read that right.

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If the name Pipey McGraw rings a bell with you then good, you’ve been paying attention. Pipey is one of the true characters of the UK modifying scene, and when word gets out that he’s working on something new, people tend to sit up and take note. This will be the third of Pipey’s cars that we’ve featured here on Speedhunters: the first was a ground-scraping bridge-ported Mazda 13B engine Mk1 Golf GTi sat over a VW Beetle floorpan; the second was a crazy-quick VW Passat W8 with a Volkswagen K70 body swapped on top.

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When Pipey set his sights on an E-Type he knew it was a lofty ambition. “Being in your 20s and wanting to own an E-Type these days is a pretty ambitious task,” Pipey tells me. “Especially when you’re not rich.” So Pipey set about building his E-Type the way he does best – by concocting a Frankenstein of sorts.

Can you see where this is going?

A Crazy Idea
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Step one was finding a body shell, and Pipey managed to track down the lesser-coveted Series 2, 2+2 shell online. After a quick phone call, he made the gruelling 28-hour drive from Bournemouth up to the very north of Scotland to pick up the American import shell from a guy who had two or three sat there is various stages of restoration. Straight away a spanner was hastily slung into into the works; the seller had completely neglected to mention that he’d haphazardly tried to ‘craft’ a set of Ferrari rear lights into the Jaguar shell, and had omitted all photos of said abomination. Still, with over a day’s driving behind him and an equally gruelling return stretch ahead, Pipey didn’t want to return empty handed, so purchased up the shell and added one more job to his already ridiculous to-do list that he was yet to start.

When I say E-Type ‘shell’, that typically means the tub of the car itself, so from firewall back, no chassis.

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Pipey says that in an ideal world at this point he would have built the car up with all original and correct parts, but this isn’t an ideal world and that’s really not Pipey’s style. Step one was to find a suitable accomodating chassis or floor pan for the Jag body. Several different chassis were measured up before Pipey and the team at Coltech Classics, who are building the car, settled on an obscure choice – a Luego Viento.

A what? You might ask. The Viento was an obscure, very low-volume V8 kit car – a larger version of the Westfield/Caterham-style chassis. It turns out that the Viento is the exact same wheelbase as the Series 2 E-Type, and therefore the perfect donor for the chassis.

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Coltech Classics went to work and began grafting the two parts together whilst Pipey went on a mission to round up all of the E-Type parts that he’d need. Which, at this point, was, well… all of them.

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Now, Jaguar E-Type parts are rare on the second-hand market, especially when you’re shopping to a budget. Even blueprint parts command a ridiculous markup. Your typical E-Type builder or restorer usually has a fanciful budget to play with and is looking high quality panels and parts for their concours build. This actually posed one advantage to Pipey – he wasn’t looking for immaculate parts; literally anything would do, as long as it wasn’t too far gone.

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In a further ironic twist given the narrative that I opened this story with, Pipey has had the most success in finding bits on Instagram. By painstakingly searching through E-Type and Jaguar hashtags looking for breakers, builders and collectors, he’s managed to scour the internet for parts that some people were going to throw away under the presumption that they weren’t tidy enough to sell on.

Before long, Pipey had his name and number in the hands of anyone worth knowing in the E-Type world, and getting hold of parts was getting increasingly easy.

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A Series 1 bonnet was sourced from Basingstoke – this was a must as Pipey wanted the flush glass S1 headlamps. One of the doors is a Series 2 item and the other is from a Series 3 Roadster. And no, the roadster door didn’t fit, and needed substantially modifying. “The tailgate is a Series 1 item,” Pipey adds. “The boot hinges and door hinges are from somewhere in America. The windscreen (yet to be installed) came from Carlisle. The rear screen came from Worthing. The door frames came from Birmingham. The headlight trim rings and glass came from Brighton. Pretty much every piece of the car has come from a dead E-Type somewhere in the world.”

“Working it out all, creating the car this way, as much as it’s been a massive headache, it will owe me less than what you can pick up an absolutely rotten late series E-Type for,” Pipey tells me. “Even with the ludicrous engine.”

A Ludicrous Engine
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Ah yes, the ludicrous engine. Currently, the chassis plays host a mock-up, triple-rotor 20B-REW from a Mazda Cosmo, which has allowed Coltech to carry on with the fabrication work while the main engine is built by Brad at Triple B Engineering in Northampton. Brad is taking the twin-turbo Cosmo powerplant and converting it to a naturally aspirated bridge-port Hiroshima screamer using RX-8 rotors and a lot of precise porting and balancing.

Read that back, take a minute to let it all sink in and then you might realise why we’re so excited. A fully-built NA bridge-port 20B in a wide-body Jag E-Type. What a world.

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Frankenstein’s creation doesn’t stop there either. Pipey estimates that there’s already at least 15 other cars in this build – from the Luego chassis to the Ford Sierra Cosworth rear end, LSD and brakes; a Ford Escort Mk2 steering rack; the steering rack from the previously mentioned VW K70; a Chevrolet Camaro radiator; seats from an old Ford race car; Sierra front hubs and Hi-Spec brakes; the Mazda Cosmo engine and a 6-speed RX-8 gearbox, to name but a few.

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The rear fender (singular, for now) is from a Porsche 930, and had just been fabricated onto the 2+2 body before my visit. The car is covered in different colour paint samples as Pipey tries to decide on a suitable colour. Further plans are afoot to add girth to the front shortly too; the standard E-Type bonnet has been cut to allow room for the car to steer as it’s moved around for now.

You might be relieved to hear that Pipey plans to cut out the existing work and run E-Type rear lights too, providing he can find a donor panel.

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The framework for the chassis is coming along nicely and with every day spent on the car the light at the end of the tunnel gets bigger and brighter.

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Rolling the car out of the workshop and into the Dorset sunshine, it all seems a bit more ‘real’, and the full-on ridiculousness of its profile becomes apparent. The car currently sits lower than Pipey plans to run it; the chassis grabbed defiantly onto the seemingly flat floor of the workshop as we struggle to push it around.

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He fully admits that he dropped it this low just for the shoot, and who can blame him. It looks absolutely immense.

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The plan is to have the car ready and screaming up the hill at Retro Rides Gathering at the end of August. There’s a lot of work to do, but the trickiest bit – sourcing most of the parts – is almost done. With a few clear weeks ahead of them, Pipey and Paul at Coltech are geared up for a big push on getting it finished.

I’m hoping to bring you a follow up on the E-Type, and its new engine as the build accelerates over the next few weeks. Who wants to see more?

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
Facebook: Jordan Butters Photography
jordan@speedhunters.com

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81 comments

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1
ReallyForeverAlone

"It’s much less community-based and more everyone scrabbling for their own slice of the limelight."

FINALLY someone says this. All the "I built it for myself, now follow me on Instagram and be sure to retweet the pics!" bullshit needs to be called out. Just be straight up about it; if you update your build on social media (and not just a niche forum), you're *not* building it for yourself.

Now that's out of the way, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. Hopefully Pipey doesn't pull a Rusty McCrappington and leave it filled with holes and rust.

Author2
Jordan Butters

I was with you until "Just be straight up about it; if you update your build on social media (and not just a niche forum), you're *not* building it for yourself."

Which is completely not my opinion. Do what you want on social media, build your car how you want, care less about what other people think.

3

"If you update your build on social media (and not just a niche forum), you're *not* building it for yourself."

Well, that is bullshit. Then again, most sweeping statements are.

4
topinsights_SS

There are few acts more conceited than doing things for page views and likes. People who build cars for themselves don't plaster photos all over the immediately accessible internet. They may keep a small blog or a build thread but not an Instagram or Twitter or Facebook page or Tumblr or whatever else counts as mainstream social media these days. The only exposure they may get would be at a show that they bring their project to after it's done. Only someone who seeks validation broadcasts their work through mediums that have the widest reach.

5

Why is that bullshit?

6

Proclaiming that *every* person who posts their car or build on social media is only in it for the attention or e-fame and isn't building for themselves is just a hilarious exaggeration. Are there some who do it for the likes? Absolutely. But everyone? Nonsense.

7
ReallyForeverAlone

Saying it's just "some" is "hilarious" understatement. The vast majority of Instagram build threads are done with the sole purpose of generating page views.

8

Instagram is based off of your viewing history (algorithm of likes vs who you follow to generate similar content to show you that you may enjoy) and who you choose to follow. So if the majority of the builds on Instagram are 'built for the likes' then you may be following the wrong kind of content if that's not what you want to see. It's like watching a Golden Girls marathon when you'd rather be watching racing but just complaining to everyone that the Golden Girls are on.

9

Haters gonna Hate!! I'm definitely one for not sharing anything that I do, but just because I don't share my projects doesn't mean that someone else can't share their own. Showing updates on social media, to document your progress, is not the equivalent of taking polls on social media to figure out what your next step is.

You can do things for yourself & still share your story & your progress with others. Keep it real Paddy, can't wait to see this thing hauling ass & making ear drums bleed!

10

@ReallyForeverAlone @topinsights_SS

Maybe I am bias because I found this build originally on instagram but I disagree with both of you. I don't think that everyone who shares their build on forums and IG is in it simply to feed their own ego. Some people want the community to walk alongside them so that they can learn from others, or even teach others. Reading builds has been an invaluable resource to me I can't even begin to count how many things I've picked up from simply watching others online.

11

>or even teach others. Reading builds has been an invaluable resource to me I can't even begin to count how many things I've picked up from simply watching others online.

Not sure how much you're learning when the number of characters devoted to hashtags is far greater than any technical information in the image caption.

12

I replied to this but because I linked an instagram account it went into moderation or got deleted or something. At any rate, there are a lot of instagrams that just by following them I learn more about the process behind building a custom.

If they need to add a hashtag block at the bottom to fufil their sponsorship obligations than sure whatever who cares.

The pictures they post say 1000 words as it goes.

13

And I'll ask again: how much are you learning from seeing a single picture? Because I sure as hell wouldn't be able to tell why someone decided to go with a B-series instead of a K-series in a Honda by just a picture. I wouldn't be able to tell why someone decided on a GT3240 turbo instead of a GT3040 one. I wouldn't be able to learn about the process of custom fabbing an engine mount from a single picture when the process takes 20 steps.

>If they need to add a hashtag block at the bottom to fufil their sponsorship obligations than sure whatever who cares.

So now getting free parts and features on company websites counts as "building it for yourself"?

Author14
Jordan Butters

You seem to be under the impression that it's Instagram or nothing. We still have features and editorials to learn about cars more in depth. Or, you know, talking to the owners – God forbid, in real life.

15
topinsights_SS

Features? Editorials? You do realize we're talking about "built it for myself," right? I wasn't aware that meant the goal was to get a feature so they could brag about their work. I would much rather read about someone's build on a forum somewhere than in a feature where everything is sterilized and you can't see the progression of the build. As for talking to the owners in real life, yea, I'm gunna fly to England just to ask a guy about his franken-Jag, right? No, I would much rather ask him about steps on a forum where you can put more than 1 picture and type more than 1000 characters in a post.

16

I think perhaps you're following the wrong builders on IG? Some people post very indepth captions and utilize instagrams new gallery function to explain processes.

Basically what I am trying to say is given the option between forums and IG I would prefer a forum but the option between IG and nothing I would prefer IG.

I think you can still do a sponsored build for yourself. In the degree that parts are expensive and any little bit helps. Its possible to have support from an outside party but still retain creative control.

17
King Rodney The Great

Yes! This is the build I've wanted to see!

18

More, More and some more please.

This is going to be an epic build and I do hope they make it to Retro Rides I shall be there watching out for them.

19

Locost 7 chassis????

Author20
Jordan Butters

Luego Viento chassis.

21

I am just curious, why did this guy decide to go with a 20B? I'm asking because I have recently started getting into rotaries and I would just like to know why he picked this motor over piston.
side note* I'm looking for another job and need a new car for my daily and I'm considering an RX8 but as a car guy I'm never satisfied with just one car so I am thinking of ditching the idea of the rx8 and going for a GRB STI but boxer engines seem like a bitch to work on just like the rotary. I really want to build a motor but I just don't know which one to go with.

22

I'm a massive rotor head dude. I'd put a rotary in everything :) there not everyone's first choice of engine and I totally understand why. I wanted to keep the weight down in the car have have a a better balanced ride. The chassis had a small block Chevy in when I got it. The 20b is half the size, a third of the weight and will produce just as much if not more bhp. And of course the noise does it for me. Like a 2 strike on steroids I love the braps and 10k+ rpm. There's not many engines out there you can squeeze 400bhp out of a 2.0 litre normally aspirated motor on a modest budget that would fit in your backpack :)

23

You mentionned the weight of the 20b engine. Do you have an estimation of the final weight distribution. Is it something you are trying to optimize or are you just trying to first build the *thing* and will figure out how it drives later on ?

Author24
Jordan Butters

I'll point Pipey this way so he can answer for himself.

25

As a long time Subaru owner/enthusiast I can say that the Boxer engine isn't that bad to work on at all. Subarus have pretty big engine bays compared to other econo cars it's size. That said, the engine has to be pulled out or dropped out to do head work which shouldn't need to be done more than once or twice over the entire life of the car.
Can't really speak about the rotaries as I've never owned one but subarus are always a solid choice for a fun daily that does it all while remaining reliable and cheap on maintainence

26

Thanks for the insight! My S14's head gasket is messed up right now and I thought "I wonder if rotaries have head gaskets" they do not and that is what got the ball rolling in my head that it would be cool to own something rotary powered, nothing too over the top with power and let the exhaust scream down the road LOL. But the GRB looks better, there is more aftermarket support for it and its amazingly light and that AWD is really amazing even though I'm into drifting mostly. I know that RX8 isn't the best for drifting but it isnt the worst.

Author27
Jordan Butters

Rotaries are awesome fun to drive – really free revving and super responsive. The downsides are fuel consumption and lack of torque. Reliability isn't terrible if you look after them, and budget for a rebuild from day one – you will need one at some point. Fuel consumption really is bad – I had an NA 13B in my FC3S and it would do 18mpg if you were really lucky/careful, and 8mpg if you were heavy footed.

28

Your right Jordan. Fuel consumption is horrendously terrible haha. And the normally aspirated 2 rotors definitely lack tourque. This is why I went for the 3 rotor. The lack of tourque isn't an issue with the 3. There still just as fruitful through the rpm range but pack that extra torque. With such terrible fuel consumption and they burn oil by design so by definition they are a very inefficient engine. Hence why they've died in production. But hey race cars aren't supposed to be sensible haha #brapbrapbrap

Author29
Jordan Butters

It's ALL about the noise.

30

I love seeing all these builds with rotaries. The large aftermarket support of the engine has really helped it stay alive after all these years.

31

Well, I'm going to sidestep the brouhaha over mid-build hyping/instagram/etc...although it is a curious debate.

I WILL say that this post could serve as a perfect template for automotive photojournalism. The shots are creative with just a few of the standard-issue compositions thrown in. It's tasteful, but still manages to push the envelope a bit.

To compare and contrast...(hate to throw anyone under the bus, but oh well) a vast majority of Larry's posts capture the drama of a situation, but the compositions are expected and highly biased towards the center. I guess it works if he's trying to be the Wes Anderson of the automotive industry, but it doesn't convey that he's treating the medium as a true art form.

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Author32
Jordan Butters

As much as I appreciate the compliment, I think Larry's position is safe. He's one of the true great automotive photographers of our time.

33

I don't think the composition of Larry Chen's shot's detract from the artistry.

34

Chop the top... !

35

Why not chopping the roof hot rod style ?

Author36
Jordan Butters

It's been mentioned, and glass isn't the main issue. Pipey said he loves the ridiculous 'clown shoe' proportions of the high roof and low bonnet, so it's staying.

37

Proportion wise I does seem to need a roof chop. This guy will probably be lucky just those things he has started done.

38

I imagine because getting custom glass made would be a massive headache, never mind the damage to your wallet.

39

Exactly this dude. Curved glass is a massive ball ache to get made. And with undertaking such a ludicrous project I didn't want any more headaches to deal with hahaha

40

And yeah the 2+2 was definitely not my first choice. But more of what I could get my hands on on a budget. Like Jordan says since starting the project I've really taken to the hilarious proportions. In the flesh it really does look like an outrageous mental clown shoe.

41
MPistol HVBullets

THIS! Want

42

This one has me at odds with myself. Hate to see such a classic chopped up and fitted with a mesh-mash of parts. On the other hand, such an cool build! If you're going to rip into an E-Type, slamming it and fitting 20B power creates just a fantastic combinations of awesomeness.

43

It was destined to sit and rot away, being incomplete and already screwed with. Now it has a new life... I see nothing wrong with this at all.

44

If you're able to bring it back in this guise, you able to bring it back as original... or at least as close to as possible depending on funds. Regardless, I agree, loving the direction its taking and such a cool and different look for an E-Type.

45

Like Jordan states in the article. In an ideal world I would have loved to build it up as more of an original etype. But budget constraints made this an impossible task. Etype parts carry such a premium these days it was just not feasible to do so. Of course I could have build up bits over a long period of time and spent 4 times as much money on the project but that's just not my style :) building an etype up in parts would cost you more than just buying a rotten one and saving it. But here in the uk, even a late 70's model that is as rotten as a pear and needs a full restoration would set you back around the £15-20k mark, and I imagine you could double that figure just getting it on the road. If all goes to plan I'll have this project on the road for half that

Author46
Jordan Butters

As Pipey said, this car will cost him less than a rust bucket E-Type in one of the more desirable guises. The 2+2 doesn't get a huge amount of love from E-Type owners.

47

Yes... after much deliberating with myself, the modifier in me has won out over the purist. This was the right call, and easily to coolest project I have seen since the last instalment of Project Binky... Hope I get to see this thing completed!

48
Dino Dalle Carbonare

This is just about the coolest car I've ever seen. Can't wait to see it completed

49
Nicholas Cefaratti

It looks badass!!! And I'm all behind it. I just don't think I could swallow the N/A part. If it was my car....which it is not. Lol

50

Cheers dude. Im not a forced induction guy to be honest. Much prefer a normally aspirated engine. The car should weigh no more than 750kgs and be pushing the 400bhp mark. It's certainly going to be a wild animal :)

Author51
Jordan Butters

You can't knock a high-revving N/A screamer. Case in point – https://youtu.be/JcyvTuoslAA

52

Sweet Jesus^

53

So cool to see such an awesome car so local to me! Would love to see this thing finished and on track with the 2JZ E-Type.

Incredible work so far and will definitely be keeping an eye open for it. Interesting too as it was only today I was reading a bit more about the 20b and the Eunos Cosmo donor.

Awesome work Pipey!

54

Cheers dude. You local to Poole/Bournemouth then? If you ever want to pop in to see it/have a chat just let me know

55

Yeah man, Salisbury so not far at all. Would love to see it, I'm laid up with a busted arm at the mo so no driving for a while. Is the build thread anywhere at all?

56

Oh poo. Get well soon mate. Haven't got a build thread that's why this was such a good idea from Jordan to document the progress. Do have lots of updates on my social media :)

57

Brilliant, bonkers and by far one of the most interesting builds on here in a while. A proper "build" as well, that's a major task to turn a collection of bits like that into car of any description never mind getting it to perform and look great. Got to respect the imagination and the determination to pull off a build like this. Kudos to Pipey for going for the kind of project that would stay a pipe dream for most.

58

Appreciate the kind words man

59

Looking forward to see this "Frankenstein" E-Type transform into some serious machinery!

60

"Why?"
Yes.
"But it's a Jag..."
Yes.
"It's sacrilegious!"
Yes.
And so, started the journey of an amazing build.

61

Hahaha awesome! Pretty much lol :)

63

Is there a link to the build thread ? Would love to follow the progress :)

64

No proper build thread unfortunately man. I have documented the build on my social media if you wanted to check it out. Like Jordan says on the article the "build thread" era had been left in the past but is an awesome idea from Jordan to document a work in progress. #bringbackbuildthreads :)

65

Wouldn't say they are in the past, there are thousands of active ones on Retro Rides :D

66

Here you go: http://forum.etypeuk.com/

You can register to start posting your build thread.

67

No thread but you can follow him on Instagram @pipey_mcgraw and don't forget to like and subscribe and don't forget to visit his site here http://muttleyracing.bigcartel.com/ for exclusive swag. And don't forget to reblog that hashtag #hondaids and #burnallthemk3s because nothing screams enthusiast like hating on brands and chassis.

Author68
Jordan Butters

Got a bug to bear much? Although, #burnallthemk3s is a campaign I can get behind. Who even likes Mk3s?

69
Matthew Everingham

@Pipey McGraw, you're a mad man! Frank-E-stein is awesome! It's been a long time since I've been this excited to see how a crazy build turns out. The world needs more crazy shit like this! #Subscribed

70

Hahaha thanks dude :) I'm glad you support the madness. Should be some big updates soon. Still hoping to have it on the road in a couple of months :)

71

I love these cobbled together builds with parts from all over. To me it's giving dead parts a new life and as you are not working on a stock platform, skies the limit. I also love that it's heading in a race direction, it should be one mean ride!

72

Amen bro. I'm glad people are getting it. It really is a car cobbled together by getting parts from lots of dead etypes around the world. And having a bloody good time doing it :)

73
Chris Colouryum

Love it. I was looking at the rear arches and was like, hah that's crazy how much they look like porsche ones. Amazed how well they flow with the car! Can't wait to see the final product!

74

nice engine choice!!! 1 extra rotor should fix the low torque of 13b n/a rotary :)

75

Pipey, I admire you for doing thissss!!

76

More more more please
This is the nid of things that makes me love speedhunters !

77

I want to see more!

78

This is fucking awesome and makes so much sense in the weirdest kinda way. Mazda sports cars have been inspired by early British sports car so it makes sense to reverse engineer a British sports car around a Mazda heart. This is so fucking cool and inspiring, can't wait for the final product

79
Daniel P Huneault

I see nothing wrong with posting your car on social media as well as your forum. Your proud of what you built and you should be. Some of these projects of ours take years to achieve. Some might use it as a reward or motivation to continue to keep working on it. Some may never do another one again. Let them have their day.

80

I'd love to see more of this project.

(I too miss the build thread aspect of online forums.)

81

Thank you so much for discovering and featuring this monster. Moar pls.

(check out buildthreads.com to get those lovely... yep, build threads)

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