what is it?
How to Build a Cheap Sports Car, by Keith Tanner.
"REALLY enjoying your book, and now understand why the blessed car works
so well. You have a wonderful practical grasp of balance, weight
transfer, bump steer, etc., and the car sure shows it."
"In a nutshell, this is one excellent book. Even if you aren't planning to build a sports car, it's a handy book to read, full of interesting information and it shows you just how much and how long it can take to build cars."
"Basically, it details everything except building the frame, and it's an instructive read...It also becomes clear that the books by Champion and Tanner are required reading."
"The guru of the Locost concept is Keith Tanner. [He] has added another must-have volume to the Locost library. His tome...is packed with tips and tricks to keep kit builders on the straight and narrow."
"Excellent job on the new book! I really like it. If it doesn't inspire hundreds of people to put their lives on hold and move into their garages I'll be amazed."
"Your book is great. I just finished this morning. Definitely a wealth of information...You know, you get this idea in your head that you know exactly what you want, and how you're gonna make everything work, and then I read a little, and realize how different the actual build process can go. I know I'll be referencing your book as I make progress."
Okay, some people like it. But what is "How to build a cheap sports car"? It's a couple of things.
It's the story of building the Seven, from the decision on whether to build or buy a frame right through to the track testing needed to set up handling. You'll follow along on the problems, solutions, goofing around and thrills involved in building a car. Around 400 clear, full-color pictures show the process. Think of it as a chance to look over the shoulder of a builder and join in the fun. Yes, you can do that through this site. But it's hard to read this site in the bathroom or the garage! The pictures are often higher quality than the ones online as well. Warning, this story may inspire you to daydream excessively.
It's also a technical reference. It won't tell you how to make a copy of my car. What it will do will give you the information you need to build your own, using the same or different parts. For example, it explains how hydraulic systems work and how to size them. It explains brake proportioning and the ways to adjust it. It shows how to make a flare fitting and how to build hard lines as well as the different types of fittings you might meet. And that's just for brakes. All the mechanical information that is left out of Ron Champion's book is found here. It's suitable for anyone who is building a car, whether it looks like a Lotus, a Cobra or like nothing else on the road.
What surprises most people when they see it is the quality. All the pictures are large, up to half a page. They're printed in full color on heavy paper. The book measures 8.5 x 11" and has 192 pages. This is not your typical poorly printed kit car manual!
This book is not a series of instructions on how to build your car. There are no chassis plans inside. It will teach what you need to know to actually finish a car once the welding is done, regardless of what kind of car you are building. It may inspire you. But if you're looking for the Miata version of the Ron Champion book (a frame design and little else), this is not it.