"We take a BMW Z3 and make it into a Classic. Just bolt on a NEW BODY"
Copyright © Nubodi Automotive 2014-17
A U T O M O T I V E
MOSS REPLICA BUILD PART 2
We continue with our replica of Rob Walker racing Ferrari 250 GT SWB. There are two cars, one we call the SPA car which is owned by Ross Brawn of Formula One fame and the other we call the SWB car, due to their respective number plates. We are leaning towards the SWB car but have incorporated a few ideas from the SWB car. We have a dealine for finishing by the middle of March as we have a front cover spot promised by TKC magazine
The chrome and enamel wing badges were fitted today. Although neither car had these, many 250 SWB's did so it's an indulgence on our part. The headlights were wired up and fitted. The wider chrome headlight rims were screwed on also like the original. We fitted one side of the chrome trim around the door window frame. The aluminium trim attached to the body will be polished in time to resemble this.
Some boring bits of wiring were completed under the bonnet. This is time consuming as each connection has to be crimped, soldered heat shrinked.
Lots of work completed over the last couple of days but all not really worthy of photographing. The following jobs have been completed though. The thin 6mm chrome edging trim at the top of the doors has been fitted both sides. The wiring plugs in the rear have been crimped, soldered and connected. The rear indicators have been fitted and tested. And finally the dreaded rear window. These are MGB GT and are very hard to fit. First the rubber is applied to the opening (sounds so easy!) Then the glass is fitted into the rubber. There's half a day gone. You cannot use the usual wire trick from inside to fit the screen either.
Finally got around to starting on the interior. The carpets were is a terrible state so we started with a good hoover, then an industrial carpet cleaning machine. 15 years of gunk and grime later and they look like new. We started to make the templates for the rear panels. They were made from carboard and then 9mm MDF. The rear (parcel shelf) had to be made in two sections due to the roll cage uprights. Two slots were cut to enable us to roll each side into place. A central batten is used to join the two halves together. We cut two holes for rear speakers.
The Z3 plastic side trims were cut down to shape. The next template was cut out for the vertical panel that goes behind the front seats. Four slots were cut out for the Willans harness to go through. These have a very small mount hole in the end which is unusual as all mainstream cars have much larger mounting bolts. Worrying about the integrity of such small bolts we purchased some Titanium security bolts and bolted them on. All panels were coated in spray glue and matching carpet (very short pile) was attached
Continuing with the rear interior we fitted some old Jaguar XJ6 speaker rings. Underneath though the speakers were upgrade to 160W's JVC ones for a better sound. The alloy right angle trim was cut to length and painted matt black. The vertical part was screwed down and the angle trim fitted. The cut down plastic side panels were fitted. Its so hard to photograph though but it came out well. The plastics above the windscreen were cut down and fitted allong with the pillar ones and sun visors
Lots of progress today. Bolted on the front discs and one caliper. We measured up for the braided hoses for each side. These will be stainless braiding and ends with a blue tranparent plastic coating to protect them (and match the car). The washer jet hoses were cut to length and connectors added. We fitted the extra rubber beading to the rear window seal which makes the rear window water-tight now. The polished stainless steel strips for the new grille were delivered today so we will start making that tomorrow. Finally we modified the exhaust system to sit nearer the body which involved making a bracket one side and cutting and welding the hanger the other side. The long pipes were painted heat resistant black. Although our tailpipes are TIG welded on, the originals have clamps which hold on the tailpipes, so we put some dummy clamps over the weld which worked well
Today got the dashboard out to start fitting, storm Doris caught it, and damaged it. So wasted 2 hours repairing the damage. We fitted the newly machined hubs. We managed to get hold of some short headed wheel bolts with a deeper fit on the taper so cleared the back of the wheels allowing us not to have to cut the standard wheel bolt heads off. Just to be sure we squirted liquid chalk on the heads to see if they touched but were good. The wheel bolts were then locktited in place and tightened with an air gun on maximum. Wheels were fitted but we have decided to go for a lower profile on the front tyres as they look too bulbous even though theyare under the arch. There are some holes in the door shut which we plugged with grommets
We started to fit the dashboard today. It almost bolted straight in, with some modifications to the mounting holes and bolted in solidly. The heater control switch was plugged in along with the Z3 chrome light switch and fog switch. The control stalks were replaced. New billet alloy knobs fitted to the ends. We decided to make a new grille. The kit comes with a very nice aluminium one already made but we wanted to go for a thinner, polished stainless one. Took half a day to make though so probably will not do another. We wanted a wider section chrome bead around the rear window. The MGB one is too thin. We found some 20mm wide chrome strip but the problem is getting it around the tight bends on the screen rubber. A customer suggest getting a gear lever gaiter ring and cutting it up to give us the corners we needed
The bonnet plungers were treated to some rust protection before applying a few coats of black paint. The new rear discs were also painted. This may seem odd to some but we feel its horrible when you see a lovely set of wheels with rusty disc carriers behind them. The paint should protect them till they are replaced in the future. A new retaining bolt keeps them in place. The were both adjusted separately, then together on the main handbrake adjustment. Finally we cut some acryllic plexiglas for the number plate light. We retained the origin Z3 bumper lights which were glued to it
Lots of progress over the last few days, although most is not photographic. We fitted the billet rear view mirror with 2 pack window glue. The rear splined hubs were locktited on and the wheels trial fitted. They look good and fill the arches but we are going to try the next size down to see how they look. Its so important to get this right. The fibreglass grille surround was painted in chrome effect paint to replicate the polished aluminium of the original. We have started to make the under dash panels in aluminium also. First template of the passenger side one shown. Now you are all going to think we are definitely crazy now, on the original cars in the back window you can see the plate at the base of the roll cage. So we replicated this in a 4mm rubber pad and glued in four bolt heads which were screwed into it. Sad. Finally a side view of rear wheel fitted
Concentrating on the interior today. The bars for the seat brackets were cut and drilled and bolted to the floor of the Z3. The box section (needed to raise the height of the seat, washers or spacers are not advisable!) was then cut and placed on top. We tack welded them in the correct position. The seats to fit straight mean the base will not be square. Aluminium plates were used to protect the carpet. The two seat bases were drilled and bolted to the seats to ensure they move freely on sliding adjustment. They will be seam welded now and powder coated. The seats were dropped in place to see what they look like and then with the Willans harnesses. The under dashboard panels were made in cardboard first and then in aluminium sheet. These will now go off to our trimmer to be carpetted with leather edging.
Spent most of the day refurbishing the 3 other calipers. One photo show a before and after! Its worth mentioning when customers are getting their cars ready for the kit transformation they quite rightly change the pads and discs all round, however we suggest refurbishing the calipers too. In one picture is the piston from one, which was working perfectly. But for how long? The custom made hoses arrived in matching colour plastic coating with stainless ends. Expensive though at £220. Bleeding tomorrow and then we can drive the car at last
Decided to cut out the front inner arches from a sheet of 2mm thick plastic. They end up a strange shape as the whole front of the car lifts upwards so clearance is needed. We rivetted them on. The brake hoese are all fitted now. The two front bleed nipples snapped off so had to be drilled and tapped with new nipples. We have ordered stainless ones for a later date. The system is proving tricky to bleed but was to be expected with this amount of braided hoses. The polished stainless engine covers were glued on. These just hide the giant BMW logo and stripes
Slow progress as working on customers cars to get ready for paint at the moment. We have been struggling to bleed the air from the braking system. After dozens of attempts we bought a reverse pressure bleed kit which forces the air upwards and out of the master cylinder. We now could fit the wheels, with their new retro pattern tyres. These sit nicely under the arch now. We fitted the stainless steel adjustable brackets for the front number plate then fitted the plate itself
Not much progress today but that all changes tomorrow as there is only seven days to the photo shoot so the car becomes a priority. We painted the windscreen under the chrome trim matt black to match the plastic trim. We started to make the centre console panels, first with cardboard then in aluminium. When finished these will be covered in black leather. Finally the rear lights arrived from Italy so we could finish the rear wiring.
Tomorrow the racing numbers go on
Big day. Finally get to drive the beast, even though its only less than a mile. We drove the car down to Oliver signs in Burghfield who fitted the racing circles and N0.7's. It was all down in under 30 minutes and no air bubbles or stretched vinyl all for £20. Impressive. On the return we fitted the steering column console and fitted the steering boss. We fitted the grille surround. The brackets for the stainless grille section were painted matt black then some stick on soft rubber strip added. These were then bolted on. The Marchal spotlights were then bolted on (not done up in the photos)
Quick update: Here is a photo of our replica dash for a road -going 250 GT. It has the different clocks (before needles fitted), glove box and is now at the painters being sprayed body colour with a leather top
With all FULLY FUNCTIONING gauges
Lots of small snagging jobs the last few days. The steering wheel was fitted. We have new ones in stock but prefered an aged honey coloured one like the original cars had. The chrome horse grille badge was fitted and the spotlights bolted on properly.
The next photos will be of the almost finished car from the photoshoot for the magazine
Well the photoshoot went well with the magazine. More photos on the TKC website. Thanks to my friend Neil with the Aston for use of his driveway. The interior arrived late last night so we just threw it in. The car is 95% finished but we have four weeks till the first major show. The rear window trim needs finishing, both mirrors fitted, stereo wired in, the door panels need to go on and the car has to go back to the paintshop for some extra polishing. We took it from them before it was finished (orange peel in places) as we have to get it ready for today. Hope you all like it?
Double click to insert title text here ...
Real car worth £12,000,000
Not real worth a little bit less
Fitted both door panels today with door pockets from an SLK Mercedes (£15 each). The door pulls were screwed through to the original door and the Ferrari style door openers were attached to the Z3 bar so are fully functioning. Difficult to get a good picture of the interior...it greys out but is jet black in reality. Cleaned one wheel and added the Borrani sticker also