I have had an interest in cars for, well, as long as I can remember. But I suppose the first time I got really involved was with my Fathers Kit car from the age of about 12. This was a VW based Nova Kit, and no its nothing to do with Vauxhall.
My dad bought the car as an unfinished project and a I helped him at the weekends and in the school holidays with anything I could. This included anything from pulling the engine apart to actually designing and making a fairly sophisticated Louvered Headlight system with its own Servo motor controller.
Here are a couple of pictures of the Nova, not very good ones I am afraid, they were taken with my Phone as we were loading it on the trailer when I sold it last year for my mum. Alan the new owner has nearly got it on the road again now and has driven it around at a show that he took it to in the summer. It was sat in a garage for about 12-15 years prior to selling it.
How I ended up buying it
When I first saw the lightweight, I did not know what it was. It just so happens that an old work colleague of mine at the time was in to Land Rovers and Told me what it was. It was bright Yellow back then, with a Red roll cage and had some 16" steel rims with SAT's. It was owned by a chap that worked in the next building from the company that I worked for, so I would see it on a daily basis.
I ended up buying it, as the then owner was emigrating and needed to sell it, I noticed the sign in the windscreen one day and decided to go Round at lunchtime to have a closer look. It had a 3 Litre V6 Essex Ford engine from a Capri in it (A Steve Parker Kit) and the rest was all standard Series IIa Land Rover, including the original Lightweight Axles and Gearbox.
As with most vehicle purchases that I have made, my decision came down to me liking the look of it and wanting it. No Logical or practical considerations were made.
I had never driven anything like it, no Syncro on 1st or 2nd so I had to learn fast about double de-clutching. The brakes would just about stop it and it seemed to wonder a lot. There was also a rather worrying matter of the cab filling up with smoke when driving. This turned out to be down to the rather sick V6 burning quite a lot of oil.
My first Job on the Lightweight
My first job was to sort the engine out, I actually ended up rebuilding a 2.5 V6 from scratch and then swapping out the 3 Litre for it. This sorted the smoking and poor running issues, I also ended up making a home made exhaust system out of a couple of cherry bombs that made quite a nice noise. I drove it round like this for a couple of years.
V8 Power and Coils
I decided that the V6 really didn't have enough power so I set my mind on a V8. I found a 3.5 out of an old Rover P6. It was a 10:1 compression Ratio version so had the potential for some good power levels with some suitable tuning. At about this time I saw a few adverts for new Coil sprung chassis to convert series Land Rovers and decided to take the plunge. I bought a Rolling chassis with an Lt77 gearbox.
The rest is all documented in this site.