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 Post subject: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 20, 2018, 3:57 pm 
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Joined: May 17, 2018, 8:03 pm
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Hi guys and gals, I'm new here, and I have been jumping around in the different sections trying to get a feel for Locosts and their competitors. I initially was planning on building a car from scratch, but I have decided the prudent thing for me to do is buy a completed car or a kit that doesn't require a wealth of skill and knowledge. I went to get-together in Mountain Home, AR recently and sat in most of the cars there. I learned that a book build Locost isn't roomy enough to suit me, nor is the standard size Stalker. I sat in a Goblin (the larger size I think) and it was better but still not as large as I'd like. Out of the following cars which ones have the longest legroom: 442 McSorley, larger Stalker, larger Goblin, Exocet (not sure if there is a larger version), and any other brands I've overlooked. For you guys that really know please put them in order from most to least in legroom. If you could do the same ranking for width, it would be wonderful. I really enjoyed meeting everyone there. Nice group of people. Special thanks to Russ.


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 21, 2018, 1:36 pm 
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Joined: January 18, 2015, 2:34 am
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Location: Los Angeles
Take a look at the wide-body version of the Birkin, the SS3XS. It's about 100mm wider and 130mm longer, all in the cockpit. Spacious by Locost standards. Excellent suspension layout as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 22, 2018, 6:40 pm 
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Ok let's approach this another way. If anyone can say the legroom (or width) in a car is greater than another car, I could narrow it down that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 24, 2018, 12:24 pm 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Take a look at the McSorley plans, buy a couple of sheets of plywood to make a cockpit mockup, and then you'll *know*.


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 24, 2018, 9:07 pm 
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Thanks for replies. I guess ownership of the larger chassis in kits is not common or at least comparison by owners isn't common. I find this hard to believe. Maybe it's my deodorant or lack thereof. My golden retriever hasn't been as friendly since it's warmed up. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 25, 2018, 10:22 am 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
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Stalkers are larger than book-Locosts. Book-Locosts are bigger than the original Lotus Seven. Many Locosts are not built exactly to the book plans. Since every Locost built here in the US is pretty much a one-off, generalizations on "fit" are hard to validate. i.e. they vary as much as their builders. Bench seats vs. cushioned buckets, vs. Kirkey-style racing seats adds more variety. Steering wheel size, quick release (if equipped) and tilt column also add variation. Not to mention pedal location (in x, y and z) and overall pedal box width. The list of differences between 2 or more Locosts that could affect one's comfort level goes on. Stalkers are a bit more consistent from car to car, but not much. They still are built by individuals to their taste. I would have to guess that even different models of Caterhams fit differently.

Sorry, I do not think there is a definitive answer. If you are concerned about fit, the only way you will know if you will be comfortable in any particular car is to sit in it and find out.

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Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 25, 2018, 12:45 pm 
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Joined: December 17, 2010, 1:24 pm
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Location: Gainesville, Mo.
Just as a point of reference, I'm a big guy. 6' 0" & 260 #s. I can fit in a "Book" car! It's definitely a snug fit, possible mainly because I have a really small butt for someone my size, but the point is I can do it. So the main thing to remember in discussing a Locost in regards to what will fit is that the answer is usually "it depends"!

:BH:

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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 25, 2018, 2:03 pm 
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Yesterday I sat in a 2003 Miata. I'm 6'1" and about 275lbs. and could barely get in it, much less feel comfortable driving it. My wife was laughing because it was obviously too small for me. I have ridden in Russ' book build size, but I couldn't or wouldn't want to drive it. I wear a size 11 1/2 shoe and I couldn't set my feet side by side on the floor board. I'm beginning to think that people must be willing to be fairly uncomfortable in order to own one. Now I need to find a 442, an Exocet, and a Stalker or Stalker XL to sit in, in the Kansas City area. Does anyone know of any?


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 26, 2018, 8:01 am 
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Quote:
Sorry, I do not think there is a definitive answer. If you are concerned about fit, the only way you will know if you will be comfortable in any particular car is to sit in it and find out.
Chuck's answer is spot on... No two Locosts are the same size/shape. I have to add that no two humans are identical either. I'm a smidgen shorter than you, weigh about ten pounds less right now but at one point in my life I was jussst over 300 and daily driving an MGB. I've driven a few Miatas, an old Lotus Elan, a Lotus Europa and an XKE, all known for small seats and drivers compartments. I fit better in some than others, granted... I had a hard time getting in/out of my XKE, but once I was in there, I was in an XKE by Gawd! It was worth the contortions... :mrgreen:

So I'm guessing that besides differences in personal build, there's a difference in "tolerance" as well. (Maybe?) Perhaps modifying an old (wrecked?) Corvette with a DIY roadster body would be a better "fit" for you? You'd get some "car builder" experience and a more roomy seating position. Or maybe a dune buggy type build on a VW Beetle pan. Are either of those an option for you?

All the above is very much IMHO, YMMV, my .02, etc. (In other words, deranged ramblings after a lifetime of exhaust fumes.)

Good luck with your search-
:cheers:
JD (Size 12 Topsiders) Kemp

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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 26, 2018, 12:58 pm 
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GonzoRacer wrote:
I've driven a .... a Lotus Europa


How did you manage that? I'm 6', 190lbs, flexible and physically could not drive that car. Was too long ago for me to remember what interfered with what, but I was unable to drive it. Only other car was a MG Midget where the steering wheel was so large it put my knee in between 1st and 2nd gear.

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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 26, 2018, 10:38 pm 
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Another way to get more room would to NOT use car seats and do what the original Lotus 7 did and use a bench seats.

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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 27, 2018, 9:39 am 
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I'm going to go a bit pedantic here, but "roomy" isn't something you can easily define, particularly if you're including things like entry/exit and being able to operate the pedals.

For width, you have the cockpit width, minus the width of the center spine. Most people seem to want seats with big side bolsters, which aren't a fixed thickness, but take up space. A narrow spine gives you more room... until you carry a passenger, and you're both fighting for the same elbow space.

The height from the floor to the bottom of the dash affects entry. The height and projection of the steering column as well, plus the diameter of the steering wheel and whether it is removable.

Whatever the length of the cockpit is, deduct for the seat back, plus some amount for reclining the seat, plus five to seven inches taken up by the pedals, which have to move.

The side rail height affects entry, but it also determines the vertical height of the footwell for some cars, which panel over the front section of the cockpit in the engine compartment. The standard is 13". My shoes are 13-1/4" long. Some cars have a box over the pedals to give more footroom, others just raise the chassis rails higher.

The width at the pedal box is a big issue; for many cars, the spine widens so much to clear the bellhousing or clutch mechanism that there's barely room to operate the clutch and accelerator at the same time.

Cockpit opening length doesn't matter when you're sitting, but it is a big factor for entry/exit; depending on how the tubes are run, it can be either a big help or a big hindrance for getting in or out.

I can wear a Miata like a sock. I probably look silly getting in or out, but once I'm in it's fine. But something like, say, an older Chevy Beretta, I can't even get into. My wife got one as a rental once, and had to swap it for something else due to that.


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 27, 2018, 10:35 am 
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I will add that comparing "roomy" by measurements, may not be the right way to evaluate how well you will fit. "Comfy" may be a better way to compare.

As a case in point, My 1st road trip in my "book chassis" Locost was with a friend to the Midwest Gathering at The Hub. My friend is 6 ft something and I won't say how many lbs at the time. The passenger side on my car had 16.5" from the tunnel to the inside of the frame. He was very uncomfortable after a short trial run. He said that his hip bone was pinned against the frame. By all means, he was certainly not suited for the car's "size" and was considering baling out on the trip. I thought for a while and said "if your hip is hitting the frame rail, let's try removing the pressure point. We installed 1" thick foam next to the seat in the cavities between the frame tubes, making a flat surface. The comfort level went up enormously. I will say that a quick release steering wheel and a tiltable steering column helped when he was doing the driving. We ended up driving over 1,500 miles that weekend, including two 12+ hr stints, with "relative comfort".

Another case is when I trial-sat in a Birkin years ago. While I fit OK in the seat, and all driving controls were comfortably accessible, I couldn't turn the steering wheel without my elbow hitting the frame rail /rear fender at the rear of the cockpit.

Actually sitting in a car for a bit is the only way to know. Unless you have size 15E shoes, numbers alone are just not adequate.

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
or my archival Locost build log: over HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 28, 2018, 1:49 pm 
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I've got big girly hips, and am 5'11" and 230 lbs. I suspect that my hips are as wide as yours. I've logged many hours in a book-sized chassis which is quite painful to sit inside of, as well as a 1st gen Stalker which was fine, except for the absence of a dead pedal. But I don't think that you'll get a dead pedal in any 7esque. The Excocet OTOH will accommodate both a dead pedal and a ton of legroom. Exocets are also easier to build than most kits, safer, and should hold resale value better than most if not all. So that'd be my recommendation - unless you are sold on a true 7/locost format, in which case, I'd heartily endorse a Stalker with the IRS, NOT a live axle model.


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 Post subject: Re: Roomiest cars ranked
PostPosted: May 28, 2018, 8:35 pm 
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The Goblin was designed from the get to around semi-normal sized seats.

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