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 Post subject: Vette Kart vs Locost?
PostPosted: November 7, 2017, 12:56 pm 
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So the goal was front engine rear drive with a true sports car pedigree. In a world where "Miata" is the answer I bought a clean, low mileage z51 package C4 Vette. It's torquey, fun, gets great mileage for the power and handles very direct. But that fiberglass.... Oh and the interior. Not to mention all that overhang that hates the back country roads I love to drive. So. Vette Kart? It's it such good shape though! Almost seems a shame.... even though I hate the extraneous crap that doesn't help it handle. And it's such a pain in the ass with it's stupid alarm and it's attempts at luxury.... Sell it and start a Locost? Use it as the donor? Vette Kart would be pretty fun! Somebody talk some sense into this n00b!


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PostPosted: November 7, 2017, 3:07 pm 
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Welcome aboard. There are a lot of folks here who have built and love big engined Locosts, and if you're so motivated, you have a good solid donor there. On the other hand, odds are good that you can find a local Miata owner who would love to swap for a clean, low mileage z51 package C4 Vette. If I were you (and I'm not--I'm one of those three-liter-and-under guys who values minimum weight over maximum muscle) I'd sell or swap my 'Vette for something more suited to my own tastes.

I think the only sense-talking you need is: decide what you want and then do it. Anything you've listed among your options will work, and you'll find plenty of encouragement here, regardless of which of those paths you take.

As far as pedigree goes, if you decide to build a Locost, I wouldn't much worry about pedigree, but I'm a heretic when it comes to pedigree, ever since my wife (half a century ago) got hassled for using her Carrera Speedster as a grocery getter. Heck, first time I saw a Ferrari 250 GT I thought "Donor car!"

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PostPosted: November 7, 2017, 3:15 pm 
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Having just recently helped a Bud build a Vette Kart I can say it is easy and ugly, but great fun.

You will need to work on better battery hold downs and work on building a firewall between the occupants & the gas tank before you'll be allowed to run at any type of sanctioned event even an autocross.

You'll want to do the usual things with lowering springs, because without all that extra weight the car will ride quite a bit higher, plus stiffer springs for better handling. Will you keep the rear leaf to replace with coilovers?

The rear leaf works but it's not a simple/cheap to reduce the ride height or stiffen it.

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PostPosted: November 7, 2017, 3:27 pm 
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Welcome.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you have plans to license this vehicle, check your state's path to registering whatever for the road. Every state has different requirements. Some are changing for the better and some changing for the worse as I type. Then check if you can get insurance. If either a Vette Kart or Locost is license-able and insurable, then you have some decisions to make. If not, then that decision has been made for you and it is time to move on to plan B.

Either way you decide to go, you are welcome here. When you start building, create a build log and jump right in with lots of pictures. We like pictures here. :cheers:

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PostPosted: November 7, 2017, 11:48 pm 
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Location: No. Nevada
There are several reproduction bodies available from the 50's - 60's.
Devin, Victress, Kellison, etc.

Still fiberglass but hundreds of pounds lighter with short overhang and a vintage sports car look.
You can sell your current body to someone doing a repair, toss the luxury junk, put in some traditional gauges (I despise the newer 'Vette dash!) cut the weight considerably and have a good looking Cobra killer.

Running 80's Vette's are practically free in the winter around here.
Once I catch up on current projects a Devin SS/Vette is a goal.

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PostPosted: November 8, 2017, 11:23 am 
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rx7locost wrote:
Welcome.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you have plans to license this vehicle, check your state's path to registering whatever for the road. Every state has different requirements. Some are changing for the better and some changing for the worse as I type. Then check if you can get insurance. If either a Vette Kart or Locost is license-able and insurable, then you have some decisions to make. If not, then that decision has been made for you and it is time to move on to plan B.

Either way you decide to go, you are welcome here. When you start building, create a build log and jump right in with lots of pictures. We like pictures here. :cheers:



Thank you for the reality check. I have it registered as an antique so I don't have to pass vehicle inspection. I also live in West Virginia. If the rock buggies running around are any indication I'm able to get away with alot! That having been said, it's probably easier to do the Vette kart than to get a home built vehicle tagged. The local DMV tends to be discretionary depending on the emotional state of the person behind the counter. They wouldn't let my buddy tag his super clean 53000 mile Nissan Maxima antique even though they couldn't tell him why he couldn't. I guess because it wasn't a 'murican muscle car.


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PostPosted: November 8, 2017, 11:29 am 
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RichardSIA wrote:
There are several reproduction bodies available from the 50's - 60's.
Devin, Victress, Kellison, etc.

Still fiberglass but hundreds of pounds lighter with short overhang and a vintage sports car look.
You can sell your current body to someone doing a repair, toss the luxury junk, put in some traditional gauges (I despise the newer 'Vette dash!) cut the weight considerably and have a good looking Cobra killer.

Running 80's Vette's are practically free in the winter around here.
Once I catch up on current projects a Devin SS/Vette is a goal.



I looked at stuff like that but I'd rather avoid fiberglass all together. Think WV back country mixed surface roads with no lines and the likelihood of becoming slightly airborne. Speeds over 50 are quite frankly ridiculous where I like to drive. IF I have an "incident" with a fence, deer, etc. I'd like to be quite safe and able to return the vehicle to operation as soon as I put tires back on road surface.


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PostPosted: November 8, 2017, 11:35 am 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
Welcome aboard. There are a lot of folks here who have built and love big engined Locosts, and if you're so motivated, you have a good solid donor there. On the other hand, odds are good that you can find a local Miata owner who would love to swap for a clean, low mileage z51 package C4 Vette. If I were you (and I'm not--I'm one of those three-liter-and-under guys who values minimum weight over maximum muscle) I'd sell or swap my 'Vette for something more suited to my own tastes.

I think the only sense-talking you need is: decide what you want and then do it. Anything you've listed among your options will work, and you'll find plenty of encouragement here, regardless of which of those paths you take.

As far as pedigree goes, if you decide to build a Locost, I wouldn't much worry about pedigree, but I'm a heretic when it comes to pedigree, ever since my wife (half a century ago) got hassled for using her Carrera Speedster as a grocery getter. Heck, first time I saw a Ferrari 250 GT I thought "Donor car!"



At 245HP It doesn't make a lot of muscle though it is relative. It does however have torque to spare which makes accelerating out of turns an absolute HOOT! As far as "pedigree" I have no interest in the satin jacket scene and I think I've already pissed off the guys over at the Corvette forums by talking about how cheap these cars are. What I meant was I wanted something built from the ground up with driving in mind not some econo-box with delusions of grandeur. I'd DD ANYTHING. The more esoteric the better.


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PostPosted: November 8, 2017, 11:42 am 
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carguy123 wrote:
Having just recently helped a Bud build a Vette Kart I can say it is easy and ugly, but great fun.

You will need to work on better battery hold downs and work on building a firewall between the occupants & the gas tank before you'll be allowed to run at any type of sanctioned event even an autocross.

You'll want to do the usual things with lowering springs, because without all that extra weight the car will ride quite a bit higher, plus stiffer springs for better handling. Will you keep the rear leaf to replace with coilovers?

The rear leaf works but it's not a simple/cheap to reduce the ride height or stiffen it.


Links to a build thread or photos? Definitely want it to be safe. It may be adhering to someones rulebook is the way to go there.

Ride height isn't an issue for me. I'm not sure stiffer springs will be either. It will see more back WV roads than smooth track asphalt. I'd like to keep the stock springs front and rear if possible. As I understand it the transverse leaf arrangement is light, durable and has plenty of travel. Catching air is definitely a thing around here depending on the road.


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PostPosted: November 8, 2017, 4:41 pm 
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We didn't do a build thread, or what would be more appropriately called a thread of cataclysmic destruction.

I just spent 30 minutes looking for pics on my phone, but couldn't find any. It wasn't pretty, we just cut away everything that we didn't need which didn't leave us with much. We did have to weld on a couple of braces, like where the doors used to be, to keep it from being a floppy flyer, but there was no science involved or trying to make it pretty.

You will have to use lowering springs or cut the stock springs as the ride height goes up so much you can't get the positive camber out of the tires.

EDIT: BTW I've seen the same thing done to a Miata and it worked better. Wheelspin is an issue in the VetteKart.

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PostPosted: November 8, 2017, 8:36 pm 
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How about build a vette kart first and enjoy it for a couple years. If you're still curious about the locost thing then you can use the kart for a donor. That way you will have lived with both and made an educated decision.


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PostPosted: November 8, 2017, 11:03 pm 
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Location: No. Nevada
Seems what you really want is a Pro-Rally type car?

As I recall the 'Vette rear does not live well with being airborne or other shock loads to the axles.
Dana 30 has a reputation for being a bit weak and if you have a D44 it's still not impressively strong.
I would expect U-Joint or pinion failures that would strand you.

Seems Something like a Subaruuuuu WRX AWD might be better suited to your goal?
A Chevy 4x4 that still has a frame, maybe put a fully caged car body on it for :shock: and :lol: factor?
Since you are going to have to tube frame - roll cage it improving suspension should be fairly easy.

I think you mentioned being back east, maybe find an old "Stock Car" to build up? :chev:
Lots of work already done that way, cage, strong axles, adjustable suspension, sheet-metal easily replaced, etc.
Could probably convert it to 4x4 too.

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