Originally Posted by harofreak00
don't you usually buy the car first?
The thought had occured to me. Including such wild notions of buying a Pontiac Solstice off the showroom floor, gutting the driveline out of it, and installing an LS2.
But, this again involves taking on debt, which is one area I wish to avoid. The premiss of the car is that it is for fun, not daily transportation, So the money for it comes out of the disposable funds after the bills are paid. Plus any aditional wind-falls along the way (selling off a Garand or two, bonus checks from work, etc.) The budget of $600 per month over 36 months is pretty sound. From the people I've talked to, most of these cars come in at around $20,000 to $26,000 finished. Using as many recycled parts as I dare in the driveline should put that under $20,000...minimum of $16,000.
Also, I know the relative speed in which I work, which isn't an aggressive schedule at all when it comes to playing around with cars. So, buying an entire kit of parts for the car, up-front will not get it assembled any quicker.
The selection of driveline is also wrapped up in the budget. This is one of the main reasons the motor selected is a 5.0 Ford small bock. A 427 big block would be accurate for the body style (though, the first AC Cobras were powered by the 289). But with the big block comes the extra weight and a big jump in expense, both initial and long term maintenance. You also don't get a lot of extra bang for those bucks. With good aluminum heads and induction, a 302 small block can beat the big block in power output.
Last though on engine selection. Power to weight ratio:
Suzuki SV650 (70hp, 560 lbs of motorcycle and rider) = 8 lbs per hp
AC Cobra with a modified 302 (300hp, 2300 lbs of car and driver ) = 7.7lbs per hp
87 Camaro with 420 (380hp, 3600 lbs) = 9.5 lbs per hp
and for laughs,
1990 Bonneville with LN3 (165hp, 3760 lbs) = 22.7 lbs per hp
Even using the 302, the car has the potential to be the quickest in the garage, just edging out the Suzuki in power to weight ratio (Though, I would venture a guess that the motorcycle has a bit less loss through the drive line and better traction than any of the cars...so it is a little misleading.)