An M.G. Locost Build
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July 24, 2013
Sanding

We've gotten most of the sanding done on the body panels. Okay not really, but we did buy some sandpaper, in 220, 320, and 400 grits. I'm not sure when sandpaper got so expensive. Three packs of sandpaper cost more than two quarts of paint. Obviously they're not getting their sand from the beach. Beach sand is free. Maybe it's the paper. Maybe it's the hardware store. In any case we're all done buying sandpaper, as this will be the last of the painting. So far as we know.

  Primered body panels ready for sanding
click to enlarge

We have to get most of the sanding done next week, because we'll be out of town this weekend and we're hoping to paint next weekend. We want to rivet the panels to the frame around the middle of August, as per our plan to finish the bodywork phase of this build on the 15th, and the panels need plenty of time to dry. In the meantime we'll get all of the lights hooked up, finish up our exhaust heat shield, fabricate some kind of grill for the nose, and possibly install the windshield, if we get the windshield in time.

Installing the windshield with the bodywork in place can be done, but will be about 60 times more difficult. The windshield frame bolts to a pair of stanchions that bolt to the sides of the scuttle, and fitting nuts to those scuttle bolts will be a whole lot easier if we can just reach up through the side of the frame. With the body in place, the only alternative is to reach in under the dash, and we can already tell that would not go well. So we're hoping the windshield arrives in time.

Unusually large motorcycle mirrors  
click to enlarge

Once the windshield is bolted in we can install the side mirrors. We got some generic mirrors for a Yamaha from a bike shop, and we hope they work better on a Locost than they do on a Yamaha. It's not promising, though. The mirrors are mounted on long skinny rods that look like they have the exact same resonant frequency as a British Motors B-series engine at cruise RPMs. But too late to worry about it now. They look like side mirrors and should pass inspection. If we can see anything out of them at speed, total bonus.

  Having seats will be cool
click to enlarge

We also got foam for the seat cushions. Not a lot of foam, but it's a start. We bought a pair of foam wedges cut to the size of the seats. These wedges will sit on top of flat 2" cushions, which within the narrow confines of the Locost cockpit will impart that sporty "bucket" feel. We plan to cover the seats with the same top-quality Moss Motors vinyl that we used for our side panels, and we actually had enough vinyl left over to cut the pieces for the passenger seat. We just have to get them sewed together somehow. I'm sure we'll figure something out.

Making the grill should be easier, since it involves more traditional automotive skills like cutting up steel and hammering on things. We bought some grill material from McMaster Carr, and we could just cut that to the shape of the opening in the nose and bolt it on, if we were the sort of Locost builders who didn't think that a car's grillwork ultimately reflects the pride, tradition, and craftsmanship of the manufacturer. Actually we are those sort of Locost builders, but maybe we'll get ambitious and build some cross bars or something.

So that's where we stand right now, not a lot to report this week, and if it seems like once again we didn't get anything done on the Locost, I'd like to remind you about those two pieces of vinyl we cut out. In any case our list of outstanding tasks is so small now that we get to take a short break, and should be back with pictures of sanded body panels in just a few days.

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Comments:  
posted July 29, 2013 at 15:07:13  
Is there going to be a big "7" on the grille? You know, just in case someone couldn't figure it out.

Very excited to see this thing rolling soon!
-Tony
 
posted July 31, 2013 at 16:12:09  
Hi Tony, started working on the grill and a big 7 is a definite possibility. See our next installment.  
posted August 1, 2013 at 03:52:41  
I will say that Nick is seriously reporting when he says he didn't do much on the car this week. Maybe not what he considers much, but as usual his humility has him not seeing how much incredible work he is doing, and those interior panels look amazing- he did a really cool job!- Kaitlyn