An M.G. Locost Build
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July 29, 2013
Year Three

Well, here we are again, two years to the day after embarking on this ridiculous project, and we're still plugging away at it, but this past year at least we've made some pretty significant progress. If you look at our first anniversary, back in July of 2012, we didn't have much more than a basic chassis and a garage full of M.G. parts. Now we almost have a whole car and a garage full of M.G. parts. A year ago we thought we might be driving the car by now, but that still looks to be a little ways in the future. Our focus right now is to finish up the bodywork.

  Locost body panels sanded down to 320 grit
click to enlarge

As promised, we spent the week prepping our eleven body panels for painting, and we took pictures. We seem to be on schedule for painting this weekend, mostly because sanding hasn't taken as long as we thought it would. We're down to 320 grit sandpaper on the panels now, and we'll hit them with 400 grit in the next day or two, but first we wanted to putty over a few imperfections in some of the panels, at least the ones that might show up in photographs, and then we had to spray them with primer again, which now has to dry.

Last chance to fix minor blemishes  
click to enlarge

So we're expecting great results when we shoot the panels this weekend, but we're willing as usual to settle for anything that doesn't look horrible, although horrible is certainly an option. Our biggest concerns will be the nose and the hood, in part because those are mostly what you see when you look at the car, and in part because they're both huge and will be difficult to repaint with a spray can when shooting them from a gun turns out horrible. All of the other panels will be easy to repair, though we hope to avoid having to prove it.

  Locost scuttle after four months of hard use
click to enlarge

Our quality benchmark for the paint job will be the scuttle. We painted the scuttle about four months ago, and it still looks decent except for a couple of scratches, which you almost can't avoid when you're building a car. You may recall that our scuttle sheeting wasn't a work of art to begin with, having a couple of ripples in the surface, but it still looks glossy, based on our own definition of glossy, and if the rest of the panels look as good we're going be pretty thrilled, at least until we start messing around with trying to install them.

Simple, stylish, and lightweight Locost grill  
click to enlarge

While waiting for putty to dry, we decided to try and make a grill for the nose. Doing it before painting was probably a wise move, since the edge of the wire mesh gets rather sharp after honing it on a grinding wheel, and with very little effort we managed to do a pretty thorough job of scratching up the primer on the nose. We did similar damage to our hands and fingers, but that's not as important. What's important is, we're going to need a way to remove and install the grill in the future without having to repaint the nose each time.

  Popular type of grill, this one made in the Ukraine
click to enlarge

A common way to do this is with a metal strip, about 3/4" wide, that runs around the outer edge of the grill. The strip bolts to the nose, sandwiching the grill in between, with some kind of rubber gasket to protect the paint. Ideally the strip would be made from a piece of sheet metal, something shiny like for instance stainless steel, and might even include a nice design in the middle, like for instance the popular stylized 7. Or possibly some kind of homage to our Locost's M.G. heritage. But that's too much work and/or expensive, so maybe later.

So here we are, slipping easily into our third year of this project, and even though we seem to be mired in the details right now, I think we can safely say that a year from now, or maybe even sooner, we'll be all through posting build logs, and will instead be posting reports on our myriad driving adventures in the Locost. Until that day we'll continue to try to keep you up to date on our progress, and we hope you're getting as anxious as we are to see how it all turns out.

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