An M.G. Locost Build
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August 3, 2013
Going Green

  Locost body panels drying in the sun
click to enlarge

We did it. We got all the bodywork painted. We're pretty excited about it, too. We went through two full quarts of Rustoleum, which surprised us a little since we only used one quart of primer when we painted the same panels three weeks ago, but the decision to pick up an extra quart of Dark Hunter Green at the hardware store last week appears to have worked in our favor. We thinned the Rustoleum 4:1 with acetone, and probably could've gone a little thinner, as evidenced by slight mottling on a few of the panels and a complete lack of drips and runs on all of the panels.

Air hose precariously close to painted parts  
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We did have a few errors, though. We are still amateurs, after all. The air hose got in the way a couple of times, smooshing the paint in a few places. It also kinked once, and just so you know, when you're shooting a panel and all of a sudden the air pressure drops to zero because of a kink in the line, the last puff of air will splatter giant drops of paint onto your nice smooth panel. Not much you can do about it except finish the panel, let it dry, and buff it out later. Until then, you need to be a little bit selective about what photos you post online.

  Someday we'll get those holes covered
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We're not sure what to make of the car yet. The panels are very glossy, which gives us every reason to believe that the car will be glossy too, once the panels are riveted to the chassis. Somehow we weren't expecting that. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the rest of the car looks so homemade. It's too soon to tell because we have to wait for all of the panels to dry and they could still lose some of their luster, but our Locost could actually end up looking pretty darned good. Stranger things have happened. Although not many.

Note Locost chassis protected from overspray  
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Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the painted panels exceeded our glossy index, which had been set by the scuttle. In a side-by-side comparison between the scuttle and the nose cone, for example, the scuttle loses by a wide margin. To defend its honor we got out some paste wax and buffed up the scuttle as best we could. It looked better but still came up short. So now one of two things has to happen. Either the new panels have to fade as they start to dry, or we bust out the rubbing compound on the scuttle.

We mentioned last week that our scuttle sheeting, in addition to being moderately glossy, is also a little wavy. Luckily, that won't be the only wavy panel on the car. Our fiberglass pieces, which looked nice and smooth and flat in gel coat, now look the way we expect fiberglass to look, nice and smooth and wavy. Still not as bad as your average '60's Corvette, and of course we were prepared for this, which is why we didn't spend thousands of hours block sanding multiple coats of high-build primers to get them all perfect. We might've mentioned this before, but we're not exactly building a show car here.

  Glossy paint highlights fiberglass finish
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In another week or so we'll move out of the Coachwork phase of this operation, and into the final stage. It's starting to feel like we're nearing the end of a giant jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces have been laid out on the table for a while now, and we have a few pieces staring us in the face that should've been easy to fit early on, but for some reason we haven't figured out where they go yet. Now we're at that stage where every piece goes somewhere, and the only big mystery left is which piece will be last. Maybe the seats, or maybe the shocks. Maybe the windshield wipers.

But it won't be the grill. We are making great progress on the grill after ditching our earlier idea of making it out of some kind of steel, and cutting it instead out of 0.10 6061-T6 aluminum, the same material we used for the dashboard and console covers. The beauty of this stuff is that we can cut it on our scroll saw, destroying only a handful of blades, which means that without engaging in any expensive water jet or laser technology, we can incorporate a cool 7-type design in the grill, and our only problem is going to be figuring out what kind of design we want.

Odd mix of M.G. and Lotus design elements  
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For a decision this important we reverted back to PowerPoint, and came up with two basic design criteria: something that looked reminiscent of an M.G. grill, and something that looked reminiscent of a Lotus 7 grill. Plus it had to be easy to make. What we ended up with doesn't look promising, but we hope it'll look better in real life than it does in PowerPoint. In any case, the odds of getting it made accurately are so small we probably won't have to worry about it. And we have lots more aluminum.


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posted August 4, 2013 at 22:26:27  
Great progress it wont be long before you are driving her  
posted August 5, 2013 at 21:36:14  
Right on! There is a 7 on the grille! I'm happy, of course, you aren't doing this for anyone's enjoyment but your own. Haha. -Tony  
posted August 9, 2013 at 22:26:53  
I think we would all disagree that this car looks homemade. And since I get to see this grill being completed and up close, I can tell you it looks extremely cool and the design is even cooler. Whoopee, we have glossy green Locost pieces everywhere, just waiting to find their home. None of us would focus on the mistakes, unless we ourselves were building it- all I am seeing is pure genius.  
posted October 23, 2016 at 17:40:52  
Appreciate you sharing, great post.Thanks Again. Will read on...
posted September 20, 2017 at 14:17:12  
You will require to invest a substantial quantity