When I was a kid, I would always be building Billy carts out of scrap bits of wood, and anything that I could cannibalise to make that all desirable car or what I would interpret as a car.
Some of the carts I made were more of death traps with nails sticking out and wheels that wobbled and steering that I can only describe as being vague. Myself and my best friends would find some of the steepest hills in the area, and we would get pushed down these hills and at some point there would be a drama along the way.
Most of the time my building skills would provide us with a drama as it normally consisted of a wheel falling off or the bottom of the cart falling out, or the steering failing so badly that we would crash and all the above would happen and then add to that a few cuts and bruises to add to the story, and that was your drama.
So as you can see from a young age, I was itching to get building something that I could actually drive. I even went down the road of having to build Airfix kits to try to delay the inevitable that I wanted to play around with cars, and I mean real cars.
It was only on one Saturday afternoon that I was being dragged around a Halfords by my parents that I then decided to look at the book section, and I came across this book.
Yes!!! The “Build Your Own Sports Car For As Little As £250” by Ron Champion.
I cannot how many times I read this book and how many times I sat at metal merchants trying to see if I had enough pocket money to start buying the chassis bit by bit. I was really impressed by how simple it was to build a car, all I needed was an old rear-wheel drive escort and a bit of steel, and away I go, I would have a sports car 🙂
However, for some reason, I did not go on to build a kit car with my pocket money. I decided to throw good money after bad at a 1979 Mini that I eventually crashed and all I learnt with that experience was that Mini’s rust really bad, and the Mini Shed in Milton Keynes ripped people off left right and centre.Remember when I started reading this book the internet was not really around, and if it was there was no such thing as search engines so this book was my only real insight into the kit car industry, and I have to say thank god I read it.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and my Mini eventually became the grounds to build my first kit car. So it was not all bad 🙂
I would recommend reading or at the very least having a good flick through “Build Your Own Sports Car For As Little As £250” by Ron Champion as it truly is a fantastic book, and I should say that it inspired a lot of young mind like it did mine 🙂