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Old 9th July 2008, 16:37   #1
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Lightbulb The Modern Vintage Car

H E L P fellow BHPians

Was thinking if it is possible to build a car which has a body and (may be) chasses of a vintage car but an engine and rest of the setup of the available cars these days. For Example a Morris 8 body and chasses and the engine, gear box etc of say an Esteem.

If it can be done it would enable in developing a car which is good looking (the vintage look), reliable, has decent power, has good FE and is comfortable to drive/sit in. I donít intend to make a car in which we can travel to office everyday but, it should be a reliable car in which we can go for a Sunday evening drive from Bandra to Marine Drive and more importantly get back home.

I donít think it is going to be impossible to succeed in this mission with all you great guys around. Request you to highlight the difficulties (technical / modification / restoration) that can come up in your opinion (and the solution for them also) and also contribute in ways that will help in taking this project forward.
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Old 9th July 2008, 17:59   #2
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If you desire to build a car that feels modern in every way but only looks old/vintage I would recommend your considering a Gypsy rolling chassis or a Qualis. Once you remove the modern car's body you can graft the old body onto the chassis. This may not be a easy task as most pre 40's cars had wood for their inner structure, so you would have to do some extensive remodelling of the wooden inner structure and then cover the extensions in steel/aluminium sheet. Ideally find a vintage car whose dimensions are close to those of the modern chassis. That will minimise your work.

Its a tough job but it can be done. The key elements are the high cost of acquiring two cars and the project material/labour cost, the difficulty in finding workers who are willing to do this at reasonable cost, and the creativity/meticulousness of the executor. If you are prepared for all this then give it a shot. I think its a worthwhile project.
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Old 9th July 2008, 18:06   #3
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Thanx DKG - was thinking of this kind of approach alsoie., using the chasses of the modern car but body of old. What is the reason for suggesting the gypsy/qualis for this project.

Do you suggest any particular vintage??
Howmuch do you estimate the cost to be??


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Originally Posted by DKG View Post
If you desire to build a car that feels modern in every way but only looks old/vintage I would recommend your considering a Gypsy rolling chassis or a Qualis. Once you remove the modern car's body you can graft the old body onto the chassis. This may not be a easy task as most pre 40's cars had wood for their inner structure, so you would have to do some extensive remodelling of the wooden inner structure and then cover the extensions in steel/aluminium sheet. Ideally find a vintage car whose dimensions are close to those of the modern chassis. That will minimise your work.

Its a tough job but it can be done. The key elements are the high cost of acquiring two cars and the project material/labour cost, the difficulty in finding workers who are willing to do this at reasonable cost, and the creativity/meticulousness of the executor. If you are prepared for all this then give it a shot. I think its a worthwhile project.
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Old 9th July 2008, 18:17   #4
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Something like a Morgan 4 seater?
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Old 9th July 2008, 20:21   #5
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It is 100% possible but you need some experts for that.

Had seen West Coast Customs put the body of the old charger on the chasis of a new one.
So from outside it looks old but inside you have all the gadgets and comfort of the new car.

Also the main problem would be to get the car registered.
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Old 9th July 2008, 20:49   #6
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There is a company in Malaysia that builds a classic looking (triumph) on a Toyota Pickup truck chassis. Forget the name.
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Old 9th July 2008, 21:30   #7
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It's possible to build something you are looking at, but needs a lot of engineering to build it, when the engine is like 2 to 3 times powerfully than what the chassis was built for, brakes need looking at, suspension, wheels,steering need working on, etc...all this has to be done if you want a car that you can drive anything and feel safe in it, or else just putting in the engine gearbox combo will do, but won't be reliable
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Old 9th July 2008, 21:55   #8
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My mechanic who rebuilt my Amby has built a car from the scratch which looks like an old 40's Ford Pickup Truck from the scratch the work was stopped in the middle and the car is laying unpainted and unfinished at the workshop it's built around a jeep chassis i believe.......

Last edited by muneemmk : 9th July 2008 at 22:03.
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Old 9th July 2008, 21:56   #9
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@ KSM : As dinar mentioned, yes it is possible to build a car (vintage type). You need to check every aspect while doing the same, most importantly safety. Everything should be carefully sourced and put into a piece. And another thing is , you may face problems with RTO as well..
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Old 9th July 2008, 23:04   #10
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Why don't you buy an ambassador? Guess HM still manufactures it keeping that same old look but everything else replaced by something contemporary!
But, I forgot..... it won't qualify as "vintage" enough as long as they don't stop making it and people don't stop using it..... and then you buy it from a scrap vendor paying insane price, and put insane efforts to replace it's engine (if it has one). Sorry, no offense!
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Old 9th July 2008, 23:39   #11
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I would think this way.

Get hold of a classic, restore it as it is, machine your existing cars engine(Original) in such a way that i doesn trouble.

I've done exactly done that with my BUG, If my spirits are high, i use my BUG everyday to my office (53 kms two way). It never fails you.

Dont get into a khichidi, i might give you lot of troubles.

I would agree with Deepaks process, Qualis has a seperate ladder on chassis and the whole body comes out.

Do let us know if you are doing what you are intenting to do.
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Old 10th July 2008, 10:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
What is the reason for suggesting the gypsy/qualis for this project.
The majority of modern cars these days are monocoque chassis whereby the frame is an integral part of the body.

What you need is a modern car which still uses a ladder frame type chassis onto which all mechanicals fix and the body is a bolt on. Today the only cars with separate frames are the Gypsy, the Qualis, the Innova, and the Endeavour. The advantage in considering these cars is when you take the body off you still have a rolling chassis whose fundamentals are not compromised.

When you cut open a monocoque body you end up messing the alignment completely and it would be close to a nightmare to get it right again.

Lets say you choose a Gypsy. You can discard the body and what you have is a rolling chassis which you can drive.

Perhaps an old Ford tourer or something similar should find the Gypsy chassis appropriate in terms of dimension. You could even consider a 40's car and make it a hotrod.

Cost wise I reckon you would need to have a budget of atleast 10lacs to be able to acquire the two cars and carry out all the modifications etc.

If you can build a two seater roadster using a gypsy, with wire wheels, motorcycle mudguards, and a boattail rear end you'd have a real knockout machine. I would love to build one like that someday!

Last edited by DKG : 10th July 2008 at 10:07.
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Old 10th July 2008, 10:10   #13
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@ KSM-Vtech

What you are saying is very much possible & is being done as we speak.

Undoubtedly this is a very tricky job as the engine, gearbox, differential / driveshafts, brakes, electricals, airconditioning etc etc etc have to be re-installed AND work well & efficiently.

There is a project like this that I am currently on with a Belair. It should be ready by September.

The execution can be entrusted to hardcore professionals only. Or else you will end up with TWO undriveable cars !!!



Edit : Just read DKG's post. I totally agree with post #12 from DKG. What he is saying makes total sense.



Cheers

Last edited by Ricky_63 : 10th July 2008 at 10:16.
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Old 10th July 2008, 11:48   #14
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Thanks a lot for the encouragement. I am learning that it is a trick job but, ur inputs would help me in finding out which are the vintage car bodies that could be good for fitting on the chasses mentioned by you guys.

It would be nice if you could post some pics. Also plz let us know abt the cost involved and the estimated total cost.

Have you started a string thread on the same?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
@ KSM-Vtech

What you are saying is very much possible & is being done as we speak.

Undoubtedly this is a very tricky job as the engine, gearbox, differential / driveshafts, brakes, electricals, airconditioning etc etc etc have to be re-installed AND work well & efficiently.

There is a project like this that I am currently on with a Belair. It should be ready by September.

The execution can be entrusted to hardcore professionals only. Or else you will end up with TWO undriveable cars !!!



Edit : Just read DKG's post. I totally agree with post #12 from DKG. What he is saying makes total sense.



Cheers
DKG - Thanks a lot for those inputs and encouraging words. Though you have me with the estimated expenditure but i hope i can do it for less.

In your experience which body form the 40's would fit on to the gypsy, qualis chassis?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
The majority of modern cars these days are monocoque chassis whereby the frame is an integral part of the body.

What you need is a modern car which still uses a ladder frame type chassis onto which all mechanicals fix and the body is a bolt on. Today the only cars with separate frames are the Gypsy, the Qualis, the Innova, and the Endeavour. The advantage in considering these cars is when you take the body off you still have a rolling chassis whose fundamentals are not compromised.

When you cut open a monocoque body you end up messing the alignment completely and it would be close to a nightmare to get it right again.

Lets say you choose a Gypsy. You can discard the body and what you have is a rolling chassis which you can drive.

Perhaps an old Ford tourer or something similar should find the Gypsy chassis appropriate in terms of dimension. You could even consider a 40's car and make it a hotrod.

Cost wise I reckon you would need to have a budget of atleast 10lacs to be able to acquire the two cars and carry out all the modifications etc.

If you can build a two seater roadster using a gypsy, with wire wheels, motorcycle mudguards, and a boattail rear end you'd have a real knockout machine. I would love to build one like that someday!
@ PAVAN KADAM - for sure i am going to do it. The only 2 things that can stop me from going ahead are BUDGET and RTO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post

Do let us know if you are doing what you are intenting to do.

@ santosh.s - you got it right it wont qualify as "vintage" - I know ifs going to be difficult but no harm in atleast finding out how difficult it is going to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
Why don't you buy an ambassador? Guess HM still manufactures it keeping that same old look but everything else replaced by something contemporary!
But, I forgot..... it won't qualify as "vintage" enough as long as they don't stop making it and people don't stop using it..... and then you buy it from a scrap vendor paying insane price, and put insane efforts to replace it's engine (if it has one). Sorry, no offense!
@ hrag - Ya that would be amazing, but will i be able to get the body somewhere? and will it fit on any on the suggested chassis??

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag View Post
Something like a Morgan 4 seater?

Last edited by GTO : 10th July 2008 at 13:48. Reason: Please use the multi-quote feature instead of typing one reply after another. Thanks
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Old 10th July 2008, 13:54   #15
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KSM,

There actually was a *modern* vintage looking car on sale in India. It wasn't too far back, though I am not sure if they managed to sell even a single piece.

Check this thread out for more information. You might also be interested in reading this thread (A modified vintage car?).

Have you seen San Motors Caterham replica? Poor implementation, but a great looking car nevertheless.
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