These are pictures of the very first stage of the build, picking up the bare LHD rebuild chassis at the GD factory and the car during the first test drive I made 4 years later together with my friend Rogier and my brother Christiaan. I could have not been more proud with all people pointing at it and giving the thumbs up signals. (Realy they where there they are just a bit camera shy) Looking at the picture is has become a stunning car and it has come out exactly the way I intended 6 years ago when I decided that: 

"this would be the car that I wanted to build some day". 

                                                             From This                     in 4years & 2600+hours                      To This

Donnington 2006: 4 seconds after Andy Burrows of Gardner Douglas guided me down into the cockpit of the orange demonstrator at their booth on the Donnington Kitcarshow. I sat down closed my eyes and could instantly grab all controls without looking, everything was in the right place! Meena Burrows (mrs Gardner Douglas) standing beside, said: "Ouh that fits you very well sir" 
It was there and then that I decided I would sell my previous kitcar, a 498kg weighing Sylva Striker powered by a 172hp 4age 20V Toyota engine, to gather enough funds to be able to start building the chassis kit for the T70. 
The years after this moment in Donnington where all about saving up enough money to be able to buy parts and take time to be able to build this car the way I wanted, which meant to buy the chassis and the body kits and some of the engineering at GD but make everything else myself.
Just before Christmas in 2008 the striker finally got sold and I placed the order at GD for the kit. In the end bought a chassis of a registered car had it rebuild and converted to LHD and bought everything else from the GD factory so that approval in the Netherlands years later would be still able. This proved a very wise decision back then.

Not having the type of salery that let me build this out of my back pocket was in fact good; as this meant saving up money in between build stages took almost as long as thoroughly building a car like this. In 6 years I learned a lot about project and financial planning and was able to stay very close to my budget and time planning. still it was pretty scary to spend 'enough money to make a substantial downpayment on a house', in a project that I could not see the end/finish of. GD on their part where very helpful in creating the possibility to buy the kit in sections at the time I needed and could afford them. Also they helped out a lot answering questions that helped me build parts instead of buying it from them... how's that for service!    

I do have a very nice little garage below our house. It was part of the deal when we bought the house, she wanted a nice bathroom I wanted a garage, so: first I build her bathroom, now the garage is mine! Anyway, I had not nearly enough machinery and tools let alone experience in using them to do everything myself, so I bought tools along the build as I needed them. I started out with simple handheld tools and a old mini-mig welder and plenty of space to build a Go-Cart :-). Now the workshop is now almost fully equipped with a: lathe, Milling machine, plate roll/bend/shear, 150A Mig and 200A AC-DC tig for aluminium welding, and a lot of other small machines,  Google is your friend on the: "how-to use/operate metal working machinery without chopping off my fingers" and lots of practice time eventually pays back. Not unimportant the T70 still fits inside the garage, although it became quite the challenge to not damage the car during the build.

Also one needs to have a very VERY understanding Swmbo, (aka: she who must be obeyed) in my case her name is Vivian and she has been enthusiastic about the car since day one, in fact she has be a big help at times during the build, where it to put the nosecone on for the millionth time or just to encourage on moments  I needed it, which I think anyone that has build his own car, plane, boat or whatever knows just to well. 
Before placing the final order and my "point of no return" in oktober 2008 I took her to GD to have a look at a finished example herself as I needed an excuse to spend this sort of money without her asking questions :-), and locking myself up in the garage for the years to come.
She fell for Andy's orange demonstrator right away (no pun intended!), and after we spend the rest of that day wandering around the historical city of Lincoln she even stopped asking whether this would be a realistic decision. 

The challenge was accepted!

what the hell was I thinking :-)

Subpages (2): Build diary Links