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    Default interest in a A110 replica'ish thingy?

    Hi,

    As I mentioned elsewhere I grew up around Renaults rallying in the 60's/70's so of course, as anyone in a similar position, have always been bitten by the A110 bug.

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    I have a sideline going currently with car building and am about to release my first production kit car and I am now considering what my second model will be and an A110 replica is certainly up there for consideration.

    I have no interest in pedantic replicas, too much like hard work, other than to be externally visually correct. I would consider something such as a mid engined, spaceframe layout using a modern transverse engine. I like my cars to work all year round quietly and smoothly without needing to think about them.

    So I was just curious as to any interest in a (extremely affordable) project such as this or have I just opened the door for "Cynics United" ...

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    I would look at Toyota MR2 underpinnings for that kind of project.
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    There would be nowhere for the people to sit, the A110 is an extremely small car so would need to be rear engined I would think.

    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    I would look at Toyota MR2 underpinnings for that kind of project.

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    If you're doing this in China there could be significant problems getting through our Aussie regulators. Maybe partial construction there and partial here.

    Also have you considered doing copies of concept cars. Something like DRB in Qld does with the modern Shelby Cobra https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...KMaN8QfhmoHACg

    There could be some modern Reno- Alpines concepts https://www.google.com.au/search?q=r...%3B1600%3B1200

    or Lotus ones Esprit Road Tests

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    I have thought about this in the past, I'd go a subaru gearbox with a flipped crown wheel, which you can buy. If you were using a WRX as a start point you may be able to use all the suspension and possibly even make it a AWD by flipping the rear diff upside down and putting it in the front. I can only imagine how well a AWD Alpine would handle. You could use any engine that is light enough, maybe a CA18DET.

    I've also thought about a Subaru drive train in a R12 wagon as well, practical and fast.

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    OMG yes. Use Subaru motors and gearboxes. Boxer engines are the best for low CoG, balance and compact architecture. So much choice as well, even up to the larger 6 cylinders. Plus they'll meet all current and future emissions requirements and there's so much available in the aftermarket including c/r gearkits, turbo upgrades etc. They can sound great too with equal length exhausts to the turbo, smoother and less dac dac.

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    There is a 4x4 A110 available as a kit car. It runs a Porsche mechanicals and I would think it very potent. I do not like the out come with the wheels. It really looks sh!t, but you can do your own thing once you've bought it or built it.

    Sports car race pan VW type 1 chassis

    Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

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    Those wheels are way to big for the car, I like the idea though. Porsche is the expensive way to go but requires no gearbox modifications. If plans/kits ended up being available for this sort of thing I'd be interested, that is if I ever finish the R10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvr View Post
    If you're doing this in China there could be significant problems getting through our Aussie regulators. Maybe partial construction there and partial here.

    Also have you considered doing copies of concept cars.
    It is a kit car which implies component supply that you assemble and finalise in your specific country.

    Doing a replica of a 1960s car makes for licencing in some countries very easy as the regulations apply to the year of the specific car replicated and that's one reason Cobras, GT40s etc as well as homebulit Locost 7s are so popular. The Locosts are licenced as 1962 Lotus 7s usually. Oz will always be Oz and see you as a bunch of child killers so will never be easy.

    And "doing it in China" makes it stupidly cheap, target price would be sub 10K for a basic roller.


    Quote Originally Posted by c.lees View Post
    I have thought about this in the past, I'd go a subaru gearbox with a flipped crown wheel, which you can buy.
    Money money money.

    In China series 2 VW Passats called Santana are still made in the millions for taxi work. There are 10 meter high mountains of 5 speed 1800 boxes in scrapyards that take any VW water cooled engine from the orginal 70's 1.6 SOHC Golf to a current 2.0 turbo - VW has retained the same bellhousing pattern all these years.

    I am more interested in something like a middy using a 1.8 Toyota 1ZZ (99kgs) or similar which there's plenty of room for Graham. Lotus Elise use the ZZ engine.

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    Doubt you'd ever get a kitcar past our draconian Aussie laws which is why I suggested some form of local build. Also Subaru (and Porsche) engines, being modular in a way, have an enduring continuity that solid block motors don't. Thus easier for the manufacturers to update and keep abreast of everchanging emissions laws. The other manufacturers have to build totally new motors every few years to do so.

    Here's an idea. Make kits for Toyota's MRS. (Do engage proper car stylists who understand design and proportions though.) That car breaks down to a powered chassis frame with all the panels being bolt-on. It might lend itself to cloning the Alpine concepts. The engine bay is largish and v6's have been installed. Being a re-bodied car also makes it easier for local authorities to register. Selling panels and bodykits to us in Australia could work.

    With the right look I reckon a re-bodied MRS powered by a current VW GTI or VR6 engines with double clutch boxes could hit the performance mark.

    But if you're looking at a more global market forget about the small market in this country. When it comes to the local market and ADR's I think we're backward in looking forward.
    Last edited by dvr; 7th July 2014 at 09:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvr View Post
    Doubt you'd ever get a kitcar past our draconian Aussie laws which is why I suggested some form of local build.
    People are getting imported, locally built kits registered weekly, though not easy and not cheap.

    Believe it or not they have recently made it a little easier, not much, and that's pretty serious for our insipid Government.

    The bit they made most easier is the chassis torsion test is now 4000lbs per inch across the board regardless of propulsion.

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    First, good on you; I wish you & your venture well, no matter what final form it takes. Some musings on the topic follow.

    I now own a Matra Djet but, prior to buying it, I was also thinking A110 & was impressed by the short-lived English replica based on a Davrian/Darrian design & using the R20 etc Douvrin 2 litre motor. Despite its commercial failure, I think that the concept of an A110 replica could work. I am no longer in the market for such a beastie but I wouldn't at all have been deterred by a kit - so long as it was a good one (the D/D one was). The business case is helped by the high prices now being obtained for originals, even Mexican Dinalpins.

    Your market is baby boomers who are now cashed up enough to fund adolescent fantasies. For these people, I surmise that visual fidelity will be important & that does mean an almost exact body clone (Colin Stark of Alpine Affaire has a mould & could be talked to). It also means not going modern-mega on engine, wheels & tyres.

    I think that there's a market for something of this sort provided that it is more than a mere visual achievement ( something that is the sole accomplishment of too many kit cars).

    Despite a rear engine, swing-axles & a short wheel base, Berlinettes (& a host of rear engined Renaults of a sporting sort - my 4CVG included) are capable "C" road blasters. Your problem is going to be to get the suspension set up good enough to be at least in that league. I think that you should conceive of it in the way that Caterham has conceived of the 160. ln absolute performance terms, it's the runt of the litter but in "driving pleasure on "C" roads" terms, it's the pick of the range. For fun driving in real road (not track day) situations, let your motto be "less is more".

    Getting this right means working above all on some key things: steering feel & quick response & benignly adjustable & talkative behaviour at the limit of adhesion. This can be achieved with a rear-engine (even with swing axles - I've done it with my 4CVG) but I would suggest a mid-engine. But I wouldn't recommend a transverse 4 despite it being the most compact arrangement & giving you the best chance of staying within the Berlinette envelope. Much as I am impressed by how my 4CVG has turned out dynamically, my Djet exceeds it in benign tossability on public roads. Its layout is longitudinal mid-engine & thus, significantly, it has a longish wheelbase. Yet dimensionally it is about the same as the A110. The engine bay is right at one's back but that is ok. I'd be inclined to take it as your conceptual benchmark for the mechanical side of things - not the A110.

    As suggested elsewhere, I'd be inclined to use the Subaru flat four in mid-engined layout. You should be able to work out a gear shift linkage (don't even entertain the thought of anything but a manual - you'll lose your market instantly). My Djet has a maze of rods & rose joints but it works well enough.

    What the dynamic demand means is a bespoke kit of well researched & trialled detailed suspension components, not donor car ones. I'd envisage you staying with some mainstream set-up but changing the usual springs, dampers & anti-roll bars (& perhaps control arm attachment points to change static camber). You're stuck with this anyway (unless your donor has the same weight & fore-aft distribution) if you don't want an evil handling pig. One hassle is going to be the prevalence of tall Macpherson strut suspensions & the conflict with your chosen body envelope.

    To re-emphasize: getting suspension & handling right is a necessary condition of success for this particular replica.

    As for wheels & tyres, I'd go for the smallest possible fittings that allow access to modern tyre types ( I don't mean Pilot Super Sports class - think of the success of the Toyota 86 in its most basic spec & the Caterham 160 only has 165/70-14). So, something like 175/65-15 fronts & 195/55-15 rears; go much larger & you lose playfulness on public roads & that is a "reason for being" for a beastie like this.

    Finally, a wild card suggestion: consider using Renault's new Twingo as your basis - especially if, as seems likely, they do an RS cum Gordini cum Alpine-lite version of it. This would help assuage qualms among the mindlessly tribal & puristic of your potential buyers.

    Bonne chance! Peter

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    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts, appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    This would help assuage qualms among the mindlessly tribal & puristic of your potential buyers.
    Well lets clear that one out the way first; I don't care. I have worked on and had my share of Webered, points, etc. engines in purpose built noisy, harsh competition cars and I have long outgrown "character!".


    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post

    Your market is baby boomers who are now cashed up enough to fund adolescent fantasies. For these people, I surmise that visual fidelity will be important & that does mean an almost exact body clone. It also means not going modern-mega on engine, wheels & tyres.
    I agree, needs to look exactly like an Alpine with period wheels and rubber but I do disagree about the engine which should be a recent modest affair of around 1.8 simulating the power of an Alpine, i.e. 140hp abouts. Obviously the weight of an Alpine also needs to be reasonably replicated. Difference is that modern 140hp engine will never be needed to be touched for years and one can take a trip to wherever without the obligatory tool sack - not to mention idle, no farting and missing, no attention grabbing (read embarrassing) moments in the middle of the city etc, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    I think that there's a market for something of this sort provided that it is more than a mere visual achievement
    My purpose is to offer a really, really cheap Alpine that many can afford, I have no doubt that you are right and there are handcrafted cars around the world that prove your point - they also cost a bloody fortune, I am talking sub-$10K plus say a used 1ZZ engine and box out of a Corolla for under a grand and a few weekends work. Paint and wheels and you're away.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    But I wouldn't recommend a transverse 4 despite it being the most compact arrangement & giving you the best chance of staying within the Berlinette envelope.

    As suggested elsewhere, I'd be inclined to use the Subaru flat four in mid-engined layout.
    100% no to a Subaru. I can't stand the noise that make, simple as that and I can't picture an Alpine making that sound ever.

    There are simply a hundred choices of transverse engines and thousands of them sitting in wreckers around the world. Yes there are arguments for handling and a longitudinal engine will always have an advantage in moment but it's not that drastic an issue when everything else is balanced out. Didn't work out too badly for the Stratos or Pug 205 T16 not to mention Ferrari 308 etc.

    I have the Toyota 1ZZ in mind currently as it fits the bill rather well, is one of the lightest production mid class engines in the world (99kgs) and I can mention to any knockers; "Well it's good enough for the Lotus Elise ...."

    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    What the dynamic demand means is a bespoke kit of well researched & trialled detailed suspension components, not donor car ones. One hassle is going to be the prevalence of tall Macpherson strut suspensions & the conflict with your chosen body envelope.
    I have a reasonable hold on what is available over the counter here now - prices that still blow me away, steering rack I bought last week at $30 for example. HiLux uprights, hubs, wheel studs and bearings, both sides $100.

    As for McFearsome struts, people tend to be trapped by standard body mounting points with them but you can actually do some interesting stuff with them outside the box.


    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post

    Finally, a wild card suggestion: consider using Renault's new Twingo as your basis - especially if, as seems likely, they do an RS cum Gordini cum Alpine-lite version of it.
    There is no comparison for tracking down the running gear for one of those compared to 20 others I can name off the top - but I take your point and always design my basic engine bays starting with a box that can be home engineered to accept anything basically.

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    I would've thought a 2.0 Clio Sport engine and transaxle would be ideal....

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    I do like your schematic.

    Maybe other countries accept and register recreations but in oz today any recreation still has to comply with current emissions standard which negates most of the engines in wrecking yards.

    Have you heard a 2.5 WRX engine with a proper equal length exhaust?

    And if somebody wants to go bonkers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SoGzbrxKuw

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    The MR2 I was talking about is the early wedge type with its 4AG engine across the back/centre.

    The problem with Subaru mechanicals in cars is that Subaru has already done it very well. The only conversion I have seen that was perhaps worth the money was a VW Transporter (or Caravelle? can't remember) with AWD and lots of power which would have been a very nice camper van. VW themselves of course did it with the Synchro.

    The R12 would not be much better than the Liberty station wagon, I think. Well, not good enough to justify the effort. People have already done it elsewhere using R18 4x4 mechanicals.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 9th July 2014 at 05:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvr View Post

    Maybe other countries accept and register recreations but in oz today any recreation still has to comply with current emissions standard which negates most of the engines in wrecking yards.

    The test is the test and you either pass or you don't regardless of which engine is pumping out the particles - it's just more modern engines make life easier to pass. Using a cat is a must to pass and also helps for the noise test speaking of which the Alpine's extended rear makes life very easy to mount mufflers and cats back there.

    There are enough tuners around now who know how to get your engine passed, plenty of Clubman guys are using older Nissan SR20 and Toyota 3SG etc and getting them through. It's a hassle and can cost you a few bob but being done all the time.

    Lets hope our new Senator for the car enthusiasts party helps the process a bit.

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    If i can't afford the real thing, i don't want something that i have to squint at and pretend it sort of looks like the real thing.
    If you've got too much traction, you haven't got enough horse power ...




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    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno View Post
    I would've thought a 2.0 Clio Sport engine and transaxle would be ideal....
    +1 (Bxxxxy hell it wants 5 characters or more per post. Why?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 27of85 View Post
    If i can't afford the real thing, i don't want something that i have to squint at and pretend it sort of looks like the real thing.
    Perhaps you could ameliorate your qualms by relishing the mid engine & non-swing-axle rear suspension in the twisty bits (assuming that the bits are bespoke in specification & not just bolt-on from whatever the wrecker had - regardless of dynamics). No pretence but just a celebration of a cute critter's looks with modern bits inside. As I've said, I suspect that there is indeed a market for it (but it has to handle well).

    QUOTE I would've thought a 2.0 Clio Sport engine and transaxle would be ideal.... UNQUOTE

    Too heavy in my view for a vehicle which will be narrow tracked.

    cheers! Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by 27of85 View Post
    If I can't afford the real thing, I don't want something that I have to squint at and pretend it sort of looks like the real thing.
    You may have missed some of the text above ....


    Quote Originally Posted by Kram View Post
    will be and an A110 replica .... to be externally visually correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kram View Post

    I agree, needs to look exactly like an Alpine with period wheels and rubber
    Quote Originally Posted by Kram View Post

    Doing a replica of a 1960s car makes for licencing in some countries very easy


    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno View Post
    I would've thought a 2.0 Clio Sport engine and transaxle would be ideal....
    You mean a more expensive, harder to get and maintain engine is better because it has a Renault badge on it?

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    I have decided to move ahead with this as the next step after my current car project that is in it's final stages. The fast sales of stupidly priced Alpines all over the World are encouraging enough that a cheap but well done replica will move a handful of units to at least cover costs.

    My plan will be as mentioned above, an exact external replica with most likely a modern, World wide common transaxle, likely a Toyota 1ZZ or other lightweight unit of around 140hp to maintain a bit of consitency.

    I imagine a complete body with chassis kit will be in the order of $100,000, errr sorry I meant $10,000, sorry was a bit Alpine bitten there for a moment.

    Will be a good 6 months before any kind of results start to appear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kram View Post
    I have decided to move ahead with this as the next step after my current car project that is in it's final stages. The fast sales of stupidly priced Alpines all over the World are encouraging enough that a cheap but well done replica will move a handful of units to at least cover costs.

    My plan will be as mentioned above, an exact external replica with most likely a modern, World wide common transaxle, likely a Toyota 1ZZ or other lightweight unit of around 140hp to maintain a bit of consitency.

    I imagine a complete body with chassis kit will be in the order of $100,000, errr sorry I meant $10,000, sorry was a bit Alpine bitten there for a moment.

    Will be a good 6 months before any kind of results start to appear.
    I repeat: think about offering a well-researched bespoke set of springs, dampers & anti-roll bars as an option. Donor standard gear will likely make the car an ill-handling heap. In the same spirit, think about a mild upgrade of wheels & tyres & build in a fore-aft size imbalance for benign limit transitions. I consider my earlier size suggestions to be a good compromise between visual fidelity to the original & permitting fitment of decently modern tyre types. The suggested front size also allows you to avoid power steering (a must) & the, wider but still modest, rears should allow even a light car to have its limits breached on a public road without excessive drama. Continuing on the "handling is everything" theme: think about mild geometry changes via changed chassis mount point relationships. Finally, shift as much weight to the front as possible except for the fuel tank - which is best between driver & engine.

    Good luck with it; I shall watch events with some interest.

    cheers! Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    First, good on you; I wish you & your venture well, no matter what final form it takes. Some musings on the topic follow.

    Your market is baby boomers who are now cashed up enough to fund adolescent fantasies.

    Despite a rear engine, swing-axles & a short wheel base, Berlinettes (& a host of rear engined Renaults of a sporting sort - my 4CVG included) are capable "C" road blasters. Your problem is going to be to get the suspension set up good enough to be at least in that league. I think that you should conceive of it in the way that Caterham has conceived of the 160. ln absolute performance terms, it's the runt of the litter but in "driving pleasure on "C" roads" terms, it's the pick of the range. For fun driving in real road (not track day) situations, let your motto be "less is more".

    Much as I am impressed by how my 4CVG has turned out dynamically, my Djet exceeds it in benign tossability on public roads. Its layout is longitudinal mid-engine & thus, significantly, it has a longish wheelbase. Yet dimensionally it is about the same as the A110. The engine bay is right at one's back but that is ok. I'd be inclined to take it as your conceptual benchmark for the mechanical side of things - not the A110.

    As suggested elsewhere, I'd be inclined to use the Subaru flat four in mid-engined layout. You should be able to work out a gear shift linkage (don't even entertain the thought of anything but a manual - you'll lose your market instantly). My Djet has a maze of rods & rose joints but it works well enough.

    To re-emphasize: getting suspension & handling right is a necessary condition of success for this particular replica.

    Finally, a wild card suggestion: consider using Renault's new Twingo as your basis - especially if, as seems likely, they do an RS cum Gordini cum Alpine-lite version of it. This would help assuage qualms among the mindlessly tribal & puristic of your potential buyers.

    Bonne chance! Peter
    Good on you Peter. Great and constructive response. Agree, and love the description of the "market" - I'm horribly afraid the cap fits me a bit!!

    Cheers
    JohnW

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