• Rear space frame construction – Delta Ligero custom sports car

    February 1st, 2017 | by
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    After a bit of time consolidating the build so far and planning the next stage, it’s all systems go on the rear bulkhead build and the completion of the rear space frame to support the rear body panels. The rear engine cover panel will be divided into two sections – a clear perspex section over the engine itself, and a hinged section at the rear to allow access to the transaxle, rear drivetrain components and exhaust. And who knows, there may even be room somewhere in there for a little bit of rear boot space!

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    True to form for a car of this nature, the rear vision out of the back window will be quite limited! We should be able to trim the existing bodywork to improve it somewhat. 

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    The next job is to finish off the rear superstructure and to source and mount some radiators on the flanks of the rear to capitalise on the airflow from the huge side vents. Until next time…

  • Test fitting the rear fibreglass body panels – custom sports car build – Delta Ligero

    January 10th, 2017 | by
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    After the first lot of rear custom fibreglass body panels were successfully pulled out of the moulds, the crew at Joe Bradley Fibreglass carefully gave them a trim and a tidy, and cut out all of the areas that are going to be air intakes or mesh on the final car. Then it was time to test fit the panels onto the rolling chassis and get our first true impression of what the rear end of the Ligero will look like. 

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    The cut out areas in the rear panel of the car will have mesh inserted into them to vent air out the back of the engine bay. The circular depressions are naturally going to have the triple tail lights in them, and the lower, outer vents will have the dual exhaust tips vertically stacked on each side. Below is a cardboard mockup of the badge work for the rear of the car with the black cardboard representing the mesh.

    A small amount of remedial cutting and pasting of the side sills of the chassis was required for a perfect fit of the body.

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    Then finally the Ligero could be lowered from the stands to get a feel for its road stance. Naturally this will require a bit of fine tuning as the back end gets loaded up with the AMG 5.5L V8 and Porsche 996 transaxle. Another factor that we have considered is that the custom Bilstein shocks are designed for a Corvette C5, which is a front-engined car, so it will be interesting to see how they perform in the setting of a mid-engined configuration. Only time will tell.

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    The final component to test fit on the rear was the wing, which is currently still in its body plug stage. Here’s a sneak preview of how it is going to look, complete with one of the early edition of Delta badges!

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    And finally a walk around and description of the build to date with the prototype Ligero back at Trickey Performance Engineering. It’s back to Andrew now to work his magic again and continue to build.

    Until next time, cheers, dan.

     

    View Dan Pronk's profile on LinkedIn
  • First Ligero fibreglass bodywork panels revealed!

    January 1st, 2017 | by
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    In a significant milestone for Delta Automotive the first fibreglass rear bodywork panels have come out of the mould, and they look fantastic! The photos below are of the crew at Joe Bradley Fibreglass removing the moulds from the first fibreglass rear bodywork, clad in grey gelcoat. 

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    We couldn’t have hoped for a better result, and the rear moulds are now complete and ready to pump out further panels as required. Next step is to test fit the panels on the chassis. 

  • Rear fibreglass body panel mould creation

    December 24th, 2016 | by
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    With the rear plug finished to a perfectly smooth Mack Truck brown finish it could then be waxed with a bunch of coats and clad with the gelcoat and the fibreglass that would then be removed to form the moulds for the rear body panels for the Ligero. 

    The process is outlined in the video below – First of all a thick coat of black gelcoat is sprayed onto the waxed rear bodywork plug. The wax ensures that when the time comes to release the mould that it will separate at the gelcoat layer. The gelcoat allows for a perfectly smooth finish on the inside of the moulds for the panels. Once the gelcoat is appropriately dry, fibreglass is laid over the top of it to create the rigid structure for the moulds. 

    Everything is then left to cure with a few strategic pieces of wood for reinforcement and rigidity, and some carefully made separations in the mould to allow the mould to be strategically released in pieces. 

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    Once cured these mould pieces will be removed from the plug and then the process of creating the first rear body panels will begin. The plug itself will then become largely obsolete, which seems a shame after all of the hours of hard work that went into it. One of the crew at Joe Bradley Fibreglass suggested that it could be turned into a barbecue or a home bar! What do you think?

  • Kit Car project – Where it all began

    October 2nd, 2016 | by
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    From the earliest age I’ve had a fascination with sports cars, particularly European Supercars. I can vividly remember my matchbox car collection from early childhood, and my favourites amongst them being the Countach, the Testarossa, and a Lancia Stratos in the classic white, red and green Alitalia livery. Throughout my early teens my walls were plastered with posters of the Supercars of the day, and I spent weekends in the garage with my dad pulling apart classic cars and putting them back together. 

    Fast forward to my late teens and I found myself at university on the Gold Coast. At the time a couple of small local manufacturers were making low volume sports cars with steel space frames and fibreglass bodies, using donor components from various other cars. One such manufacturer was known as De-Type and I remember being stopped in my tracks upon seeing one of their cars on the roads of the Gold Coast as I drove to university one morning. I swung my car around and followed it for as long as I could to get a better look. Very wide and very low, the car had the styling of the contemporary Supercars of the day but yet was distinctly unique. It was not a direct replica of anything in particular but drew undeniable styling cues from the Lamborghinis of the day. After working out what the car was I subsequently visited the local factory multiple times to watch the cars in production and to dream.

    I’m unclear as to the relationship between De-Type and another company called Delanda, but it would seem to me that the moulds for the car that I had seen at some point changed hands to Delanda and were used in a car known as the Delanda GT 5000. Long story short, both companies were short lived and very few De-Types or Delandas found their way onto the road during the period. After both companies ceased production cars changed hands periodically on Ebay and other online forums but as the years passed they popped up less and less until they couldn’t be found at all……until.

    Fast Forward another two decades or so and there it was! My teenage dream car for sale on Ebay. A little shabby mind you, but none the less an unfinished De-Type or Delanda (unsure quite which one) and within my price range. Managing to outbid the competition I secured the car, and after a period of storage, I finally had the garage space and time to get my hands on the thing and start work on bringing it back to life. 

    Like so many teenage dreams, it would sadly turn out to not be exactly what I hoped!

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    For a start it appeared to have been left out in the weather for periods of its life, with spots of rust throughout the space frame. Furthermore, one of the previous owners had attempted to turn it into a convertible by cutting the roof off rather crudely through both the fibreglass and space frame roof structure. The door mechanisms didn’t function, the windscreen that came with it didn’t fit, the suspension was primitive, and the engine gearbox combo was relatively anaemic and of uncertain condition internally. 

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    My initial hopes of being able to restore the car myself began to shatter, but undeterred I simply started looking for the right engineer to bring the car back to life. Meanwhile, I also began the search for a more appropriate drivetrain for the project, ideally something European and with a few more ponies that the supercharged Ford 3.8L V6 that was in the car when I got it. As I was unsure at the time whether I had got my hands on a De-Type or a Delanda, I dubbed the project “Project Delta”. 

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