• Front bodywork complete. Delta Ligero prototype custom car

    February 15th, 2018 | by
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    With the front bodywork plug nearing its final form it was time to start the process of coating it with a high gloss paint and starting the mould creation process. The purpose of this step is to make the surface as smooth and hard as possible to make sure that the fibreglass laid over the top for the mould creation doesn’t stick to it. The blue layer in the images below is a PVC releasing agent that further improves the chance of the fibreglass not sticking to the plug and destroying everything. 

    Next step is the gelcoat, which is a spray-on layer that creates a smooth surface as the inside of the mould. The gelcoat is designed to stick to the fibreglass of the mould laid over the top of it.

    Once the gelcoat is cured appropriately fibreglass is laid over the top.

    Once the glass has cured properly the moment of truth arrives when it’s time to separate it from the underlying bodywork plug. If you’re a genius like Will from Joe Bradley Fibreglass the result looks like this, with the gelcoat that forms the inside of the mould separating from the high gloss plug perfectly at the PVC release layer:

    Once you’ve got a mould the next step is to wax it thoroughly to allow the fibreglass that you’re going to lay in it for the actual panel to release. After that the mould is coated with another coat of gelcoat (grey this time) and the glass is laid up and allowed to cure.

     

    And then all going to plan, finally you pull out a perfect body panel!

    Ready to test fit on the car. 

    Thanks for looking. dan.

  • Delta Ligero prototype – custom front bodywork development

    January 3rd, 2018 | by
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    The front bodywork plug for the car had been developed to a certain point and then put on ice until we knew the exact height and dimensions of the windscreen and dash. Once that had been locked in it was time to get the front plug back out and start sculpting the look of the front of the car. Firstly a template was made with the windscreen in place at its specified height and angle. It can be seen that the front plug as it stood was going to be too high and would need refinement. 

    First job was to trim some height off the back of the front bodywork to get it to better align with the front of the windscreen and allow good driver visibility.

    Next was the process of refining the wheel arches and overall curves and look of the front clip. The goal was an aggressive look with muscular wheel arch bulges, dipping down toward the centre of the front bonnet. 

    Once the bulk of the styling was done a coat of primer was applied to get a better idea of the overall styling without the distraction of the different colours of the various layers of bog and composites building up the plug. 

    Next was the front bonnet styling. After experimenting with a few different bulge and scoop designs we settled on a subtle depressed scoop design. 

    Refined and primed…

    and finally with a Delta badge in place!

    Many thanks to Will from Joe Bradley Fibreglass who was good enough to take the front plug home over his Christmas holidays to keep working on it, his work never ceases to impress – what a champion!

     

    Thanks for looking. Here’s to seeing the prototype on the road in 2018! 

    dan.

  • Delta Ligero Prototype – November 2017 update

    December 5th, 2017 | by
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    Well, it’s been a while but we’re still plugging ahead with the Ligero prototype build. I’ve been living the true entrepreneur’s dream / nightmare over the past few months. We’ve had issues with the workforce requiring us to change our team a couple of times to get the right people on the job to move forward. The result has been a few months where we haven’t made as much progress as we would have liked. That said, we have been edging forward with a few key jobs and also used the time to acquire a couple of key components including a 550 hp LS3 V8 and a low mileage Boxster S transmission. 

    The main work effort has been around the dash mounts, windscreen surround and the front firewall. There’s been a bunch of fiddly little jobs required to make sure that we have the exact heights and angles for the windscreen surround, the roof, and front clip to marry up nicely together.

    The crew at Joe Bradley Fibreglass have been working their magic on moulds for the front firewall attachments such as the windscreen wiper motor and the dash components including the air conditioner box. The images below show the mould being made from the donor Boxster and then the finished product mounted on the Ligero with some components attached. 

    The Boxster steering has been successfully transplanted into the prototype. The rack itself fits neatly, with a few adjustments likely to be required to the column itself to shorten it slightly, as well as to the front of the chassis to allow better clearance for the column. It can be seen in the photo below that a chunk needed to be cut out of the metal tray in front of the firewall to fit the column. As the Ligero is significantly wider than the Boxster, a custom attachment will need to be fabricated for the tie rod ends, which on initial impression, shouldn’t be overly complicated to manufacture. In the interest of simplicity for reproduction of the car we’re aiming at having as few as possible custom parts for the car. 

    Here’s a few more perspective shots of the front of the car, with a previous photo included to see the slow but sure progress that’s been made. 

    We’ve also been thinking hard about the cut lines in the back of the car, with particular respect to allowing accessibility to the engine, transmission and exhaust for through-life serviceability of the car. Whilst it would look neat to minimise the cut lines in the back body work it would be completely impractical to need to pull the entire rear bodywork off the car to check the oil. With that in mind we started devising a plan to have a rear section of the car that hinges either forward or aft to allow access to the engine and transmission. The red tape in the images below shows the proposed new cut lines. 

    The plan will be for the section inside the red tape to be free to hinge upwards, or be removed completely, to allow access. Those who have been following the build will recall the previous large rear wing that mounted on the outside edges of the back of the car, pictured here:

    We had identified a few issues with that particular design, and it had cosmetically divided audiences! Our primary concern was flex, given that it ends up being approximately 2.2m wide, which was probably going to require it to have another upright somewhere centrally that would further obscure rear vision. With the new plan to have an opening section in the rear deck of the car we needed to rethink the wing, and we came up with the ever so slightly less offensive variant seen in the following photos. 

    After going through a few different concepts for the power plant, we decided on an LS3 for this build. I’m excited to say that it will be significantly more powerful than the original Boxster option that I had planned, and we’ve managed to secure a cammed and mildly tuned LS3 putting out around 550 hp and over 700 nm torque. This donk should propel the car to the speeds that it looks like it should go!

    Work is now ongoing with the remainder of the front firewall, and now that the dash has been mounted work can progress on the plug for the front clip to work towards generating the panels to skin the front of the beast. 

    An updated video walk around of the car has been posted to Delta’s Youtube channel, and there’s a stack more photos at Delta’s Instagram linked here.

    Thanks for looking guys, we’ll keep you posted on progress really soon! Cheers, dan.

  • Delta Ligero custom car build update – September 2017

    September 30th, 2017 | by
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    The latest developments on the Ligero prototype build have been work around the cockpit area. Will and the team at Joe Bradley Fibreglass have created a mould for the windscreen surround of the donor Boxster for use in the Ligero. The rationale behind this is to be able to use a Boxster windscreen rather than custom glass, with the added benefit of the Boxster windscreen having the rearview mirror attached, thus solving that problem as well. The mould and initial part came out fantastically.

    Next step was to start positioning the windscreen surround to get the angles right for the driving position as well as the roofline. The wooden frame in the following photos can be seen to allow adjustment of the windscreen positioning. Once the right angle and height were achieved, the angles and dimensions for the supporting metalwork could be determined – which will be the next phase of the build and will then in turn dictate the roof structure. 

    In keeping with the theme of using as many donor parts from the Boxster as possible, the dash from the Porsche has also been transplanted. The goal here is to create a space frame for the Ligero with the exact mounting points found on the front firewall of the Boxster to allow the dash assembly to be relatively simply plugged in to it. 

    Other ongoing work has been the transplant of the Boxster steering rack. The length of the rack is significantly shorter in our application, however we’re hoping that a simple cutting and shortening of the column splines should work. 

    An  updated video walk around of the prototype can be found at Delta’s Youtube channel. 

    I’m also excited to report that I’ve secured a power plant for the prototype. The initial plan was to use the Boxster drive chain for this prototype and then evolve the car to have more horsepower for the next build. Owing to the fact that we had initially built the engine bay to house an AMG 5.5L V8, it turned out to be too narrow to fit the Boxster flat 6. Rather than butcher the engine bay I decided to jump straight to the V8 evolution of the car for this initial build. The engine I’ve purchased is an LS3 from a worked HSV which is rated to around 550hp and well over 700nm torque! The plan is to mate it to a Boxster S transaxle through a custom adapter plate and clutch. I think that 550hp will well and truly get the car going as well as it looks like it should. 

    Thanks for following. Cheers, dan

  • Delta Ligero custom car July build update

    July 22nd, 2017 | by
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    The team have been working hard on transplanting the dash from the Boxster into the Ligero prototype. Those of you who have been following the build for a while will know that we were initially planning to use a Mercedes AMG mid clip grafted onto the space frame as a solution for the dash and windscreen. As much as that would have simplified the build, we couldn’t get a driving position that we were happy with due to lack of cabin space, and furthermore it wasn’t going to be reproducible for potential future cars. In the following photos it can be seen that clamps are holding the dash in place whilst it is adjusted to get the position just right for the driver, as well as for the windscreen angle, which will subsequently drive the roof build. 

    Once the dash and windscreen position has been determined it will be possible to finalise the plug for the front clip and then start the mould creation for the first front panels. The other thing that we need to consider is the style of headlights for the car. I’ve got a few ideas.

    Work on the outrageous rear wing is also coming along, here’s the latest mock up. An off the shelf black aluminium wing can be seen positioned on the rear deck of the car, this is being used for styling cues and as a guide for mounting mechanisms for our wing. Of note, the black wing is about 160cm wide, giving some perspective as to just how wide the Ligero prototype is! The other two rectangular foam structures on the rear deck are the plugs for the rear snorkel air outlets. 

     

    Thanks for looking, dan.

     

  • Custom car wheel arch and engine air intake development

    June 21st, 2017 | by
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    The crew at Joe Bradley Fibreglass have been hard at work filling in the missing pieces of the back end of the Ligero, and it’s beginning to look more and more like a car every week! The first matter of business were wheel arches, and after looking at options to fabricate them out of sheet aluminium it was decided that fibreglass was in fact the way to go, and they’ve come up a treat.

     

    It’s a snug fit between the radiator hosing and the front of the wheel arches, but it all shoehorns in nicely.

    Making the wheel arches mate up neatly with the removable rear clamshell has taken some finesse, but Will from JBF is more than equal to the task, creating intricate returns and brackets where required.

    Also under construction has been the vents to channel air into the engine compartment, as well as wooden mock ups of a couple of nostril vents that we plan to have on either side of the rear deck of the car to let the hot air out. 

    The donor Boxster is currently being carefully dissected, with its vital organs being removed for transplant to breathe life into the Ligero. Whilst the Boxster will not provide the power that we want for the car, it is being used for simplicity at this point to get the prototype to the road testing phase. A separate project is underway for a 500hp engine option to be the evolution of the species, but for now we’re going to walk before we run…

    Until next time. Dan.

  • Custom car build update: Delta Ligero June 2017

    June 12th, 2017 | by
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    After a few months of delays and planning work, Delta is kicking off the next phase in construction of our Ligero prototype. The fiddly jobs of plumbing in the radiators and mapping out the exhaust system are complete, and after a lot of deliberation we’ve decided to change tack with the power plant for the Ligero. Whilst the AMG donk and Porsche 996 combo would have been perfect for the task, it proved to be a little complicated and expensive for what we wanted for the car. Furthermore, with a view to limited production of the cars, that combination would be a little too unique for reliable sourcing of parts for future cars. With all that in mind, we’ve decided on a Porsche Boxster as the organ donor for the drive train for our prototype. By cutting away the AMG donor, we’ve also liberated ourselves of the constraints of the AMG mid-clip that we had planned to use for the centre of the car, and was causing us headaches in the cabin and leg space departments. It’s been back to the drawing board to some degree with the new plan, but in the long run we feel that it will be a much better solution. The Porsche engine will obviously not supply the power of the AMG engine, but we have a plan for that as well! First things first however, we want to get an operational prototype on the road and then look to refine the car by trimming weight and adding power. 

    Here’s a few shots of the car as it stands:

    The rear bodywork has had its cut lines inserted to allow for a section to be removable to give access to the mechanicals for servicing. The remainder of the middle bodywork seen will be bonded to the space frame. 

    We’re now in the process of creating ductwork to create airflow from the side intakes over the radiators and into the engine compartment. There’s a video walk around of this below to show the progress in that department.

    It’s all systems go now on the development of the front and cabin sections of the car now. We’ve sourced a Porsche Boxster donor car, and the process of transferring the components we need from it is also underway. More to follow soon!

  • Delta Ligero custom radiators are in place!

    March 25th, 2017 | by
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    Work has been progressing at a steady pace on the Delta Ligero prototype, with Andrew at Tricky Performance Engineering honing in on the rear end of the car and concentrating on the radiator and exhaust systems. The main consideration for the radiator setup for the car was naturally primarily to provide an abundance of cooling capacity for whatever engine the Ligero ends up getting, with a little extra capacity to account for forced induction if we go down that path. A secondary consideration was the weight impact of the radiators and their full coolant load, with the goal of the system as low to the ground, and as close to the centre of the car as possible to minimise any potential impact on handling. After considering all of our options for single versus twin radiator systems, and various mounting positions, we went with a set of RX7 type radiators mounted one on either side of the car, just aft of the rear wheels. This position will allow optimal airflow to be ducted from the hip and shoulder air intakes of the car, through the radiators, and then out through the vents in the back panel. Once sourced, the radiators had to be modified somewhat to suit our needs, and all the piping in and out is custom.

    The radiators fit snugly inside the rear wheel arch, in between the outer bodywork and the 45 litre aluminium fuel tanks on either side.

     

    From the rear of the engine bay looking forward the view looks like this:

    We’re expecting the exhaust cans to come back from the fabricator in the next week or so and their mounts are eagerly awaiting their arrival! 

    The mockup of the exhaust cans, as well as their dimensions drawn on the outside of the bodywork,  can be seen below. 

    The plan will be for the car to head back to Joe Bradley Fibreglass once the exhaust cans are in place for the next phase of bodywork to complete the rear wheel arches and a duct system to feed the radiators and vent hot air out through the back of the car.

    Thanks for looking! Until next time…

     

  • Custom car build update Feb 2017: Delta Ligero prototype

    February 12th, 2017 | by
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    The next phase of the Ligero build is to start fitting all the components into the rear of the car. Andrew from Trickey Performance Engineering has been hard at work completing the rear space frame superstructure to support the rear clip. With the rear dimensions well defined, and the fuel tanks done, the radiators need to be mounted. We’ve gone with a twin radiator system, and after a bit of deliberating over different options, have chosen a twin RX7 style radiator system, which will keep the car nicely balanced and the centre of gravity low. It will also provide good redundancy in cooling capacity to allow for potential engine / induction upgrades in the future without the need to rethink cooling.  

    The rear space frame superstructure can be seen in the following photos:

    IMG_3469 IMG_3470Delta Ligero Feb 17_24 Delta Ligero Feb 17_25

    This was the first opportunity that I had to inspect the rear fibreglass shell firsthand, and I was wrapped with the quality of the work done by Joe Bradley Fibreglass. The panels are perfectly consistent thickness and an ideal compromise between being thick enough to be rigid whilst remaining thin enough to minimise weight. 

    IMG_3486 IMG_3482 IMG_3480 IMG_3473 IMG_3472

    I also couldn’t resist the urge to crack the custom Baer brakes out of their box and have a play with them!

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    Here’s a video walk around of the progress, explaining the layout of the rear of the car and the next steps in the build.

    Until next time….Cheers, dan.

  • 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!

    Delta Ligero rear bulkhead build 3Delta Ligero rear bulkhead build 1Delta Ligero rear bulkhead build 2 Delta Ligero rear bulkhead build 4 Delta Ligero rear superstructure build 1 Delta Ligero rear superstructure build 2 Delta Ligero rear superstructure build 3 Delta Ligero rear superstructure build 4

    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. 

    Delta Ligero rear superstructure build 5

    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…