Category Archives: Automotive

Building a Grandson’s Formula 1 Ferrari

John White’s grandson takes the wheel of his electric-powered, scale Ferrari.

By John White of Fife, Scotland

When the first grandson arrives, any grandfather knows he now has the chance to fulfill the dreams he had as a boy. A Formula 1 racing car would do for starters. A small model purchased for £4 was the starting point. The car will be ready for his third birthday so plenty of time (or so I thought). Continue reading

Lost foam method

Fabricating an Air Scoop

BY BRIAN KNIGHT & J.R. WATSON

I used lost foam construction to fabricate a fiberglass air scoop for my son’s Formula Continental C race car. Our project started because a modification to the shape of the race car body necessitated the construction of a new air scoop. The air scoop is bolted to the car body so if either the air scoop or the body is damaged (a very likely scenario), the repair will be simpler. To fabricate the scoop, I made a Styrofoam male mold, surrounded the mold with fiberglass, and then dissolved the Styrofoam to leave a hollow part. I used Styrofoam to build Continue reading

Projects/Tips from the Shop of Jon Staudacher

By Brian Knight

Over the years, we have featured some of Jon Staudacher’s more innovative projects and ideas. From his extreme house, to race boats, to aerobatic airplanes, to a gate at the end of his driveway, to something as simple as a paint roller brake, Jon has always sought the simplest method to build his projects. Jon’s latest project is no exception.

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Building Composite Fan Shrouds

By Dan Witucki

Hopefully, you can stand one last story about El Niño. I work for Bay Metro Transit in Bay City, Michigan, and the long hot summer of 1998 was especially hard on some of our transit buses. Our 27′ buses are a front wheel drive unit, powered by a Cummins Diesel engine mounted below the driver’s seat.  We were experiencing dozens of air conditioning compressor failures, along with various other problems due to the overheating. While this was happening, the manufacturer also realized it had a problem, and equipped all subsequent buses with a fan on the side engine cover of the bus that sucked the hot air out of the engine compartment, curing the problem. Continue reading

Wood & Epoxy Car


Courtesy of Wessex Resins & Adhesives, Romsey, England

Peter Warner has always been interested in old cars. Late in 1990, he saw an old Citroen 2CV in a car scrap yard. After some negotiation, he paid about <£60 to have the “donor” vehicle delivered to his home. He wanted only the chassis, tires, wheels and the steering column. The old body was collected and taken back to the scrap yard one week later as part of the £60 deal. Continue reading

Composites You Can Build

by Captain James R. Watson

Composites have been on the automobile motor sports racing scene for some time now. Indy cars, Formula 1, IMSA GTP (International Motor Sports Association Grand Touring Prototype), and others employ composites to the fullest limit of the imagination (and budget). Engine builders are even beginning to use composites for internal components. Autoweek, Advanced Composites and similar magazines write about composites constantly. But most of these applications involve sophisticated techniques, tooling and materials such as autoclaves and resin-impregnated materials (pre-pregs). These require aerospace-level technology not commonly available or economical for the amateur builder. Pre-pregs and other advanced composites employ adhesives that require an oven to promote curing (post cure). Continue reading

Home-Built Automobile

by Grace Ombry

Bill Dauser couldn’t find an automobile to suit his needs, so he designed and built his own using epoxy, among other things.

The Muskegon, Michigan carpenter welded two Eldorado front ends back-to-back to create the frame. This arrangement allowed for front wheel drive and four wheel independent suspension. The auto also has four wheel disc brakes and a Buick 231 V6 engine. Continue reading