On Monday we rented a van and drove to Nottingham to see the good people at MEV (Mills Extreme Vehicles) to finally collect the chassis. First off, I do not normally drive anything as big as a Long Wheel base van, but since the chassis will slide into such a vehicle nicely, protecting it from the elements this is perfect.
For those of you reading this and planing to go and collect your Exocet, you will need to have a vehicle with a rear load size of about 2.7m, so a long wheel base Ford Transit, Merc Sprinter or Peugeot Expert will give you more than enough space. The chassis is physically light enough that two people can lift it easily enough to get it in, you just need lots of blankets or sheets to protect it and wrap it in.
So here it is, in all of its bright Orange glory. The aluminium plate resting on the side will form the floor pan once it is riveted to the underside.
And the bubble wrapped blocks seen here are what constitutes the bodywork and seats on an Exocet. These are GRP (Gel Resin Polyester - Basically Fibre glass) so incredibly light. That said they are still rather bulky and we do not want to scratch them, so they are pilled up in our front room right now….
But when you start to put the bits together it almost looks like a car.
Because we dont have enough space for 3 vehicles and the Skateboard is not ready yet, the chassis is now wrapped in heavy blankets and stacked up against the wall of the garage waiting for us to move everything in the garage and make enough space to lay the body flat on the aluminium and cut the floor pan. Once we have this done, we can get it bolted to the skateboard.
Stuart from MEV was lovely (If a little nuts) and helped us load up, but what is really interesting is a look around his workshop.
First off the demo vehicle which they take to shows. Frankly I think the colour scheme is awful, but this new version is a demonstration of a 3.0 V6 Jaguar engine from Rocketeer http://www.rocketeerltd.com/ slotted into an Exocet body. The Jaguar AJ30 engine in question is based on a Ford Duratec engine, upgraded with Variable Valve Timing. These are taken from either the Jaguar S, X or XF from 2000 - 2011 and kicks out around 100bhp more than the stock 1.8 MX5 engine. Whilst you can fit a Turbo or supercharger to the 1.8 engine to bring that up to 200 bhp, it seems this is no competition for the naturally aspirated 3.0 engine and the instant power that this delivers.
Wookies Jag is sitting out front now looking very worried… Hey Jaggy, nice AJ30 you’ve got there….
But what is more interesting than seeing a working demo car is seeing something in development.
This is a Rocket (A previous MEV design) style body, with a rear mounted AJ30 engine with what looks like brake and steering from an MX5 donor. Im not sure I would trust the stock brakes from an MX5 with all that power, but I suspect Stuart has a plan for that!
We are a couple of weeks away from getting started on the build, but bear with us, I think it gets exiting from here on out.