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Project 2002: Time to panic

I’m a worried man: with less than three months to go we aren’t nearly halfway done and on current form we’re unlikely to have a finished product for James Burford to drive off in come his 18th birthday…

But there’s a man with a plan, and that man is Alec Ceprnich of Evolution 2, who has promised to pull out the stops to get us back on schedule. That includes hiring an additional technician who will take care of the main mechanical build, which is underway as we speak.Key to this is getting the engine and gearbox – our M44 cut-out and Getrag five-speed – into the correct ‘running’ position and once we’ve determined its location we can then take measurements so that engine and gearbox mountings can be fabricated. We’ll also get Gavin Ross from Norbrake in on the same discussion and he’ll need to determine exactly where the brake boosters will be positioned, along with the ABS control unit. He’ll then go away make the necessary brackets at Norbrake’s Benoni headquarters, along with a set of custom brake pipes and braided hoses to hook up all the stopping hardware.

A solid flywheel is in the process of being made, which will necessitate a change in the clutch configuration - the normal arrangement is for a dual-mass flywheel to use an unsprung friction plate, but we’re reverting to a more old school arrangement, courtesy of LuK, our clutch supplier. In the meantime, the windows have been tinted, and the door internals reassembled. This is not the work of an afternoon let me tell you, and it is painstaking exercise to get all the bits into the door and get locks and winding mechanisms working smoothly. Definitely a job where the devil is in the detail…

The pedal/steering column has been reassembled with hand-turned nylon bushes, and it’ll go into the car with upgraded wear items throughout, so steering should be sharper than when it was new! While we won’t need them for a while, our bumpers, refurbished grille and other chrome items await our collection from Supreme Bumpers, and they’ll be stored at Cornrights along with bonnet and bootlid for final assembly...

The next month is going to be a critical period for Project 2002: if we don’t get engine, gearbox and the brake hardware in place soon, and make significant progress on rebuilding front suspension (and also decide what we do at the back to turn it into an all-wheel disc arrangement) we won’t have a chance of making our July 9 deadline. Watch this space!