Many books, many mags and many hours of Googling and ideas began to take shape. The power just had to come from a Saab unit. Tuning, reliability and durability of these engines just demanded their use in a project such as this. A Saab B204 or B234 power plant could easily run 200K miles and most respected scribblers are not shy in saying 250K miles is not only possible but probable. These are flexible turbo grunts but the torque was going to have to be tamed in a light weight kit car. Rear end destruction and rear tyre shredding were going to be big problems. So 2 litre units were selected as the best option as the 2.3 litres pushed the bounds of torque beyond sprint and more into the realms of spit, of gearbox and differential components.
24 Heures du Mans, my pash, decided the car style. MK engineering had been doing a bike engine LM prototype look alike when I had originally considered a kit car. MK being no longer around and also needing a front engine rear wheel drive chassis seemed to be a hurdle too far. Then, over the northern hills, galloping to the rescue came a man called Alan. Quick, whistle the theme tune from The Good The Bad And The Ugly. Alan Whitehead can make a sports-
OK ideas and conversations are had and the outline forms.
I'll leave it to you to decide who is the Good, Bad and Ugly...........
So how did we get further along?
It all began to take shape based on a couple of hand drawn sketches emailed around. Firstly there was the engine dimensions.
Saab B234 engine dimensions (B204 is shorter).
This created a chassis & body nose sketch from Alan
Bonnet and chassis drawing.
OK, with this we proved we could all use Paint Shop Pro. We also proved we could get a Saab unit to roughly squeeze into a chassis with a low nose cone and reasonably low ground clearance. Next we needed building blocks. Alan wants to follow the classic kit car route, which means lots of Ford bits. And why not, they are readily available cheap and reliable, that's why almost all kit cars use them and RWD. So that's car one then, a Ford Sapphire Cosworth and as we don't want the engine and gearbox this is going to be a scrappy or write off purchase and so hopefully cheap.
Now for the Saab, well we want a B204 unbreakable motor with turbo and again cheap. Another trick will be to get help from GM to standardises things. So a 9000 or NG900 (also known as the GM900) 2.0T. 185BHP in standard form makes a great base level package. Add the Trionic 5 engine management and ICE on board equipment and you have the power and cockpit sorted. Now that thorny rear wheel drive issue has to be addressed.
Well the final drive can be Ford differential, drive shafts and hubs this matches the front end steering rack and hubs. Add GAZ shocks and coil overs and that's the bouncy bits are sorted all round. Then the help from GM's drive for standardisation gives the whole project a boost and narrows down the car options even further. Since 1994 GM made all manufactures within the group conform to certain drilling patterns. So a 1994+ 9000 or NG900 gearbox drilling pattern matches any 1994+ GM rear wheel drive gearbox. Nice.
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