Epilogue: The High Performance Sportscar Project

Last month we discussed a homemade “High Performance Sportscar Project” from Craigslist. It was designed and built my one man in his garage. While not everyone loved the car, everyone respected by the creator for actually attempting and following through with it. Seeing as the seller was not too far away from me I emailed him about the car and showed him the article. While we never met in person, Cliff did email me updates on the car. Hit the jump to read the story of the car and to see more pictures.

 

In Cliff’s own words:

Short story: I realized recently that my original-car project was finished and that I was not going to continue with it. On the plus side, I did design, build and drive-around (albeit illegally) a totally original from-scratch car, like I always dreamed of since my teenage years. At least I did that part. But the car suffered from “a million tiny cuts” and the task was, for me, at this time in my life, insurmountable. I tried to sell it on Craigslist, many times, since we moved here. I think I even tried when we lived on Main Street. Nobody was going to buy it, period.

So this weekend I scrapped it. The components in the car are all sellable (motor, trans, gastank, rearend, wheels, suspension, electrics, on and on) and I have them staged for sale soon. These will complete any Factory Five roadster kit (like the one Kyle Karl and I built) so I’m guessing I’ll have a buyer soon for these. But I must say it was a sad conclusion for me and so I worked like a slave to get it all done and over with.

Here, with the body parts off (I think I’ll save the big red front of the car, very cool fiberglass sculpture), I cut the front of the frame off, making engine removal easier and the beginning of taking the steel/aluminum frame to Framingham Recycling Center, in parts:

Engine/trans out, using a rented engine hoist. I just cut exhaust pipes rather than disassembling them, of no use to anyone at this point.

Then I cut the back frame off (after removing the rear end and gas tank), cut off the rollbars and cut the remaining cockpit frame in half. Yesterday, Bonnie and I shoved each into the van and into the “metal” heap at recycling. That’s the rear of the car in red. I thought about keeping it too, but the front of the car is much more interesting. This week, I’ll decide if I should cut it up too.

This wasn’t any quick decision. It simply all added up, finally. It’s a big deal for me (apparently), but so what. I feel very sad about it but at the same time I feel a lot lighter and able to move on to a “simpler” life (of being a musician, starting production on my microphone and on and on…). All in all, putting this project to rest is a highly productive and positive move. I can also now finish my book, “The Gasoline Chronicles”, formerly thought to be “the endless story”.

The car’s history is well documented in my book and there are a lot of photos on the website also. I simply haven’t done much publicity, but the book is a good read for any car-centric humans. From the comments I read, you have a lot of excitable members. Here’s the page on my website where someone can order the book and look at the photos in the gallery. The car ( “CroMag” ) probably starts appearing thru the middle of the story. The car has a lot of innovative stuff, including the modular construction and the 3-arm taut-wire (transverse) alignment system. Also, I didn’t use any molds for the body, just stretched spandex cloth and fiberglass. The whole thing might be helpful to anyone thinking of building a car. Here’s where it all is:

http://www.cliffhenricksen.com/books.htm

You know, I just came to the end of it. But I did fulfill my teenage yearnings to design and build my own car from the ground up. I designed it, built it, painted it, drove it (albeit illegally), even had a police escort when we moved to a different home two years ago.

Cliff is an MIT graduate. When he is not building cars he is a musician. He’s is also a car builder and a hell of a guy. I’m going to order his book now.

 

 

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