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by Adam Lynton
Using a Westfield, some sheet metal, fiberglass molds and a heap of scrap cars, Top Gear’s very own DeltaWing is coming along nicely.
In what must rank as their most mental project to date, Top Gear is currently embarking on creating a homegrown road-going Nissan DeltaWing Le Mans racer loosely based on the experimental jet-shaped racer Nissan intend to campaign at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Groundbreaking cars such as the DeltaWing are years in the making and involve masses of engineering. Top Gear have used a low-res printout of the car from the internet and commissioned Andy Saunders to knock it up in six weeks.
Two weeks and about 160 hours later and things are coming together nicely. So far a Westfield Se7en kit car has been used for the front end, headlights were taken from a Peugeot 207, an old Hillman Imp offered up its steering rack, the rear deck is a combination of a Fiat 126 and Morris 1000, while a Ford Escort provided the rear axle. Nissan uses a 300hp mid-mounted 1.6-liter four-pot in their 500kg contraption, and Top Gear did their best to ape the engine in plumping for a similar-sized unit from an old Ford sans the turbochargers. Equaling the game-changing car's power-to-weight ratio is clearly not something on Saunders' agenda.
Saunders did acknowledge that he's "pi**ing in the wind a bit here" with the project, but as one of the UK's top car customizers we reckon he's going to come good with the DeltaWing replica and can't wait to see it in action.