My "homage" car program-312PB

Discussion in 'Special Projects & Concept Cars' started by lmpdesigner, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 5, 2003
    Atlanta Georgia
    Full Name:
    Brian Willis
    As some of you here at F-Chat know I have been working (slowly) on a “homage/tribute” car in the spirit/looks of the early 70’s Ferrari 312PB. I have not given any updates in a while so I thought I would give a status report.

    To start with let me define the spec/concept of the car:

    1.) A car that looks like and has the feel and spirit of a Ferrari 312PB sports racer.

    2.) Car will look like, but not be a carbon copy, of the 312PB.

    3.) Car will be longer and wider, to allow for bigger driver and passenger, versus the original car. Looking at 4 inches wider and 6-10 inches longer.

    4.) Power will come from a Ferrari Testarossa flat 12 motor. Motor will have a dry sump added, 12 ITB’s in place of stock intake, higher compression ratio, hotter cams, full header exhaust. And maybe go to 5.7 to 6 liter capacity. Anticipated power of 450 to 550 hp.

    5.) Use a Hewland DG300 5 speed manual gearbox.

    6.) Use “repro” (from Race Car Replicas) uprights and hubs, from either the Lola T70 or McLaren M8 Can Am cars.

    7.) 13” wheels-repros of the gold cast ally ones on the Ferrari 312PB. Also looking at 13” front and 15” rears. (As per later versions of the 312)

    8.) Analog gauges, repro of Veglia units.

    9.) Proper, current gen engine ECU.

    10.) AIM or MOTEC data acquisition system.

    11.) AP Racing brakes (steel rotors.) Other mfg options TBD.

    12.) Car sized to fit an SAE 95% male as driver. (6’-1”/6’-2”)

    13.) Car sized to fit a 5’-9”-5’10” passenger pretty comfortably.

    14.) Simple aero balance tools. Rear wing AOA, front splitter length.

    15.) Flat floor and flat-ish front diffuser aero. Do not want an “aero” dominated car.

    16.) No pushrod susp, no 3rd springs, etc. Basic suspension like original car.

    17.) Want car to “look” period correct when body is removed.

    18.) Steel tube chassis, similar in concept/looks to original car.

    19.) Aluminum skins, per 312PB. Possible option of carbon skins if wanted.

    20.) Current FIA FT3 Spec fuel cell.

    21.) Seat to FIA spec with HANS device capability.

    22.) Current FIA spec fire system.

    23.) Period correct look (yellow lenses) headlamps but HID units.

    24.) Package protect for horn, turn signal indicators, etc. (So car could be made street legal in certain areas.)

    25.) Wet layup, vacuum bagged, oven cured body work. Glass or carbon as desired.

    Current status:

    Car concept/packaging is coming together nicely in CAD.

    1.) Basic bodywork done in 3D CAD. Nose, tail, doors, center section, splitter, etc.

    2.) Front half of chassis designed and detailed.

    3.) Driver/passenger area layed out. Including seats, steering, pedal package, etc.

    4.) Have a very basic package model of TR motor.

    5.) Need a proper scan of TR motor for install design

    6.) Have proper CAD model of Hewland DG300 gearbox.

    7.) Front suspension layed out in model.

    8.) Have proper CAD of wheels.

    9.) Need CAD of correct uprights/hubs/brakes.

    10.) Need to do chassis design around driver compartment.

    11.) Need to do fuel system layout.

    12.) Need to do engine install. Need a much more detailed CAD model of TR motor.

    13.) Need to do dry sump system.

    14.) Need to do bellhousing to tie engine and gearbox together.

    15.) Need to do rear suspension design.

    16.) Need to do water and oil cooling system.

    17.) Misc other stuff to do.

    Next Steps:

    1.) Buy a TR motor and get it rebuilt to new spec. (very expensive step.)

    2.) Scan a TR motor for install CAD. (I think I can get access to a TR motor out of car.)

    3.) Finish design.

    4.) Work out BOM (Bill of materials) and manufacturing costs. (Chassis weldment, bodywork patterns, tooling and parts, vendor bits, etc.)

    5.) Come up with cost to make a car.

    6.) Market the concept, find customers, get deposits and start making cars.

    7.) Assume timeline of 12-18 months for design, 6 months to make a car. So looking at 1.5-2 years before car “on ground”.

    I am able to continue the design, work out costings, marketing, etc without spending any (much) money on this. After that is when it becomes expensive. I have not worked out an actual BOM cost but have designed enough cars to know what it takes. So this car, depending on spec (motor, carbon work, etc), will be a $200,000 to $250,000 sales price car. Maybe get lucky and can get it done for around $180,000 sales price. Biggest variable is in engine spec and amortized costs for the bodywork tooling. Engine costs would be a pure pass through to customer. (Customer specs engine/builder-pays for it and ships me motor.) The bodywork tooling will not be cheap, so the more cars built the lower the shared costs on that will be. Chassis is a straightforward build, not cheap but not outrageous either. Rest are store bought bits and not a lot of flexibility there. (Figure a 10-20% discount if I order in lots or 5-10 quantities.)

    So what I would need to move forward (ideally) would be a couple of firm orders-when appropriate. I would take the following approach:

    1.) Market/push the sales of car when design is 95-100% done.

    2.) Promise (small) discount to initial customers. (First customer would get biggest discount, 2nd customer less, etc thru first 4-5 customers-All TBD)

    3.) Would need deposits from 3-4 customers up front. More customers-the less deposit needed.

    4.) All deposits go into escrow. So deposits “safe”.

    5.) I would use my “personal money” up front to pay for car build. And only take deposit out of escrow when car done, customer happy and car transferred to new owner. (And owner pays for full car sales price.)

    6.) If customer #1 decided he/she doesn’t want car then car will be offered to customer #2, at #1 discount. I will also need to take a small amount of money from customer #1 deposit to cover costs/etc for me. TBD but figure 5% or so.

    7.) Would have customer spend 1-2 days with me doing car shakedown at race track of choice. So when owner goes home with his new car the car will be set up for him/her, running right, owner will know how to work on car, set up car, etc.

    So what do I need from F-Chat?

    1.) Not asking for any money up front.

    2.) Looking for feedback on design concept and mfg/sales process.

    3.) What can I do/should do to the car concept and mfg/sales approach to improve program?

    4.) Honest feedback-Is this a “stupid” idea?

    5.) Looking for some idea of potential demans/customers.

    6.) Looking/hoping for (but not expecting) potential business partners.

    Please also note the following:

    This is not a “pie in the sky” fantasy of mine. I am very committed to doing this. And I am also, if I may be a bit boastful, more than technically capable of doing a very good car. It is my profession. I have designing race and road cars for 25 years now and have some pretty good hits behind me. Designer of new gen. Ford GT road and race car, Aston Martin One-77, Ruf CTR3, Williams/BMW LMP cars, Panoz LMP/GT cars, etc. So I do know what I am doing here. The car “you” would get will be a very well designed and built car, pretty darn reliable and ready to drive with minimal effort.

    Anyway, this is current status. Would love feedback-good and bad!
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  3. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 5, 2003
    Atlanta Georgia
    Full Name:
    Brian Willis
    Using an existing rear engined chassis is a no go for the following reasons.

    1.) Wheelbase issues-need to match my car.
    2.) Engine install-these chassis are not designed for a TR motor.
    3.) Suspension not matched to my car tire sizes.
    4.) Will my body fit over their chassis? Most likely not.
    5.) Removes a big part of the image/idea of the car.

    My car will have same chassis design as the 312 PB. All of these will be poor substitutes. What you are suggesting is a kit car with a 312 body. I don't think that would sell at all.
  4. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2001
    Full Name:
    Joe Mansion
    This is pretty awesome, both the idea and that you have the knowledge to execute it.

    One question - why the TR engine? Bc you want to stick to a flat 12?
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  6. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 5, 2003
    Atlanta Georgia
    Full Name:
    Brian Willis
    I want a flat 12, Ferrari motor. Only choice is a TR motor, unless you want to spend a fortune trying to get a period Ferrari flat 12 race engine.
    I do not see much interest in doing an "homage" type car by using a non Ferrari motor or a Ferrai V8, maybe a V12 would be okay. But a Ferrrai Flat 12 or V12 will be similar in cosr, by time you are done doing the engine work required.
  7. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2001
    Full Name:
    Joe Mansion
    I was going to say a later V12 from a 599/F12 would be a good idea no? 600/700hp and less maintenance but maybe more costly to source.

    I agree that it has to be a Ferrari engine though.

    Looking forward to the progress!
  8. DeSoto

    DeSoto F1 Veteran

    Nov 26, 2003
    That´s cool. Not my thing as I don´t like replicas, but cool anyway.

    Probably you´ve already checked it, but are you sure everything is OK respect copyright. I know you´re not going to use the horse logo, but the bodywork shape may be copyrighted.

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