Considering a Southern GT

I´ve been looking into building a kit for a few years, swinging back and forth between a cobra and a GT40, with the Cobra being the "easy way" and me thinking of the GT as the "harder way".

I have never done any bodywork on a car before. I am an aircraft mechanic (certified tech actually) and I am familiar although not experienced with alu panel work and riveting. I have also done quite a bit of sanding, filling and roll-painting on our aircrafts composites - so I can do surface prep.

How difficult is the adjustment and fitting of the body on these cars - the SGT40 in particular? Are all body parts "rough cut" and need final trimming from the builder?

How is the clips attached to hinges and latches? Anyone have any good photos?

I would really appreciate some photos showing how the inside of the clips are made/finished, arches, double panels, vents etc or just a single layer of "open" matting?

Best regards
Jostein, Norway
 
hello Jostein. i manufacture the body panels for Southern GT, and answering your questions, the body panels are supplied trimmed and finished and if not double skinned, finished with a black gelwash. the rear clip has an internal fit out panel which acts as closures for the wheel arches and a double skin lining of the rear deck. Lee
 

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Hi Jostein,
I have build a cobra and now restoring a GTD40. I am told in the past a gt40 is more difficult but I personally do not agree with this. A cobra has much less space when you want to fit a 351w in it which made it more challenging if you want a nice and simple routing of hoses. A GT40 is more exotic and there are less suppliers to choose from. Also more donor parts are used by cobra kits supplier and less for gt40 due to its suspension.
My experience with Mick of Southern GT is very positive. He has the passion for the GT40 and he always takes the time to help you out. If I wouldn't restoring a gtd40, For sure I would start building his kit since it has some good improvements on both handling and comfort.
Driving a cobra is more suitable for enjoying nice weather and cruising in Europe but less suitable without hardtop for trackdays. A gt40 is more suitable for the track and less practical as a frequent cruiser in daily traffic. There are more cobra replicas compared to gt40 replicas ever build.
With your background, you are able to do both car. You will learn a lot during the build and do the needed research when facing the steps in the build. Don't put yourself under a time constraint but rather on a budget constraint and take the time to investigate. This forum is a great place to find the answers. There is a lot of experience on this forum. Good luck with the selection.
 
Hi Jostein,
I try to understand your worry.
Perhaps you have some bad experience somewhere.
These panels are not very tin and warping.
They have a fair thickness and quiet solid feeling.
The bodywork is in general build to good standards. Most of the time, they use blankets with fairly open fibres rolled on each other but probably Lee can tell more about this. It is really depending on the body supplier.
Often they supply the body in a coloured gelcoat to your wishes.
Don't worry too much about the body. If you select Southern GT for GT40 or DAX/GD for Cobra you have a good body.
 
hello Jostein. i manufacture the body panels for Southern GT, and answering your questions, the body panels are supplied trimmed and finished and if not double skinned, finished with a black gelwash. the rear clip has an internal fit out panel which acts as closures for the wheel arches and a double skin lining of the rear deck. Lee
Stop teasing me Lee....
 
jostein, the body panels are produced using a wet/hand lay up method. all major trimming is completed. you will just need to fettle for gaping of the panels.
hello paul, hope all is well?
 

Keith

Moderator
I could not possibly imagine a quality GT40 body being made using a chopper gun. That's best left for cheap mass produced small boats...
 
Thanks again. Andy, I meant to address the question to Lee, but since your name was the last one I read - the mind did what it usually does and made a mess :p

No, a high quality one would probably not be made with a chopper gun - but if you don´t ask and try to reasearch - how would one know what quality to expect :O
 

Malcolm

Supporter
I have built both a Dax Cobra and a GTD 40 albeit a long time ago for both. Whilst ok at mechanics I do not consider myself a body worker of any skill. The Cobra is a simpler body as less separate parts to join up compared to the 40 and the 40 doors are more complicated to align. However from my own experience I would encourage you not to be put off by this as from how you describe your skill set you should have enough talent to cope and actually the mere fact that you have posted here means that of you get into any difficulties then you seem prepared to ask questions and guys here will help you out. So the answer to your question is to go with the car of your dreams whichever that might be. So long as it is a 40 of course!
 

Keith

Moderator
I was at the Silverstone Classic earlier this year, I got speaking to the chap who owned this fantastic car, it was so well finished with perfect panel gaps that I asked him if it was a Superformance car.

He replied that it was a Lee Dawson body, admitted he did say a lot of time had gone in to gaping the body up but it was one of the better finished cars that I have seen.
http://oi60.tinypic.com/2qscdpz.jpg
http://oi61.tinypic.com/2u5gdir.jpg
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Hope I'm not being too picky, but your photos appear to be of two different cars.. :)
 

Mike Pass

Supporter
Hi Jostein,

You might like to check out some of the build logs on this forum for Southern GT builds. I helped Martin Gough with the fitting of the body and watched his build at every step. Build log here

http://www.gt40s.com/forum/gt40-build-logs/20463-southerngt-no8.html

The Lee Dawson bodies are very good quality and fit well. There is a technique to fitting them which if followed results in a very good fit with small gaps, needing minimal final work before prep for paint.
The Southern GT is a very good car and Mick is always very helpful. I have used many of his parts on my car and have been very happy with them all.

Cheers
Mike
 
Thanks, I´ve been reading a few build logs but overlooked this one while browsing for the SGT ones!

Need to pick up the pace on remodeling the basement so I can start my garage extension!
 
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