MDA Mk1 with Gulf Arches - Martin P

Ron Earp

Very nice, good to see a build thread go up here! I know you're extremely happy with your car, update us with progress. What is the color scheme planned?

I am looking at the Scuderia Filipinetti colours, Red with White stripes and gold wheels. I still might change my mind but that's the way I'm heading right now. I nearly went for a yellow car with black wheels as I like that combo too. I just didn't have the balls.
Yes, I am extremely happy right now. It's only been 4 months from placing my order to receiving the car, which in my book is pretty good going. I am pleased with the quality of work that MDA have done preparing the chassis.The body is a little rough in the areas that are bonded together, the actual mould looks good though (No ripples). I don't mind that too much. If it looked too pretty i'd be scared to touch it !
My first job is going to be initial sanding and preping of the body as I need something to do that doesn't take too much of my cash. Once I've recovered from the initial outlay, I'll start building it mechanically.
At least that's the plan.:D
Keep you posted.
Started Sanding and filling. Placed all the panels loosely on the body to check initial alignment. Doors had to be trimmed on the back edge about 1/4" to fit. Still enough material left in case I need it when I finally gap the body. Think this process will take a few months !


Hi Bill,
Thanks for the positive comments. Always nice, especially when you are just starting out.

The wheels are reproduction Halibrands from 'Image' wheels. I especially liked the champagne style with sunken sections.They are 3 piece wheels but with the bolt pattern hidden on the inside of the wheel. Looks as original as I could find and MDA recommended them.
They are 15" diameter, 8.5" fronts and 12" rears, offset to fill the arches. I asked MDA to do this prior to delivery so I can't take any credit there.
Tyres are Avons 215/60VR fronts and 295/50VR Rears.rockonsmile
Planning on a porsche box, initial thoughts are for a 930 4-speed if I can find one in reasonable condition at a reasonable price. MDA have configured the chassis for porsche trans as a ZF is out of my budget.
I plan to build the car as a road car but with definite bent towards track days. I want to use as many race quality products in the build as I can.
Engine will be 302 based, low deck height. I haven't decided yet on exact spec, maybe a 331 stroker, but I do want stack injection for usability for both street and track. I hear the Motec system works well. A bit of a pricey option though.
Lot's of time to decide.
Last edited:
After studying some archive photos I decided to add some detail to the front intake. It seems that on some cars, the front brake ducts finish further inside the car. With the books I had to hand it seemed to me that most of the cars that seemed to show this were the later gulf cars, which suits me fine.

I also extended the bottom of the main intake back inside the car. I'd seen an original a couple of weeks ago at Brands Hatch with this feature and it made me think. It seems to provide more regidity to that section as well as more surface for a painted finish. I like to see the stripes dissapear into the car in this area.

Comments welcome


Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Supporter
Hi Martin.
Very nice, you are going to have a lot of fun playing with your new baby.
What engine transaxle combo are you planning to put in her?
Hi Pete,

I don't have the engine or trans yet but I'll be going for a 302 with Porsche box, probably 930 if I can find one.
I'm very interested to see the developments with the ZFQ and I've talked to MDA about it. If I decide later to go with a ZFQ it's an easy mod as the chassis was designed for ZF box anyway and had to be mildly modified for the porsche.
The bodywork is time consuming but quite rewarding. My garage is covered in pink dust though. I'll be glad when that stage is over.
Nice work. I like what you've done with the ducts, it gives them a whole different appearance.
I was wondering where you got the buckets for the spot lamps, and if they are adjustable after being mounted?
Hi Phil,

The spot lamps I've chosen are 5 3/4" headlamp units from a Triumph Vittesse. The old Triumph herald has square headlamps but the Vitesse (2.0 litre sportier version) came with 2 round lights. Normally the headlamps mount on the outside with a mounting ring and a chrome trim to secure it to the bowl which is on the inside. I intend to do away with the chrome trim and mount the lamp to the bowl all from the inside using spacers so that the lamp will just appear through the round cut out.
I will post pics once I'm done with it.

Lamps and bowls I ordered from Rimmer brothers in the U.K.
Parts Spares & Accessories for Triumph MG Rover Land Rover Discovery Freelander Defender Range Rover & Rover SD1
Here's a pic of the lamps.
Cheers Martin


Thanks for the info...I think the mounting you described, having the lamps behind and thru the opening, looks much better. I am definitely not a chrome lover anyway. Also since the plexi covers go over the opening it will be a nice look. I had tried for a while to find bowls for a smaller lamp (4 1/4") but nothing with adjustment was available as far as I could see. I think the bigger lamps look good anyway. Maybe a pair of H-4's would look good in there.