Nicks Forte Scratch Build - to Stunning Mk1 GTD


To some of the club members and suppliers who I've been visiting and talking to over the last 4 months, I've finally bitten the bullet and decided to jump in a year earlier than originally planned.

Having taken a detailed look at UK suppliers such as Tornado and Southern GT who both have excellent offerings, each has its pro's and con's relating to my specific needs.

Hence, I'm taking the approach of building the Chassis from the ground up and then gradually complimenting the build with components from the mainstream or niche specialist suppliers. Adding a few twists and turns along the way reflecting my Aerospace and Electronics design background.

The result I'm hoping will become my ND40 (my take on the GT40 legend).

Powerplant will be a 302 Stroker and I estimate 4-5 years to complete

I've been readying the garage for weeks and have my adjustable flat bed complete.

Let the cutting and the welding begin.



Many Thanks Dave. Its certainly going to take time so getting underway while the enthusiasm is at max. I've spent the past few hours getting the basic lower level in place as it'll be the foundation so extra care on this first step.

Image attached.


  • IMG_2059.jpg
    76.6 KB · Views: 2,314


Thanks Renato,

I've put another 4 hours in Today and have built up to the middle section. Firmed up a few of the welds and checked everything is square and true as best I can.


  • IMG_2063.jpg
    142.1 KB · Views: 2,167
Hi Nick,
Good look with the build. You’ve set your self a realistic timeframe and it’s all the personal touches that make a project like this more enjoyable. Are you building it from your own design or is it one of Darren’s GT-Forte designs



Hi Andy,

I'll try to expand on your question a little as to my approach and reasoning as I have had quite a few queries relating to this.

Firstly, I'll explain my reasoning which will then help people understand my initial choice. previously, I mentioned I wanted to combine what I saw as the best options from a variety of suppliers which would best suit my needs.

Some of my concerns on this project were to do with, its a long time since I had lotus's and always had them in bit's, I'm older now haven't had my hands dirty for a long time, I really wanted to do more than just assemble someone else's box of components and finally, Once I made an investment, would my interest wayne soon after.

So, I went for the new Laser Cut Chassis kit available from GT-Forte which would allow me a low cost of entry to the project, test my skills and patience, allow me to modify the core chassis and let me play a little. The main point being, if I screwed it up, I'm only in for a £1k and that's worth the punt instead of stumping up £5k plus to come to the same conclusion.

I'll follow up later with some selected pic's from the Kit or parts and plans and some of the small issues since I started 5 days ago.


So looking at the Laser Cut Chassis Kit, what did I get and how does it go together.

Approximately 200 separate pieces of Pre Cut steel of various shapes and sizes. Each Part when originally laser cut had also been etched with a component reference. PDF documents showing how it all should go together. Thats about it !

Many of the components have a small Male / Female laser cuts to aid in the positioning.

So, excepting the inevitable "received 2 of one item instead of one of another" and the need to sometimes slightly re-position an item and override the pre-identified positioning, I seem to have got along Ok for a relative beginner, albeit with an Aerospace foundation.

The four images that follow should help clarify the above description:-

Any queries, drop me a message.


  • Image A.jpg
    Image A.jpg
    122.1 KB · Views: 2,433
  • Image B.jpg
    Image B.jpg
    114.9 KB · Views: 2,257
  • IMG_2067.jpg
    109.5 KB · Views: 1,967
  • IMG_2066.jpg
    72.5 KB · Views: 1,910
Hi Nick:

Like Jim C. said it takes a lot of courage to do a scratch build. I personally started with no plans to work from ,just some measurements that Russ Noble helped me with. You should not feel like you have to explain or defend your reasoning. We all have different ways of doing things but the love of the GT 40 is what compels us on. Wether it is a Gox, RCR, GTD,Safir,Superformance,Cav,Sabre, DBA, Roaring forties,KCC,KVA, Kit car centre,GTD, Dax ,GT Forte,Holman Moody, Lone star,MDA,Southern GT or a scratch build they all replicate the car we love. I am glad to see your posts.
Nick, I don't know what the others think, but it may be worthwhile considering the body supplier fairly early on, even just to hang them on the wall for 6 months, but it gives you the opportunity to make damn sure it fits and locates and tweak as you build; that 1/4" gap can be elusive when it comes to fitting the body. K


Thanks Keith,

I'm actually going to leave the bodywork for about 6 months but I take your point.

Have thrown a further 4 hours at it this Morning so now have the core of the chassis done, now to get the next bit done by next weekend.



  • IMG_2072.jpg
    158 KB · Views: 2,165


I have the opportunity to pick up a well priced Audi 01E gearbox. 6 speed Manual. (From 2 wheel drive car).

Given I'm going for a SBF 302, Can anyone clarify if this poses major problems with driveshaft alignment to the rear wheels.

I've heard varying stories of the gearbox being either too high or too far back. Any advice welcome.

It's not ideal but the alternatives cost a lot more. You can't mount the engine properly low but that requires dry sumping anyway.

I wouldn't overly worry about the angles, the point someone made was that normal cars run the CV joints for 'life' but life there is 120k at 12k/year. Is it the end of the world to have to replace them on a low mileage car at a fraction of that? What is your expected mileage 2k/year? If they only last 20k that's 10 years of use!
Hi Nick, I love watching the scratch builds. No disrespect to the of the shelf builders and the majority of cars are done that way and with fantastic results but scratch building is a real test of a mans endurance and stickabilty. There are plenty of guys on here that are more than willing to help with advice and encouragement. I understand where your coming from with starting with a small investment. I went the same way with my project (although I have quite a few $$$ in it now) I would have loved to do a GT40 but that investment in the body was just out of my reach at that time so I started with some old 4x4 parts I had and a few hundred $ of alloy sheet and rivets. Best of Luck and I will be watching your progress. Cheers Leon.