A Locost is a home-built clone of the Lotus Seven. The car features a space frame chassis usually welded together from mild steel 1 × 1 in (25 × 25 mm) square tubing. Front suspension is usually double wishbone with coil overs. The rear is traditionally live axle, but has many variants including independent rear suspension or De Dion tube. Body panels are usually fiberglass nose and wings and aluminium side panels. Each car is highly individualized according to the resources, needs and desires of each respective builder.
The original design was intended to be built from scratch. However, the design has become so popular that several fabricators have begun producing the chassis in kit car form. Additionally, fiberglass body components, suspension pieces and other Locost-specific components can be sourced from various suppliers.
Ron Champion's Locost
The Locost pattern originated in the mid 90s,and then with the publishing by Haynes Manuals of the book Build your own sports car for as little as £250 by Ron Champion (ISBN 1-85960-636-9). This design was based heavily on the original Lotus Seven. It also used a live axle rear suspension. The De Dion tube setup was used in factory racers and some of the models offered by Caterham.
Both Colin Chapman and Ron Champion have a background in the 750 Motor Club and the design of the Locost is based on a Clubman's Race Car designed and built by Ron Champion in 1963. The rear is of course "inspired by" Lotus 7. A reasonably large number of locosts (by kitcar standards) were produced in the mid to late 1970s,using ford(escort)parts predominately
Ron Champion's original book was followed up with Build Your Own Sports Car: On a Budget (ISBN 1-84425-391-0) by Chris Gibbs. The subject car differs most significantly from the original in that it has an independent rear suspension. Additionally, the car was designed using CAD software, eliminating the measurement errors inherent to the original design. Other additions to the original Locost design include information for fabricating a rollbar and advice on using engines with Fuel Injection.
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