Following the positive response to part one, we’ve been hard at work on Kinsey’s Cozy Coupe Project. Here’s another update to bring you up to speed.
When we last left off, I had drilled new holes for relocating the axles to lower the car’s height. The first issue I ran into here was the underside of the chassis clearing the ground. Some material near the rear axle’s original location had to be cut off to allow for the car to roll.
While cutting into the rear of the chassis, this is what we found:
Yes, those are dead rolly-pollies. I’ve heard of project cars being infested with mice, spiders, and squirrels, but rolly-pollies is a new one for me. I’m guessing that this coupe spent the majority of its life outdoors and was not garage kept.
After an initial pass at removing material, this is what we were left with:
Upon testing, we found that more plastic needed to be removed. We’ll go back and smooth this out later when the time comes to polish everything up:
With the new ride height set, the tires were essentially mounted outside of the car’s body completely. While this would probably work fine, it doesn’t really fit with the look we want to achieve. Kinsey and I decided to sacrifice the door’s ability to open and close in the name of removing material for the tires to sit inside of the car’s body.
The coupe marked where plastic would need to be removed for the tires to clear:
Material removed from the fender cutting process:
With the car’s wider than factory track width, I wasn’t able to reuse the existing axles. I picked up some extended axle rods from Lowe’s of the same diameter as the factory pieces. These will eventually be cut to length when the final fitting is completed.
The new solid axle setup up front. We’ll cover this with a floor pan later for safety:
Here’s an idea of how much plastic was removed for the tires to clear the body. Again, all of these cut lines will be cleaned up before paint and final assembly:
To maintain an aggressive look and wide track width, we decided to incorporate some classic Japanese-inspired fender flares. I racked my brain for a while trying to decide what I could use to make them, and somehow I came up with an idea- plastic soccer cones:
I was far from athletic growing up, so I have no idea how I thought of this, but these small plasitc cones worked perfectly as fender flares with a bit of cutting. These are mock flares at this point and aren’t 100% complete, but they give you a pretty good idea of what the final product will look like:
You can also see that the axles have yet to be trimmed. One of Kinsey’s little friends next door politely challenged my intentions to cut the metal axles with a saw, but I think I’ll be able to manage.
With the fender flares sorted out, I moved on to chopping the roof. The Cozy Coupe’s factory roof lines are rather tall, no doubt to allow for years of use as the child grows older. In this case, Kinsey and I were willing to sacrifice a little bit of usability in the name of style. Here’s where we arrived on the final roof height:
I also really like that the chop top gives the car more of a trunk-like design. More on that in a minute, though. Here’s how much material we removed from the b-pillar:
Factory MKIV coupe vs our modified MKII:
My final piece for this update was to begin working on the wing design. This will ideally be something that is removable, but we want the added downforce for any track time the car might see. Oh, and because it looks really cool.
Here’s the cardboard prototype. The final piece will likely be constructed of some type of lexan or thick plastic, possibly wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl (come on now, this is a kid’s toy. I can’t afford dry carbon!)
I’ll be sure to get it straight in the production piece. Expect to see some exhaust and diffuser work here down the road next:
At this point, Kinsey couldn’t handle it anymore. She had to hop in and check things out, even if the car was far from assembled for road use. I tried to warn her, but she just wouldn’t have it.
Some of her pals from next door came to check things out:
When attempting to launch the car, Kinsey ran into some of the issues I had cautioned her about…
After looking things over, we don’t think the car sustained any real damage.
“Are you going to help me push this thing back into the garage or what?” Kinsey exclaimed as she chowed down on an Oreo.
That’s all for now- more updates as we make some progress! Thanks for checking out the build.