ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
11/15/22 12:00 a.m.

Take a 1963 spitfire frame, do some mods, and draw and quarter a Berkeley body, stretching it to fit over the modified spitfire frame, and what do you end up with?  A dumpster-fire.. er... sorry, I mean a Berk-fire:

The project consists of the aforementioned frame and body, along with multiple drivetrains, "loads" of other spares and a "several" totes of  misc. "parts". Essentially I'm told that everything is there to finish the project to a running driving state, plus numerous extras.

I need to pick the car and parts up, planning for the first weekend in December, and from there, whether it becomes yard art or a functioning vehicle will depend mostly on whether I can motivate myself to finish the build in a timely fashion while juggling other projects and various other obligations in life.

In case I actually manage to put this together for a challenge, I'll mention that the project buy price was $700. Further and more complex math will ensue when appropriate.

Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself
Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself PowerDork
11/15/22 5:32 a.m.

In for a penny, in for a pound.


Keep us updated.

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
11/15/22 7:21 a.m.

In reply to ToManyProjects :

......

Screen name  checks out yes

......

 

Sounds like fun

APEowner
APEowner UltraDork
11/15/22 8:28 a.m.

That's awesome! I'm looking forward to watching this one.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
11/15/22 8:32 a.m.

I like that far more than is healthy. 

birdmayne
birdmayne Reader
11/15/22 8:57 a.m.

I'd expect that you'd be able to find a buyer at $700 again, should you decide to move on from it. 

Very intriguing

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
11/15/22 9:00 a.m.

Two of the biggest problems with the Bezerkely were sorting out front wheel drive and a narrow track width for it's height. Looks like you have both potential issues covered here!

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
11/15/22 10:02 a.m.

I'm hesitant to get too excited until the project is actually in hand, but I believe it may have potential...

25 years ago my first 'sports car' purchase was a basket case spitfire. I did manage to finish that project in about 6 months and DD the car for about 5 years. I've finished about 3/4 of the car projects I've taken on in the mean time.

Since the day of that first project car purchase, I've been collecting good parts to turn bad ideas into frightening reality.

In my 25 year hoard of parts, I've got a 4G63T and 5 speed RWD transmission along with the mounts, electrics, driveshaft, rear end conversion and other stuff to make it run in a spitfire chasis. Plus all of the receipts from the build almost 20 years ago. I had it running in a '69 briefly before it got wrecked on it's maiden voyage by a dude in a F250 talking on his bag phone. I'll have to see what else is needed, and how the recoup goes to verify that I'll be able to use said swap and stay in budget, or if I'll need to use a lesser swap that I also have on hand...

 

nlevine (Forum Supporter)
nlevine (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/15/22 3:25 p.m.
ToManyProjects said:

"...turn bad ideas into frightening reality."

That should be on the next GRM t-shirt design... 

MyMiatas
MyMiatas Reader
11/15/22 10:29 p.m.

Looks like cool car to me. At first I thought you were cursing. You know, ah berkely that!  Lol. :0D

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
11/16/22 9:42 a.m.
MyMiatas said:

Looks like cool car to me. At first I thought you were cursing. You know, ah berkely that!  Lol. :0D

All part of the fun on this forum... I admit that for a second I thought about trying to find and fit a BMW S52 engine and matching trans to install in the chasis, so that when I mounted the body I could say I'd Berkeley'd that E36-M3. But it seemed like a lot of work for a meme that wouldn't have been quite right anyway, so in the end, I just said... Well, you know...

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
11/16/22 9:50 a.m.

Anyone else automatically change  Berk-Fire to F--kFire? laugh

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
11/16/22 8:30 p.m.

We'll, Triumph sixes in Spitfires are a popular swap, and BMW apparently owns the Triumph name for cars since they bought it along with Mini... Just saying. devil

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
11/17/22 9:50 a.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

We'll, Triumph sixes in Spitfires are a popular swap, and BMW apparently owns the Triumph name for cars since they bought it along with Mini... Just saying. devil

You do make a valid point, and something like one of the smaller inline 6's would be a nearly ideal powerplant for such a build.

Unfortunately valid points tend to be the antithesis of my projects...

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
11/17/22 9:55 a.m.

In reply to ToManyProjects :

Which means you're going to put an early Hemi in it right?

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
11/17/22 10:43 a.m.

It's nice to have found my people.

MyMiatas
MyMiatas Reader
11/20/22 9:07 p.m.

Here is some inspiration for you 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/21/22 11:20 a.m.

In reply to ToManyProjects :

This is very cool, and I totally approve! But one point of  caution, I built a turbo spitfire with a Miata drivetrain in the lightest Spitfire body (MK4), so around 1700 pounds. It was fun, but also pretty scary to drive at full boost as all the power overcame the available traction and body stiffness. For your project, you are removing probably 25% of the weight by eliminating the Spitfire body and installing the "paper mache" Berkley bodyshell. Without some stiffness, that spitfire frame will be flexing pretty heavily and since it does not have the Spitfire shell to support it, that backbone chassis will be twisting and with a 4G63T that could be quite a handful. I almost think you will need to do some outriggers on the chassis to support the Berkley bodyshell and give that frame some stiffness.

Watching this one!

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
11/30/22 6:39 p.m.
dherr (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to ToManyProjects :

This is very cool, and I totally approve! But one point of  caution, I built a turbo spitfire with a Miata drivetrain in the lightest Spitfire body (MK4), so around 1700 pounds. It was fun, but also pretty scary to drive at full boost as all the power overcame the available traction and body stiffness. For your project, you are removing probably 25% of the weight by eliminating the Spitfire body and installing the "paper mache" Berkley bodyshell. Without some stiffness, that spitfire frame will be flexing pretty heavily and since it does not have the Spitfire shell to support it, that backbone chassis will be twisting and with a 4G63T that could be quite a handful. I almost think you will need to do some outriggers on the chassis to support the Berkley bodyshell and give that frame some stiffness.

Watching this one!

I appreciate the input, and I agree with you completely. The '69 that I originally built with the 4g63t had added bracing in several areas in anticipation of the torque, and I plan a similar treatment for this frame. I probably didn't add enough to the '69 as I was really going for a sleeper, but no matter how much I added, it wouldn't have saved if from the F250, though I walked away un-injured.

On this project the PO already added outriggers and some bracing, but until I get it in my grubby little mits, I'm not sure how effective (or well) the work has been done.

I do plan to add a substantial amount of bracing and modify the rear suspension pretty radically for the build. With the outriggers in place I plan to weld in floor pans to the frame as well which should add a little structure. I was young and dumb last time. I'm certainly less young this time, hopefully less dumb as well. The jury is still out on how much less dumb, it can't be too much if I'm taking this kind of project on, but hopefully enough to build in a bit of safety.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
12/1/22 7:54 p.m.
Indy - Guy said:

In reply to ToManyProjects :

......

Screen name  checks out yes

......

 

Sounds like fun

Can I get a vowel?  Or are we toasting the number of projects?  

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
12/2/22 1:53 p.m.

All together now!

BERKFIRE BERKFIRE BERKFIRE

Holy Berkfire Batman, is that what I think it is?

 

GladlyTheCrossEyedBear
GladlyTheCrossEyedBear New Reader
12/2/22 2:06 p.m.

You know, if it had been stretched to fit over an MGA frame you'd have a Berkin' A man. 

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
12/19/22 3:49 a.m.

Well, the berkfire has landed... or skidded, sort of.

I had planned to make the trip a couple weeks ago, had a friend all lined up to go with me, we where gonna make a weekend out of it, drive down after he got off on Friday, stay with another friend, pick the car up Saturday morning, go back to the other friends house, have a BBQ, smoke cigars, drink mojitos and spend the night, followed a leisurely drive back on Sunday.

Of course, that's not what happened, instead my kid got sick, brought it home, and I ended up trying to cough up my lungs that weekend instead.

But the show must go on... so to speak. Forgoing all of the fun and leisure that would have been had on the previously planned trip, instead, I got up this morning after getting far too little sleep, ready to get a bright and early start on the drive south. But when I went to hitch the trailer I noticed something off with the right fender; it was bent onto the tire solidly. So instead of getting a nice early start, I had to spend more time than I should have bending the fender back to shape. So, only then, several hours later, could I begin my journey. Later in the day the neighbor called to apologize about the fender, apparently he'd bumped it with the tractor he was borrowing from me, and he planned to come over and help me fix it later.

Because of the morning delay I had to drive hard for 480 miles to get there with time to load, stopping only for fuel and caffeine, and I managed to arrive at the shop about 30 minutes before dark. The PO and I loaded the chasis, body, and 4 totes of parts onto the trailer, and then filled the back of the SUV with so much crap that I couldn't see the rear window, let alone see out of it. (I'll have to inventory everything later, There's a LOT of stuff there, including a bunch of NOS parts)

The PO needed to leave a few minutes after dark to go see his wife in the hospital during visiting hours (she recently suffered a stroke) and so he didn't have a lot of time to talk me through much. Once I was all loaded up, I headed out, it was another 480 miles back, making 960 miles in a day. No friends, no fun, and no sleep. I'm getting too old for these shenanigans. My friend couldn't join today because his kid got sick last night... The irony isn't entirely lost on me.

More later. Sleep now.

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects New Reader
12/19/22 10:07 a.m.

A few more random photos from the PO.

I haven't taken any photos yet, but the chasis looked just like that. The body has had more (possibly dubious) work since that photo.

 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/20/22 10:47 a.m.

Love it, frame modifications look similar to a Herald chassis. Cant wait to see where this goes.

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