1 2 3
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/22/20 5:33 p.m.

You saw it here first!

Seriously, the official launch isn't for a few hours but I have the okay to share, and I'm doing it here first. Meet the Tipo 184, a pre-war Alfa 158 replica.

https://tipo184.com

(prototype in grey gelcoat, the kits will be red like below)

It's a Miata-based kit similar in concept to an Exocet that just happens to look absolutely awesome. A single center driving position, roll protection (approved by the MSA sanctioning body), big tall tires that will give you the ability to do big goofy four wheel drifts. How does the shifter work? Some sort of crazy mechanism that goes up and over - you can see it in the picture below.

Based on the car that Ant Anstead built for the series "Master Mechanic" (check YouTube), it dumps the 1950's MG frame for our favorite sports car. Retains the Miata subframes front and rear while moving the engine waaaay back. I've got some pictures of the prototype assembled but I need to wait for permission to share. But here's the basic Miata kit in gelcoat. For those who are familiar with Miata mounting points, you can see that the engine is moved behind the front subframe. Not just back a bit, but well behind it.

Instead of entering the arms race to keep up with the latest hot Corvette or Mustang, you can just wave your hand dismissively and revel in the ridiculous slip angles of some tall crossplies. Is the solution to trackday fun? There's a one-make series coming in the UK and I suspect there will be efforts to make it happen in the US as well.  The car hasn't been weighed yet either, but based on what I know of Sevens and Exocets and the like I suspect we're looking at somewhere around 1300 lbs wet.

There will be "completion kits" available if you don't want to fabricate, or you can take the above kit and get all kinds of creative. There's a full Haynes build manual coming out in the next few months and you'll see the car in the picture above get reassembled on camera. So what we have here is a sneak peek and an offer for the first 10 kits at just about exactly $10k US each. That offer is intended for the UK but if we have a number of GRMers interested I could probably arrange for a container bulk shipment. I know a guy.

More information will be coming, including US distribution - that hasn't been sorted yet. I do not have any direct involvement with this but I've been working with Ant on something else and it really has me excited. I think it will be a riot to drive.

 

(note, this completed car is actually based on an MG T-series chassis with an Alfa engine but it looks very much the same minus the roll bar)

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
12/22/20 5:47 p.m.

Oh. Oh my. That's ....awesome. 

WOW!

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
12/22/20 5:52 p.m.

Um, dear Santa, I know it's just about Xmas and all, buuuuuut...

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/22/20 5:53 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

How would we go about expressing an interest in the US?

 

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
12/22/20 5:55 p.m.

So yeah how much as a deposit and when can I get one. 

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/22/20 5:55 p.m.

Is this the coolest Miata-based kit ever?

 

-yes

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/22/20 5:57 p.m.
wearymicrobe said:

So yeah how much as a deposit and when can I get one. 

Sounds like that's 2 interested parties, Keith!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/22/20 5:58 p.m.

If you are seriously interested in one of those first 10 kits, drop me a line and I'll pass it along. If we get enough, I can probably arrange for a container.

Distribution hasn't been figured out for the US yet, so there's nobody to take deposits on this side of the pond.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/22/20 5:58 p.m.

Oh.

My.

I'll have to check back for more information on the "completion kit".

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/22/20 5:59 p.m.

Im in no financial situation to buy this. But, my god.....

 

This is essentially what I have been dreaming about for YEARS 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/22/20 6:01 p.m.
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) said:

Oh.

My.

I'll have to check back for more information on the "completion kit".

Ant is envisioning the market to be people like him. The basic kit is all the stuff that's basically too hard to do at home, and you just cut and fold and weld and fabricate what's not there. I have suggested to him that there is a non-zero number of people who don't have the skills to do upholstery or don't want to work out the cooling system. So there have always been plans for completion kits, but they're not really mentioned on the site yet. Over the next 8 weeks or so, we'll see the whole thing flesh out for UK customers at least. This is very much breaking news.

dyintorace (Forum Supporter)
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/22/20 6:05 p.m.

What will I need beyond the $10k kit and a Miata to get the gray car in the original post?

Seriously interested. 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/22/20 6:10 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

You've got mail. Seriously interested. (And I've got the Miata sitting here!!)

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/22/20 6:12 p.m.

Oh wow... I don't have the time nor the space, but damn I want one... assuming there is some way to add the required lights, a wiper and title one in PA.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/22/20 6:15 p.m.
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) said:

What will I need beyond the $10k kit and a Miata to get the gray car in the original post?

Seriously interested. 

Depends on how much you want to build. I have an engine bay shot but I'm not sure I'm allowed to share. I also haven't seen it partially torn down. But I would estimate:

- skin the frame in aluminum
- cut an aluminum firewall
- radiator with a raised expansion tank on the firewall
- intake piping
- seat/headrest/steering wheel/any upholstery
- fuel cell (goes under the roll bar, looks like an off-the-shelf blow-molded piece)
- run brake lines, fuel lines
- do wiring
- Brooklands screen if desired
- coilovers

If you want to register it, you'll need to come up with head/taillights. In fact, brake lights might be a good idea regardless.

Note that this was built out of an NB. There will be a couple of small changes required if you want to build out of an NA, such as a different pattern for the gauge cluster. I've mentioned that to Ant. Luckily, it's designed to use a LHD steering rack because someone put an intake manifold in the way on the other side.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
12/22/20 6:18 p.m.

Center driving position. Do I need to shift with my ding dong?laugh

dyintorace (Forum Supporter)
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/22/20 6:18 p.m.

Got it. Would the 'completion' kit get me most of that? Or at least things like the skin, firewall, upholstery, fuel cell, etc?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
12/22/20 6:18 p.m.

That's a thing I need. I also need to be able to drive it on the road to own one, so I need to wait for someone to figure that part out first, but holy moly this is going to keep me up at night for a while. 

matthewmcl (Forum Supporter)
matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/22/20 6:27 p.m.

Looks very cool.  Does the cat keep the left mirror defrosted in the winter?

nocones
nocones UberDork
12/22/20 6:28 p.m.

I totally approve of this idea.  That looks great.   $10K seems really reasonable for something that neat.  I agree the street use would be a dificult but to crack though.

 

I remember just a week ago when I expressed a similar idea.  Now I understand why you where so interested Kieth.  Great minds thing alike I suppose.  My thoughts on this were stirred watching Ants build.  

Except then the overall opinion then was the suspension would look bad.  I think it looks pretty good on the gray car.   I'm excited to see more information develop on this.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/22/20 6:29 p.m.
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) said:

Got it. Would the 'completion' kit get me most of that? Or at least things like the skin, firewall, upholstery, fuel cell, etc?

They're going to be sold in units. One kit for cooling, one kit for the fuel tank, one for upholstery, etc. That way you can buy what you can't (or don't want to) build. It's a fairly typical way of doing kits in the UK.

Note that "completion kit" is what we call them at FM for the Exocet, the Brit terms may be different.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/22/20 6:31 p.m.

About registration: this thing is conceptually an Exocet's pretty sister. So you'd need cycle fenders, lights and possibly some sort of temporary windscreen to register. Not that hard, really. 

It does have a side shifter. I don't know exactly how the mechanism works but Ant says it's really fun. You can see it in the complete kit pic in my first post.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/22/20 6:39 p.m.

So cool.

Interesting bits... Interesting 8 pipe header with 2 fake pipes on each side. That's also an interestingly short drive shaft. I know you said the engine is back but the short shaft highlights how much. 

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/22/20 6:42 p.m.

WOW! This looks stunning, and looks like the type of skinny-tired, lightweight fun that is right up my alley! I'm not sure exactly where I would use such a thing, but I love the style, the build-it-yourself nature of it, and the driving experience should be a hoot!

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
XlgmcYqVZkQRTEUEbOYUJSdn45cDj82Xy0i0R1d1qMGpM2hPANEybYGGitfEhAbs