The car is being born: Kozmo, kit-car from PL (very long)

The car is being born: Kozmo, kit-car from PL (very long)

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TomcatT4

Original Poster:

33 posts

99 months

Saturday 23rd August 2014
quotequote all
Hello,

I’m presenting you the history of kit-car’s construction performed entirely according to my own project. More photos, information and the continuously updated construction journal are available on my website www.kozmo.pl/en.
The project is being executed in Poland. It was created thanks to the passion, which often helped to cope with my personal severe health problems (but this is described more extensively in the movie material linked at the end).
The first idea to construct my own car appeared on 9th of December 2005. Since beginning it was planned to be a kit-car with a closed bodywork, with weight not exceeding 550 kg (it was connected with binding regulations in Poland at that time which allowed to drive such vehicles from age 16) on component parts of Fiat Seicento. I applied a 1100ccm engine in the prototype but ultimately I am planning to apply a 1400 ccm T-Jet engine with power increased to 200-230 KM ;-). Apart from low weight, the second assumption was so that all used parts from manufactured vehicles come from Fiat/Alfa Romeo catalogue and were easily accessible.

Everything started with the sketches on the A4 sheet of paper.




Then I prepared first digital projects of the frame.






After that, I placed the model of the bodywork on to the frame.








Because of the fact that I couldn’t make better visualizations at that time I asked my friend to improve my project. Unfortunately he was busy and finally I had to accept these visualizations.






On their basis I managed to create next sketches of the bodywork.






Some months later I decided to make this project from the beginning to the end in Solid Works (I was advised to use such program at my University), which resulted in the following visualizations.








The next step was travelling from Wroclaw to Lublin (Polish cities distant by ca. 500 km) for tubes and plates, which were acquired in Lublin at half price. And my project stuck at that stage. I had to gain funds for rest of my construction.
After a year and a half, in spring 2008, finally a decision was made to build prototype. By that time, the materials were lying in my friend’s garage. Thanks to my brothers’ and many friends’ help, the works on Kozmo were started with transportation of tubes and plates to one of their’s workshop.




Together with my friend we started with welding of the assembly table...






... onto which, the frame was welded.






















And there came the long-awaited day of first engine starting.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2puX2R6l2A

www.youtube.com/watch?v= oltN2-BwmHc


And five days later, on 28th of December, 2008 first ride.

www.youtube.com/watch?v= pDuSDfjhOz4


In April, we had several testing rides on a race-track in Wroclaw. The main testing driver was my youngest brother, who is a rally driver and was able to adjust the suspension and gets the most from the prototype.





















www.youtube.com/watch?v= EJx2jUp0obo

www.youtube.com/watch?v= QhOHe6YmF_s


Afterwards, in May after adding the exhaust system, next tests took place:



www.youtube.com/watch?v= Jl5gJMNCrDk

www.youtube.com/watch?v= 80W4HrUWN5o


Having at that time, the checked and verified frame, I started to construct the model of the bodywork. I came up with the idea that I will make it out of profiles glued together, cut digitally from 5 cm-thick styrofoam with increased density and then I will reconsider which materials to use in order to complete the model.












Because I found out that I would not be able to model the cavities for glasses and gaskets, I came up with the idea of using original frames of glasses from Fiat Seicento and Alfa Romeo GTV, which would be glued into the model.




By the middle of 2008, I was moved to work in Warsaw and recurrent traveling to my family home in Wroclaw in order to perform the model of the bodywork, which could be made by me, was senseless. Thus, I rented a garage in Warsaw and my brother with a friend transported Kozmo to Warsaw.










At that time, I was also preparing the sketch of the dashboard.




In Warsaw, I continued with gluing the profiles cut out of styrofoam.






I started to match the frames of the windows:




I prepared also the tools to cut the styrofoam out. These were the frames with resistance wire and adjustable power supply.






Having the convenient tool I was able to cut the holes in styrofoam out and make places for windows frames which came from an Alfa GTV.






I also purchased the orbital sander for styrofoam sanding...




... and first piece of styrofoam was made.




The one of the first and best purchases to Kozmo were five modeling combs which could be joined together. The photo shows three joined combs.




Having the necessary tools, I sanded the whole bodywork in places which were suitable for that purpose...




...I cut the frames of windows and I painted them in white...




...obtaining the following effect.






During one of my weekend stays in family home Wroclaw I cut the consecutive elements which were needed for gluing into the bodywork.








Unfortunately, I had to suspend the works at that stage. I restarted them in spring, 2010.



www.youtube.com/watch?v= M_EhHRZBcoA


Having the sanded styrofoam, I decided to put the mesh of lines every 10 cm in order to measure precisely by means of modelling comb if the bodywork is symmetrical.










During the construction of the model itself, many components started to differ from the shape, provided in visualizations, e.g. the edges of mudguards.




I found out which materials are needed to finish the bodywork during winter break. These were styrofoam glue which was intended for supplementing of bigger amount of defects and ready gypsum mass to be spread on top.








To cope with assembling of mechanisms of windows winders, I decided to cut out the internal part of the door from Alfa Romeo and together with screwed, working mechanism I matched it into the bodywork model. Matching of glasses together with windows frames took a few days.





www.youtube.com/watch?v= LQOCBz1J3I4


After finishing, the frames of windows could be glued permanently to model and I could finish pillars and roof.












Then, after the roof, I continued with front, sides and rear of the vehicle:








At the end I sanded whole of the bodywork, I measured symmetry, plastered in places which required that and sanded more precisely where necessary and over and over again for two months.






One day, when my friend visited me for a week, we took Kozmo outside and we cleaned the garage - we swept approximately 20 kg of ground plaster dust. As I counted I used 196 kg of ready gypsum mass.




On this occasion I took some up-to-date photos of Kozmo. Below are photos in comparison to the ones taken one year ago.








I continued with sanding and I laid lines of cutting flaps and doors on the model.


















When I recognized that the shapes of the bodywork are ground as I wanted them to be and the lines of flaps to be laid, I cut the bodywork. First of all, I cut rear flap....








...then doors...










...and at the end front flap.










After winter 2010/2011 came nice weather and although I was suffering from shortage of funds for laminates I didn’t stop with preparation of the bodywork model.
I started to work on internal sides of the doors. It lasted according to the schedule a dozen halves of a working day.
At first doors looked like as below:






Then, I was cutting them:






The missing areas were supplemented by the styrofoam glue in a glue foam:






I was plastering, sanding, measuring, cutting, improving and over and over again.
Underneath is the final effect:














For the time being I left thick edges of the doors. Surely when I take the form out of the external plating I will cut these edges out and I will impress the form out of the internal part of the doors.
Then I started to work on cavities for these doors. First of all I placed the walls coming from thresholds for lateral reinforcements of frame:










Then I put the glue onto the styrofoam in a form of a foam, where I impressed the internal shape of doors.










The shape impressed in such a way was firstly plastered and ground:










Unfortunately due to the crisis resulting from deficiency of funds for the project and consequently lack of motivation, I ceased the works at this stage in 2011.
Then came spring. It was totally dead period for me.
It wasn’t until around June 2012 when I mobilized myself and even though I was still suffering from lack of funds I decided to finish at least the model of the bodywork itself.
I started from finishing of cavities of the doors - I had a lot of sanding, plastering, matching with doors and so on. The cavities began to take correct shape:










I also started cutting the cavities for rear lamps:






After removing rear flap I began to model front poles and rear panel coming to the frame:


















In the meantime I CNC’d the dashboard - it’s a pity that there was nobody who could digitally mill the whole bodywork in Poland when I started the project:




I cut and modelled the cavities for front lamps:






And also cavity for fuel filler cap from Fiat Coupe which finally wouldn’t be applied but about it at a later stage.






Finally probably came the last day of gypsum sanding - everything what could be finished with gypsum was done so.








Now there were works by the dashboard left. I used the casing of gauges from Fiat Seicento for it. The original clock faces would be substituted by the electronic indicators.








Underneath, one of the sketches of the dashboard, still on diodes and three displays OLED B&W 128x64 pixels. Though, electronics technician, who would make it, had recently mentioned something about LCD 5” 720p wink




Finally, the long expected day came - transportation of Kozmo to the paint sprayer in order to finish the model of the bodywork with a spatula before impressing. Thanks to help of paint sprayer, crazy friends from red BIS with central 1,2 and Poloneza VR6 we rolled Kozmo from my garage on the platform, we protected it with foil and we moved on. We had to deal with 60 km to get to Warsaw. It brought me a lot of funsmile
First of all we took Kozmo from garage:




Before transportation I had to draw the model of the dashboard and leave it in my garage for further treatment by my hands :-)






Suddenly I remembered about not finished shape of the bodywork. Of course I didn’t fail to inform the paint sprayer about it wink




Then we pushed Kozmo on the platform:










And this is how my garage looks like after Kozmo left it:




And this is whole convoy:




And KOZMO wrapped in foil:




Short break for corrections and gluing of foil - to the joy of kids from the coach:




And this is the modest garage of the paint sprayer - Oh, I would love to have such garage wink










Unfortunately after a week our paint sprayer gave up and we started to look for another paint sprayer who would meet this challenge. In the meantime, I visited the author of McLaren F1 replica which was recently reported in British media. I had a chance to drive this race car. It was September 2012.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTSjVYFn3-Y#


After a long search I managed to find a new painer. The works advanced although it seemed that it would be more works with finishing of the bodywork than I expected because the paint sprayer decided that there would be still a lot of gypsum to be laid before he started with filling and final finish of the bodywork’s model. It was found, however, that it is not so bad. Below are the photos coming from one of the visit at the paint sprayer. You can see the totally filled bodywork with cavities for doors and flaps and rear flap and also half-filled cavities for door and front flap. At that time I realized that Kozmo went to the right man.


















I greeted 2013 with a next visit at the paint shop. To my intense surprise I found Kozmo almost totally ready to impress the molds. The paint sprayer had only external plating of doors to finish which can only be done after impressing of internal sides of doors.














During this time I also continued with looking for funds for the further construction of the prototype as well as I was supervising works at first ready elements of the bodywork from glass fibers. These are internal parts of doors which were manufactured at carbonbike.pl, which deals with manufacturing of the lightest handbikes in the world and different car’s bodyworks from carbon fibers. Underneath are photos of forms and first prototype element of the bodywork.


















The ready internal elements were reinforced in windows’ mechanisms and were subjected to testing. The consecutive ready elements were taken to the paint sprayer in order to match them into the door cavities done in the bodywork form. After marking of places for small corrections, the paint sprayer would work on them; a then would prepare the external parts of the doors for impressing. While waiting for forms of the door, which was taken to be impressed, the paint sprayer finished the dashboard.












And there came next long awaited day. I took the car from the paint sprayer, who was preparing the form of the bodywork to be impressed during 85 working days. Now such a prepared Kozmo would be waiting until the time I would find any sponsor, who would enable finishing of the project, that is: forms of the bodywork and the interior, first bodywork and interior, corrections of suspensions of the braking system, change of the engine to the target one 1,4 T-Jet engine tuned to ca. 230 hp, and at the end painting of the car and putting final touches.
Underneath are the photos from loading of Kozmo on the platform. For this purpose I raised the suspension – thus, the car could look like little odd - the target is to have bigger and more offseted rims.


















Since the photos of the car coming from transportation had the suspension raised and the wheels on them were too narrow in relation to the target ones, I decided to slightly retouch these two photos.
So that would basically look like my car. I hope you now enjoy it more ;-)






Whilst searching for sponsor I decided to show Kozmo to large public in the preconstruction phase and I arranged first public presentation of progresses of works at Kozmo, which took place on first weekend of September 2013 on Slomczyn rallycross track.
We had adventures but spent great time and profitably I hope.
Below you will find some photos showing Kozmo among direct competitors ;-)
















Phew, it’s all for now - thank all of those who reached here, for patience ;-)
After deducting time spent in the garage, I calculated that I up till now I have devoted around 140 working days.
At the end some remarks about my project, which are replies to most frequently asked questions on Polish kit car forum.

1. Kozmo was born out of passion, as a realization of dream about construction of something own and own mark. Starting the works on the project, I knew that nowadays I’m not gonna surpass big supercar brands only by myself. Then I took the view that it would be the best to find the gap in the market, which was in my opinion a sportcar fitting in the B1 driving license category. Thus, I decided about small dimensions of the car and its low mass. I am writing because the regulations changed and I would have to decisively combine to register basic version of Kozmo under B1. For the time being, I gave up the idea about car for 16-year-olds. I am focusing on the top version of 1,4 T-Jet engine tuned to above 200 hp and creation of the small race toy which would be evokiller. Moreover, from the outset the top version of Kozmo was supposed to ensure pleasure from driving and during competition of Rallysprint type should remind of some sort of struggle with Evo or STI.

2. From technical point of view I knew that I could myself assemble something only with the well thought-out, simple design, spatial frame and a bodywork from laminates - as the track cars were built for the last four or five decades. This idea about this construction crystallized in my head because of fascination with the Ultima GTR and their creators’ fate. It’s obvious that first Nobles, so praised by Jeremy in Top Gear is nothing else but excellent finished cars with a tubular frame and bodywork from laminates. Another example proving that this construction is not a relic is Gumpert Apollo - probably the only hypercar at the moment which has the old traditional architecture based on the frame (which in this case is from chromium-molybdenum steel).

3. The very important assumption was to have a reasonable and simple design. This assumption allowed me to follow the chosen path in two previous points, that is: construction of a small kit-car which could be later sold in kits as well as fully built cars. In addition cars that can be driven in the B1 driving license category and then later be upgraded with a stronger engine once the driver gets a full B permit.

4. As this kit-car was intended to be small, cheap and easy to assembly, I wasn’t able to estimate if the prototype would be built within a year or 5 years. Thus, I was trying to design a bodywork simple to be modelled and quite timeless without any stylistic extravagance. I was also limited to necessity to use windows from already existing cars. Additionally, in order to reduce costs and facilitate assembly I decided that the whole car would be constructed on the basis of Fiat/Alfa parts. Is the car awful? I am sure that it’s not. Rather, correct in manufacturing and without extravagance - so it was meant to be this way. Below are the visualizations of the model from another perspective and a quite old photo of the whole body from the outside.









Soon I will take series of new photographs in a nice open air so that the outlook of the car can be evaluated better. Finally the wheels would be wider than it is now.

I encourage you to watch conversation with me issued at the beginning of 2013 in Polish TV - TVN:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=p93TN8lO-oU


I also invite to my profile at YT to see some other movies - unfortunately they weren’t yet translated.

Kozmo on YouTube



Thank you for your attention.

Tomasz „Tomcat” Ferdek

PS. At the moment the project is suspended. I am still looking for sponsor or investor. I am very interested in your opinion about my kit-car and possible interest on the market.
PS 2. At the end the most recent photos taken at the occasion of directing of footage about crazy people with passion within the competition „It’s your life” hosted by Miss Polonia 2011 wink. The photos were taken by Mariusz Przygoda.









Edited by TomcatT4 on Saturday 23 August 21:12


Edited by TomcatT4 on Saturday 30th August 16:57


Edited by TomcatT4 on Monday 1st September 06:54

vx220

2,385 posts

167 months

Sunday 24th August 2014
quotequote all
Love it!

dom9

6,649 posts

142 months

Sunday 24th August 2014
quotequote all
Straight into my Top 10 threads of all time on PH!

Cracking project and looks great, like a mini GTM Libra!

If someone made a small, light, mid-engine, closed coupe in the UK kit market for reasonable money - I think it would be very popular!

Maybe talk to Stuart Mills of MEV who posts on here for some advice for how to move forward with the project?

vx220

2,385 posts

167 months

Sunday 24th August 2014
quotequote all
As above, a small, light 2 seater coupe, warm and dry but fun and frugal (and cheap, don't forget cheap!) would be great for town use.

Like a rorty Smart car, a Smart roadster at a reasonable cost with a manual gearbox?

Ozzie Dave

464 posts

181 months

Sunday 24th August 2014
quotequote all
As said, looks like great potential, especially for a fun, cheap to run car with some practicalities.
Looks like a real labour of love and spirit against adversity and the main stream.
It looks like you have the spirit, dont let the search for funding tie you down too much, find some good subcontractors in those lines of work, and then sell, as you know a website costs little, and price so the deposit covers the cost to manufacture, and just a list of parts needed. That takes it beyond proof on concept to a reality! Funding will then be easier to find (and that is still bloody hard).
Advertisement

mikebradford

1,455 posts

78 months

Sunday 24th August 2014
quotequote all
Wow, have to give credit for having the b*lls
The fact the result so far is at leats looking like a credible competitor to other cars in that market is a credit to all your hard work

I wish you all the best

TomcatT4

Original Poster:

33 posts

99 months

Sunday 31st August 2014
quotequote all
dom9 said:
Straight into my Top 10 threads of all time on PH!
Thanks a lot.

dom9 said:
Cracking project and looks great, like a mini GTM Libra!
Kozmo has almost the same dimensions as GTM Libra. In fact it was designed along similar lines as GTM Libra.

dom9 said:
If someone made a small, light, mid-engine, closed coupe in the UK kit market for reasonable money - I think it would be very popular!
It will cost approx. 7,000 GBP per set and approx. 18,000 GBP for a complete car (1400.T with T-Jet engine). Is it a reasonable price?

dom9 said:
Maybe talk to Stuart Mills of MEV who posts on here for some advice for how to move forward with the project?
Hmm, maybe it is a good idea.

I wonder if I should start collecting payments on account of finished cars as they do it big and acclaimed car manufacturers.


Huff

2,467 posts

124 months

Sunday 31st August 2014
quotequote all
WhatIsIt said:
Absolutely excellent work. Most people can't imagine the amount of effort and dedication it takes to get even close to where you are. I wish you the best of luck.
This!
And the the choice to make a small mid-engined car - bravo.



selym

5,939 posts

104 months

Sunday 31st August 2014
quotequote all
What a brilliant thread, well done! I look forward to seeing more!!

CrutyRammers

9,035 posts

131 months

Monday 1st September 2014
quotequote all
Absolutely outstanding! I've made a couple of small fiberglass pieces from bucks, and the took ages, so to do an entire car body by hand is amazing. I take my hat off to you, sir thumbup

dom9

6,649 posts

142 months

Monday 1st September 2014
quotequote all
TomcatT4 said:
It will cost approx. 7,000 GBP per set and approx. 18,000 GBP for a complete car (1400.T with T-Jet engine). Is it a reasonable price?
I hadn't appreciated that it was similar to the GTM Libra in size... It looks a bit 'cuter' for want of a better word!

£7,000 would be considered 'strong' money for a kit, I reckon. How complete would that kit be?

I assume £18,000 would be for a factory built car (or would that be what you'd tell the builder to budget for)? Again - strong money.

The difficulty is that many people would go with a VX220 or Elise (might just get in one) for half the money. An MR2 of any version would be a lot cheaper.

Even the Porsche Cayman (and easily Boxters) can be had within budget (albeit second hand) and that makes this a tough sell, I would say.

Having said that - never underestimate what someone will pay for something 'new' and unique. But at that money, I think I'd be out.

Although the USP is great as there simply aren't enough small, sporty, mid-engine coupes on the market the Yanks are doing them cheaper (see Fran Hall's GTA).

How many GTM Libras did they sell? And they had the GRP monocoque, which was arguably an interesting selling point! Coming out at the same time as the Elise almost certainly hurt their sales and you would be walking into a market where many mainstream cars are available, which may fill a similar gap.

But, there will always be guys that want to build a kit and be unique but I think you need to be more in Stuart Mills space (where possible) to attract the masses and that means a build cost closer to £10k as you can build a fantastic '7' for that money, which would satisfy most home mechanics.

Hopefully this doesn't detract from what a great product and project this is but if the build cost for a high spec car closes in on £20k, then I think you'll have real trouble shifting any kind of volume or turning it into a commercial enterprise!

Kiltie

7,457 posts

179 months

Monday 1st September 2014
quotequote all
Tomasz - what a superb post!



Thanks for sharing. smile

Ozzie Dave

464 posts

181 months

Monday 1st September 2014
quotequote all
Just a thought, Price may be an issue in that market segment, and looking at the design and base work done I cant help that think there is a new market that it would be perfect for, how easy would it be to have the roof detachable, the styling is great and it would suit it well, few smart 'young friendly' small cheap to run cars are around- and more importantly they are perceived as premium products!

dom9

6,649 posts

142 months

Tuesday 2nd September 2014
quotequote all
Ozzie Dave said:
Just a thought, Price may be an issue in that market segment, and looking at the design and base work done I cant help that think there is a new market that it would be perfect for, how easy would it be to have the roof detachable, the styling is great and it would suit it well, few smart 'young friendly' small cheap to run cars are around- and more importantly they are perceived as premium products!
I wonder if you could chop an inch or two off it in every direction and drop a 107/ Aygo/ C1 engine/ 'box combo in... Very light weight, cheap and then would maybe appeal to younger drievrs (lower insurance, tax etc)?

I wouldn't fancy a removable roof, myself, but I can see why that might be a good option smile

The Crack Fox

13,091 posts

125 months

Wednesday 3rd September 2014
quotequote all
This looks fantastic, well done!

My only suggestion? Only listen to those who have the money and desire to buy one. You will get a thousand internet opinions on "fit this engine" "change this bodywork" "it shold cost €XYZ" but the only thing that matters (if this is to be a business) is the opinion of the potential customer.

I wish you very good luck smile

TomcatT4

Original Poster:

33 posts

99 months

Tuesday 23rd September 2014
quotequote all
Welcome again and sorry for not answering for so long.
A second-hand Lotus or Boxster cease to be a good alternative (or competition) as soon as you consider to prepare it for track use or repair it after weekend races (let alone crashes, even simple mechanical breakdowns will cost more when on Fiat componenets). Surprisingly, Kozmo is rather a more functional and more neutrally-handling contraption of a Locost. More expensive at the start of course, but still super-light on maintenance finances. And you can easely come to the track on wheels.
The GTM Libra was never meant to be a competitive performance car, it's not done for the track. You can't even install a rollcace as all you have is a GRP structure. It's just one of the cheapest small coupe cars you can have in UK. Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm quite far from UK, but AFAIK no one was buying it for the purpose of doing track competition.

TomcatT4

Original Poster:

33 posts

99 months

Tuesday 23rd September 2014
quotequote all
And at the end of the day with a small delay I'm presenting you some of the latest pictures made on the last day of August.
Photos made by: Monika Brall & Grzegorz Burzyński

























TomcatT4

Original Poster:

33 posts

99 months

Thursday 16th October 2014
quotequote all
It happened that I am in the final round of the "It's your life, just take it" contest. I'm inviting you to take a look on the FB fanpage : https://www.facebook.com/itsyourlifejusttakeit, and express your engagemenent with my project by liking or/and sharing the movie about the Kozmo project.
The more likes and shares I'll got, the bigger the chances are my project will win the contest. Let's do it together!
It's your life, just take it

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPcfdMjuUR4

English subtitles are available in youtube options.

Edited by TomcatT4 on Thursday 16th October 13:47

TomcatT4

Original Poster:

33 posts

99 months

Friday 31st October 2014
quotequote all
It’s finally time for the ultimate voting on my project in the „It’s you life, just take it” contest.
The voting process is entirely on Facebook. I’d like to encourage you to give your vote for my Kozmo project, and to share the link to your friends. You can vote once a day. Voting will end on Monday.
First you must Like the fanpage : https://www.facebook.com/itsyourlifejusttakeit
And then you can vote on this link:

http://welcometabs.com/vote/4666

Please help to make my project be seen, it really means a lot to me.

TomcatT4

Original Poster:

33 posts

99 months

Tuesday 11th November 2014
quotequote all
Hi,
I am on furlough in London and I am going to TotalKitcarLive at Brands Hatch on this Sutarday.
If anyone would like ask me about Kozmo we can meet there.