$4500 book about a car you can’t afford


The folks over at Kirkham Motorsports have turned out two things of beauty. The first is a sky’s-the-limit milled aluminum car. The second is a book about the making of the car that runs $4500 per copy. Why so much for a book? The binding is milled out of a 35 pound aluminum billet.

The project spans a 2 1/2 year build cycle and showcases the gamut of craftsmanship. The extremely detailed build log is available at their website in PDF form. Of particular interest to us is Chapter 10: Milling. The sheer volume of machined parts for this roadster is mind-boggling. There’s also plenty of CNC pipe bending involved with the body work in Chapter 18.

Finish up your work this morning and spend the rest of the day with this fantasy creation. If you’ve got too much to do, why not shell out for the hard-copy version and devote your weekend to metal-working romance?

[via Makezine]


  1. Till says:

    i buy two

  2. Nico says:

    Looks nice indeed. So, a book I can’t afford about a car I can’t afford?

  3. Mantech1 says:

    Soon to be followed by the movie you can’t afford!

    (Yeah, I’m kidding…..or am I?)

  4. RyanE says:

    I’ll wait for the $500 paperback, thanks.

  5. mars says:

    What a waste.
    Also, not a hack.

  6. Choscura says:

    30 pounds, you say? do you think if I sent them that much in soda cans, they’d melt it down for me and send me a copy, or would they charge extra for the printing fees?

  7. Josh says:

    It’s “run the gamut.”

    I’ll wait for the movie or “How It’s Made” episode.

  8. sl says:

    Billet-machining something that could be made much more easily with plain old sheet-forming operations is just stupid. A waste of material, energy and time.

  9. Mike Szczys says:

    @Josh: So it is. Fixed, thanks.

  10. Michael says:

    I had the chance to meet these guys while racing SAE Mini Baja in Provo, UT. They don’t machine the whole car from billet like a few people have said… It’s actually a bit crazier. They hand form all the body work in a former MIG fighter jet plant in Poland.

    I can’t say much about the book, which seems a bit over the top. But I will add that their cars, and shop was inspirational. I’d never before seen a true to life daytona coupe. These people are crazy but at the same time inspirational for this maker.

  11. T&P says:

    then someone comes along, parks next to it, and slams their car door on the side of it…

  12. anonymous coward says:

    It’s not clear from the post, but the car is made using milled aluminum billet only for the frame. Body panels are formed from aluminum sheets in the same manner as all other cars. This was done to improve the weight and strength of the car. The whole point of the project was to build the best roadster possible, regardless of cost.

  13. joe says:

    “The whole point of the project was to build the best roadster possible, regardless of cost.”

    Wrong, the whole point is to show how much money you can waste on useless crap to compensate for a small penis.

    according to:


    the book is $4500 for similar reasons.

    Personally i think $4500 in dollar bills or cocane would be much more impressive than some stupid book that only you know the cost of.

  14. Doubter says:

    Aren’t load bearing parts made from aluminium dangerous? Wouldn’t fatigue from road impacts, vibrations, etc eventually cause the frame to fail? Even steel tube frame construction supposedly develops cracks over time. Unless the point of this is to just sit around and look nice.

  15. samurai says:

    dumb as hell + not megapopular + not a hack = epic fail

  16. therian says:

    Mike again …

  17. Josh says:

    @Doubter… It depends entirely upon which alloy and actual construction one uses. Think about most automotive wheels these days. Also, think about aircraft and all the stress put on their load-bearing parts. It all depends on the engineering.

  18. luno says:

    differences in material properties are compensated for by differences in engineering practice.

    and this is hilariously, ridiculously excessive, it’s true. but the book is a very good read although i have no idea why the fuck you’d buy the machined aluminium version.

    i mean, really. are these guys so addicted to machining aluminium that they had to somehow machine out of aluminium the book documenting their years of machining aluminium?

  19. again!? says:

    is “engadget” now spelt “Hack A Day?”
    I think im back to ignoring this site again.

  20. desviar $$ para a conta do Bradesco Ag 2094 C/C 5498-4 em real ….

  21. error404 says:

    What’s the point of linking to Make?

  22. Mike Szczys says:

    @error404: Thanks, that was a mistake. Fixed.

  23. John says:

    Very nice website and Article! Thanks!

  24. Hi Guys, I’m going to consider this on my next aquisition…

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