What It Takes: Turning A Hatchback Into A Race Car

We’ve spoken a lot about building race cars here at Hackaday, but what does it actually look like to go out and do it? The boys from [Bad Obsession Motorsport] dived into that very question with their Bargain Racement series last year.

The CityCar Cup championship aims to keep entry costs low and racing competitive by racing cheap hatchbacks with a strict ruleset. Credit: Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup

The series follows the duo as they build a Citroen C1 into a competitive race car to take on the City Car Cup, an entry-level racing series focused on keeping the field competitive and the racing close.

Even at this level, there’s plenty to do to prep the car for competition. The rollcage needs to be installed, seats changed out for race-spec gear, and plenty of wiring to do as well. [Nik] and [Richard] have plenty of experience in the field of motorsport, and shine a great light on how to do the job, and do it right.

All in all, building the car cost £5995 pounds, starting from a used £850 Citroen C1. However, actually going racing costs more than that. Between race suits and boots, a helmet, club memberships and race entry fees, it cost a full £8273 to get to the first race. It’s steep, though much of those costs are upfront. Keep the car off the walls and year on year, you only need to keep paying for entry fees, memberships and consumables like fuel and tires.

It’s a great look at everything from building a race car, to testing and then actually competing as well. It serves as an excellent real-world example of what we talk about in our series on how to get into cars, which just recently touched on prepping a car for endurance competition. Video after the break.

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Custom Ignition For A Citroën Mehari

The 20th century saw a great many cheap, utilitarian vehicles enter the marketplace. Cars like the Mini and the original Jeep offered low-cost, no-frills motoring. However, they were also decidedly low-tech, and not as reliable as modern cars by a long shot. The Citroën Mehari fits into this category neatly, and when [FVFILIPPETTI] grew tired of the unreliable points ignition system, he decided to build a more modern replacement.

The system is based around at ATmega328, the venerable chip many are familiar with from its starring role in the Arduino Uno. The chip tracks engine position with a magnet mounted on the flywheel combined with a hall-effect sensor, passed through an optocoupler to avoid nasty high-voltage spikes from the spark system interfering with the microcontroller. The chip then charges the ignition coil and fires it at the necessary time to ignite the air fuel mixture.

Old-school mechanical ignition systems were, if we’re honest, terrible compared to more modern solutions. This build has rewarded [FVFILIPPETTI] with a far more reliable ride, which we’re sure is very satisfying. If all this hacking has you thirsty for an automotive project of your own, dive into our primer on how to get into cars!

Man, Stranded In The Desert, Makes A Motorcycle From His Broken Car

The original story is in French, and the Google translate is very rough. Please forgive us if we don’t get this completely accurate.

While traveling through the desert somewhere in north west Africa in his Citroen 2CV , [Emile] is stopped, and told not to go any further due to some military conflicts in the area. Not wanting to actually listen to this advice, he decides to loop around, through the desert, to circumvent this roadblock.

After a while of treading off the beaten path, [Emile] manages to snap a swing arm on his vehicle, leaving him stranded. He decided that the best course of action was to disassemble his vehicle and construct a motorcycle from the parts. This feat would be impressive on its own, but remember, he’s still in the desert and un-prepared. If we’re reading this correctly, he managed to drill holes by bending metal and sawing at it, then un-bending it to be flat again.

It takes him twelve days to construct this thing. There are more pictures on the site, you simply have to go look at it. Feel free to translate the labels and post them in the comments.

Update: From [Semicolo] in the comments

You got the translation right, but there’s not just a swing arm that’s broken, there’s a frame beam broken too (not sure about the exact term, one of the 2 girder of the chassis).
He’s not far away but he has a lot of tools and other hardware that could be stolen if he leaves them unattended.

[via Reddit]