Neils GTO Build info

History of Neils 250 GTO build

Below is the build history of a 250 GTO Porsche based by one of our members Neil.

He has done this to give people some idea of what is involved in recreating this iconic car on a Porsche 944 S2.

It is not meant as a build manual, but is his diary of pictures and text of the build, he has done things his way to facilitate and enhance the finished recreation.

 

Neil''s 250 GTO Nov 2010
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Followed the maxim '' the better the donor the better the finished car'' and bought a 1991, low mielage for year 944 S2 3ltr 220 bhp with a folder full of service history.At this piont it is worth noting the cam belts and rollers had been changed,(£1000) - well worth making sure it had been done. Only bad thing with the car was paintwork on bonnet and wings and a couple of fabric tears on seats.Negociated £300 off the original price of £3000 - didn''t tell salesman that I wasn''t bothered about the paint or interior condition- result. Porsche 944 S2 prices differ in price by as much as £4000, the cheap ones £2000 and at the other end of the scale £6000.

Neil''s 250 GTO Self Build
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I was well impressed by the performance ( at least as good as the MR2 turbo, my other kit car), but not so impressed with the cost of filling the 80 litre tank. The upside is the journey distance is improved, not having to look for a petrol sation when going to shows etc. The car  is really solid and the usual quandary raised its ugly head - is it too good to use as a donor car? Yes , according to fellow members of Teesdale Motor Club. Yes. according to members of Porsche owners club who popped round to take a look at it. Thing is, it''s mine and I''m going to improve it with a good looking classic Italian suit, so time to start stripping it down.

Neil''s 250 GTO Self Build
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Before starting  stripping the car I thought it would be worth having a brand new MOT just for peace of mind. The car passed without any comments (great) .Now ready to start. Removing all of the carpets also gives you a chance to take a good look at the overall condition of the car, this one has no signs of rust anywhere, thanks to Porsche''s policy of galvanising the chassis and body. It''s nice to have something solid to work on. So the next thing is to strip out interior, carefully labelling all the bits, and store it somewhere, such as the loft, garage, bedroom, conservatory, anywhere really. Roy raised £1300 on ebay, selling the bits he had taken off, so it''s worth while removing parts carefully.

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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Rear lights and bumper were easy to remove, and no signs of any rust underneath. I always make a piont of labelling up all the wires immediatley after removing the lights.It''s not as obvious after 6 months as it is now which wires perform which fuction. The 944 model numbers are just stuck on so a bit of work with the Stanley knife and heat gun removes them easily.

Neil''s 250 GTO Self Build
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Now the real work begins, stripping off the parts I don''t need such as bumpers, bonnet, rear hatch, lights, wing mirrors, wheel arch liners, all of which are easy to remove, and the front wings which are bolted and stuck  on with a type of mastic.I needed to warm the mastic up with a heat gun and then cut with a stanley knife     ( these cars are really put together well )  which took as much time to remove as the rest put together. I sold the complete rear hatch with locks and seals for £85 to a mate who helped remove it ( it''s heavy).

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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As most 944s have a sunroof and the 250 GTO definietly didn''t, ( unless someone out there knows different ) I will have to bond in the exsisting sunroof which is fiberglass and cover with a steel sheet which will need welding in place adding to the strength of the roof ( less twist when driving hard ) a good thing in my book.

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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There is a lot of work involved in getting the roof line right and a metal panel needed welding in over the bonded sunroof. This was cut to size and then cut in the middle and tack welded up again to achieve close to the proper curvature for the roof. Once we were happy with the shape the panel and the cuts were seam welded up. The final roof line will be made up with filler when the panels are finally bonded on.

Neils 250 GTO Dec 2010
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Thought I''d better get a picture of myself doing some of the work. It''s not so easy using the camera timer, I wanted an action shot of me drilling a hole in the front section for the side repeater, but the timer seemed to take ages to go off, hence the worried look!  However this should help with any future questions I may be asked by the DVLA regarding the provenance of the car. There is apparently a case of the DVLA asking for an IVA test of a panel kit car because the owner had no documentary evidence of the kit being fitted.

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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The one piece rear section is loose fitted with a few srews to check the match with the existing panels;  its a good fit. The door opening mechanism is changed from a pull handle to a push button,  the pictures shows the sliding mechanism supplied with the kit.  The build pictures showing this fastened with self tappers. I decided to weld on bolts so that I could fasten them on from the inside of the door rather than from the outside so I won''t have to take the door skin off in the future if I have any problems with door opening mechanism

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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The front section is one piece and is really a two- man job to lift into place. It locates onto frames which are supplied with the kit and bolted on in place of  the origianal wings. Although in the main access to the engine is good, the power steering reservoir, coil, cooling system header tank and fuse box all need to be relocated slightly to stop them fouling the new front section. The washer fluid tank is removed completly and replaced with a bag that I have located under the rearmost air intake.

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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The GRP panel with the filler cap cut out is attached to a frame that is welded to the boot of the car. The boot lid hangers are welded into the frame and bolted to another frame that supports the boot lid. It is important to get the hinges in the corect position so that when the boot lid fully opens it is still square to the other panels and the rear window.

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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This is the sort of picture you need part way through the build to keep you going! The final shape of the car is visable and it''s easy to imagine wire wheels and a nice paint job on it.

The passenger side door skin and sill have been clamped in place temporarily to check the gaps and fit. I had  problems getting the doors to open wide enough to allow me easy access. After much discussion with Roy I trimmed the wing and extended the door panel ( you can just about see the light strip of the new gelcoat on the hinged side ). The sill still needs to be extended to match.

 

Neils 250 GTO self Build
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Same process needed with drivers side. Getting the doorskin and wing panels flat with respect to each other required some further work, trimming the inside of the wing section and reprofiling the Porsche sill ( in other words hitting it with a hammer ) The front of the two grills was then fouling the ABS unit behind the wing but it was a simple job to remove a bit more fibreglass from the grill sides. The door shut gap in front of the rear wheel will need some work with filler later on to get it to match.

Neils 250 GTO
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I''ve loose fitted the bonnet to its frame. Although the bonnet position can be ajusted I''m not going to fix permanabtly until the front section is bonded on the car and the final postion of the bonnet can be determined. The hinges come with the kit and are tack welded onto the donor car bodywork at the front. I had to have four attempts at this before I was happy with the way the bonnet opened.

Neils 250 GTO Jan 2011
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The bonnet looks OK when its open although in this picture the hinges are resting on the bodywork and the bonnet is past the vertical. When its finished it will rest on a bonnet stay and be tilted towards the windscreen. The supplied driving lights and brake duct shells have been glassed in and need smoothing out with filler.

Neils 250 GTO
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As I want a smooth road car look I decided to make some detachable covers for the front three air intakes. These are simply metal sheet cut to size and hand formed to the correct curvature. I''ll use pins to locate the top of the covers and Dzus fasteners at the front as per the real car. The rear single cover will hide the filler for the window washer reservoir.

Neils 250 GTO
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Realised I didn’t need to bother too much smoothing out the driving light shell as it’s going to be filled by the driving light. Sprayed the front in primer, it makes it easier to see any imperfections in the brake duct which will need to be smoothed out, and there were plenty of them!

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Neils 250 GTO
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Need to relocate the battery into the spare wheel well. Made a battery tray from fibreglass with foam H shaped bracing glassed in to stiffen the sheet and a bit of Kevlar tape to strengthen the area around where the battery clamp bolt locates. This was then cut down to size.

Neils 250 GTO
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The new door sills extend below the existing Porsche sills so two bits of angle iron need to be welded onto the floor underneath the car at each side.(a four post lift would have come in handy). These will allow me to clamp and bond the sills in the right position.

Neils 250 GTO
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It has taken almost a week to remove all the remnants of soundproofing and glue from the interior. I used Acetone as a solvent, it seemed to work well, downsides are it removes the fat from your skin and leaves your hands cold when it evaporates so thick protective gloves were the order of the day.

Neils 250 GTO Feb 2011
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Since I have decided on a black car I need to paint the interior (yes I know most Ferraris are red and my donor car already happens to be red)  I’ve masked up any of the wires I can’t remove as far as the front footwell so I can spray the floor. I’ll brush paint any bits of red metal poking out from the mass of wires, electronic control units and general electrical gubbins under the dash.

Neils 250 GTO
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Inside of the wings was also red so all four needed painting, since they were already undersealed and had quite a rough surface I just brush painted them black. Most of this will be covered anyway by the two main sections of the kit.

 

Neils 250 GTO
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Before I spray the engine bay I needed  to mask up as many wires as possible and remove whatever I can such as the coil, power steering fluid cooling pipes, horn etc. Anything else such as the header tank and power steering reservoir which are on flexible pipes were fastened to the top of the engine and covered with newspaper and then with pallet wrap (it’s remarkably resistant to paint thinners and makes a good job of protecting the engine!)

Neils 250 GTO
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The heater unit on the bulkhead has also been masked up to protect it (even though it’s already black). I’ll remove the black fuse box lid before I spray, for the moment it keeps any rubbish out of the fuse box.

 

Neils 250 GTO
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Sprayed all the interior with primer to give me a sound base for the colour. Also thought I’d colour the exterior panels even though they will be covered by the kit panels, just as added protection from the elements.. Was advised that primer and topcoat did not react well to heat so left the engine bay unprimed, I’ll just paint it with the finish colour directly on top of the existing paint.

Neils 250 GTO
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Have decided to paint the car Black!  So now I’m committed, the first coat over the primer was easy, but I couldn’t see what was happening when spraying the subsequent coats, I’ll have to get some serious lighting in place when I do the exterior paint job. Another issue with black cars, they are very difficult to photograph, I ended up needing a couple of 500W floodlights in order to make out any sort of detail.

 

Neils 250 GTO
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I’m quite pleased with the finish of the doors, the paint seems to give a good gloss finish straight from the gun if you put plenty on, easy to do with horizontal surfaces when the doors are detached, vertical ones might be a different matter, something to look forward to!  I don’t think they will need any colour sanding or compounding and of course the outer GRP door skins still need to be attached.

Neils 250 GTO
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Engine bay was given 3 coats of black, it involved a lot of awkward scrabbling around on the floor to get at some bits. There were a lot of little nooks and crannies which were impossible to spray, I finished these off with a brush as they are generally difficult to see and hence a few brush marks are not a problem.

 

Neils 250 GTO March 2011
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My version of a Chinese laundry, various frames, hinges and brackets hanging up to dry after painting, useful things these ladders! I held the small parts in a pair of pliers in one hand and sprayed what I could then suspended the parts on a wire hook to complete the job, taking care not to blow the smaller ones off the hook with the pressure of the spray from the gun. Generally a couple of coats of black paint were sufficient to get a good coverage.

 

Neils 250 GTO
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I decided to make small brackets out of stainless steel to attach the grills rather than bonding them on. This will mean I can easily remove them if I need to in the future. Teach one was drilled and tapped to take stainless M4 button head machine screws which I can polish or paint black.

 

Neil 250 a
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Yet more brackets were required for the front grills. Even after deciding to bond in the grills for the rear brake ducts and the bonnet intakes I still had to make and attach 42 of the things, a little job that took a long time. I bonded them on with a paste made up from polyester resin and chopped strands of fibreglass (between 5 – 10mm long) held in place with masking tape until it set.

Neil 250 a
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When I trial fitted the back section I had problems getting my fingers between the existing and new panels to reach the wires for the rear lights so I attached strings to each one and fed them through the holes for the lights. It was a good thing too, I was working to a picture of a real 250 GTO  which had the tail lights above the indicators, but most of the other cars have the indicators at the top so I had to switch them around after the rear section was fixed.

Neil 250 a
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The original car had an oil filler flap on the nearside rear quarter; I’ve tried to duplicate this with the opening flap and a replica Ferrari filler cap underneath. When I came to fit the lock for the flap it fouled the cap so I had to fashion a new release mechanism utilising the original bonnet release. The surround will be sealed to the metal plate I welded into the rear quarter window opening. This should stop any water ingress.

Neil 250 a
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These are all the bits that go together to make the boot lid lock! I wanted to be able to adjust it up and down, forwards and back, and side to side so it took a lot of thinking time to figure out the design and a lot of fiddling about to make. I only hope it works OK when I come to fit it! At least the boot lid handle will match the door handles.

Neil 250 a
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A major milestone, bonding on the front section!. The sheet of wood both lifts the front panel slightly and gives a good area for bonding the front panel. Used a polyurethane bond and seal on the wood panel and the curved metal support frame to glue the front section. Also used  self tappers to fix the panel to the curved support frame. These were removed once the bonding agent had set.

 

Neil 250 a
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More bond and seal on the inner wings to fix the rear of the front section. I’ve also fitted a water collection system (half a pot and a tube!) to drain water that collects in the scuttle section as I don’t like water just dripping down inside the wings. (This was the probable cause of the only bit of rust I’ve found on the donor car at the bottom of the nearside front wing)

 

 

 

Neil 250 a
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The kit has metal frames that are bolted on in place of the original wings. These locate under the front section to hold it in the right place and support the bodywork. These were covered in bond and seal to fix the front section in place and held in place with self tappers until the bonding agent had set.

Neil 250 a
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The bond and seal is a one part sealant which is cured by exposure to atmospheric moisture so I will leave the clamps in place for a couple of days to make sure it is Once the front section was in place I used as many clamps as I could to fix it in place. completely cured and the bond is nice and strong. I found it best to clean off any surplus bonding agent immediately, the stuff seemed to have got everywhere!

 

Neil May
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The original door handle opening mechanism is used with the addition of a slider bar that is operated by a modified boot handle. I’d previously marked where the door handle should go and cut out a hole in the outer skin so I trial fitted the handle to make sure that the opening mechanism worked and that I could get it fastened on properly. The key lock was also checked, it turns the actuator 90° so that it wont push the slider bar down, it works fine.

Neil May 2011
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The door handle fastens to the outer door panel from the back so I had to cut a hole in the original door big enough to be able to get my fingers in to fasten the locking screw. I covered the sharp edges with edging strip to avoid frequent visits to casualty!

Neil May
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Next job was to bond on the door panels. I temporarily fitted the door sill just as a guide and used bond and seal on the edges of the fibreglass door panel. This was screwed and clamped in place. I also used 2 inch masking tape on the lower edge to keep the panel in position.

Neil May
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I followed exactly the same process for the passenger side door. Using masking tape on the lower edge of the door rather than clamps means that I can close the door and check that the door is flush with the surround. I then cleaned off the surplus bond and seal to make sure that I didn’t bond the door shut (not a good idea if I want to carry a passenger!)

Neil May
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In order to completely cover the front wheels it is necessary to fit the wheel arches that are supplied as part of the kit. I have drilled and screwed these on as a temporary fix to get the position correct and ensure that they do cover the tyre tread when viewed from above.

Neil May
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Now that I’m happy with the position of the arches I have glassed them on using small squares of fibreglass mat and resin. I put on 2 layers just to make sure that they won’t move.

Neil May
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Have decided to blend the wheel arch in to the top of the wing with a convex curve rather than a concave one so I need lots of filler on top of the arch. I put on a thin layer, allow it to harden, then shave off any rough bits with a surform before applying the next layer. This way I should avoid any problems with the filler sagging under it’s own weight and I can correct the shape of the curve as I go, but it’s a slow process!

Neil May
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Now to fix the door sills on permanently. Since I will be blending these into the front and rear sections I need them to be solid so I’m bonding them on with the fibreglass paste. I’m using some angle iron and wood to spread the pressure from the clamps so as not to distort the fibreglass panels. When it set I filled in the gaps at the ends of the sill with paste and glassed over the top with mat so that they can’t move and crack the paint finish (I hope!)

Neil May
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A frame supplied with the kit supports the boot lid. This needs to be fixed in place on a series of studs welded to metal plates that I’m bonding to the inside of the fibreglass boot lid. I usually apply one layer of small pieces of fibreglass mat to the metal plates, wait till the resin has hardened to remove the frame, then apply another layer of mat around each of the plates.

Neil May
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I need to build up the roof line to smooth out the metal plate I welded in and to try to curve the roof similar to the original car. The Porsche roof is surprisingly flat so this is going to take a lot of filler and patience. As before I’m building up the depth in layers, although on this mostly horizontal surface sagging is not a problem but getting a smooth curve is. I’m using a long piece of 2mm x20mm steel which I  bend to give a curve and drag over the roof to hopefully spread the filler evenly. When its hard I go over it with a surform and then a long bed sander to smooth it out and add more filler to any dips or to increase the curvature until I’m happy with the shape.

Neils 250 June
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The inside of the bonnet has a raw glass fibre mat  finish and I was given a tip that covering it with surface tissue would give a smoother look. I’m using strips of surface tissue with normal polyester resin with a black pigment in it. I’ve painted on a layer of resin to the inside of the bonnet, laid out the surface tissue and carefully stippled more resin on top. The end result looks a lot smoother and finer than the original finish so I’m well pleased.

Neils 250 June
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This is the front wheel arch in the finished (hopefully!) form. After I added layers and layers of filler I’ve smoothed it off with my orbital sander using a 120 grit paper. The difficult thing is to get the curve on both front arches matching, I’ve used various bits of curved metal and wood to try to make up templates to compare the two arches but in the end its down to what looks right.

Neils 250 June
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It’s difficult to get an idea of how the arches blend in when they are a different colour to the rest of the car so I’ve sprayed them with grey primer to get a good look at them. I’ve also fitted the wheels to check that the tyre tread is covered when viewed from above and that the gap between the tyre and the arches are as uniform as possible. It looks to be sitting a bit high at the back but hopefully once I get the rear window and trim in it should be OK (there’s always a heavy toolbox to go in if it’s not!)

Neils 250 June
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On advice I’ve cut away part of the bottom of the front wheel arches to open up the wheel arch for a more authentic look. Some filler was required to blend the ends of the sills into the wings, particularly at the front but as I had already been warned that this was the case it wasn’t a problem. I’ve also put a bit of filler around parts of the door just to even the panels up and started to get the door shut lines right.

 

Neils 250 June
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I’m pleased that I decided to make the front wheel arches convex and build up the arch line above the wheel spat. It doesn’t look out of place as the rear arches are filled  out in a similar way. The front arches also finish just before the recess for the side repeaters, which is fortunate. The arches cover the tyres so I shouldn’t have any problems with road dirt being thrown up on to the wings and screen.

 

Neils 250 June
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The drivers’ side sill did not seem to need as much filler as the passenger side, but I’ve had to put a little more on the door in order to get the level right with the front wing..

Neils 250 June
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One problem I have with my F355 replica is a crack in the paint that has appeared where the A post is blended into the front wing on both the driver and passenger sides. This is also happened to another 250GTO replica I know of so I need to do something to prevent it. After I blended the wing in to the A post I cut a channel using a cutting disc. If any cracks appear they should be at the bottom of this channel and hopefully will not be visible.

Neils 250 June
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The original cars have chrome trims on the door window surround, I will try to duplicate this by having some plastic trim pieces bonded onto the door. I’ve extended the roof line a couple of mm over the door frame to accommodate the thickness of the trim pieces. The roof also needed to be blended into the side panel with filler.

Neils 250 June
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In order to cover the rear tyres I had to extend the rear arches slightly. Although a set of wheel spats were supplied with the kit I decided not to use them. Instead I had some metal shaved off the rear wheel spacer and made up the rest by filling the arch out slightly.

Neils 250 June
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The rear frame has a special housing for the petrol filler cap just above the boot on the drivers side. I had previously cut an 80mm diameter hole for the neck of the filler along with the holes for the bolts using the gasket as a template. I had to be careful to get the holes in the right place such that the filler cap was correctly orientated when it was tightened up. Fortunately the filler cap came with a series of gaskets that gave me a bit of leeway.

Neils 250 June
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The completed filler cap trial fitted. I’ve put the release mechanism at the top and the hinge at the bottom, the reverse of the real cars, but at least it means I won’t have to use one hand to keep the cap open while I’m filling it with petrol.

Neils 250 June
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The surround for the petrol cap needs to be cut out and fitted. I had to cut out enough to allow the cap to rotate slightly as I found that the hinge is wider than the gaps between the mounting holes so its impossible to get to the two bottom screws at the same time. I’ve stuck masking tape on to act as reference marks as I will need to remove the petrol filler cap in order to bond on the panel.

Neils 250 June
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The petrol filler cap surround and lower screen panel are all in one and are bonded to the rear frame that was welded in some time ago. I’ve used my usual fibre glass paste to bond the panel on, I stuck masking tape to the underside of the panel and the back of the frame to stop the paste squeezing out and filled it up from the front.

 

Neils 250 June
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Here is the bonded panel after being filled and smoothed down. I have filled in around the petrol filler cap hopefully to stop any water getting into the boot. I’ve also filled the screw holes in the bootlid from when the frame was trial fitted.

 

Neils 250 June
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Sprayed the whole car in primer to have a look at all of the lines and to get an idea what the overall shape is like. This is a milestone in the build! The door shut lines look OK but I may need to do some more work on the curve of the rear arch. The line of the top of the door and the roof looks good to me; on pictures of the real car they are roughly parallel so I think mine looks close.

Neils 250 June
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The petrol filler panel has blended in well and the boot lid looks nice and smooth in primer. The boot lid is standing a bit proud of the surround but when I fit the boot handle and the lid is locked it should be flush.

Neils 250 Aug
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Need to put on a guide coat of paint so I thought I’d give myself a sneak preview of what it would look like in black. I’ve used  some of the same 2K paint that I’ll be using for the final colour. Now all I have to do is block the whole lot off !!

 

Neils 250 Aug
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I’ve temporarily fitted the rear Perspex screen using screws around the edge. This has given me a first look at the rear roof line proper as the screen  wraps around the sides of the car a few centimetres. I’ve left the Perspex protective film on to avoid getting any scratches on the surface.

Neils 250 Aug
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I’ve had a problem getting the front wheel arches to match. In the end I resorted to taking a picture of each front arch from the same distance and position (hence the metre ruler stretching to the headlight surround), flipping one picture and comparing the two side by side on my computer’s screen.

Neils 250 Aug
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This shows one of the cut outs in the bonnet for the sir intake. These intakes will be covered with  perspex scoops supplied with the kit. The inside will have a grill so you wont be able to see the bonnet frame or the interior of the engine bay. I’ll fix the scoops with stainless steel socket button screws for a neat finish.

Neils 250 Aug
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When I fitted the scuttle section the middle was too high and the gap too large so I need to modify the bend in the fibreglass of the scuttle. I heated it up gradually to about 140 deg C and then clamped it in position using a screwdriver and a bar fixed to the front of the car. I left it overnight to cool, next morning when I removed the clamp the scuttle did not move at all so job done!

Neils 250 Aug
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I’ve managed to block off most of the guide coat from the car It took an absolute age (about a month).. As you can see I needed to modify the shape of the passenger side wheel arch as a result of comparing the silhouettes mentioned earlier.  Hopefully it’s right now!

Neils 250 Aug
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I used a couple of old wooden block panes with the steel removed and a strip of sandpaper attached to the bottom surface to block off the panels. As I was doing the sides I noticed a bit of a dip in the middle of the door. It was not something that was obvious before. I’ve added a bit of filler and blocked it off again to get a nice level surface.

Neils 250 Aug
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Same thing has happened on the drivers side. Putting on a guide coat has certainly paid dividends in terms of getting the surfaces flat, which I need as a black finish will show up any slight imperfections in the surfaces.

Neils 250 Aug
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All that blocking of with what was quite a course sandpaper had left a lot of surface scratches as well as a myriad of small holes in the surface of the filler. As I had so many I decided to cover virtually the whole of the car with a fine stopper. I had used a cellulose type before and had problems so this time I went for a 2K type.

 

 

Neils 250 Aug
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After using about a kilo of stopper it looked like a safari car, not the image I was trying for at all!  Then the problems began when I tried to smooth it off, the stuff was so hard and so uneven that I ended up using the same course grit sandpaper to smooth it off which somewhat invalidated the idea of using stopper in the first place.

 

Neils 250 Aug
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After 5 days work I eventually got the surface smoothed off again and near what  I wanted. I had started of with an 80 grit paper to get most of the stuff off, then followed it with a 120 and a 180 grit to get the surface smooth. In future I will use this stopper sparingly!

Neils 250 Sept
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I’ve sprayed it again with 2 coats of a 2k high build primer. Almost got the hardener ratio wrong, was about to use the usual 2:1 ratio of paint to hardener when I noticed on the tin it said 4+1 so I had to read the instructions on the label! Not very manly but it was just as well I did.

 

Neils 250 Sept
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The high build primer seems to cover well; at least it’s got rid of the safari stripes from that stopper. Looking at the sides though I can see that it’s caused a bit of a ripple effect so I’m going to have to get the sanding blocks out again.

 

Neils 250 Sept
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There appears to be a little bit of a shadow where the wheel arch has been extended out. I will use some wet and dry on a piece of pliable rubber (a tip from one of my club colleagues) to do some further blending in of the wheel arch, it needs to be smooth and even otherwise the shadow will still be visible from some angles.

 

Neils 250 Sept
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As I’m going to block the car off again I need another guide coat. I found an almost full tin of Harvest Beige paint from an old Subaru I used to own so I though I’d just spray it on rather than using some more of my black final coat stuff. From the look of the car now I guess I won’t be finishing it in Harvest Beige or anything remotely similar!

Neils 250 Sept
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For the proper 250 GTO look I need a Stainless steel gear lever. The existing lever comes away easily by undoing 2 bolts. An 8mm hole is drilled in the shoulder of the existing lever and the gear lever supplied with the kit welded into the hole using the existing gear lever as a guide. I then cut off the original lever and welded the new rod to the existing stub.

Neils 250 Sept
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The H gate and mounting box is supplied as part of the kit. I’ve made a surround for the box from thin mirror finish stainless steel sheet. This is the first time I’ve welded thin stainless so I used the lowest setting on my welder and managed to avoid blowing holes in the sheet. I then ground off the excess metal, filed it smooth and polished it up.

Neils 250 Sept
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The dash supplied is an oval one which I have modified to be the shape of the original. I cut some thin fibreglass sheet to size and bend it into shape with the aid of a heat gun. The ends were then fibreglassed onto the oval dash pod and a couple of layers of fibreglass mat applied to the inside of the additional piece to add strength and maintain shape.

Neils 250 Sept
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One of the problems with this style of dash is that it fouls the steering lock and ignition key assembly so that has been removed. I’ll fit a new ignition switch to the panel at the side of the dash, which is how some of the original cars were laid out.  I’ve also put a small steel collar around the steering column which I hope to use to mount the indicator switch.

Neils 250 GTO Oct

I’ve trial fitted the stainless steel headlight surrounds so that I can get the brackets in the right place and drill all the necessary holes. Good thing I did it at this stage too as I’ve scratched the primer in a few places, which is easy to fix at this stage. I’d have been very unhappy to get the same scratches in the finished paintwork!

 

Neils 250 GTO Oct

All of the painted panels have been left in my conservatory to harden off. I’ve checked the surface temperature of the panels, in the sun they can get almost up to 50 Centigrade so the paint should harden off nicely.

Neils 250 GTO Oct

I took off the bonnet, bootlid, scuttle, and doors and along with the various intake covers and flaps painted them separately from the rest of the car. They all have 3 thick coats of black paint as I was able to lay them out flat, which minimised the risk of any runs in the paint.

 

Neils 250 GTO Oct

The car has been masked up using the same pallet wrap I used earlier and sprayed with 3 coats of the finish colour. I wanted to get a good covering of paint so they were fairly thick coats, I’ll sand off any runs I have before I spray the final coat.

 

Neils 250 GTO Oct

Used a large piece of cardboard to cover the top of the engine. Also covered the bottom of the engine with pallet wrap to stop airborne paint droplets from getting under the car and up into the engine bay (something I learned the hard way when painting my F355 replica yellow!)  I also have some little flat ponds of paint in the bottom of the 3 air intakes at the front that I’ll have to sort out, may have used a little too much paint!

Neils 250 Nov

I’ve colour sanded the car using 1500, 2000 and then 3000 grit wet and dry sandpaper. I find that if you use them wet the paper lasts a lot longer, although I may have occasionally been using the wrong side of the 3000 grit paper, it’s very fine and the backing paper doesn’t feel much rougher than the abrasive side!

Neils 250 Nov

Once the car was colour sanded I then started compounding it, first with a G3 paste and then with a G10 to hopefully get rid of the surface imperfections. There were a lot of scratches visible, I must have got some large particles of grit contamination when I was colour sanding particularly with the horizontal surfaces.

 

Neils 250 Nov

Having compounded with G3 and G10 I then went on to use a finer paste followed by an application of Swirl X to get the final finish. I then polished the surface with a lambs wool bonnet. I left all the sheeting on the garage roof and walls as well as the masking on the car while I was compounding and polishing, the polisher does tend to spray paste around if you try to use a high speed.

Neils 250 Nov

The doors have had an application of Black Hole, followed by a polish and 3 coats of wax to protect the surface. Unfortunately when I had a look at them in decent sunlight I could see swirl marks on them so I had to get out the polisher again and repeat the compounding process from the G10 paste stage, but now I’m happy with the finish.

Neils 250 Nov

The bonnet was more difficult to polish as it has a bulge in the middle. It required some hand finishing which gave me the chance to caress some voluptuous curves without worrying about being arrested!

Neils 250 Nov

This is the finished passenger side door, this one shows the best reflection, Trouble is the rest of the car will need to be to the same standard!

Neils 250 Nov

I’ve made a Perspex template for the dash and mounted all the instruments and warning lights to check that I have enough clearance behind the dash to fit all the wires and senders. Just as well I did, I had to make a little notch in the backplate to clear the red warning light on the right.

Neils 250 Nov

 

A picture of concentration! I used a plain sheet of aluminium for the dash and engine turned it with a brass rotary end brush. The worst part of the process was getting the plate in the correct position for the first whorl. I’m using a metre rule clamped at the back to position the sheet, then I move it 15mm to make the next whorl and so on. It takes as much time to set the rule in the correct position as it does to complete a line of engine turning!

 

Neils 250 Nov

 

The completed plate, this took about 4 hours to do. I’ll cover it with masking tape then use the Perspex template to mark the size and position of the holes before I cut it. To finish it I’ll coat it with a clear 1K lacquer as the surface is quite rough and marks easily.

Neils 250 Feb

I’ve fixed in the instruments and attached a right snakes nest of wires.  The original dash was all electronic so I’ve virtually had to hardwire in all the instruments and senders. I just hope they all work!

Neils 250 Feb

I’ve continued the engine turned ally theme along the whole of the dash panel. It fits behind screws in the top and is clipped in place at the bottom to avoid any visible fixings. It will hopefully contrast nicely with the rest of the dash which is all black

Neils 250 Feb

The holes have been drilled and all the switches fitted. I’m retaining the glove box even though the original race cars never had one, I need some where to put my period string backed leather driving gloves! The heater controls have been moved as low on the dash as possible to get them almost out of sight. I’ll cover the centre panel with leather to finish it off.

Neils 250 Feb

The front anti roll bar needed rebushing, one of the outer bushes was completely worn through and the antiroll bar was loose. , I thought I might as well go for polybushes while I was replacing them. Fitting them was not as difficult as I thought and the whole job was done in an afternoon.

Neils 250 Feb

This is the fitted flap above the windscreen washer bottle. It is fastened closed with a Dzus fastener as per the original car and is hinged at the back so that I can refill the washer bottle.

Neils 250 Feb

The Aston type flip up petrol cap is semi recessed in to the body which makes it awkward to fit. Normally you would fit the base and then screw on the cap section, but I had to screw the two parts together and fit them as one which made it awkward to get to the fitting screw heads down the side of the recess. The only saving grace was that they were Allen screws and the keys are very slim.

Neils 250 Feb

As the petrol filler is quite a way from the original position on the Porsche I’ve used a couple of 45 deg. Silicon hoses and some stainless steel pipe to bridge the gap. This will all be covered in when I come to fit the trim.

Neils GTO April

I’ve attached the front air intake covers, fortunately they still fit after having been painted. I was a little worried about the thickness of the paint and they are a little tight. If I want a better fit I may remove some thickness from the underside and respray them later.

Neils GTO April

The front 3 covers along with that for the washer bottle are all secured with Dzus fasteners, I would have preferred stainless steel for these but I could only find them in a minimum order quantity of 3000, so normal steel will have to do for now, unless I can find someone who wants to buy 2996!

Neils GTO April

The grills on the wings have been fitted using button head socket screws so that I can remove them in future if I need to. I will paint them black so that they don’t stand out so much. I’ve added a small rubber edge trim both to neaten the edge and to stop the grill from scratching the paintwork during fitting.

 

Neils GTO April

On the passenger side the set I made a while back weren’t the correct size so I made up some new ones which I trial fitted before painting them. They looked quite good in their natural anodised finish and I wasn’t sure which I liked best, the silver or the black! In the end I think the silver stand out a little too much so these will be painted black

Neils GTO April

The speedo has a Hall effect sensor which I have mounted on the transaxle casing with the magnet stuck to the half shaft. Fortunately there were a couple of threaded holes on the casing going spare (or have I forgotten to reattach something!) which I could use to mount the bracket.

 

Neils GTO April

The rear lights are now on, I have fitted a reversing light, this was not on the original car, but I like to be able to see where going when I’m reversing in the dark. The brake lights initially refused to work but a quick check revealed a blown fuse, I think the earth and live connectors were touching when I wrapped them prior to painting and blew the fuse when I connected the battery later on.

Neils 250 april

 

 

These are my take on the Snap exhausts found on the original. They have an inner and outer tube with vanes between the two, and a diamond shaped cut-out on the side. I cut up some commercially available twin outlets to use as the Y piece as this was cheaper than buying specialist items or having them fabricated.

Neils 250 april

Here are the completed tips after having worked on them for what seems like an age! Unlike the real thing the exhaust gases pass through the centre pipe rather than the outer ring but this does mean that they can have an MOT emission test without removal. Now all I have to do is fit them to the car!

Neils 250 april

The headlights and driving lights were fairly easy to refit but the side repeaters would not fit into the original holes, so I had to redrill them, it never fails to amaze me how much difference a few coats of paint can make to all my careful measurements.

To cap it all the indicators then refused to work, it wasn’t until I reassembled the Hazards switch that they sprang to life, another lesson for me!

Neils 250 May

The headlight will have a bezel and a cover which I will fit later. Unusually what looks like a sidelight from the front is actually a direction indicator, complete with orange bulb. The actual sidelight is an integral part of the headlight. Hanging down in the wheel arch is the plastic inner which I have loosened to get the lights fitted.

Neils 250 May

This is the finished, almost, boot lock assembly. A triangular plate welded to the lock operates the bolt. I’ve tried it out and it does work!  It will be covered by a metal box, when I get around to it.

Neils 250 May

A slightly out of focus picture (my camera seems to have tried to focus on the reflection of the ladder) but it does show the position of the handle. It matches those on the doors and works in a similar fashion. It means that I can close the boot lid without locking it.

Neils 250 May

I’ve fitted the front grills, again using rubber edging trim to protect the paintwork and to tidy up the edges. The top has been folded under the lip, again for neatness, as the grills are fitted from the front and not from the back. You can just see the stainless steel rods across the front of the 3 small intakes for the Dzus fasteners in the covers.

Neils 250 May

The doors have been fitted with Double U shaped channel to run the Perspex windows along. Cutting the Perspex to the right shape was a bit of a chore, I made cardboard templates but they turned out to be non too accurate and I ended up shaving a bit off the Perspex, then a bit more and so on.

Neils 250 May

I’ve used some alloy angle to make a frame to cover the rear seats. I had to check that the drivers seats would go back far enough without fouling the frame but as I’m not the tallest around it was no problem.  It should give me some decent storage space inside to pack the odd toothbrush or two.

Neils 250 May

The rear seats have been boxed in using plywood and a full width hinged lid fitted, also in plywood. This should give me a nice flat load area at the back. The fuel pipe at the side has also been boxed in using some steel sheet I had left over. At the rear there is more steel sheet partitioning off the boot.  All this will need to be carpeted out.

 

Neils 250 May

A more in focus shot of the bootlid this time. There seems to bit a lot of dust showing on the paintwork, is this is a taste of things to come, perhaps I should  have painted it red!

Neils 250 June

The new stainless steel exhaust systems extends from the end of the cat, a twin outlet was used to split the exhaust to each side of the rear of the car. I have used flexible tubing to give me the right angles, I’ll have to see how long it lasts, I can always replace it with solid tube later on now I know what angles I need.

Neils build June

The exhaust outlet is tilted up slightly, originally this was on a rubber hanger but the end was so heavy that it ended up pointing down and not up as I wanted. I solved the problem by welding on a solid bracket which is fixed to the underside of the car.

 

Neils 250 June

The exhaust system is slung on Mini exhaust hangers which are attached to the transaxle casing on both sides. It’s difficult to see how low the exhaust is going to be whilst the car is still up on dolleys. I can’t lift it much as it passes underneath the petrol tank on the driver’s side so I will need to get some heat shielding of some description to avoid the possibility of torching all my hard work!

Neils 250 June

As this car is all curves one of the problems is finding a suitable reference point from which to work. I used a plumb line suspended from the rear aerofoil to set how far the outlets protrude from the body, I’ll just have to be careful never to use them as parking sensors!

 

Neils 250 June

As the exhaust tips are quite long I was able to measure their distance apart along their length so that I could ensure they were parallel, although I have to admit they don’t look parallel in this picture!

Neils 250 June

I’ve reused the original Porsche inner wing at the front and extended it out to the new wing by bonding on a strip of fibreglass. This should offer some degree of protection to the ABS unit which is located in the drivers side wing. As you can see I can still use the flap in the original inner to access the back of the lights.

Neils 250 June

At the back I’ve bonded a strip of fibreglass onto the existing inner wheel arch to stop water and other undesirable elements getting into the gap between the original and the new wings. The opening visible in the picture is for the rear brake vent.

 

Neils 250 July

I’ve covered the panels for the rear quarter windows with a 3mm thick scrim (basically its just 3mm of foam on a material backing). This will give a softer, less plastic feel to the panel once it is covered with leather.

Neil 250 July

Fitted the door mirrors, mainly to ensure that I didn’t forget to drill the relevant holes before I fixed the door cards on. Took a while to get the mirror in the correct position but it has quite a convex glass so it should give some view of the road behind.

 

Neils 250 July