NCF BLITZ MK2
Hi everybody and welcome to my "Blitz" kit car. The Blitz first appeared as a single seater, then the mark 2 version was released as a two seater. I bought this kit in 2001. The frame builder is a guy called Nick Findiesen who builds these frames in an isolated farmhouse in the village of Tow Law, Durham. Nick took my order and when he’d finished it he delivered it to Washington Powder Coaters ltd for me. They then powder coated the frame and the mini sub frame which I had strengthened. Four days later I had a phone call to say it was ready for collection. My son-in-law took me to Washington and I said to him “If its pink I haven’t paid for it yet!” That was because I took pink powder from another powder coating company to Washington because they hadn’t done this colour before and they had to ring the people I got the powder from to find out how to apply it! Getting back to the collection, we came round the corner of the factory and there stood my frame in glorious candy apple red. The finish was superb, I paid a very reasonable £105 and took it home to my garage.
Now the build begins. Parts were stored and new parts collected. All the running gear is Mini so all the up-rated parts were sorted. The engine's a 1275 with a 1 3/4 inch SU carb. The wheels are 13" x 6" Team Dynamics and the seats are Cobra Clubmans. We found that all the threads and holes were filled with powder coating so they all had to be cleaned out by hand, (as my garage has no power supply). So a slow removal of all powder was the name of the game. This took a few hours by hand. The rear sub frame and engine were fitted. The front suspension uses Avo coil-over gas shocks. They went in first, then the tie bars and new brake discs all round. The rear shocks are Kayaba gas units. The frame was now on 4 wheels so at last we could move it around. The fuel tank went in and a sighting tube was fitted because there was no fuel sender. This was made of 2 tyre valves, with the valves taken out and fitted to the highest point and lowest point with a clear fuel tube fitted at each end. A small ball in the tube, fuel in and hey presto, the fuel lifted the ball. The tube was marked so I had an instant read out of fuel. Then the steering was fitted.
As the weeks went on I was beginning to feel under the weather so it was off to the doctors, then sent to hospital were it was found I had cancer of the bowel. The very next day I had a major operation, so for the next six months the car was on hold. Then a couple of my buddies came and said could they move my kit to one of their garages and finish it off for me. The plan was, I stood over them telling them how I wanted it all to come together.
So in April 2003 we went for the SVA test. The nearest test station was in Newcastle. We put the finished machine on a trailer and arrived at 9:30am. The test started at 10am. After they all fell about laughing they said “you brought that for SVA?” as they'd never seen one. So the test began. They went all round the frame with a small ball on the end of a stick, looking for sharp edges. They even weighed it. They told me that it wasn’t the engine for the vehicle it was taken from. It seems the engine numbers didn’t relate to the Mini Clubman as it was a 1380cc. At the end of a 3 hour test they failed it on the front and rear bumpers because they didn't turn in towards the wheels at their tips. A bit of padding soon sorted that. The steering rack needed looking at, (forgot to tighten the clamps). A £10 speedo for a pedal bike from Halfords worked superbly. It only failed on little jobs so we were very surprised and so was the examiner, but at each fault we asked how he would fix it, putting the ball firmly in his court. So away we went back to the garage. A few days later we were done. Back to Newcastle for the re-test and it went through no problem at all. So as hard as it seems, go for the test believing it will fail, then you won't be too disappointed. Also ask the questions at each point of failure, then you know where you've gone wrong. You may be spending money and time over engineering the vehicle.
My NCF Blitz weighs in at 530kg and the total build cost was approximately £3,750.
-Alan “BLITZMAN” Fixter