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Old 09-19-2011, 12:41 PM
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Like Rick said, get the sucker road legal and running then tackle projects on it. I would suggest painting the body once mounted to the pan just for simplicity and the fact it takes up 1 garage spot vs. 2.

Let me think through mine:
$3000 - car purchase price
$500 - new pan halves and welder
$200 - new hydraulic pump/lines
$300 - fiberglass, resin and misc. items
$800 - misc. VW parts for chassis
$250 - taillights
$600 - nuts, bolts, sandpaper, paint, etc.
TOTAL: $5650

Still need wiring, new tires, wiper set up, headlights, engine tune up/oils and that's just to get it moving. Add in radio/speakers, sound deadening, interior upholstery and other odds and ends ... I can easily see a $10-12k car.

My wife thinks it's just a pink POS but my son thinks it's cool and can't wait to ride in it one day.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 06:22 AM
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Im going to hopefully buy/build a Sterling . First of all the most important question... how fast do they go with the Subaru engine in them? Havent seen any figures, I wouldnt mind doing the occasional weekend at the track. But would be interested to know how well they handle over 100MPH and whats the quickest people have managed to get them up to. Thanks guys!
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:42 AM
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Safely or legally? There was a Eureka at a rally in Oz a year or two ago (thread here Euro-Nova - View topic - Targa Eureka) that seemed to do well until it stuffed into the guard rail on a corner. Even then, he wasn't going all that fast.

I'm sure someone will pipe up who is running a Suby engine to let you know how quickly it gets along, but I doubt you'll find anyone who's run over 100mph. The car becomes a wing above about 80 or so - the nose definitely wants to come up. Add the additional weight to the rear with the engine and you have a seriously unstable car at that point. Can the car be built to go faster than that safely? Probably, but here in the States there isn't anyplace to run that quick, even on a track, unless you set the car to run specifically as a racer or take it to Bonneville in a straight line (wouldn't that be something?!).

Check the Eureka pages here The Eureka Car Club of Australia for folks that might be near you and the UK forum here Euro-Nova - Index page for folks that are actually driving engine modified cars.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:47 PM
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Like rick said, "Safely, or legally"?

There is an old adage "speed costs, how much are you willing to spend?"

If your wanting to go fast, like most people do when they first get theses cars, the first thing you must figure out is 1.) can I afford to make this car go fast. 2.) can I afford to make this go fast safely. Understand, every system on this car must be upgraded to an equal extreme, not just the engine and transmission.

If your looking for speed, you must first go mid engine There are two chassis options that I know of. (balancing out the chassis characteristics would be your first priority)
1.) 8K for Dave's tube chassis
2.) 25K for Dave's F1 inspired chassis

Second, The next really serious question you must ask yourself, if your pockets are deep enough to make the sterling a true street legal race car, is "Do I have the skill necessary to drive it like that?"

In most cases, lack of driving skill, and less than deep pockets result compromise.

I have landed the Dream setup as Warren calls it. However, despite my luck in nabbing the WRX turbo engine, complete wiring harness, and legacy trans (for less than 2K), I still have to run it in a rear engine setup due to my pockets being less than deep.

Performance building a WRX engine can run you 8-10K (after you've bought the engine), plus the Dyno tune which for me will run 2,500. Then there is the flipped diff (for the transmission), which is 2K. And that's just the motor and transmission. Any thing over 300hp in this car would result in a nearly undriveable car due to its weight.

I have run the figures on the WRX/Legacy setup, with all the gear ratios, final drives, wheel size, weight, even the presumed drag coefficient applied to the equation. The result is a theoretical red line (in 5th gear) speed of 189 mph with this setup.

But now lets toss a little more reality into this equation.

The sterling is a beautiful kit car. Not a race car. They are very rare by comparison to even some exotic cars. Despite this theoretical speed number, this car is not designed for crashes, even with either of Dave's chassis, this would not be a safe car to drive fast, or race. Nor would you want to. The risk of destroying your prize are too great. If you think about it, how many times have you seen a Lamborghini, Ford GT, or Ferrari going down the freeway speeding? Exotic cars, and even kit cars are too rare, and too expensive to do that with (And the exotic cars are built for speed).

Many hours of cad programming and custom designing go into an exotic car, and race chassis. Safety, and stability are the primary concerns.

The Eureka that was being rallied, was from what I heard nearly a 100,000 dollar car. Yet it was still running a VW drive train. If they had run that rally car with a different drive train they could have probably doubled that monetary figure. Yet with all that engineering, and work applied to the car, its chassis characteristics still put into the wall at a relatively low speed like Rick said.

The longer you have your car, you will see your self going into a mental and emotional transition, from speed, to beauty, and care for the car.

So get her running, and safe, take her out and enjoy her. Let people presume what they want about speed and price. All you have to say is "It's fast enough". Let them think what they want.

Once my car is complete and drivable, I may join in some "spirited driving" on occasion but nothing that will endanger myself, or the car.

There is a video on youtube of a New Zealand rally sprint race that shows the characteristics of this car in cornering. The car not only crashes, rear end first, but also flips onto it roof (No way to get out).

Last edited by ydeardorff; 08-21-2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:28 AM
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Here is the video I was talking about:


Between 7 and 8.5 minutes you'll see the eureka.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:42 AM
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Thank you for your input, greatly appreciated. I agree that the car is a thing of beauty, and I would treasure it. I just like the idea of having an exotic car that would be taken out in weekends, and could also do the occasional outing at the track to show it off. Not often people would see these things out, and id feel like it would get more heads turning and people interested at the track days. Id probably go down the custom chassis road, similar to daves, that could accommodate the mid engine, for increased handling. You guys know these cars better than anyone, so communicating with fellow enthusiasts will greatly influence my decisions. Im still young, only 20, so being able to go quick is always an added bonus . Im sure some of you who are young at heart can understand that

- Craig

*Also lucky and manage to have enough free time and spare money
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:09 PM
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Ah the good old days! On a cannonball run MANY years ago, a 1776 vw engine with a stock 74 (known as a freeway flier trans after 73) bug tranny with every thing else stock. It ran a regular 132mph top end on the flat areas which was documented in the 80's. It completed the race with no problems. However it was know to be blowing fire out the dual exhausts because of the valves floating @ anything above 130 mph. In the quarter mile with a 1835 bug motor I have seen 10.5 seconds in the quarter mile quite often. The Rx-7 powered sterling was bit slower in the quarter but about 15mph faster in the top end racing at 145 mph tracked @ castle Airforce base run way before it closed before his new exhaust system was blown off by his engine. As he returned it sounded like he was driving an extremely loud chain saw. LOL!

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Old 11-04-2013, 05:46 AM
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As was said and from my motorcycle racing tuning days, "We can make it goes as fast as you can afford", If they could drive it was another matter.
I go for 'BLING' now and quick rather than fast.
My SS with a '66 chassis and about 110 BHP 1641 type II lump and well sorted suspension and brakes is a handful over 80 MPH and in the wet, forget it, swaps end in a flash.
I used to rally a rear engine Skoda, now that was fun, only one throttle position, flat out and drift it everywhere but I would like to do it in a Nova/Eagle/Stirling.
well if no one else will...-rally-120ls.jpg
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:35 PM
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Hmmmm.
I am not sure what you mean by "SS" and yes if you have wide tires on the front YOU will have problems in the rain speeding because all the cars are so incredibly light. ( which makes them extremely fast) BUT If it is raining outside I can stop much sooner in a Semi truck ! And it is not because of the brakes, it is because of the hydroplaning involved, so definitely use narrower tires up front. And you said it was a 1966 which means it had a swing axle rear suspension which means the camber can NOT be put right or level ever because the car has been lowered. The rear didn't work well at speed even with the stock 66 bug!
I would not drive one like that over 70 when dry out and not over 60 if it was raining or wet out. As for the 1641 motor, I can not believe in anyway that you could get over 100 bph in anyway as I have built racing vw engines for years no matter which carbs, cams, ect. that you use.
And once again with a swing axle tranny you would not have the gearing to go over 80 with out blowing up the motor soon anyway... Now with the 2275cc type 1 and a freeway flyer transmission that I have in one car that is a whole different story. And Norm's mid engine corvair sterling is even faster yet!

That is why all eleven of the sterlings I own are 69 or later suspensions (I prefer 73 or later for freeway flyer trannys) and they actually drive a bit BETTER when over 60 because of down force on the body.

I don't mean to disagree with you and I hope I didn't offend you, BUT after owning 38 sterlings over the years, and working on many I DO know what I am talking about. And yes, I have auto crossed, driven @ Infineon raceway, and Laguna raceway in the past with sterlings.

Oh, and the alum v-8 Soveran that is now in England I never had the guts to SEE how fast that would do! My wife still laughs at the flames coming out the exhaust as she followed me home one afternoon, and how it sounded as loud as being next to a indy car in the pit.

Greg Hampton
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:14 AM
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SS, = Eagle SS in the UK (and here in Spain with me) similar to the Cimbria which is the original gull wing door USA model.

Yet to try my 225/65R15 fronts (255/65R15 rear) in the wet, thankfully we don't do wet very much in Southern Spain.

Craig, my 1641cc is up there in the 100bhp+ range, but nothing is standard apart from the dizzy drive with a 1302 gearbox converted to swing. I have tuned many, many lots, loads of racing motors, both bike and car over the past 50 years from 49cc with Garelli to big CanAm V8s at McLaren-Elva at the Trojan works from the mid 60s.

The Skoda I posted was a 1200cc Estelle in full rally trim and with a group A tune and 44 DRLA DellOrto, it was also in the 100bhp plus range, not too fast but bloody quick as it was mostly winding tracks and forest stages.

I see a preference in the US for mainly larger engines, ("No sub' for cubes", I think they say), where as in Europe we tend to wring every ounce of power from smaller engines. With certain 2.4L, 90 degree, V8s pumping out close to 1,000 (before restriction), I don't see the problem with 120+ from a 1641cc.
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Last edited by Peter; 11-06-2013 at 05:59 AM.
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