Nissan 370Z Tech Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Made with a Lingenfelter engine, this baby should be fun to drive at just around 2200lbs. It will be finished in California. :OMG: :clap:

Redback Spyder
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
[/quote]
Patience, young Jedi. I have cable internet, and it took a while for the page to load for me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
For the slow connections:

Pictures of an Aussie dream car are turning heads in the US, writes PAUL GOVER

JAY Leno loves this car. So do Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Buster Rymes and Coca-Cola.
It is an amazing reaction for a car that was created from one man's vision in Melbourne, is yet to get its final coat of paint and was not even started until this week.

But the Redback Spyder is special . . . it is Australian.

It was first seen at the Melbourne Motor Show in 2002 and now it is ready for the world.

Its superstar supporters have only seen pictures of the car, but they are about to become immersed in the Redback experience.

The first Redback Spyder arrived in the US this week with its creator, Nick Tomkinson, to meet its new owner and to start a national tour, which is almost certain to bring orders rolling in for the $350,000 creation.

It is the end of one dream and the start of another for Tomkinson, a one-time champion motorcycle racer who turned a passion for sports cars into a company and a future.

"I decided this is what I wanted to do for a living. I have a lot of fun. I jump out of bed every morning to come to work," Tomkinson says.

The roots of the Redback go back to when Tomkinson began fabricating his racing bikes, move through a plan to create a replica of a classic Lamborghini Countach, past that first motor show appearance with a concept car to a freakish telephone call from the US and finally to production of a car.

The story of the Redback Spyder could almost be a remake of the movie Field of Dreams, which was based on the single sentence: "If you build it, they will come."

Tomkinson has, and they have. And in this case "they" means everyone from the friend who drew the design for the car, to team members Ian Everson and Michael Filla, and a whole range of commercial backers — companies including Electromold — to the main backer, Mill Conroy in California.

He saw pictures of the Redback Spyder after Russ Tyrie had fitted it into the motor show and he quickly became the power for the project.

"I got a call from America and this person said, `Hi, my name is Mill Conroy. I'm not sure what I'm looking at here, but I want some more information'. He asked me to get the ball rolling," Tomkinson says.

"He sounded serious and it was the best news I'd had for a long time. The next thing a brand-new Porsche gearbox rocked up from the factory. And away we went. For two years we've been speaking almost on a daily basis.

"It's the only thing I've done for the past two years. And I have some employees too that have also worked here. It's a long, long, long process. It's very easy to fall down."

CONROY is a cosmetics supplier in Los Angeles and he is the one who has put pictures of the car in front of plenty of famous people. He also believes the car will be a success once those people can see and touch and drive the Spyder.

"This project is built on trust. This whole thing has been done on a handshake with Mill."

The car itself is a two-seat sports car with a supercharged V8 engine, race-style suspension, and a hand-built body.

Parts for the car have been built in batches and Tomkinson has a second car well on the way to completion.

But it is still a low-key project and he is making no promises, or plans, until he sees the reaction in the US.

THE MAN

NICK Tomkinson is not a typical car-company chief executive.

He doesn't have degrees in engineering or commerce, or years of experience on the production line.

"I have no formal qualifications at all," the 39-year-old creator of the Redback Spyder and owner of Carbontech at Essendon Airport says.

"I was not very good at school, but I'm a quick learner."

What he has, and all he needs, is a total belief and commitment to his car. And plenty of hands-on experience of everything from steel fabrication and carbon-fibre composites to automotive final assembly.

Tomkinson is originally from Britain, but has been in Australia for 25 years.

He started a carpentry apprenticeship after leaving school and learnt about composites, but it was his success as a motorcycle racer that served him well.

He is a multiple national champion in the Supermono class, for which he built his own bikes. Friends and rivals came for bits, including carbon mufflers and complete machines, and that is where he laid the foundations for Carbontech.

His first move into car making was with a replica of a Lamborghini Countach, and he built a second car for a customer in Sydney.

"They turned out to be absolutely sensational. I got a letter from Valentino Bilbao, the chief test driver for Lamborghini, saying he was extremely happy to see someone building a car so well," he says.

"It wasn't just a Volkswagen chassis with a Chev engine. It was a genuine replica with a quad-cam Lexus engine and full leather trim."

Eventually, after meeting a lot of helpers and supporters, he decided it was time to do his own thing.

"I wanted to build an Australian supercar. Now I feel like I've done what I set out to do," he says.


THE MACHINE

THE Redback Spyder is a mid-engined supercar that should hit 100km/h in less than five seconds with a top speed well above 250km/h.

It is hand-built with a space-frame chassis, race-bred suspension and a supercharged Chevrolet V8 behind the pair of custom-fitted bucket seats.

"It's certainly not a kit car. There is nothing on the car, apart from the engine and gearbox, which comes from anyone else but us," Tomkinson says.

"It is brand new in every way. We've manufactured every single component on the car."

That means everything from welding the chassis to producing the striking bodywork, which will eventually be built from carbon fibre. The car is only waiting for its final paint and interior trim, which will be done in California.

"It weighs just under 1000kg. There is bell-crank suspension at both ends with rising-rate geometry.

"The wheels are made at Seymour, 18x8 fronts and 18x12 rears, with Michelin Pilot Sports to cut noise.

"The engine is an LS1 Chevrolet V8 with a Magnacharger supercharger on it from the States. Lingenfelter has given us the engine, which is valued at $60,000."

The power plant is good for 575 horsepower and 500 foot-pounds of torque and the gearbox has a Tiptronic change with paddles behind the steering wheel.

"When we do get more orders we'll be able to fulfil them in a reasonable amount of time. We think we can build several cars in the first year. When we get deposits then we can move forward," Tomkinson says.

And the name?

"The name came about because we wanted something that would be uniquely Australian."

screen.width*0.7) {this.resized=true; this.width=screen.width*0.7; this.alt='Click here to open new window';}" onmouseover="if(this.resized) this.style.cursor='hand';" onclick="if(this.resized) {window.open('http://carsguide.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,3600,5001546,00.jpg');}" />
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
With my cable connection that page took about 5 seconds to load, if that. I wonder why others are having problems.

Lingenfelter = good
That car = fugly
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Dirn, I knew you'd chime in about the Vette engine. What's wrong with the body? It's only a prototype.

Speaking of which, I've been seeing a lot of nice Vettes lately, including the C6 in dark blue. :wub: that color!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
[/quote]
<span style="color:darkblue">It looks like a grasshopper!

As far as C6's go, I still haven't warmed up to the back of the car yet. It's too tall in my opinion. And I seem to be in the minority, but I miss the flip up headlights. I think they flowed a lot better (when closed) than the C6 lights. Give me a C5 base and a C6 Z06 and I'll be happy. Oh, and maybe those Vettes Peter Max neglects link</span>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
[/quote]
<span style="color:darkblue">It looks like a grasshopper!

As far as C6's go, I still haven't warmed up to the back of the car yet. It's too tall in my opinion. And I seem to be in the minority, but I miss the flip up headlights. I think they flowed a lot better (when closed) than the C6 lights. Give me a C5 base and a C6 Z06 and I'll be happy. Oh, and maybe those Vettes Peter Max neglects link</span>
<div align="right">[snapback]101223[/snapback]
[/quote]
You are in the minority.

That's sad about those Vettes. :cry:
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top