16th Mar, 2016 ‑ Car Features 

Ralph Budd's Se7en S Class build, part 3

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"There has been a bit of an unfortunate gap between my last post and now, as Charlie's new Se7en was slipping behind schedule so we had to shelve the S build to concentrate on what, is after all, the main car focus for 2016.

However, we did get a bit more done before mothballing it. All of the rot has been cut out and the replacement panels welded in. The welding did seem to go on forever and I was getting pretty sick of it, so thanks go to Bill (TRMC) for his welding assistance.

We decided to fit a new fibreglass front end because the original, although still in one piece, had seen better days and we had a spare one hanging on the wall. We also plumbed for a new Curley bonnet, and really should have replaced the boot lid."

So all prepped and ready to paint, this is where I called in a favour from a couple of mates, brothers Steph’ and Nick. One preps and the other paints - and a great job they did too."

"Whilst the shell was away, Charlie took the cage and subframes to Oxford Industrial Finishers to be powder coated. The guy that did the job is a Mini fan, so as he felt they were a bit dull he lacquered them for us as well.


The shell and all the bits are now back and Richard Parker is putting the finishing touches to the power unit, so it’s now down to us to start putting it back together. I return to the UK on the 21st March, so let the work begin!

I'll be having some help from Charlie, Clive, Phil and hopefully a bit of assistance from John Priest and Gunny..."


"To do something like this yourself, it's difficult to establish costs, as a lot will depend upon just how much you can do yourself, how much help you get from your friends and if you are able to gain any assistance with parts, sponsorship etc.

No matter how small the sponsorship is, it can all reduce that overall cost. I've had one or two favours and some help from good mates, but the budget remains very sensible. Hee's a rough break down of the costings so far:
£1800 - The car with plenty of the right bits already installed, such as the cage, seat, windows and running gear mods. 

£200  - Panels / welding materials 

£500 - Shot-blasting. Although I had not budgeted for this, it did reveal a lot of problems that needed dealing with at the outset, so money well spent. Of course it'll depends on the state of your shell and if the paint is original.

£800-£1000 - Paint. If I had done this myself it would have just cost paint and materials, saving a huge amount. I was lucky – thanks Steph and Nick.

£450 - Engine. The short motor was from my son Dan’s Super, and I’m using Charlie's Mighty head but I may need to replace this if it doesn’t produce the required power. A standard gearbox plus one or two other bits, like the rockers had to be bought.
These don't cost a fortune to build, especially if you are mutating from an established race car. I see this Seven S a somewhat of an investment, as it will be worth what it has cost and puts me back on track, racing competitively with the longest established one make club in existence.

Will the S class ever have enough to gets its own grid? Only time will tell!

The next post should see the project near completion and making its debut, hopefully at Cadwell Park.


Visit the Mini 7 Racing Club page on Facebook for pics and the latest updates.

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