Here are some Photos and some words about the build of my car

While in my late teens and twenties I played around with Minis and mini based kit cars, Mini-Jem, Mini Marcos and finally a Cox - GTM and Status single seater, as well as an imp based Davrian. Motive power ranged from a 1220cc 'A' series (1100 + Imp pistons) through various 1275s, 1293s, 1340s etc. through an Autosprint 1550 'A' series on split webers, culminating in a 1660 BDA using a Jack Knight developed Mini-Ford adaptor kit, those were the days, 160 BHP in a Mini, and I could fit in the car! The BDA equipped car certainly surprised a few people with its tyre shredding, transmission eating tendencies, but unfortunately it expired 'suddenly'.

Alas responsibility arrived in the shape of my daughter Sara and a more sensible choice of daily transport was acquired, all thoughts of tuning and playing with cars were relegated to the bottom drawer while I concentrated on Saras upbringing. Finally the bratt grew up and went to college, then round the world. About this time I started to look in the garage where I still had the single seater, but it was too impractical, and could only be used on the circuit, I wanted something fun. I had experience of a formula junior Lotus Seven and had always fancied one after refusing a give-away offer on one when Sara was small. I had a look around and finally decided I would like to build a low budget kit and 'improve' it.

I settled on a Robin Hood Sierra Seven in stainless steel, it appealed because of the price and single donor concept. I acquired an old dead Sierra and some other bits and pieces (Cosworth rear end, Ex Rally car Pinto (180BHP) etc.etc.) and set about preparing all the bits and pieces from the donor.

Stripping the donor and renovating the bits

This is the original donor Sierra undergoing surgery

The original donor Sierra undergoing surgery

The body was iffy but mechanically it was
sound, every bearing oils seal, brake rubber
was replaced, every part I used was
reconditioned (using Ford donors makes this
very inexpensive and easy to do)

willing helpers

Some willing helpers

( the one on the left is a Robin Hood Owner and
a co-Director too


The original Sierra engine (a little

Sierra entrails on the garage floor

The engine had already found a home, but
I needed the hubs, subframe steering rack
and roll bar.

Cosworth rear end after preparation

I wish it had stayed this clean!

This is the Original Rally Pinto Engine
(cleaned up and painted)

I had planned to rebuild this after the first
summer motoring, however fate took a
hand and the engine expired before I had
a chance.

The 48 DCO/sps used with the Pinto

Osellis rolling road operator pronounced
these untunable (they were 3 months old).
Aldon automotive fitted three different idle
jet sizes 55F9 ,60F8 and 55F6 !!!!!!, finally
John Yeomans up at Frank Piersons sorted
them out and found 145 at the wheels from
the Pinto.

This is the Pinto engine ready to fit

Still in one piece at this stage

Front hubs and subframe reconditioned and painted

The front anti roll bar was eventually junked in favour of some tie bars, this is the rest of the front suspension from the donor after rebuilding

I picked up the kit on a rainy saturday in 1995 along with around 60 others and dumped it in the garage

I got started straight away and soon discovered the best place for the build manual was in the bin, many modifications were made during the build for safety , strength and performance.

  Doesn't look much like a car, does it?

The engine fitted

The engine was a little tricky to fit, the bottom
engine bay panels didn't fit properly etc. etc.

Two wheels on my wagon
(and I'm still rollin' along)

The front suspension didn't line up correctly
because the body was not square nor was it
equal height both sides - nightmare....

Most of the mechanical work done

And most of the skin grafts were healing
nicely by this time

The finished article


Yes I have burned my leg on the
silencer, but never again!

More of the same

With a famous driver

Well she's famous in our household
anyway - er indoors as they say, at
this stage there is still quite a lot to
do, but the inspection was OK, the
MOT was easy, note the tax disc, I
took the car to Luton VRO on a
trailer, they inspected it, I applied for
the tax and drove the car home!


Following an engine blow-up (thrown rod in the middle of Slough high street) I rebuilt with steel bottom end and set about preparing a naturally aspirated Cosworth engine, when this was finished I sold the rebuilt Pinto engine to the man in photo1, who is still building his Robin Hood 7 after 3 years.

Cosworth engine installation

This made 190BHP at the wheels on
48DCO/SPs and is a stonker.

Coupled with a BGH close ratio 5 speed
gearbox it's a delight to drive.

On Apollos Rolling road with Car & Car Conversions' Dave Walker

Here we fitted the excellent Emerald M3D engine management system initially just for iginiton mapping

Dave Walker in uncharacteristic sombre mood, the car was
much more tractable, and economical after fitting the mapped
ignition - highly recommended. He quite liked the engine.

Following the resounding success of the ignition
mapping,  I converted the car to Injection using
Jenvey throttle bodies and the M3D, this photo is
one reprinted from Walkers Workshop in Car and
Car Conversions magazine.

Click on the following links for the fuel map and ignition map from the M3D and a before/after graph of the power  on carbs(48 DCO/SPs) and injection

As the car is now

(and I'm very happy with it - honest, I just want to fit the traction control and the......., but I only...., it won't take long ,
or cost much...., and I promise I'll do the decorating soon and.........)

As more changes are made the page will change