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Stradacab and Devil Fish's 400R road/track project

Devil Fish

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Well, when I say "and Devil Fish's" my contribution will be mainly money, handing tools when requested and my ability to destroy stuff using a hammer, all the real skill and craft will be down to James (Stradacab) and his amazing welding abilities.

A little back story...(NOW WITH PICS!)

I've had this Berlinetta for the last 5 years, it was given to me by my father who bought it new in 1985 and was the family car up until the late 90's.

My brother and I clearing the snow off it in the 80's outside my Grandparents house in Llandudno!


Again mid 80's, at Llandudno


Late 80's early 90's, my bro and mother at Cardingmill Valley in Church Stretton


About 4 years ago the head gasket went for about the 5th time in its life. It was discovered to have a crack in the head and other suspected internal damage. It was also then begining to show the tell-tale signs of needing some proper restoration to sort the rust out, suffering from the usual MOT patch-up jobs that had been done previously to keep it on the road.

As it was at the time my daily driver, I quickly bought another car with the plan to sort the Berlinetta out in my spare time. Two years ago I bought house with a garage, so I could finally start work on it...I started slowly stripping it on and off over the period of year (yes thats very slowly, I know). Anyway, due to me buying a '71 Lotus Europa last year, the Berlinetta was promptly booted out of the garage and off to Ammanford (Entwhistlecymru's place) where it has sat in a field for the last year.

Finally after years of badgering James (Stradacab) to take it on, he gave in and the car was trailered to his house yesturday.

Since the engine is mince meat, it will be having something else put in (most likely an xe to begin with, just to get moving again and obviously all the conversion bits are allready on this car), and I've decided to 400 kit it aswell, using a Rally Tech kit. (If anyone knows of a decent XE kicking about, let me know). A roll cage I've had for years will also be going in, and it will stay Anthracite.

As usual Manta's flatter to decieve, and although it looks ok in the following pics, the chassis is in a bad way.




I have to say a massive thanks to Chris Thomas (Entwhistlecymru) for letting me leave the car at his place, Martin for towing it to Britsol, and I am totally indebted to James (Stradacab) for taking the project on, and their families for putting up with it all <!-- s:bow --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bow down.gif" alt=":bow" title="bow down" /><!-- s:bow --> <!-- s:bow --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bow down.gif" alt=":bow" title="bow down" /><!-- s:bow --> . This is what joining the club is all about... meeting some of the nicest people you'll ever be likely to meet who will go out of their way to help you. <!-- s:bow --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bow down.gif" alt=":bow" title="bow down" /><!-- s:bow -->

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If those wheels are not wanted can i have them? I'm trying to put an 1800 berlinetta back on the road right now and i'm missing some bits and pieces.

1800 alloy wheels

entire engine and gearbox etc

So if anyone wnats to help me out drop me an email


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  • 2 weeks later...

Its on it's way out definately.. nastiest flu I've ever had .

Anyway picked up the 400 kit last night from TJM (top bloke) along with a set of bushes. On first inspection the kit does look good (it's the Rallytech kit btw), nice and solid and not flimsy. Will post more on it when I've had the time to properly inspect it... and of course more photos!

Can't wait to get it on the car..

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Onto the kit...have to say that the overall qaulity is good, shape etc is spot on and match's the contours of the car really well,- but it will still need a fair amount of fettling to get it absolutely spot on.

offering it up...


So my main question is - what do people do with the gap between the kit and the body? Do you fill it with a panel of fibre glass, weld a piece of metal to come out from the body or just leave the gap?



Any ideas or photos of finished cars, please send them to me or post them up...


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Are you planning on cutting back the original arch to give more wheel clearance?

If so after cutting inner and outer level to each other, a plate is welded on and left to stick out past the 1/4 panel and touch up to the new arch. This gives much more room for fatter tyres and clearance for running the car lower, aswell as protecting the fiberglass arch from stones.

As they say a picture speaks a thousand words


Here's a pic of it in progress before being trimmed to match the inside of the arch.


The picture is taken from http://www.exellmotorsport.co.uk/Manta%20400%20build.html when they did a manta rally shell prep.

You can also make the plate flush with the outer 1/4 and then fill the remaining gap with expanding foam (trimming off any exces to have the same protecting effect. The foam has the additional advantage of strengthening the arch against bumps.

If you are leaving the original arch just use the expanding foam to fill the gap and protect the arch

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