Vrooooooom!Darby's DAX Build
LWB V8 Powered DAX Rush
(Started December 2008)

DJ Sports Cars

Why, oh why, oh why am I doing this?

What a good question and the answer to this is as follows.  Firstly, I was involved in a pretty horrendous road accident in 2007 and it pushed me a tad too close to the edge for my liking.  It was recommended during a bit of therapy that I go get me a hobby.  So what the hell do I do?  Train spotting, take up the accordion, philately, traffic warden baiting..... the list was endless and frankly all as revolting as the above list.  Then one day whilst flicking through the Sky channels, I came across a rerun of A Car is Born with Mark whatshisface.  I'd seen it before and watched the vast majority of the series in one afternoon.  This in turn triggered a memory from just about the time I was leaving school.  One of my neighbours built a Cobra replica in his garage with a friend of his.  The end result was staggering in both looks and  sound and I vowed one day to build my own car.

As you can probably guess, with decision made, I kicked off the research into what it was I wanted to build.  This compromised buying assorted kit car magazines and a hell of a lot of web browsing.  I was initially set upon the build of a Cobra so a lot of my time was spent looking at these.

         
Peterbough Kit Car Show

My youngest brother James, who lives in Barcelona, was back during the summer of 2008 and as he is a major car nut (VW engraved upon his soul), I dragged him bodily up to Peterborough for the kit car show.  In front of me as I entered the main hall was this green behemoth which some of you who have visited the Dax showrooms may be familiar with.



Dax weren't the only ones showing, fellow manufacturers such as Pilgrim, Gardner Douglas, A.K. Sports Car and Hawk were very much present.  I have to say though, from the start of my wandering round, Dax and in particular Brian Johns were excellent.  Not too pushy, eager to help and ready to tell it as it is from the start.  I should also mention that apart from those at A.K., who were unfriendly and ignorant to say the least, all the other manufacturers were a pleasure to talk to.

Dax's Home

Now you're all probably beginning to wonder why I'm talking Cobra when I'm building a Rush - I'll get to that in a bit.  Phase two of my research was a trip to DAX on their opening day.  Regrettably, it was cold and damp that Saturday so there weren't that many owners with the assorted monsters on display.  It didn't matter though.  When I drove into the road past the Total garage I was greeted by a cacophony of V8 and bike powered cars. Glorious!

 

Inside the factory there were a lot of people drooling over some stunning cars including our green friend from above.  This as well as a bike engined Rush had an orderly queue of people including me waiting to have a deposit scared out of them.  It worked.  After 20 minutes of neck straining bends around the back lanes of Harlow in the Tojeiro I was whipping out the card.  Still with the intention of a Tojeiro build I came to an agreement with Simon (Brian's son and the M.D.) that I could have 30 days to mull this over.

The final phase of my research was working out how this was going to ruin my wallet.  Lets just say it would have destroyed it!  So I needed a backup plan.  Some of you may think I've taken the cheaper option purely based on what I've already said, but actually a 7 replica was also on the list.  I have a client very near to the Leicestershire showrooms of Caterham, and I fancied the arse off of them.  That was until I discovered it turns up mainly prebuilt with about 40 hours of work required to get it going. Dull and too easy. Oh and I don't fit in one being 6' 6".  The Rush was the obvious answer.  Long wheel base option, proper build, but I had to prove I could fit in it.

Two weeks later, back to Dax one Saturday morning (I'm only 40 minutes away) and after discussions with Simon about me squeezing into one or not he told me about a guy called Brian not far from them who had purchased the last LWB demo car.  One phone call later, and I was up to the Cambridgeshire border for a trip out.

 

What a top guy Brian is.  He was more than happy to take me out for a spin, let me sit in it, poke it here and there and snap with the camera.  Despite the depression about the Tojeiro I was in love again and ready to go the next step.  Dax here I come!

Decisions to be made.

Firstly the Engine.  The choice is pretty much endless.  I could have a bike engined superlight version or one of pretty much any car engine options.  During my time researching the Tojeiro I must admit I'd fallen in love with a throbbing V8.  Having sampled the demo car I knew what I wanted. It had to be V8.

Back to Dax one Saturday morning then and another long chat with Simon.  Its a Rush and being over 6 foot 6 inches it had to be a long wheel base. I liked the look of the asymmetric hoop so that went in as well and it had to be the chromed suspension.  I like pretty shiny things.  Especially ones like this that will end up shattering the neighbours windows and terrifying the cats that crap on my lawn. Shame.....

On to the power source, with all the hard bits worked out already, and I knew I wanted a V8 that was not injected just to make is a bit more old school.  Rover for me was an obvious option and again, during my research, I'd discovered a chap called Jim Robinson based in Northern Ireland who came highly recommended.

Little did I realise that at the time our email conversation had started, he was sunning himself in France.  I pity his poor wife especially after he took time out to give me a call.  By the time he got back to Ireland he'd got a deal.  Take a look at Jim's Web Site from which I'll be getting option 3.  Turnkey and with an LT77 gear box.

So with this all decided upon it's time to get me a donor.

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