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Top Gear's junk-yard DeltaWing

2012-05-22 10:30

JUNKYARD RACER IN PROGRESS: Top Gear teams up with UK car customiser Andy Saunders to construct a replica of Nissan's groundbreaking DeltaWing. Image by Top Gear.


Nissan will power a revolutionary DeltaWing car in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours race – think stealth fighter for the track.

Earlier in 2012 we reported on Nissan's revolutionary DeltaWing set to compete in the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race

Apart from attracting thousands of race car enthusiasts, motoring show Top Gear has been so enamored with the radical ride that it has decided to build one of its own.

The V-shaped car will not be classified at Le Mans – instead it will take the number zero with a place in the pits lane reserved for experimental cars because it does not conform to existing regulations.


The DeltaWing team has had years to work on their design while Top Gear has had a few months and a media release to work from. The car show will have a great addition to their team, in the form of Andy Saunders, one of the UK's finest car customisers, who will aid in building the DeltaWing replica.

Nissan's engineers were handed a hefty budget for sourcing premium components, the Top Gear team went shopping for parts at a junk-yard.

According to Top Gear, the front is a Westfield Se7en kit car running space-saver tyres. The headlights are from a Peugeot 207, the steering rack is from a Hillman Imp, while the rear is a mix of Fiat 126 and Morris Minor 1000. The rear axle is from a Ford Escort.

Both the DeltaWing and Top Gear's replica will be powered by a 1.6 four-cylinder engine, though it’s likely the mid-mounted Nissan powerplant will be more powerful than the old Ford engine mounted in the car show's ride.

While checking out Nissan's press image, Saunders comments on the project: "I'm pi**ing in the wind a bit here. I've got glass-fibre moulds from all sorts - an eco house, two Mazda MX-5s."

Saunder's projects include a lowered Panhard PL17, a Tempo Matador Van, a right-hand-drive 1935 Ford V8 convertible and a Thunderbird lowrider. The faux DeltaWing should be a great addition to his resume.

Top Gear writes: "We thought we'd pay homage to what could be a game-changing car by building our own road-going version. Then we're going to try and bring it along with us as part of covering this year's race on TopGear.com.

"Just for fun, you understand - this isn't going to be hitting Mulsanne at any point."

Will Top Gear's ride perform admirably or fail hilariously on the road? Share your thoughts in our Readers' comments section below the video.

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