SG1, simple scratch building project

edited May 2016 in General
We've had quite a lot of people following the simple scratch build project SG1 (Simply Green) and today it reached the point of being a race ready car.

For those who haven't heard of the project the challenge was to build a competitive car without using anything that might cause problems in a school, so no milling, turning, grinding, welding, composites or dangerous chemicals. Despite having a lathe and angle grinders in the workshop they have gone untouched, even 30mm square section aluminium bar was cut with a hacksaw. Despite that the finished car has only taken a total of 65 man hours to complete

Hopefully we'll be able to get someone to produce CAD drawings of some of the key parts such as steerings hubs, our drawings were very much back of the envelope! Some of the design decisions might be controversial but the reasoning behind them is explained.

First outing will be at Kirkistown in Northern Ireland where local students have volunteered to drive SG1, novice drivers in a new car on a new circuit; quite a learning curve!

Please take the trouble to read through the blog and comment as you see fit.


  • Excellent project and great to see all the information and promoting the design and building of cars from scratch. Keep up the good work !
  • Thanks Terry, as you can imagine the restrictions we imposed has made it a very interesting project despite speed not being the primary goal, although I don't think it will be a slow car!

    Just following your lead when it comes to sharing information, I've directed readers to the Rotary Racer website a few times in the blog as it is probably the best single collection of Greenpower information out there and has been for many many years.
  • A very nice looking car and well documented. Lots of excellent ideas, hopefully GP will give it some prominence.
  • Really good blog series with all the information needed by a new team going the non-kit route. Thanks for taking the trouble to write it &, as above, I hope greenpower find a way to target teams looking for build advice towards this and other useful data sources
  • edited June 2016
    SG1 had its first outing at the weekend at Kirkistown, it wasn't included in the results as the young ladies from Ashfield Girl's High School who had kindly volunteered to drive were all too old for F24. However, with a team of complete novices it was running 22mph laps in race 1 at an average of 11A, in race 2 the gearing was increased about 20% which gave an average speed of around 26.5mph at 16A. It's always a bit stressful sending a car out for the first time but it didn't miss a beat all day.

    With a bit more running, a warmer day and a few hours practice I've no doubt the team could have upped the gearing another 10%, kept the current draw to about 17-18A and averaged a little over 28mph. The aim was to build a competitive car and I think it's fair to say we've achieved it.

    Slightly off subject, St.Cecilia's College managed an official distance of 30.80miles with a kit car in only their second race, that's a very impressive result and would really put them in contention for the kit car Final.

    I'll put a full write-up of the weekend on the blog in a day or two.
  • Hi Gary - we've been really enjoying your blog over at weChook HQ. I'm delighted that the car ran well for you first time out! You've really inspired us to up our game when it comes to documenting our build and design work on Electric 3galoo.
  • edited September 2016
    I'd just like to thank the team from Plymouth High School for Girls for the fantastic job they did in running SG1 at Castle Combe. It can't be easy taking responsibility for a strange car so to manage 5th place in race 1 at what is probably the highest quality regional heat of the year is nothing short of remarkable. A faulty race battery meant resorting to practice batteries in race 2 so 13th in that race was no mean feat!

    I hope other teams, particularly the newer ones, got the chance to have a quick look at SG1, if not it will be on track and on display at Rockingham.
  • Got a good look at Aintree. Excellent work. Hope to shake hands at Rockingham.
  • Thanks very much! Flights and hotels booked so I'll be at Rockingham.
  • What an absolutely brilliant little car. great blog too.
  • Thought I would share how useful Gary's blog has been to our team. We have been building our car for too long and the project had stalled quite badly. This was mainly due to my department having little in the way of metal working facilities and while I had bought a small milling machine, guillotine and press brake which allowed us to do some cold work, we still didn't have any welding equipment. Despite repeated e-mails to various local colleges and businesses we just couldn't see a way of getting a rollbar assembly built that we could build and install ourselves. You will see from the photograph that we unashamedly stole the idea of using the handrail components and used the company that Gary recommended to get our rollbar bent up for us and was delivered within 24 hours!

    photo IMG_1392.jpg

    So we now have a rolling chassis good to go, and there's a lot of enthusiasm in the team to get the car finished. We are going to invest a bit of time in deciding how we are going to 'package' the car to get it as aero as possible. Happy days!
  • It really is fantastic when I hear that the SG1 project has helped another team with their car, that was the original aim but you never know if it will work in practice! Looking forward to seeing your finished car.

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