F1 fan builds full-scale Honda replica

F1 fan builds full-scale Honda replica

An East Sussex man has spent four years creating a near inch-perfect replica of a BAR-Honda Formula 1 car, despite having no engineering experience.

Constructing the faithful fake in his shed, Kevin Thomas built the car using genuine parts sourced from eBay and traded with F1 memorabilia collectors.
A working second hand version of the F1 challenger would have set him back over £100,000, but Thomas managed to create his own for just £8000 – plus plenty of sweat and tears.

Speaking to the Daily Mail about why he chose to create his own F1 car, Thomas said: "A couple of years ago there was a Formula One car on display in a Renault showroom near Brighton.

"I went along to see it and thought to myself 'I would love one of these.'"

Luckily for him, a former F1 chassis was advertised on eBay soon after and Thomas leapt at the chance to own an iconic piece of racing history.

"There's a whole group of memorabilia sites and dealers around the UK, but also you start to build a network of contacts and they know you are looking for particular types of car parts," explained Thomas.

"Also I check eBay religiously every morning. It's really immaterial what it costs as the people on there do not necessarily realise the value it has to you. They think it's just a worthless old control box from a Honda."

This dedication has meant Thomas has managed to secure nearly every last piece of a Formula 1 car, including authentic suspension, tyres, seat and a steering wheel.

The only thing he's missing now is an engine, though Thomas admits there is a lot of work to go before he can get it up and running in the manner it was intended.

"The wishbones would probably snap on the first bend.

"In the next year or two, when I can find more of the correct parts, and some spares, I will get it properly rolling."
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