Ambition is a wonderful thing. Without it man would have never got out of the cave in the first place, let alone created that CERN atom-smasher thing in Switzerland. However, being grounded and knowing when not to overstretch yourself is also a good skill to have – and this, despite his great ambition, is something that Nick Truman doesn't appear to have.
The 50-something IT specialist has spent five years of his life – along with £15,000 – transforming a £100 1990 Ford Granada into a replica of the zany Pagani Zonda supercar – albeit one that shows all the finesse of a school DT project. Truman created his Frankenstein's monster of a machine from mismatched scrap parts bought from eBay – including a Jaguar engine bought for £89 – despite having never seen a Zonda in the metal and using a small model of the car and online pictures for direction. He also lost a bit of his finger in the build, after it was sliced off by the turbo and came out of the exhaust.
The Buckinghamshire dad never intended to build a car, though, having bought an engine to use for a coffee table, initially. He told the Daily Mail: "All I wanted to do was make a coffee table, but I ended up building a car.
He added: "People who drive past and always slam their brakes on and look at it. If you have never seen a Zonda before, you might not know it wasn't one at first look."
Despite the time, money and effort spent transforming the donor car into a beer goggles-passable Zonda impersonator, the car isn't even allowed on UK roads. Truman has managed to get it approved for use on the roads in Bahrain, where he used to work, however. "The car is road legal in Bahrain and it was great fun driving around. The acceleration was vicious," Truman said.
The Jaguar engine died in Bahrain, though, after the engine was left running in extremely high temperatures to drain the fuel. Following this, the IT worker bought a used Audi V8 engine, which later exploded, before purchasing another V8 motor, which he then strapped two turbochargers to. As a result, Truman anticipates that his shed-built machine puts out more than 500bhp.
With many of the second hand parts sourced through eBay – coming from donor models including Jaguars, Porsches, Lexuses and Audis – the Zonda replica has got through four engines, two gearboxes and three windscreens.