Off to the cage fabricator

Good day.

Swapped my DW fuel pump and new-ish fuel filter from the wreck to the new shell. Much easier without a cage in the way. Hopefully did it right and reconnected everything, so I won’t have to fiddle with it more.

Then loaded up the shell and drug it across town to my cage fab guy.
Click the image to open in full size.

I REALLY LOVE IT, when you have a kinda crazy vision for a one-off thing, and you explain it to a craftsman, and they completely “get it” and agree that they can do it.

I pretty much knew that I wanted the rear of the cage to be very similar to my old roll bar, just wider and with a better brace mounting location. But the front… that had to be designed.

I want a relatively open top (no braces across the top), relatively unobstructed entry and exit from the car, retain all front factory trim, as little obstruction of view as possible, look as clean as possible. But also be very stiff and safe. I’m not going to race this car wheel-to-wheel, so I don’t need to comply with racing side impact rules. While I do need to pass time trial rules, just the roll bar was sufficient for that. But… if at some point I take this car airborne at 100+ MPH on track, or slide it down the side of a mountain… I want to have a fighting chance.

I’ve looked at hundreds of photos of caged MINIs. Out of all those, I found one example that really clicked with me.

HPA Motorsports “Gokart”
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Front pillar hugs the A-pillar and goes through the dash, fitting between the door speakers and the fusebox / BCM. Knee bar under the steering column, goes behind where the stereo head unit would normally be. Single door bars bow out into the space between the door handle and the door painted trim. This design is really clean, and retains the factory trim (though some things will need some trimming, obviously). Will probably have an open halo top, but we’ll figure that out for sure after the main hoop is built and tacked in.

It will probably force me to remove or reposition the stereo headunit, as there’s not enough depth in there with the knee bar in place. But the structure won’t be stiff enough without a crossbar, and I think putting one on top of the dash is hideous. I really don’t need the headunit… I could just add a simple amp with an aux input and a volume control, and I’d be fine…. that may be where I’m headed.

My cage guy also was fine with cutting out the extra stuff in the rear.

My current thought is to paint the entire cage Pure Silver with clear coat. So it matches the GP interior and exterior trim, as a GP roof would….