Kimini: How to design and build a mid-engine sports car - from scratch
Paperback, 355 Pages
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This book teaches you how to design and build your own sports car - from scratch! With this design guide, and your choice of FWD drivetrains, you will learn how to create your own dream car. This guide describes the entire process of designing a sports car: setting goals, research, design, and construction, of a tube-frame, carbon fiber body, mid-engine powered car of your own design. (This is a design guide for creating your own unique mid-engine sports car; it does not contain plans.)
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13 People Reviewed This Product
Sep 27, 2009"Great style of book - " This book is kindof like a big FAQ for this subject, which is good for me since that's the first thing I read about a subject when I can. Like a regular faq it is divided into sections from the subject, full of "how do i do this? why can't i do it that way? wouldn't have this way worked better?", along with references to where people can get detailed information, which is excellent. It is not a book of plans for building a car if that is what you are expecting. It is a story of a car being built, with the process described as if someone was explaining to you what worked, what didn't, why they did something a certain way, whether there was a better way to do it. It is more like a book that teaches you the process, gives technical info on the design decisions (suspension geometry, brakes, outfitting it to be a race car, engineering to get the engne in the back), so you know which direction to go in if you want to do it yourself, and can get... More > an idea of how much work it will be and what working conditions you need. Since I bought the book, do I get a free drive round the block if I'm in town?< Less
Sep 17, 2009"Kimini book review" I got the book within a couple of days from Lulu, then proceded to stay up way too late a couple of evenings reading it cover to cover, and I am tremendously impressed, both with the quality of the book itself, and the contents within. Very, very professional job. Carroll Smith would be proud! What Carroll's books did for formula car prep and setup, Kurt's book has done for dual-purpose, as opposed to track-only, sports cars, but he goes further, detailing his thought process in coming up with and executing his design. One of the very best things about this book was where Kurt mentioned "if I had it to do over...." from time to time. Like he says in the book, so many authors simply tell how they did their final version of a given design, as though they did it perfectly the first time, without mentioning the ideas that didn't work. Kurt did mention the ideas that didn't work, or that may be better than what he ended up with. I think that is a... More > very key aspect that contributes to the usefulness of this book. Kurt's book truly deserves to be compared favorably with Smith, Staniforth, Milliken, et al. Great Job!< Less
Aug 28, 2009"A slightly biased review....." I have been reading the 'kimini.com' site for a very long time. Kurt has managed to amuse me, interest me and in a couple of places amaze me, over a period of many years. Due to a number of happy coincidences I managed to help Kurt by taking a number of the photographs that are featured in the book. However, I was not prepared for the book. Kurt has done a simply exceptional job once more, the book is beautifully written, very interesting and often anecdotally amusing to read. I only got my copy a few hours ago, yet I have voraciously ripped through it and I am about to start my second pass. I really cannot recommend this book highly enough, it is an excellent read and a wonderful companion for the kimini.com website. Congratulations Kurt, car builder, track-day driver and now author extraordinarie.... Max
Jul 31, 2009"Well Worth the Price" If you're seriously considering building your own car from scratch, then "Kimini" should be in your library. While it won't replace any of the classic books on car building, it does something that no other book does: it takes the huge amount of data contained in those volumes by Smith, Miliken and Staniforth, ties it all together and presents it in a way that makes sense to the non-engineer. This is no small feat but Kurt manages to pull it off nicely. You will find yourself thinking "okay, now I understand (how to minimize bump steer, how to choose spring rates, etc.)..." more than once as you go through the chapters. The money this will save you by preventing expensive mistakes will more than make up for the cost of the book. Best of all, it contains tips on materials, chassis and suspension design that not only save you money, they could save your life. Why reinvent the wheel when you can take advantage of Kurt's ten years of... More > experience? Buy this book and save yourself a lot of headaches.< Less
Jul 26, 2009"(in) love (with) this book!" I'm in the process of reading this outstanding book (color version). OK, I'm not just reading it... I'm totally obsessed with it. I take it everywhere... bathroom, office, kitchen, outdoors. It's my new buddy. Kurt's book has convinced me that a stubborn guy like me has no choice but to go the one-off route. The book has given me more than some confidence to even consider such an undertaking. And, like Kurt describes early in the text, there just doesn't seem to be a perfect car out there for picky folks in either production or kit form. Build a car that doesn't suck in some way! Get this book!!
Jul 21, 2009"How to do it RIGHT!" In the author’s words: “This book covers the research, design, and construction [I’ll add development] of a scratch-built, street and track, one-off custom sports car, a mid-engine, tube frame, composite-shell Mini. Starting with a simple wish list and progressing through goal definition, chassis and suspension design, and construction, the entire ordeal is covered, concluding with driving observations. In addition, the thinking behind the decisions – why something was done a certain way – is described. It shows the steps, mental and physical, necessary to create a car from scratch and the philosophies of doing so – and actually finishing it! Also covered is what I would do differently next time – something missing from many books!” Kurt succeeds admirably, with an easy and natural writing style that’s both informative and entertaining. His quiet and thoughtful demeanor carries through in his writing, adding the occasional touch of humor to the mix.... More > There is none of the “How Great I Art” ego present, he simply presents the critical information (and sources for more) needed to enable a person of average mental and physical abilities (and sufficient determination) to design and build their own unique expression of the perfect (for them) sports car. Kurt has a way of making theoretical concepts understandable. An example is his experiment with an empty grocery shopping cart. Put a really heavy item at the front, drive it through a few corners. Move it to the middle of the cart, note how much easier it is to make it change directions. In doing so you’re reducing the PMOI, Polar Moment Of Inertia, a concept central (!) to nimble handling. Here are a few pearls of wisdom from the pages of "Kimini": On Light Weight: “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” (Colin Chapman) “You get one shot at doing it right; after that, it’s much, much harder to go back in and find the extra weight.” (KB) On Automotive Design Philosophy: “Everything is connected to everything else.” (KB) Throughout the book, Kurt notes the inter-relationships between different aspects of design, often mutually exclusive, resulting in thousands of value judgments, compromises to be made, weighted by the set of goals you establish for the vehicle before buying a single component or making the first cut. On Tools: (paraphrased) the most valuable tool you will use in building your car is the reference library you will accumulate and the knowledge you will gain from studying what others have learned before you. On Time Management: “Don’t set a schedule. Schedules are for work. This is supposed to be Fun!” (KB) Whether you end up building a car or not, Kurt points out that “Either way, this book will save you money. If you decide to build a car, it will show you what to do, and what to avoid. And if, after reading this book, you decide “Gee, this guy is nuts, way too much work,” this book has saved you lots of time and money!” So "Kimini" will give you something, and take something away. It will give you a clear path to follow to do it right, and it will take away forever the ability to say “I just didn’t know any better”. I thought I bought Kurt’s book to do HIM a favor. Turns out he wrote the book to do ME a favor. This is GOOD stuff! Dave Norton www.nortonshrike.com< Less
Apr 14, 2009"Perfect!" I bought this book after following the build up of Kimini on the authors website. I bought it thinking it would be a fun read and a good companion to the build story on the website. It has been much more than that though. It is the perfect book to have if you ever want to take on a large automotive project like this. There are other books out there that explains suspension design. don't get me wrong, those are great. but this book has been the easiest to follow by a long shot and thats only in 4 chapters! it goes into much more than that. Plus if there is something he doesnt cover in depth, he will tell you where to find the information. The book is well written also. this is a must have book in my opinion.
Aug 1, 2008"Re: Great style of book - " sounds like a great book! I've always wanted to build a car from scratch; I'll check this book out!
May 20, 2007"Kimini" As a reader of the Kimini website, I was excited about the release of the book. Although, I have to admit, the website is so detailed that I wondered what could be in the book that wasn't there already. The answer is quite a bit. It took me much longer to read than I anticipated; it was quite large. Kimini is the ultimate "brain dump" from ten years of the author's persistent search of information. I have read nearly all the author's recommended reading list books, and yet I still learned a lot and walked away with a satisfied feeling after reading Kimini. The book ties everything together in a clever and logical way and everything that I read on his website made more sense to me all of the sudden. There are plenty of good, detailed build diaries of projects on the web, but there is a shortage of good, detailed builds in print. I hope there are more books written in this tone and format to assist upcoming potential car builders. As always though, one has... More > to take the author's recommendations with a grain of salt. We all have different budgets, fabrication skills, etc. Not everyone has $25,000 to spend on a "toy". All in all, I give Kimini two thumbs way up.< Less
May 10, 2007"How to build it a certain way, and why!" I read the book in 24hrs. It was a riveting read, I could not put it down! First impression? Excellent! The best best build guide/manual I have ever read. The fact that design decisions are explained and substantiated is a very welcome change from the others build manuals. It is also an excellent reference work for dispelling all the 'myths' out there. The book is also a great read because you describe the tools you used to complete the job, and what you used them for. Not many builders/documenters take the trouble to outline specific pros/cons for buying tools or having the work done. All in all an excellent book, which was well worth the cost. I'm giving it to all my friends for their birthdays, it's that good! Robert Campbell
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- Kurt Bilinski (Standard Copyright License)
- First Edition
- Kurt Bilinski
- July 13, 2009
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 2.29 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 8.5 wide x 11 tall
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