A car enthusiast has spent five years turning a £100 Ford Granada into an exact replica of a £1million supercar – using scrap parts bought on eBay.
Nick Truman, 53, bought an old Jaguar engine for £89 with the intention of transforming it into an elaborate coffee table.
But when he realised it was too big he decided to create a replica of the 200mph Pagani Zonda supercar.
After buying the ‘donor’ car for just £100, the IT specialist then sourced wheels, tyres, gearboxes, windscreens and all the other cheap parts on eBay.
However, he had a problem – he had never actually seen a Zonda in the metal.
He got around the issue by using a die-cast MODEL along with photos off the internet for design cues.
Over the next few years, Nick spent thousands of man hours creating his own take on what is regarded as one of the great modern motors.
During the project he sliced the top off his index finger in the turbo with the digit then shooting out of the exhaust pipe.
He also had it shipped to Bahrain – where he worked for a while – and had it registered to be driven legally.
But the Jaguar engine died in Bahrain when customs left the engine running for hours in blistering heat to drain the petrol as he left the country.
So he bought a second-hand Audi V8 engine, which blew up, before buying another V8 which is currently in the car.
With twin-turbos, Nick believes the car now boasts in excess of 500bhp – although he’s yet to put his car to the test.
The married father-of-three, from Iver, Bucks., said: “All I wanted to do was make a coffee table, but I ended up building a car.
“It was a fun project to do with my children although my wife wasn’t overly impressed.
“In the first year the project became obsessive. I would do audio calls with the angle grinder in one and the phone in the other.
“A lot of blood and sweat went into it, literally. On one day I lost the tip of my index finger in the turbo and it came out of the exhaust.
“My wife likes the colour and I think she is proud of what has been achieved.
“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.
“The body isn’t perfect but it makes people smile and my children love it.”
After using the 1990 Ford Granada Scorpio as a base, Nick scoured eBay for parts which include a £5 gearbox, wheels off a Lexus and tyres off a Porsche.
The fibreglass for the body cost £50 while the current engine was £240. The most expensive parts are the lights, which cost £95 each.
However the costs have added up and Nick thinks he has spent around £15,000 on the car.
He added: “I would never do it again and in hindsight I probably wouldn’t have started.
“I have gone through four engines, two gearboxes, three windscreens.
“It has come to about £15,000. When I imported it into Bahrain I had to pay £5,000 in import tax but I got that back when I left.
“The car is road legal in Bahrain and it was great fun driving around. The acceleration was vicious.
“The hardest thing was probably hooking up the electric windows, air conditioning and central locking. I have really enjoyed it.”
While it is not road legal in the UK, the car sits on Nick’s driveway next to his classic Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino.
He eventually hopes to take it to a drag strip or the Top Gear airfield to see how quick it is.