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Details the on-going design and construction of a from-scratch, home-built successor to Kimini.
Not better - simpler and different.
"Midlana, Second Edition is now available!
Includes full plans and instructions on how to build your own Midlana
Coil-bound and Perfect-bound
My first book, Kimini, covers general mid-engine sports car design
Click here for more information.
Follow me on Instagram, @midlana1!
Build Diary Forum Videos Part Sources E-mail Kimini.com
Midlana is a two-seat open-top car utilizing a modern FWD drivetrain mounted mid-engine. The reasons to go mid-engine are many; the most obvious being that front-engine rear-drive drivetrains are becoming scarce. Other features include:
MidLana? "Mid" because it's mid-engine, and "Lana" is our granddaughter's name. It sounds a bit like "Katana", a Japanese sword, and since both this car and Lana are part Japanese, it fits. I like the sound of it and it's unique on the Interweb, so there you go.
Designing and building Kimini taught me a lot. Kimini was very good at what she did, as close to a "real car" as I'll probably ever build; a coupe, fairly quiet, keeping out the wind, dust, and rain, but it came at a high price in terms of work, weight, time, and money. I learned the importance of keeping things simple and easy to maintain. However, THE main thing I want to avoid in the next project is the composite work. Ugh! So much work, hundreds of hours, very expensive, messy, and hazardous. And that wasn't the worst of it. It was the surprising realization that after Kimini was done, I was afraid to expose her to the harsh environment of the track.
Yes, that's right, I couldn't help but hold back, scared to damage the oh-so-expensive composite, worried about the time and money it would take to fix her. I thought, if I did it again, it would be simpler, easier, and simpler to build, easier to maintain, cheaper, and lighter. Midlana a second attempt at what I wanted in the first place, a low-cost trackday car - one that I don't have to worry about. Kimini was almost too good at what she did, due to the expensive composite body shell. Yes it keeps out the dust, wind, and rain, but I worried too much about damaging it. I know people will say, "Eh, get over it, just get out there and drive it hard." Yeah well, I also knew they wouldn't be around to help repair it if anything happened! Then there's the hot Southern California summers, where having a car with sliding windows and no air conditioning means its very uncomfortable, enough that I didn't drive it as much as I would have liked - that wasn't the intent at all.
Round two means building something more "sturdy" for the track, where it's designed such that if a rock get's kicked up and hits it, I can honestly shrug my shoulders and most importantly, it'll require little to no repair. I want it dead-reliable like Kimini, where I pull off the track and go get a drink, rather than what many drivers do, lift the hood to see "what's wrong now?" after coming into the pits.
This is why Midlana uses minimum composite and doesn't have a roof or doors. Not as refined, more elemental, and simpler (though there are options.) In other words, easier and faster to build and not as expensive. Midlana also looks enough like a Lotus Seven to retain some of that elemental sports car look from the 1960's - something I like. Sound like something you'd be interested in? Click on the above links to see if building a Midlana is something you'd like to do!