To some, a car is simply functional, to others a passion, but to 26-year old Oliver Ashley, four-wheel fever knows no bounds. Since 2007 Oliver, a senior technical manager for a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Bristol, has been building a car from the ground up, forsaking a normal social life to fulfil his dream of creating a truly unique automotive masterpiece.
The K1 Attack roadster, on which Oliver’s car is based, is born of a small Slovakian producer, and has been on the hardcore enthusiast’s radar across the globe since the first cars appeared some years back. Progress to market has been slow, which prompted Oliver to take matters into his own hands. It started with an approach to Swindon-based mobile entertainment specialists, Clarion, who Oliver suggested might like to showcase its award-winning audio, multimedia and satellite navigation equipment in his project.
Over three years later, after 4,000 hours of spare time toil, patience, immense skill, and an almost obsessive drive for perfection – not to mention £70,000 of his hard-earned cash and savings – Oliver’s unique K1 Attack sportscar is wowing crowds at shows across the country.
Starting with a basic chassis, some body panels and a variety of components, delivered in a box from the Slovakian factory in 2006, Oliver set to in his garage, creating and building his dream car in stages.
“I have actually assembled the car four times since starting the project”, said Oliver. “I had an original concept firmly in mind, and the design and specification evolved as I went along by building the car, checking the fit of every new component, dis-assembling, making modifications and so on, until I was happy with every element.”
Oliver’s parts list, created as the build progressed, included a whole host of one-off items specially produced for the car – which he designed and had made, all echoing his fanatical desire for individuality and quality. These include linear actuators and mechanisms for opening the driver & passenger doors by remote control, carbon fibre bodywork and interior detailing, colour-coded cabling, polished hoses and pipework, chromed suspension and a full bespoke leather/Alcantara cockpit, detailed with exquisite design and styling touches.
But as Oliver explains, attention to detail doesn’t come cheap:
“For example, I chose Asanti wheels from the USA, at £2,000 each, because they are just the greatest. I spent many thousands of pounds more on the composite bodywork styling, hand-crafted seats and interior, suspension, lighting, designing and engineering a right-hand drive conversion, even chroming hundreds of nuts and bolts…the list is endless.”
Along with Clarion, which has supported Oliver from the outset with a dashboard delight of of state-of-the-art audio and DVD, amplifiers, ‘speakers, hard drive navigation, and a rear reversing camera system, other major brands have assisted in the build, including MOMO, which dipped into its treasure chest of interior styling products to add Italian flair to Oliver’s creation, and Yokohama, whose legendary high-performance tyres now grace the car.
With a 250bhp Honda Civic Type R 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine and six-speed manual gearbox installed midships, ultra taut race-bred suspension and formidable Brembo braking, the car’s performance is more than a match for its stunning looks, which are capped with a sumptuous Lamborghini pearl white paint finish.
Amidst all the attention, Oliver is frequently asked what he’ll do now the car is finished.
“I’ve actually been offered a lot of money to sell it but I plan to enjoy it for a year or so, and after that? Well, building a speedboat from scratch could be fun,” he mused, suggesting this isn’t the last we’ll hear of the West Country wizard.
Vehicle & Bodywork
- Steel tubular K1 Attack chassis coated in graphite metallic powder coat with full custom right-hand drive conversion.
- Composite body, finished in Lamborghini balloon white pearl, with graphite detailin
- Carbon fibre front and rear valences
- Bespoke carbon fibre bonnet pods
- Bespoke rear tailgate with boot and spoiler assembly
- Bespoke carbon fibre one-piece roof & windows
- Bespoke two-piece roof with mohair panels for “get me home” roof
- 246bhp Honda Civic type R Ep3 engine 2-litre with 6-speed manual Honda type R gearbox
- Hondata Kpro ECU, custom-mapped and tuned
- Custom side HKS inlet air intake
- Colour coded / polished hoses and pipe work
- Full Samco Urban Camo hose kit
- Two light weight Powervamp racing batteries in custom framework at front of chassis
- Supercharger conversion to be fitted 2010
- Front: Brembo Gran Turismo vented & cross-drilled discs and calipers
- Rear: Brembo DC5 vented & cross-drilled discs and calipers with combined hand brake mechanism
- Tilton Brake bias valve
Wheels & Wheels
- Bespoke Asanti 144 wheels 19” x 8.5 front; 19” x 10 rear
- Yokohama Advan tyres Front: 235/40 ZR19 Rear: 285/35ZR19
- Sporteing adjustable coil-overs with custom springs
- Front suspension arms coated in marine chrome
Cooling & Exhaust
- Bespoke stainless exhaust system with twin centre exit exhaust, inc high flow catalytic converter
- Bespoke four-branch manifold
- Bespoke stainless coolant pipe work front to rear
- Alloy front mounted radiator, with custom alloy header tank
- Racing seats re-moulded in carbon fibre & trimmed in black leather, red stitching with red alcantara detailing
- Instrument panel glove box and door cards trimmed in Black leather with red stitching & red alcantara detailing to match seats
- Centre dash panned remoulded in carbon fibre then re-trimmed in leather & red alcantara
- Bespoke carbon fibre centre console with bespoke stainless gear surround
- Momo GTR2 Steering wheel re-trimmed with red alcantara grips to match interior
- Momo GTR2 gear knob with custom gator
- Momo GTR2 handbrake handle
- Momo GTR2 pedals
- Momo 4-point race harness in red
Audio & multimedia
- Dashboard chassis assembly lowered by 50mm to accommodate Clarion MAX678RVD double DIN multimedia head unit
- Two pairs of Clarion SRU1720 component speakers moulded into bespoke door cards and A-pillar housings re-trimmed in leather & alcantara
- Clarion NAX973HD hard drive navigation moulded into dashboard below glove box
- Two Clarion APA4360 active amplifiers built into floors below seats
- Clarion CC2011E reverse camera set into rear number plate surround
- Clarion BLT373 Bluetooth hands free phone kit
- Clarion iPod kit mounted into glove box
- Two Clarion PFW1051 subwoofers built into bespoke fibreglass enclosures behind each seat, re-trimmed in black leather & red alcantara
- Portable 1000 Gigabyte hard drive built into custom concealed enclosure behind seat