Karma Ressurrection


In October 2000, a car was shunted into the back of my Karma. This caused a great deal of damage to the rear of the car (all but one of the lights were shattered, and the rear fibre-glass was cracked), as well as some damage to the front. The insurance company was originally going to write the car off, but after getting a cheaper quote to get it fixed, they agreed to fix it.

Later, after some more frontal damage occurred to the car, I bought a VW Beetle, and took the Karma off the road (it did pass its MOT in May, though, despite most of the front being pieced together with duct tape). The main reason for it being taken off the road was so that I could restyle it; the lights were the original ones with the car, patched together to make them legal, and the rear end was temporarily patched. My original intention was to restyle the car more like the Ferrari Dino it is based on, but after seeing a Deon Dino-inspired car with no roof, I decided that it would be easier to cut the roof off.

My impression

This is my impression of what it should look like:

Original car [image]
Modified car [image]

The only complaint I've had is that I hadn't changed the reflection of the car in the window!

Work to do

There is still some work that I need to do:

The work will be mainly done in that order, with the first two overlapping.


This is the current layout, and the proposed layout of the components.


The frame

The frame is currently being worked on, and I am using it as a learning experience for welding (this is my first major [more than 1 weld]) project.

The following pictures show the current state of the frame (taken before the roof was removed). It is actually a lot more impressive in real life, though!

Frame 1 Frame 2 Frame 3
Frame 4 Frame 5

The rear end compartments

The removal of the rear end was performed in January 2002, with the cuts being made in a more Ferrari-esque manner. The building of new lids has not started yet, save for a small curved rear bar for the back end of the engine compartment lid (which may not be used).

Removing the roof

This was done on the 26th April 2002, and gives the first idea as to what the car is going to look like.

Chop 1 Chop 2 Chop 3

After removing the roof, I have decided that it almost certainly wouldn't survive a roll.

Windscreen strengthening

This has not started yet, but will probably comprise of a 1" steel bar that is curved around the windscreen. This probably wouldn't be enough to survive a roll, but will offer enough protection from normal use.

New petrol tank

The petrol tank that was in the car prior to this work gets in the way of my restyling plans of having a permanent cool-air supply from behind the engine. The new petrol tank will fit between air vents on the cooling panel.

New dashboard

The dashboard that currently resides in the car has a number of problems with it:

This will also offer a protection in case of rolling (the rear roll bar and the front bulkhead give enough area to protect people inside the car).

New seats

The seats were ordered in September 2000, and have been awaiting fitting all this time. They are Corbeau Carrera sets (in black), and should be very comfortable. There are some 4-point harnesses to be fitted as well.

New lights

Some Ferrari-esque lights have been ordered, and are awaiting delivery.