Building the Leela was really fun. Whether it was laying out the chassis on the floor of the shop or the hours of sanding to get the buck right, it was never 'work' to me. Seeing a shape emerge and running my hand over the curves to feel if it was fare had a magic to it that is hard to describe.
First I sculpted a 1/5 sale model. Modelling clay allows for experimentation but pretty much I knew what I was looking for, so the process went quit quickly. The clay model was followed by a 1/4 scale foam model which was scanned into Surfcam. With the data in Surfcam it could be manipulated in scale and mirror imaged and full sized printouts made of the stations composing the body.
Then the buck was rigged up on twin back bones so it could be lowered onto the chassis with the engine in place to verify clearance of the intake and the tires. Bad fit between the tires and the body is unacceptable. The result I think speaks for itself. When the stringers (see photo) looked fare and clearances were ok, the foam covering was put on, then filled, shaped and finally glassed, shaped, and painted with tooling resin,(black coating).
Molds were then taken off the buck and RTM parts made from the molds. This in brief is how the car was made. It is the old fashioned way and it can be done by an individual at home. It was a thoroughly satisfying project from beginning to end. Of course driving the car both on the road and the track is a real rush!!