Phoenix rises from hybrid parts

PETRICE TARRANT
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2013
Phoenix Mk1 and Tim Pratt

TRUE LOVE: Built from scratch over 14 years, the Phoenix Mk 1 is Tim Pratt’s pride and joy.

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Out of nothing rose a masterpiece.

That is how handyman Tim Pratt describes the creation of his fast, fluoro, phoenix.

The professional builder specialises in houses but for the past 14 years he has spent his spare time welding a car-go-kart hybrid, named Phoenix Mk 1.

The mini beast's 1600cc, fuel-injected Corolla motor can reach 200kmh but cruises comfortably at 110kmh.

Mr Pratt says the original plan was to make a go-kart, but one thing led to another and "low and behold here we are".

"Being a good builder means you can do anything in life, really."

That does not mean it comes easy. More than 300 hours of welding has gone into his "pride and joy" as well as a lot of VB beer cans.

Aside from the upper and lower suspension arms and the rear suspension strut holders, the framing is self-made with love.

He takes the automatic for a spin on the beach or farm and with BMW road tyres it makes for smooth driving.

If ever there was a mutt car it's Mr Pratt's phoenix, which incorporates parts from at least three different vehicles. From Trade Me to dump yards he knows where to find the treasure among the trash. With twin exhausts, the odd assembly hums along healthily and it "gives it the sound", he says.

The journey hasn't been without its hiccups. After welding the steering together he found that when he turned the wheel left the car turned right. Needless to say, it was back to the shed.

To add that real original touch, he says due to a slight error of judgement the steering wheel must be removed before he climbs through the frame to the hot seat.

The plan is to sell the masterpiece before beginning a new phoenix adventure but Mr Pratt confesses he is still a "little attached".

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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