www.manta400.com.com    www.nelsonstewart.com


Click the links to go to my Lotus Audi Exige build, Mantas, VX220T and other blogs. You’ll see from my sites that I have an obsession with engineering and it manifests itself not only in these cars, but in everything I do, from working with electrics, composites and alloys to building the workshop above to what I work at. Perhaps its in my genes as my Dad builds, among other things, stagecoaches and wagons at his farm in Canada, we just love working with our hands and attention to detail. I hope you  find the results on my sites helpful and don’t hesitate to contact me. Regards Nelson.


The VX220 Turbo ticks so many boxes for me as a dual road and track car that I had to have another one. Lotus chassis, easy turbo power, and rare enough to stand out. They have been steadily climbing in value as numbers on the road decrease and the realization that this is an S1 Elise alternative that packs a punch...read more

"From a Lotus Club post: I wish you every bit of success with this as i am currently doing a DIY duratec kit for myself and intend to market it afterwards. But an Audi turbo, no chance! I think you are clearly VERY brave taking this on, the amount of work required to fit the turbo Audi engine into an Elise is huge, way beyond something I would want to do" ..read more

People who own Brabus Roadies usually have other performance cars and high spec full size cars at home, they are also total petrolheads... so what does the Brabus Roadie give that the other cars don’t?

Character, fun, rarity, individuality, MPG,....read more

1972 Opel Manta A-series V8. A great shape of car, like a mini Camaro that just needed a V8 soundtrack instead of a puny 1.6 CIH to live up to the looks. I did a bit of a sporting lift to the interior and some subtle changes to the exterior to keep the 70’s look as its all these cars need to really stand out.....read more

1988 Porsche 944 turbo SE. For such a cheap car, this one was £2800, they are one of the best handling cars I’ve ever had on the track and after some fettling we got just under 300bhp out of this one so it was no slouch either. Sadly the rust worm and high mileages meant it needed constant attention and a full rebuild would have been uneconomical so it had to go. Great fun though.. get one....read more

There is always one car you regret selling. This was my 2004 VX220 turbo. The previous owner had been using it on track and had it running a stage 2 turbo, AP 4pots, Nitron suspension and 888’s on two sets of TD wheels. I stripped a lot of it down and rebuilt it then upgraded the bushes, fixings and electrics, added racelogic and a chargecooling system.  I loved it, what an idiot I was to sell it, but thats life...read more

1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo. I always had a yearning for the Supercar looks of the Esprit and put a lot of time end effort into this one in the late nineties by rebuilding the engine bay in carbon fibre, rare back then, changing the color from the eighties blue (theres a story about that if you meet me in person) and tidying the interior....read more

My fourth 16v conversion, my second turbo (after the successful redtop supercharged 400 I built previously) on the B-series and I worked hard on the detail on this one. Again using the 400 body, but made removable and the use of carbon and alloy supports in the conversion to give the structure for modern engine and components without invasively welding or drilling the chassis make this one unique...read more

CFK Exige/VX Momo airbag delete steering wheel controls

Motorsport Elise/Exige body on Elise 160.

Faux Dewalt Coil Nail Gun

Exige/Elise alloy centre console with digital gauges

1980s Bomb Disposal Robot Restoration

A-Series V8 implant

Audi TT Turbo engine conversion for Elise/Exige

XE16v Turbo Conversions for RWD Manta/Ascona and many others.

CFK VX220 Speedster Centre Brace for gauges

One off alloy parts. X Clam brace.

POPULAR Pages and Videos

"I've just driven a two-seat convertible which handles like a Lotus Elise, goes faster than a Porsche Turbo and costs less than a Ford Mondeo. Its called the VX220 Turbo and even though it does 0 to 60 in four seconds and has the same chassis as the Lotus, it only costs £27,000 and unlike most cars of this type, it has an airbag, satellite navigation, anti-lock brakes and a hood which can be removed in less than two weeks. Its British too. On the Top Gear test track, it was a sensation. One of THE most exciting and perfectly balanced cars I have EVER tried. So who do we have to thank for this wonder car?"....read a full Clarkson Review here

Conor's 88 Esprit suspension, engine and gearbox.

DeLorean Test Track

   1980's Bomb Disposal Robot Restoration.

Very unusual and at the same time fascinating this robot saw service during the troubles in Northern Ireland and is one of very few in private hands. All of the control wiring was deliberately destroyed before decommisioning with many components missing when Garth brought this to me for restoration. Having built a new period style controller with a complete rewire and the addition of new control circuits this has enough power to nearly climb over a car with working CCTV, Shotgun and linear actuators. Watch for it at shows and displays.

Audi Engined Exige Build...

I've now done 52 Kydex projects, a couple are shown below

...Momo Wheel centre with wire free controls and the VX220 Centre Brace

Vauxhall (with a lot of Lotus magic) made a 4.5 second 0-60 car 18 years ago......and its so astounding, I've had two!

How to carbon skin a large panel....

Audi Exige Build links....

DIY Carbon fibre roof

DIY Inverter install

Samebike assembly guide

DIY RV Solar panels

DIY RV Duck Boards

Apache restoration and mods

Rv custom mattresses

Manta400 build video

Alfa Romeo Spider Corrosione

A new project for winter 2020 is this 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider S3... It doesnt look too bad here, but it needs a bit of work and the entire underside is plastered in sticky underseal schmoo, even the wishbones, springs and hoses....theres going to be a a lot of spannering, welding, burning and swearing on this one, thank heavens for Jack Daniels.....