Going Global - Race Car Prototype

by Global Lights in Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom

Total raised £185

£30,000 target 33 days left
0% 5 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 27th August 2024 at 12:00pm

We are seeking support in finishing our demonstration race car. We would love to get back in the driving seat of our project!

by Global Lights in Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom

About The Car’s:

The Global GT Lights GT1 is a purpose-built, single seater race car. Originally developed to be as light, fast and exhilarating as possible, whilst being competitively priced to build, race and maintain! This exciting car was eligible to compete in multiple race series, such as BRSCC Britsport, BARC Supersport, Castle Combe Special GT & Open GT to name a few.

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With a cold drawn steel box frame chassis, aluminium support panels, a well-considered aerodynamic fibre glass body shell, the car only weighed a mere 395kg. Coupled with its 100bhp, 600cc Yamaha Thundercat motorbike engine it was a thrill to race and a force to reckoned with, especially in it’s category, of its time, and for it’s price!

Growing in notoriety, and with other cars becoming more competitive in it’s class, it wasn’t long before the car received an engine upgrade, taking it from its 600cc up to a 1000cc with the Yamaha R1 engine! This gave the GT1 a healthy 150bhp, and still only weighing 395kg! It was reported that the R1 powered GT1 can lap Brands Hatch Indy in as little as 48 seconds. Even by today’s standards, this is impressive!

With less than 45 of these special cars being manufactured, they are quite rare to see, and even less likely to be correctly recognised, often being mistaken for other named cars. There are a few track day enthusiasts who own a GT1, along with a dedicated race series in Ireland, where 12-15 600cc GT1’s competes. Even rarer, is the Global GT Lights GT2.  

The GT2 was the evolution of the GT1! Boasting a new chassis, made wider and longer, with a full aero body shell adapted to suit! The car now had 2 seats and a bigger space for the engine! These exceptionally rare cars were fitted with a 195.7bhp Suzuki Hayabusa engine and weighed 450KG, which allowed it to become a super competitive car in its class. There was reportedly only 3 ever developed, and only 1 known to be in the UK still. 

1719862318_1719862316945.pngA race car on a track  Description automatically generatedGlobal GT Lights History:

The first Global GT Lights GT1 was built around the early 90s by Larry Kinch, who developed the initial concept car. Within his years of ownership, approximately 7 cars were manufactured, all built with the 600cc Thundercat engine. As cars grew in notoriety and with a rise in demand for this class of car, the company and rights to Global’s were sold to Graham Hathaway Racing LTD back in 1998. The Essex based company became the new home to Global GT Lights, where Graham, Bob Buck and the team began to develop, manufacture, and compete in the cars.A close-up of a car suspension  Description automatically generated

A car in a workshop  Description automatically generatedThe GT1 was honed and refined, adding strength for greater stability and safety, custom brake and suspension upgrades, which allowed the car to brake later and corner harder! It was also here, where the Yamaha R1 engine was introduced. The GT1 was super successful but limited in race categories, due to its exceptionally lightweight build, so in 2004, Graham and Bob began the development and production of the GT2. With an extremely limited run of the GT2 and a good many victories, in 2006, it was decided that Global GT Lights would be sold once again.
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A purple race car with a wreath on the side  Description automatically generatedThe company changed hands a few times over the next 17 years, but sadly, never really managed to reignite with anyone, as a result, no further cars were built. The remaining Global Lights in existence continue to fly around circuits but have slowly started to dwindle in numbers and notoriety now. With ownership returned to Graham Hathaway, and with no plans to continue building the cars himself, he was keen to see this once, exceptional car back on the circuits, and with a new team to take the wheel!

About Us:

In early 2023, a deal was made, seeing rights and ownership of the Global GT Lights being purchased by Oliver Gray, who had long followed the rise of the Global Lights from a young age. Being offered the opportunity to take on these cars, and motivated with a huge passion for racing, he became determined to get the cars back on the grid and new ones being manufactured once again! Keen to dive straight in, Ollie also acquired one of the original GT1’s, a particular car in desperate need of a complete overhaul!1719862508_1719862506777.png

No photo description available.It wasn’t too long into this re-build, before the restoration of this car, had caught the attention of Ollie’s family, with his brother and father, getting swept up in the nostalgia of the GT1, and his two sons thrilled by the idea of building a race car with their dad!

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Ollie and his family carry a ‘real’ sense of family business, with 3 generations all taking advantage of every opportunity to get involved, if the adults don’t have a spanner in their hands, then it’s likely that the kids do! I’m sure if any of you have happened to come across Ollie and his GT1 at a car show or at the race circuit’s, you will have seen the young entourage close by, or even sat in the car at some point.

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Our current support and backing:

Creating a thoroughbred race car, is not a simple task that should be undertaken by any one person! It requires exceptional expertise, knowledge, and an understanding from a multitude of backgrounds. The Global Lights company came with a history, a trusted list of past and current suppliers, connections and advisors, one of which being Graham Hathaway himself.

Ollie made short work in building relationships with these connections, seeking advice, guidance and support from each of them at every stage of development. Combining this with the fresh perspective that he and his family bring, they are determined to develop the cars together!

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One connection, seeing the raw potential of the car and excited by the opportunities they offer, agreed to become Global Lights first sponsor! DJC Sportscars, an Essex based specialist car manufacturer, who now provides us with 1-1 practical and technical advice, furthering our connections and opportunities, allowing us to incorporate modern car building techniques into our approach on the creation of our new GT1 chassis.

What we have achieved so far:

On acquisition of the company, we received a rare insight into the heritage of the car’s, along with manufacture documentation, development photography, partial drawings, and notes! We also acquired a variety of parts, body moulds for both the GT1 & GT2 shells, and a jig for fabricating the GT2. Whilst all this information was hugely beneficial, there were a few gaps to bridge, as well as 17 years of corrosion and a little rust! For us to restart manufacturing these exceptional cars, we needed to connect quite a few dots.

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Utilizing the information we have, along with the connections made, we have completed a full rebuild of our GT1, allowing us to reverse engineer the GT1 chassis, down to the very last bolt hole. We have managed to create new 2D CAD drawings for all parts, 3D CAD models for complex components, and fabrication of a completely new jig! Within this development, we have also incorporated current manufacturing techniques and materials, as well as advancements from modern chassis building. Our new and improved GT1 chassis has become a stronger, lighter and safer version of its predecessor.

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We are now at a stage, where our new and improved GT1 chassis is 95% complete! With two further chassis’ in component form, awaiting client orders. These include the safety enhancements, with simplified and strategically placed components, utilizing a stronger core material over the original box section design

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The custom brake’s, suspension, steering components have also been brought up to modern day manufacturing techniques and materials, making them simpler and easier to manufacture. All of this will allow each component to be more readily available for supply, and futureproofed for any new Global concept cars in the pipeline. We are exceptionally close to having everything we need to get the first of our ‘new’ GT1s ready to compete!  

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Along with this development, our restored GT1 has been on its own journey, trying to build the cars exposure back on track and build some much-needed support, with a hope to rekindle peoples love of this special car, or perhaps introduce a newfound love to a blast from the past! We have hired our GT1 for track day experiences, appealing to those looking for something more exhilarating from the sports car experiences, as a taste into what it is like to drive a race car on track!

So, why we are crowd funding?

In all honesty, we had never planned on needing any additional funding, especially not this soon into our taking over the reins! With our personal investments, we had mapped out our journey not only to get our new, fully developed GT1 on the starting grid, but also to fully restore our purchased GT1 back to its previous glory. Both offering us opportunities to generate additional income by hiring our cars for track days and race meets. But like any perfect plan, and as you can imagine, there are always several hidden complications in restoring a 20-yearold car, combined with creating an advanced modern-day equivalent.

The time and money invested into the creation of our new jig, manufacturing drawings and prototypes for use on our existing car, albeit budgeted for, has been extensive and very expensive! With our remaining investment, the plan was to purchase the remaining items to complete the 1st of many new GT1’s, allowing us to then, self finance the complete re-development of the GT2 from the rental and sales of our ever-building stock of GT1’s.
Frustratingly, soon after our 1st chassis neared completion, we had an unexpected and very much unplanned issue with our premises, which led to our building being demolished, and an entirely new building needing to be erected in its place. Whist our new building will be, cleaner, more spacious and better suited to manufacturing our cars, it has drained our investment and reserves and prevented us getting the new car finished. Sadly, the rental of our GT1 alone, will not be able to raise the funds we need as a short-term solution, and without us having a new and complete GT1 to advertise and promote, we have less chance of car orders filling our books.

Whilst we may be able to cobble our new car together with parts borrowed from our existing one, our plan was never to build an ‘out of a shed’ Frankenstein race car, poorly developed with cheap, old or borrowed parts!
To give our car the best reintroduction into the sport, we need to ensure that it is safe, lightweight, fast and eligible for many different race categories, and honestly, it must impress! If we want our car to be responsive, nimble and smooth, it needs to be completed with the right parts, with a reliable and mappable engine and
ECU, as well as its new body to match.

We hope, by building this car in the way that we plan to, it will re-inspire those that remember its heritage, capabilities and potential, as well as attracting a new generation of driver, enthusiast and who knows, maybe even surprise some of its competitors!

What the money is for?

For us to be able to advertise our new GT1, our prospective clients need to see one finished! Whilst our 20 year old GT1 is thrilling, it will not demonstrate the quality, craftsmanship and potential of what are new car will. The money raised will be used to finish our demonstration car and get it ready to impress. The following items are the main elements preventing us from achieving this.
- Engine: We are currently in conversation with the ECU specialists to ensure that the engine we select, allows for development, customisation, availability of parts and ease of replacements. This engine will be a reconditioned 2018+ 1000cc motorbike engine with over 180bhp.
- Custom ECU: As much as we would love to be able to simply purchase an out of the box system, we need a fully custom ECU to run our engine, and allow race teams to have simple track side tuning.
- Suspension: Our new custom suspension has been developed and we have our working prototypes, these currently sit on our current GT1, we now need to purchase the next set for our new car.
- Brakes: Much like the suspension, we just need to purchase the new set.
- Body: We have our existing body moulds, whilst they are very old, we are hoping with some slight repairs and minor modifications, we can re-use these and adapt the bodies to fit our new chassis. If we could, it would be better to have new moulds created, but it’s unlikely that the finances will stretch to this, at this point.
- Custom Spray or Wrapping: We would like the new car to turn heads, so we are looking to make sure that, once finished, the outside will gleam like the inside!

The future of Global Lights:

Oh, were not stopping at 1! As soon as we have the production fully operational on the GT1, our sights are very much set on the GT2, with plans to completely re-develop much like we have with our GT1, not to mention, the very first road legal version! And why stop there… Who knows what the GT3 could be? Yes, we are committed to the development of these cars, and why wouldn’t we be? They are exceptional!
We hope you will be a part of this journey with us, our journey that is Going Global!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£2 or more

Become a part of our history

We would love for you to be a part of this journey, in getting our cars back into production and our first one on track. With your accepting of this reward, we will put your name into the graphics of our new cars livery.

£15 or more

Global Lights Keyring

One of our custom keyrings.

£35 or more

Global Lights Baseball Hat

One of our Global Lights baseball hats. One size.

£55 or more

Global Lights T-Shirt

One of our Global Lights T-Shirts

£175 or more

0 of 50 claimed

50% off Track day

A 50% discount voucher which will give you a discount on one of our shared track days. Limited availability on track locations and dates apply.

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