Two white men fix a part to a car door

MST accelerates bespoke rally car designs with MK2 innovation

SMART Innovation helped MST:

  • Create custom-made designs thanks to manufacturing design company partnership
  • Improve the manufacturing process, saving time and money
  • Overhaul and improve window mechanism

MST - a motorsport car designer and global rally parts supplier based in Pwllheli, North Wales – is giving a classic 70s rally car a modern makeover with its bespoke high-tech designs, thanks to the support it received through the Welsh Government’s EU-funded SMART Innovation programme.

Motorsport Tools sells aftermarket parts and hand-built rally cars, tailored to customers’ specifications. The cars are loosely based on the original MK1 and MK2 that were first launched in the late 60s and mid-70s, respectively.

MST’s rally cars include hand-built panels and bespoke interiors, roll cages, engines and race seats, meaning each vehicle is completely unique.

MST reached out to SMART Innovation in 2019 to support with a re-design of the door system of their MK2 – an upgraded version of the retro car, which costs around £100,000. 

The company requested a three-day design health check, followed by an implementation design check. SMART’s Innovation Specialist put MST in contact with a manufacturing design company who led on the project.

The design brief MST handed to the manufacturing design company required them identify a solution to a problem involving the MK2’s window mechanism on the car’s door. They were able to successfully reverse engineer the original part to make it lighter and more efficient combining the latest simulation technologies and materials – matching MST’s ambition to take old cars and add modern functionality.

Although the MK2 project is still in the early stages of scale up and production, Carwyn Ellis, Managing Director at MST, believes SMART Innovation’s support has enabled the company to open their eyes to innovative approaches to developing new products, aided by the expertise in design for manufacturing processes, saving them both time and money.

Mr Ellis said: “It was a very good learning curve for everyone involved. There are a lot of our current processes and methods that are ‘old school’, where it’s a very manual intensive process. Every single element has been fitted by hand.”

“It was a good exercise to show us how we can take something from yesteryear - with the equipment and tools available today – and improve our work processes.”

The work of SMART’s Innovation Specialist, who has given MST advice throughout the length of the project, and who has acted as a conduit between themselves and the design company has also not gone unnoticed.

He added “The Innovation Specialist is very structured in her process. She makes things very clear. We always feel like she’s on our side. She’s very supportive on everything we do.”