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Thread: What's your kit car owning history?

  1. #1
    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    What's your kit car owning history?

    Inspired by Andy's idea of a snapshot census of everyone's kit car....

    I was wondering what the kit car owning history of folk in the club was.

    Given that I've no mechanical skills, no interest in car building and little enthusiasm for taking up a new hobby called "tinkering" you'd probably be surprised to hear that my STR, when it arrives, will actually be my 4th kit car.

    First up, 16 years ago (wow, where did that time go!) came a 2004 Westfield MegaBlade. It was on display at a local supercar car meet, the owner had just completed it a few months earlier, it had 800 miles on the clock, he had spent nearly 2 years building it, it was getting a lot of attention because bike-engined cars were a bit of a fad back then, it looked ace and.. it was for sale!

    Superbike engine, no windscreen, no heater, no radio, no reverse gear.. seemed like a sensible car to have in the garage I thought.

    I thought that was really odd it was for sale tho because back then I didn't realise that for some folk the whole kit-car thing was all about building it rather than owning it but anyhow, I ended up driving home having agreed to buy it. That might have been the last time I was allowed to go to one of these meets on my own!

    I owned it for 2 years, did about 4k miles in it. Didn't really like it because I quickly realised it was a bit too raw for me. It was great to take out for a blast at the weekend between breakfast and lunch but other than that the novelty soon wore off. It was very fast but kept bouncing off the 12,000rpm rev limiter before I could look at the speedo and in any event my eyes were half closed a lot of the time to stop them watering. I did a few trackdays in it and it was totally reliable although it was possible to be freezing cold from the knees up but with soles of your shoes melting.

    I sold it to a guy from Cardiff. He drove the 480 miles to view it in a transit van towing a car trailer. He didn't really haggle much. I know he still has it as well.








    To be continued....

    Feel free to join in!!
    Last edited by renmure; 23-02-2021 at 13:57.

  2. #2
    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    A few years after my Westfield experience and the realisation that I was a bit more of a Wuss than I thought, I decided to have another foray into the kit car world. I'd been doing quite a few track days in a Mitsubishi Evo VI TME but it was fairly expensive to run and keep up to date with all the maintenance. Caterhams seemed to perform really well and everyone said they were cheap to run so I ended up buying one blind and heading on a train down to somewhere near Kent to pick up a mint condition, 2 owner (again the 1st owner sold it not long after building it) Caterham R300 Superlight. With the luxury of a windscreen and a 12V powered heated jacket I set off on a 550 mile journey home.

    I took it on track once but it was too nice to really track it hard. It was far more grown-up and proper car-like than the Westfield. Again it never put a foot wrong and was totally reliable. It came with the wet-weather gear and I did put the roof up in the garage once but really struggled to get out of it without crawling. I did "modify" it by getting a smaller steering wheel so my knees could more a bit.

    Anyhow, kept it for about 3 years and did about 2k miles/year in it. On reflection it probably made me realise that something from Lotus could give 90% of the raw thrill but without the compromises that came with the Caterham so I sold it and bought a Type 72 Exige on the rebound... which wasn't really the smartest decision. Hey ho.







    Last edited by renmure; 23-02-2021 at 15:38.

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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    I too can't post pix of my current car in Andy's thread, cos I've not got it yet (but soon, very soon...!) Therefore, here's my kits from waaaay back, starting with...

    ....my Allora, buit between Oct '87 - March '89...

    Note the car's in the background of the 2nd pic, on Litton Cars' stand at the Newark Show, 1989.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20210223_0002.jpg   IMG_20210223_0004.jpg   IMG_20210223_0011.jpg   IMG_20210223_0012.jpg  
    Last edited by Normb666; 23-02-2021 at 15:40.

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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    Then, in 1990, I found out Caterham Cars were building a series of "Prisoner" Sevens. I'd already had a Lotus 7 S1 which was fun, but it had no roof and I'd got no garage, so it ended up being swapped for an Elan S4. Anyway, the 7 itch was strong, so after robbing a bank, I put the order in! Car arrived Nov 1990, and was planning to build it over winter. But 3 weeks later...

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    Was offered the chance to have a Cosworth BDR motor as Caterham were about to discontinue the option. That meant I also got to meet The Prisoner himself at the press day at the NEC - of course he got car No. 6 I sold it in 1993...feck knows why, stupid decision. It ended up in Japan but who knows where it is now.

    And finally, a few gratuitous pics of other interesting stuff I've owned....1977 Laverda Jota, 1970 Fulvia 1600 HF (Fanalone) in RHD, 1989 Honda VFR750R (RC30), and the one I blew all my redundancy dosh on in '97, A '64 E-Type 3.8 (totally original, untouched apart from a paint job that appeared applied with a shaving brush).

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    And yes, I shouldn't have sold any of these either!!! Hey ho...

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    SEC Member Karnevil's Avatar
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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    This is it for me...............Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    Fantastic. Thanks for joining in folks.

    Norm, when I got my Caterham I went Caterham-daft for a few months and went on eBay and bought a special collection of magazines and dvds of all The Prisoner episodes and the background to them and who's who, including.... a map of The Village. I'm not sure if you need to be taking some sort of illegal substances to make much sense of it all tho so we gave up round about episode 6.

    Frederic, I love the GT40. Again, if I'm ever at any sort of car meet and there's a GT40 type car attending then I'm likely to be drooling over it. Someone local to me has one in Gulf colours because I see it out and about in summer but I've never been able to catch the owner to see what it is exactly. Sounds ace tho!

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    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    I've still got my 3rd kit car and have had it for nearly 6 years now. It's a GTR with a 6 litre LS engine. I'd always fancied an Ultima and when this one came up for sale I casually asked on Pistonheads if anyone knew it and within a day almost everyone who owned it previously had popped up with good things to say including the guy who built it. So, jumping in with 2 feet and I bought it without seeing it and my first ever drive in an Ultima was driving my own one 400 miles home from the Midlands. In the rain.

    It has changed a bit over the years in my ownership. Not really by design. I ran out of talent on a bend and it had to go to car hospital for about 9 months to be fixed. It came back far better than it went in but I've never really had the same confidence in it since then, so I really just slowly pose around in it and make lots of noise and flames. Until it fell off the road I was doing about 2000/3000 miles/year in it but more recently its been much less. I think I drove it once last year.. maybe less.

    Again, I've been really lucky in that, like the Westfield and Caterham, it has been totally reliable (no pressure there then Craig). I did drive it down to Stoneleigh a few years ago in convoy with 3 mates who each one one and that was quite spectacular.










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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    Wow Jim, that's some thin glassfibre on that there Ultima - you can see right through it when the light's right! It's no wonder you're not driving it much cos just the trip to Stoneleigh and back must have left you eating gruel for ever after paying for juice...

    Caterhams are funny things cos they get under your skin (as well as under car park barriers...how do I know this?...hee-hee!) I took my Prisoner car down to Portmeirion, y'know, like ya do, thinking it might be an appropriate place to go. Absolutely no-one paid it any attention at all while it was there. Some people have no idea of place, or maybe none of them ever had a telly. Culturally bankrupt, the lot of 'em.

    Frederic, that GT40 is fab. And the Cobras...this one was mine, but not a kit - it's a Superformance.
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    Funny story about that is, it was supposed to have a 4-speed "toploader" gearbox. I'd had the car about 18 months when I discovered a "false" gear position opposite reverse when moving it about. So out of interest I lifted the clutch and it pulled forward gently...turned out it had a Tremec 5-speeder and I'd been going everywhere in 4th. Couldn't tell cos it had such long gearing! When I started using 5th it was intergalactic - something over 35mph/1000rpm...and better on fuel, strangely
    Last edited by Normb666; 23-02-2021 at 18:50.

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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    Norm would that photo be before I lost vast amounts of flesh from my leg on the exhaust - or did you manage to scrape of the burn remains later ??

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    SEC Member Stratos Fear's Avatar
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    Re: What's your kit car owning history?

    Volksrod Beach Buggy

    Marcos 1600GT (with twin cam engine)

    now an LB Stratos STR Stradale

    - sorry cant find pics of the first 2 and quality not good anyway.

    Jim - BTW your photos of the Ultima are really good - I love the twilight shot in the road.
    Last edited by Stratos Fear; 24-02-2021 at 11:00.

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