Jump to content

Best kit cars and ones to avoid?


Ianali
 Share

Recommended Posts

Evening. Looking to buy a kit car. Have no experience of them. Have owned a couple of 70s Lotus elans but mainly a biker. Would like something quick enough to be fun, not scary quick. Would also like it comfy enough for wife and me to do a few miles in. Do any come with rain covers that work? Do you just get wet like on a bike? Is it mad to think of going away in one for a week? Budget flexible, anywhere between 10k to 15k. All pointers welcome please. Specially the negatives...Cheers, Ian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depending on build, the car can be track/ performance focused OR as we built our car " Florin" a comfortable (relatively ) cruiser. We have been all over England, Scotland & Wales.  Week long trips to Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland & Italy.

Your wish will be met provided the car includes at least a Surrey top ( roof ) & some sort of doors ( ours are just canvas) We ensured our car had a large boot for weeks away ( will take a full supermarket trolley)  Suspension can be set to be quite soft & tall side-walls on the tyres will give a pleasant but still firm ride.

At present we are doing very few miles so Florin is stuck on 52, 000 miles recorded at her last MOT in February.

Fit all the bits & pieces that a normal car has & you will be pleased to motor with your wife as a happy passenger ( Why Passenger ? She will enjoy driving, if you  make it possible )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For that budget, you've got a good choice - you can buy a cheap kit for £3-4k. For £15k, you'll get a recent factory-built GBS with a 200bhp Duratec.

Kit car hierarchy: Caterham at the top but cost a small fortune, new or old. Then Westfield (similar). Best of the rest IMO is GBS or Tiger. Several smaller brands after that.

As always, go for the best you can afford - try get a newer engine eg. Ford Zetec, later gen MX5 etc. I would personally suggest to avoid bike-engined cars; good for a track but harder for basic cruising/long distance. They also seem a bit flaky, reliability-wise but that's just my impression.

I did a week long, 1,900 mile trip to the Alps earlier this year (https://zerolifebuild.blogspot.com/2020/07/alps-2020-day-1.html) and I have driven in torrential rain with just a Surrey top (half-hood, so not completely enclosed) and doors. You will get a bit of spray and the odd leak, depending on how good your setup is but it's bearable, even in jeans and a t-shirt.

If your wife is used to your bike, you'll have no problem; a kit is far more comfy BUT if she never goes on the bike and is anything like my wife (doesn't do discomfort), she may not like a kit. They are noisy, windy and have a harsh ride compared to ANY normal car.

The GTM Libra is a fine kit but, to be honest, if you're going to get a car that looks like a road car, get an MX5 - far more reliable. I'd only ever buy a seven-style kit car - love the look.

Final point - kits are not very reliable IMO (or maybe it's just mine? 🙂 ). Even factory-built cars (remember, kit car 'factories' are still just small industrial units with 10 mechanics working by hand) will have problems. So be prepared to get your hands dirty or to pay someone to do it for you.

That's my opinion - many will disagree 🙂 Good luck...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, fry61 said:

Depending on build, the car can be track/ performance focused OR as we built our car " Florin" a comfortable (relatively ) cruiser. We have been all over England, Scotland & Wales.  Week long trips to Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland & Italy.

Your wish will be met provided the car includes at least a Surrey top ( roof ) & some sort of doors ( ours are just canvas) We ensured our car had a large boot for weeks away ( will take a full supermarket trolley)  Suspension can be set to be quite soft & tall side-walls on the tyres will give a pleasant but still firm ride.

At present we are doing very few miles so Florin is stuck on 52, 000 miles recorded at her last MOT in February.

Fit all the bits & pieces that a normal car has & you will be pleased to motor with your wife as a happy passenger ( Why Passenger ? She will enjoy driving, if you  make it possible )

Thanks. Other half will definitely want to share the driving. What you say makes sense, maybe my ? Was a little silly. I’m just trying to get a feel for the type of car I need to look for. Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s a 7 style I’m after. Wife is used too bikes, pillion and riding herself. As long as the rides not to harsh and the seats reasonably comfy, we both can put up with some drips and drafts. So it’s basically look for a car with decent fitting roof and sides covers. Enough luggage space to suit us. Good engine ,and decent looking fit out wiring and chassis. There’s some tidy looking robin hoods about?  Westfield look interesting as well. Take the point about reliability, but as I said I’ve had old lotus’s...i found I could build them into reliable vehicles, though not like a modern car. Anyway, thanks for replies, very helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've made a removable luggage rack for mine for strapping chairs or camping gear to, and a tow bar for either my trailer or trailer tent. I've not done any long road trips, but have driven in all weathers with not too much discomfort. 

Nick

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ianali said:

Enough luggage space to suit us. 

Yeah, that will be tricky 😀 - my GBS has a decent boot (if you're used to bike top boxes/panniers) but some of the older designs have much less. But assuming you'll go to look at any potential purchase (as opposed to just buying it unseen off eBay), you'll see what I mean...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A picture of Florin's "roof" & "doors can be seen at  ---July30th 2017 --- our annual BBQ in Hampshire.  Her boot area is from top lid to top of mudguard, full width of rear body & rear panel to panel behind seats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robin hoods on eBay? There’s a couple for sale that look pretty good. Also cheaper than I’d realised. Cars on eBay around 5 or 6 k. For that should I expect a well sorted car? Also, just how well should they go? 0-60 in the under 7 sec range? Handle well enough for fun? Not shaking the driver too bits? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Should have added I’m not after a super smooth drive. If I was I’d go for a mx5 type car. I’d like to have something in my garage this winter to get to know and maybe tidy if needed. Covid makes it awkward, can’t really go around testing cars till I find a good one..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Florin was almost able to keep up with a Lotus Elise in the Pyrenees  in spirited driving by her owner  -- just the standard Sierra brakes called a halt to my close tailing. So I guess that may fill the bill -- we also run on " Standard "  all weather tyres, something that gives good grip in the wet.

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second that advice. You could spend half your budget and get a really well sorted 2b or a Zero and keep the rest of the budget for upgrades down the line on custom bits for comfort or unexpected costs which there are likely to be. 

As a footnote my S7 cost £2.5k 6 years ago. £1k spent on bits and pieces and lots of time fettling. That's the bit I enjoy! Not a racer but a comfy runabout. Did 200 miles in a day last week with no aches and pains. Good seats should be top of your list it sounds. And a good driving position although to a certain extent that can be adjusted. Good luck. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all. Couple more questions. Q plate cars, does the plate effect values? Toy box cars Ltd, decent dealer? Westfield cars? Better than hoods, or does it really depend on build quality? Last one, if i mention/link a car on eBay etc for sale on here will I get advice on it? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...