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Kit cars. Who has one?

In response to our message about the Rizovari DX11 we got the maker's address through Martin Spoelstra. We will pursue that! But the message also put the kit cars phenomenon in the limelight once again. And because kit cars were often open, such a sun always comes in handy.

Kit cars: all classics

Kit cars are now all 30 or or at least 25 + ers. So classics. But bastard classics. And that they could also be delivered ready-made? Did that make the 'manufacturers' into car manufacturers?

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Lots of VW and 2CV platforms

Many kit cars were based on VW platforms, engines and transmissions. Nice and easy. Also for type approval. Another large part was made up of an 'own' chassis where - more or less fitting - all kinds of parts of other brands and types could be submerged, added to and made up. That varied from front wheel suspensions to rear light glasses.

Over the years there have been hundreds and hundreds of kit car 'builders'. Some of them reached the production of 1 pcs. But of the Manx 'primal buggy' and Cobra Replicas, thousands have been made - usually without the permission of anyone. And even the copies were copied. But Porsche Speedsters, Lotus 7 and Jaguar E-Type 'fakes' are there to sort it out too. Don't necessarily think of 'plastic is fantastic' and 'Tupperware' stuff. A very nice Speedster replica can cost just € 40.000.

The quality

The build quality of those dreams varied 'ex works' as much as if they were made in drafty sheds or clean home garages. Because if you want to make your dream come true with limited resources and skills, then you have to compromise.

In the Netherlands we had Ruska from Amsterdam who sold hundreds of buggies a year. And the Zutphense Burton is of course a contemporary example of what is still possible and allowed.

Burton is also one of the suppliers that not only provides an excellent product, but also optimal guidance. Certainly in the past there were quite a few English 'manufacturers' who work with the French style. But if you find such a survivor now, most imperfections will have been worked out by now.

There are a number of kit car specialists and clubs here in the Netherlands. The General (VW) Buggy Club Nederland must be the largest of the clubs. In 1999 the club had its 25th anniversary. That party was celebrated with the publication 'the buggy, our holy cow'. We found a ZGAN copy of it via 'boekwinkeltjes.nl'. The ISBN number is 90-901-3260-0.

It is a fantastic, informative book that does not only cover VW-based kit cars. And it goes to show how heartbreakingly endearing some of the constructs were. But there are also copies of which you spontaneously become very greedy.

We are curious

Bottom line, we are very curious whether there are still free website owners of kit cars among the readers of this website. If you have something like this, you can register!

Read also:
Brubaker Box: a type of VW kitcar
Kitcars, classic, nostalgic or fake
MEV Replicar
The Clénet Series I and II, Between art and kitsch
So Matula. What was it with that?

Porsche Speedster replica
A perfect Speedster replica. Made of polyester
Powered by VW
FT Bonito
Interior of an FT Bonito
Lomax four-wheeler
A Lomax four-wheeler
Beauty in detail
A forgotten Cobra project
A forgotten dream
Work in progress
Challenger Replica
E-Type? Well, a Challenger Replica on Catawiki
At the RDW

7 Comments

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  1. Kitcars based on beetle chassis:
    The great thing about a beetle chassis is that you can easily reinforce it, mount independent wheel suspension at the rear (if you load supports) and use the wishbones and disc and handbrake from Porsche 924 and 944 there.
    At the front you can place disc brakes of the 1500, 1300 S, type 3, but also of the 924 and 944 with some adjustments.
    For the off-road enthusiasts, the VW 181 front axle, or only wire arms and spindles, can be raised 7 cm. You can also easily adjust the IRS rear axle so that it is higher. You can also mount off-road tires without hitting the body.
    A set of oil-sprung red Koni's all around improves handling enormously.
    Lowering is also easy with the IRS at the rear and dropped spindles and adjusters in the front axle.
    In the motorcycle area there are many possibilities, a pity that the RDW no longer wants to approve other engines …… .. often they are more economical, you can better keep up with traffic and it gives more joy to drive.

  2. I bought one myself a few years ago with papers and completely refurbished.
    I kept it up to date on my homepage, the end result is unfortunately not visible.
    A kitcar is, if you like pure, Spartan driving, a relief and really seems to be the center of motorcycling and driving.
    My homepage: http://home.kpn.nl/haas0224/sjitcar.html

  3. In the meantime, since March 7, 2020, the authors of the Buggy our saint have released a new book, namely buggies, bajas, kitcars and replicas. The thickest (350 pages) and in my opinion the most beautiful Buggy book ever made.
    In addition, entirely in Dutch.
    An interview with the authors of the book Hennie Jore and Jan van der Lit in AMK will certainly be appreciated by the Buggy baja kitcar and replica scene. I think you can even double the circulation!
    Mrt friendly buggy regards, Henk.

  4. Totally agree with andries, I have with great pleasure built a Le Patron in 5 years (something like a Burton / Lomax.) I have driven it for 10 years, now sold and now drive an MGB.

  5. Building a car yourself (without a welding machine) is great to have done once in your life. A Burton in this case. 400 hours and guts to start taking a duck apart, that's all you need. Kitcar, duck, anyway it's a very nice convertible.

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