Finance & Business

Oct 6 2021

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National Kit and Performance Car Show report and gallery

The National Kit and Performance Car Show took place at Donington Park

Several immaculate Lamborghini replicas took pride of place at the entrance to the show

Replicas of supercars, like this Countach, are popular due to their usability and low running costs

Achieving this kind of finish is a costly business, however

Countach kits are growing in popularity as the value of the real cars increases exponentially

Rover V8 engines are commonly used in Countach replicas

Turismo UK launched its Avalanche GT kit for the Mk2 Toyota MR2

The kit consists of bolt-on panels; it’s one of several new ‘panel kits’ offered

Hawk Cars displayed its stunning Lancia Stratos replicas

AK Sportscars manufactures Cobra replicas

The company offers complete turn-key cars too

Jaguar running gear is used in AK’s Cobras

This particular example was fitted with a 430bhp 6.2-litre LS3 engine from General Motors

This RV Nemesis kit features a 5.3-litre Jaguar V12

Power output is rated at 350-380bhp

Stunning Ultima CanAm packs a supercharged Chevrolet V8 that produces in excess of 650bhp

This particular car is designed to exceed 200mph

It’s hard to argue with the performance credentials of kit cars like this Ultima

This Lamborghini Countach replica is a Mirage Mk2

This red example uses a 5.0-litre Rover V8

Upgrades include wider front wishbones, which give the car track closer to that of the original

The Ultima GTR was inspired by Group C Le Mans cars

The Veranti, on the right, is a Jaguar XK8-based Aston Martin Vanquish replica

This Veranti is a one-off conversion

Bike engines have become increasingly popular in lighter kit cars

AK Sportscars also showed off a supercharged Cobra

Edelbrock’s new E-Force supercharger kits are offered for several recent American V8s

AK Sportscars also sells parts so you can build, or upgrade, a kit Cobra

Hawk’s Stratos kits start at around £11,500

Lister Bell Automotive was also displaying its Lancia Stratos replica

The attention to detail, and fit and finish, is impressive

The event ran for the entire weekend and featured displays, parts suppliers and demonstrations

Tribute Automotive supplies MX-5 and BMW Z3-based panel kits

It wouldn’t be a kit car show without a classic VW-based beach buggy

RPS offers body conversion kits for classic MGs

The Lamborghini replicas typically feature a tubular steel spaceframe and double-wishbone suspension

The AMG Murtaya uses Subaru Impreza running gear

Bertini has begun manufacturing panel kits for the BMW Z3

Bertini-branded seats and door cards are available to match

The panel kit itself costs £3750

Complete Kit Car magazine staged a 48-hour build of the new Bertini GT25 panel kit

Panel kits are exempt from IVA tests so, once assembled, you can drive them straight away

Coolex Heat Transfer offered upgraded and restored radiators

This Lotus Seven replica was built for £4500

It uses Ford suspension parts and is powered by a heavily tuned Crossflow engine

The car is an excellent example of what can be achieved on a budget

Off-road and track-focused specials were also on display

The classic Nova kit car uses a VW Beetle floorpan

This Roadrunner SR2 kit uses MX-5 running gear

The MX-5 makes a great donor for a kit car, thanks to its durable powertrain and range of tuning parts

The high-performance nature of many bike engines makes them ideal for track-focused lightweight cars

Exoskeletal-style cars are becoming increasingly popular and help attract younger buyers

This UVA M6 GTR is a replica of the rare road-going McLaren M6; power comes from a 4.6-litre Rover V8

DC Supercars manufacturers replicas of the Lamborghini Diablo

DNA Automotive produces this Mercedes SL-based Ferrari California replica

The company also offers Ferrari 360 and 430 panel kits

Hawk Cars builds this AC Ace replica; engine options include a BMW straight six

Specialist parts on offer included fuel filler systems

One of several displays was this ‘kit car rescue’, where a team worked to restore a neglected car

Gardner Douglas Sports Cars manufacturers several high-end kit cars

Ferrari 430 Spiders are popular replicas, judging by the number at the show

This Gardner Douglas T70moda was powered by a 608bhp, 7.0-litre LS7 V8

It uses a six-speed Porsche GT2 transaxle to send drive to the rear wheels

Cars for young and older enthusiasts were on display

danST engineering offered bike carb and intake manifold conversion kits

The starter kit for the GBS Zero costs upwards of £2345

Both Ford and Mazda-based versions are offered

GBS offers factory-built cars too

The Mazda MX-5 engine in your GBS not quite enough for you? How about a supercharged Honda S2000 engine?

Westfield’s Mega S2000 also features a Honda S2000 engine

The XCS 427 is a 630bhp spaceframe replica of a Cobra

It uses an advanced camber compensation and anti-roll suspension system

Power is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed Tremec gearbox

The car can accept Ford and Chevrolet engines

Enigma offered this MX-5 panel kit

Micra light clusters feature at the rear

If you needed a part for your kit car, it’s likely one of the suppliers would have it to hand

Kit Spares offers everything from wiring through to complete engines

Pre-owned Gardner Douglas Cobra replicas are available; we saw a 2005 example on sale for £43k

Rebellion Developments is looking to build a more modern Countach replica

Features will include modern electrics, air-con and, eventually, electronic power steering

The aim is to make its Countach replica are more usable car

Power comes from the venerable Rover V8, although others could be offered

The kit still uses Renault’s UN1 transaxle, which features in many mid-engined kits

Several owners’ clubs attended the show

More AC Cobra replicas were on display in the show field

Many would be pushed to tell the difference between a replica and an original

Three-wheelers featured, including the classic 2CV-based Lomax (front)

These particular three-wheelers are Blackjack Avions

Blackjack still offers three-wheelers today

Several Covin Porsche 911 Turbo replicas were present

Covin Porsches use a shortened VW Beetle chassis

This one used a four-cylinder Ford engine; others use VW Beetle engines or original Porsche engines

This Ferrari 360 replica is based on a 1995 Toyota MR2 Turbo

It’s claimed to produce around 280bhp

Many builders make use of OEM badging, trim and wheels to enhance the appearance of the car

Owners cite running costs, reliability and damage concerns as reasons for owning replicas like these

It was evident that much time and money had been ploughed into many of the replicas

This high-performance two-piece brake disc set-up is fake, and merely shields the conventional disc beneath

There were myriad Ferrari replicas on display at the kit car show

This Fiero-based F40 replica drew a lot of attention

This is the Triple C Challenger E-type replica

It uses many original Jaguar parts, including XJ6 suspension, a 4.2-litre straight-six and a four-speed overdrive gearbox

The estimated build cost for this example is £19k

This Lancia Stratos replica looked superb in Alitalia livery

It was the sole example of its kind in the display field on Saturday

Numerous Westfields were on display, from old to new

Haldane offered replicas of classic ACs, including the 100 and 3000

Many Marlins were on display

Marlin continues to offer affordable sports car kits

This Ford GT40 replica was beautifully executed

The creed of the enthusiastic kit car builder

The National Kit and Performance Car show, which took place at Donington Park race circuit at the weekend, offered visitors an eclectic mix of kit and sports car activities.

The event, organised by Performance Publishing, which produces Complete Kit Car magazine, has been running for a number of years.

Ian Stent, editor of Complete Kit Car magazine, said: “We’ve got the big guns of the UK kit car industry here – like Gardner Douglas, Hawk, Great British Sports Cars and Westfield – as well as plenty of parts suppliers.

“What we try to do is take full advantage of the circuit, with racing going on all weekend, as well as offering a mix of displays and demonstrations.”

Of particular interest on the Gardner Douglas Sports Cars stand was the T70moda, a car that takes inspiration from the CanAm-winning Lola T70. The beautifully presented example packs a 602bhp 7.0-litre LS7 engine, a Porsche GT2 six-speed transaxle and weighs 950kg.

Great British Sports Cars was also drawing much attention, with the likes of its ‘Zero’ kit appealing to many buyers. Prices for its small Seven-alike kit start at £2345, and include key components like the chassis, wishbones and body panels, with the remainder of the running gear primarily coming from a Ford donor vehicle.

Many more modern-engined kits were on display too, reflecting the adoption of more recent and common donors as older options, such as the Ford Crossflow, become harder and more expensive to source and maintain.

Engine options offered – and in some cases complete powertrain and suspension set-ups – included those from Mazda MX-5s, the Honda S2000 and the E36 and E46 generation of M3. Numerous Chevrolet V8-engined cars featured too.

Around the show, and in the owner’s exhibition field outside, were myriad replicas of supercars and sports cars, including Ferrari 360s and Lamborghini Countachs.

“For many it’s about the running costs,” notes Stent. “We’ve had people coming from the real cars into replicas because they couldn’t justify spending the money on insuring and servicing them.

“With a replica there are compromises but you can service it yourself, get the bits easily and you don’t have to worry about where you leave it at the end of the day.

“There are quite a lot of cars here that aren’t replicas or standalone kits as well,” adds Stent. “The other side of the industry that we see a lot more of now is companies offering panel kits, like the Bertini.”

These new panel kits allow builders to rapidly finish a project and end up in a position where they can immediately drive the car. The changes are only cosmetic so the car doesn’t require a costly IVA – Individual Vehicle Approval – test.

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Donington Park circuit played host to myriad kit car clubs and manufacturers, including Westfield, Gardner Douglas and XCS

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Written by NSA

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