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  • Not the Newark NJ Car Show - 2011


    Last Saturday I was at the Newark Kit Car Show in Nottinghamshire in the UK while here on a work trip. Great show – more interesting than the Carlisle PA show each May and a lot more sevens of differing marques than we normally get in the US.


    I stopped by the Lotus Seven Club to check out the cars. Not many there, probably due to my timing and the unfortunate weather.





    A nicely cared for classic seven with lovely patina – good to see the owner enjoys it.





    This was a good looking car. I liked the red half hood touch.





    Unfortunately I did not get a chance to chat to any of the owners as they were trying to escape to beat the rain.

    Here is the Tiger seven Club. I don’t think these come to the US but they looked well put together:





    Next stand down was the MK Indy group. These are imported via a Florida dealer – I think there was some interest lately. The yellow one had a Honda bike engine installed. The cars on display clearly had a lot of attention from their owners during construction. I thought they looked good.






    Westfield made an appearance. I was a little disappointed by the sparseness of participation – they looked a little forlorn in the field by themselves with their friends:




    While not a seven, it was still a Westfield – XTR. I found this example to be a really nice looking car with the Martini livery.




    The largest kit car group was the Robin Hood Seven contingent - now known as Great Britain Sportscars (GBS).   Probably around 50 cars, they exhibited the good and bad influences of their owners:




    I found this interesting with the 2.8L V6. I think this was the Ford Cologne motor that was used for a time in the Ford Taurus? Not sure if it was a good engine for a seven as it was very heavy and made no power despite its size.





    I liked the opening bonnet on this one.




    Now this show was not just about sevens. It also included a vast collection of Toyotas….err….Ferraris…..errr?




    They did have a gorgeous replica Ferrari P4 which I would have bought if it were for sale (I did ask!).










    There was also replica Ferrari 250 LWB Le Mans. The 250 replica was for sale at GBP 28,500 – lovely workmanship and a credit to the owner.






    Time to shift from club stands to new manufactuers of kit cars and replicas. Somewhat predictable mix of seven options, Atom replicas and other tasty options.

    A new Miata based coupe costing GBP4500 for a bolt on body kit using the existing miata floor pan. Some styling elements look very much like Lotus…a little too close possibly?









    A Sonic 7 – not as good in person as it looks in pictures





    Usual bunch of so-so Atom replicas:






    Cobra replica:







    MNR is another seven manufacturer which does not get much air time in the US. This is their version of the seven with the body kit on:




    However, I found the bare chassis to be more interesting as a design.









    A nice looking Stratos kit.




    While Caterham was not present with a display, Westfield did make it with one car:




    Also, Chris Rea’s well used Caterham was on display:






    The British love their three wheelers. Personally I could think of more fun ways to kill myself but here is a new incarnation:







    There were a lot of vendors selling parts, memorabilia and generally things that I like to browse around for hours thinking of new ways to part myself from my money.










    There were 2 other cars outside that caught my eye. The first was a Morris Minor 1000 that had a transplant of a 3.5L Rover V8. Now I don’t think the Morris Minor was sold in the US which was fortunate. However, growing up in Australia, my mother had one and I very much recall the handling as evil. I also recall my father saying the VW Beetle was a much better handling car which I suppose is the same as considering relative attractiveness of women after either a case of beer or a keg of beer.




    The last car was this 1960s classic Jaguar Mark II. Looks authentic doesn’t it? The creator/owner took a 2005 era S-type Jaguar with the Type R sports pack. This has the supercharged 4.2L V8. He then replaced the body with the old Mark II body shell. So you have the chassis, suspension, drive train and even interior (cabin and trunk) of the new car but the exterior looks of the old 1960s car. The S-Type was a decent sporty handling car for its time having once been terrorized by a colleague in Brussels who had one. The owner described it as a labor of love as you get the modern reliability but much better styling. I can only imagine the effort to get everything to mate together perfectly and look original. More entertainingly I can imagine some pimply teenager pulling up to the lights in his hot rod and getting smoked by this seemingly old car!




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