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Pre-War Special. - Dave
I saw a 1936/37 Riley Kestrel with a sexy Yellow fishtail sports body on Sunday.

Engine Chasis and running gear were original. Body was a home made aluminium affair from the 1990's. THe body was not at all original.

I'm assuming that, despite it's looks, this car will be cheap 'cos no collector would want a car with a recent body.

So here's my point. I have a 5k budget allocated to buying a Caterham/Westfield at some point.

Is there any way my 5k would get me a similar post restoration car as a weekend toy?

Could I afford to run it? I assume parts have to be engineered on a one off basis.

Discuss.
Re: Pre-War Special. - Richard Hall
I don't think 5K will get you a very good Caterham although you should be able to pick up a Westfield for that. What it will get you instead is an Austin Seven based special. There are lots of these about, some of which look gorgeous. The sheer numbers mean that there are plenty of specialists to help with parts supply, people are developing mechanical improvements all the time, and best of all you can enter it in races, hillclimbs etc with either the 750MC or the Vintage Sports Car Club. You can even supercharge it. The only snag is that a Seven is a bit small....
Re: Pre-War Special. - Dave
Richard Hall wrote:
>
> I don't think 5K will get you a very good Caterham although
> you should be able to pick up a Westfield for that.

I use the term Caterham for any two seater, Lotus 7 based sports car.

> What it
> will get you instead is an Austin Seven based special. There
> are lots of these about, some of which look gorgeous. The
> sheer numbers mean that there are plenty of specialists to
> help with parts supply, people are developing mechanical
> improvements all the time, and best of all you can enter it
> in races, hillclimbs etc with either the 750MC or the Vintage
> Sports Car Club. You can even supercharge it. The only snag
> is that a Seven is a bit small....

Interesting thought.
Re: Pre-War Special. - David W
Dave,

Ever thought of an old Series I/II Land Rover. These have lots in common with just pre/post war cars.

Cheap to insure and all parts freely available. Easy to weld the chassis and pop-rivet the body. Tough old running gear. Good forums with loads of helpful guys when you get stuck.

£1200 - £2500 will get you something really interesting.

And.........some girls love them!

You should have had the one out of the field near you.

David
Re: Pre-War Special. - Dave
Love Landies, wouldn't want one of my own as a classic.

Quite a laugh off the road I would have thought.

My brother's got a superb '88 Dihatsu Fourtrack for a bargain price if I wanted to get into off roading.

Foolish - it's been a tow car for his horse box and he's bought a maverik instead. So to my mind he's swapped a perectly suitable tow car for something too precious to use...

But I digress. What I'm lookign for is two seater looks and performance. I'd be prepared to sacrifice performance for a sexy classic sports car.

Otherwise it'll be the Westie...
Re: Pre-War Special. - John Slaughter
Dave

It depends rather on how much you want to use it, how handy you are with the maintenance and what you really want.

There's a world of difference between the performance of a Caterham/Westfield and a pre-war sports car, which by any modern standards is going to be slow.

The other issue is reliability and spares. The spares availability for pre-war cars varies enormously and you need to check it out. Some will have very active owners clubs that can help, some won't. Always check with the clubs, as a particular model may be particularly easy or difficult for spares. In many cases, as you say, you may even end up making items. In some ways the home made body may help, as it's often the bodywork spares that are most scarce.

For a Land Rover, and also the Caterham/westfield there are a number of suppliers, including your local scrappy. Costs are therefore likely to be more reasonable.

There's no simple answer - it's up to you to arrange your priorities.

Regards
john
Re: Pre-War Special. - David Millar
Must agree with Richard and John above. For £5K you are looking at an Austin 7 special in the vintage area although you might find an odd one-off special with naff bodywork. I would, however, not rule out one of the 1950s specials myself. It might be possible to find a 'pedigree' one such as a Buckler or a Dellow for that sort of money in running/restorable condition. They have the cachet of a sporting heritage at least.

Having had a pre-war sports car for about four years now, I feel you have to accept its limitations in terms of performance alongside modern vehicles although although not having a roof and riding closer to the ground feels fast anyway. You have forget about syncro gear changes, maybe even a hood, and be prepared to leap out in the middle of busy shopping streets and knock the petrol pump with a spanner to get it ticking away again. along with other simple things that irritate and embarrass some less enthusiastic owners. I love it. But then I've even managed to upstage a Ferrari 355 spider by parking behind it and drawing a bigger crowd of curious onlookers, including the Ferrari driver.

As the others say, it's down to personal choice. I would love a Caterham/Westfield but wouldn't personally be prepared to drive around with a Q plate which would be all I could afford for 5K. I think it's time to go buy that ticket for tonight's rollover lottery.

David
 

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