Friday, 24 February 2012

Book: A-Z of Kit Cars

Now this is an eagerly awaited book! Totalkitcar's editor Steve Hole has been working for ages on his 'Definitive encyclopaedia of the UK's kit-car industry since 1949', or so I understand. So when it finally arrived earlier this week it distracted me more then slightly. And there is plenty to be found. This book lists over 1,500 cars which have in common that they were all available from the UK in kit form at one point or another. That means in the first place it is a hefty tome: there are 296 pages full of facts about all these funky creatures, including the name(s) of the company(ies) responsible for them and an approximate built number. Some makes and a few builders such as Geoff Jago and Jem Marsh have been highlighted with  a full page while other cars are mentioned in only one or two lines. 

There are a few surprises, as for I never knew the MacKintosh M1C was revamped into a car named ADT Sprint which eventually led to the MacKintosh M3. Hole also mentions a mock-Moke made by Lynx of Stokes simply called Lynx. 25 are supposed to have been sold between 1983 and 1984, but I'd never even heard of the ting. And there's the Skip 1000 three-wheeler that was new to me, too. All in all I counted 132 Mini based cars of which twelve were Hustlers, five Dominos, six Mini Marcoses and seven Stimsons. Things go wrong at the Ranger chapter, where the models are mixed up or have a wrong picture, like the Grantura Yak and Siva Mule come with an intriguing but incorrect image. A pity, yes, but then I know for sure it would be impossible to make this book without any fault or omission. Of course there are more cars then the 1,500 or so mentioned - and I miss some really quircky and cool ones - still then this has to be the most comprehensive book of its kind.

The A-Z of Kit Cars is a true encyclopaedia with lots and lots of info

It counts 132 Mini derivatives of which most are mentioned briefly

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