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Rory's Dad

The kitcar business

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I've just copied this over from Facebook which was one of the replies to a question about there being nothing much newer on the replica car business other than Muiras etc. What's interesting is that it sort of explains why so many of us are 'getting on' a bit! Anyway, this is it (with thanks to the Dave T Leiberwitz). 

"Car culture as a whole is in major decline. Baby boomers and Gen X are the last people to care about this sort of thing. Similar thing going on with motorcycles. Not that no young people care but most don't. 

When I was a kid, the car was the gateway to entertainment. It meant food, movies, friends, beaches, camping, cruising, nightclubs... you name it. 

Now that's no longer the case. Entertainment has very little to do with cars anymore. So the car is on the way out as a form of expression. It will likely turn into old cars turned electric first but car culture overall is pretty much dying. Within 20 years, most people won't even own cars any more. They will be electric, self driving cars that come when you call them. 

Having said all that, if you have enough money, you can do anything. If you have the skill to buck up a mold or a form, you can build any body you want. 

As far as the kit car culture though... I don't see a lot of future in it myself. It's getting smaller by the day. Which means lots of old bodies showing up on craigslist from the 10s, 80s an 90s. I know there are kit car body makers out there but I don't see it as a growth industry. I think they'll get a boost from the electric conversions but in the end I think it's all fairly doomed to a rather small and declining hobby market. 

That's my take on where the industry is going."

So chaps, whaddayya think?? 

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I think engineering knowledge and the cost of build is also as much a factor as culture.

just within the pages of this forum a greater percentage of new Westfield owners are now buying either factory built cars or modular builds rather than SDV's compared to a decade ago with a trend towards the ease of a complete bolt together kit of parts.

the other consideration is price.  With an average Westfield build costing between £15-20K that's a very good budget to put towards one of the many new or second hand sportscars from mainstream manufacturers.

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I'd not thought of it like that before but yes when you think about it back in the 70s when I was a teenager a car was the catalyst to everything.

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Like your synopsis of the Car World Martin, all exactly as I forsee the future.   For the Babyboomers like you and I, it will not matter to us in 30 or 40 years time, we,ll be having fun up to then and afterwards it won't matter to us.     I guess motor sport will go the same way eventually and will be Virtual Reality racing, such a shame.

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Kit Sevens have come a long way since I lusted after a Lotus Super Seven as a student. 1600 crossflow engine, weighing 9cwt and sporting 90bhp, it was about £650 in kit form. Such was the regulation, or lack thereof, that you could build a spectacularly fun car for pocket money if you wanted. Now it costs so much to comply with all the laws that specify the inside leg measurement of the builder at the very least, and performance of bog-standard cars vastly exceed the nation speed limits, such that there's much less incentive to build one that's faster.

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Yep. I built a Mini Marcos in 1976. No initial test whatsoever, and if you paid your £20 'car tax' it was classed as a new car and didn't need MoT for 3 years. So my MM didn't have a handbrake for the first 3 years if its life :)

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I'd like to see the numbers for this story. Without them this is just opinion masquerading as a "story" on a slow news day.

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IIRC, it was just one persons reply to a question asked by another, with regard to why so very few kit car replicas of more modern designs of cars seem to exist. It wasn’t “masquerading” as anything else.

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Cars will go the same way as pubs and slowly die out, as said above the younger generations have so many more virtual ways to entertain themselves and quite a few of them also lack the social skills, due to excessive screen time and lack of drinking time

I  have 3 lads under 24 on my team at work  :p so i feel its my duty to scare the living CrXp out them both by giving them a lift in the Westfield and taking them out for drinks ,however after the Christmas partys tequila chaser shenanigans i fear they will never be the same again :d

 

reminds me of when i was a lad

 

 

 

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I think a lot of it is being driven by the insane political picture where car use is to be dissuaded and yet every country wants car production. Young people cannot do what we did, insurance has killed that off and with motorbikes the hoops to jump through before you can ride a full bike is long and costly.  Many do not drive and use tube train and Uber to get around.

What has happened in the Kit car world is there are no longer cheap cars to build. Quality has risen and so has price. the areas that are thriving are the high end replicas, where the originals are mega bucks so spending £30k on a replica is sound value.

I look at say the Enigma, lovely car but MX5 based and £20k upwards to build, you are in really nice Porsche area pricing, so why would you buy a kit instead?

The cars we drive are raw, that is the appeal  and will continue but for a new manufacturer to build a new car that will capture good sales to give a return on investment it is harder than ever before. We have already seen a decline in the shows, down to one big one, from 5 in the heyday, that is down to money and interest. How far might it decline, that all depends on what we are allowed to do going forward by legislation.   

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9 hours ago, Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary said:

IIRC, it was just one persons reply to a question asked by another, with regard to why so very few kit car replicas of more modern designs of cars seem to exist. It wasn’t “masquerading” as anything else.

Hmmmm...

22 hours ago, Rory's Dad said:

"Car culture as a whole is in major decline. Baby boomers and Gen X are the last people to care about this sort of thing. Similar thing going on with motorcycles.

Car culture as a whole IS in major decline. Not "some areas of car culture" or "it seems in some parts of the world". No "seems to be" or "may be" or "could be" or "in my opinion". No, the entire car culture is in major decline. Fact seemingly based on there being fewer replica's out there. So the entire car culture is in decline because a niche area seems to have less of whatever was being looked at at the time. 

Says who? One guy on Facebook? Unqualified claptrap masquerading as fact. Facebook "news" is just as bad and likely more pervasive and a whole lot more damaging to peoples perception of the world than "fake news".

I'd forgotten how high it was on this horse... :oops:

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Cars remain a necessity for most in the first world, but seem to elicit no more real interest than their washing machines or vacuum cleaners. Instead of being lovingly leathered off in the garage after a wet journey as my late father in law would do to his early cars, they are 'dumped' in the road and only ever washed by Africans in Sainsbury's car park, or Romanians at a hand car-wash. As for servicing, that happens less than ever for various reasons. One of my early cars need 21 grease points attended to every 1,000 miles, and an oil change at roughly the same interval IIRC. If you neglected the greasing you'd better do some exercise as the steering became stiffer and stiffer 'til something broke. Oil changes were less important because it burned enough to ensure a constant supply of fresh oil to the bearings. A car of any sort was a serious purchase second only to a house. Now cars are consumables.

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Cars made worldwide in 2016 increased by 3.6% 

China made 21 million light vehicles last year against 73 million worldwide.

Statista predicts 112 million light vehicles made per year by 2023

Little decline but change continues as usual. Kit cars have always been an up and down business.

15 minutes ago, Man On The Clapham Omnibus said:

Now cars are consumables.

Good news, that equals reliability.

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18 hours ago, Man On The Clapham Omnibus said:

Kit Sevens have come a long way since I lusted after a Lotus Super Seven as a student. 1600 crossflow engine, weighing 9cwt and sporting 90bhp, it was about £650 in kit form. Such was the regulation, or lack thereof, that you could build a spectacularly fun car for pocket money if you wanted. Now it costs so much to comply with all the laws that specify the inside leg measurement of the builder at the very least, and performance of bog-standard cars vastly exceed the nation speed limits, such that there's much less incentive to build one that's faster.

Here y'go

 

s-l1000.jpg

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I don't see much of a fall in the car culture, more of a shift from one thing to another, in the recent years, I've seen a huge rise in the amount of people buying Nissan S-Chassis cars for drifting.

At the moment, drifting seems to be the 'in' thing, and I'm seeing more and more people having the Mk4 Supra, FD RX7 and Nissan Skylines as their dream cars, and there are no kits for them around.

As for 7s, I feel like people would only know Caterham from Top Gear and the like, but to anyone who isn't massively into cars wouldn't know what a Westfield is. It'd be good to see at what age people first heard about Westfield/Bought a Westfield, because I'm pretty sure there will be less that 5 people under 25 as current owners (and mine is still being stripped down). The 7 shape isn't as cool as it used to be, people would have seen the 7 shape in The Prisoner and gone on to buy because of it.

And on the price front, I played £1,500 for a rolling 93' SE chassis, with bodywork, ali panels, axle and suspension, all of it in, not exactly optimal condition, (bodywork needs hours of cleaning or painting...) and of all the original stuff I'd be looking at using the Chassis, axle, uprights, and some of the bodywork. In all the build will probably cost around, maybe a little bellow £10k. Not many 18 year olds can afford to do that, not to mention, I'd expect a lot of people my age to turn their nose up at a chassis that is 25 years old (even though they're the better chassis:p), and want a newer one, which would cost a hell of a lot more...

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