When the extent of the pandemic lockdown became apparent, understandably there were concerns among the kit car community about the effect it would have on the long-standing industry. Manufacturers, too, were anxious about customers cancelling orders or not making them at all.
As it turns out, the kit car industry has been one of the few to prosper this year. What actually happened was that we ‘garagistas’ got busy in our workshops and cracked on with modifications, repairs and builds. People who were thinking about buying a kit car ‘one day’ found they had much more time and bit the bullet.
As a result, the industry is currently flat out. Some manufacturers have waiting lists of over two years for fully built cars, and kit packages could take six months for delivery in some cases.
It might surprise you to learn that there are well over 100 kit car manufacturers in the UK, so narrowing down this round-up to seven was extremely tricky. We’ve omitted household names Caterham and Westfield (which now also produces the popular Chesil Speedster replica), which both also have strong order books. So, in no order of importance, here are seven worth checking out.
AK Sports Cars
This Peterborough-based, family-run company has been making its glorious AK427 AC Cobra replica since 1991. The firm can build a car for you if you don’t fancy doing it yourself and its product is first class. Power mainly comes from General Motors LS V8s, although many other V8s can be used. A more recent launch is the AKSS, a recreation of the iconic Jaguar XKSS from 1957 powered by Jaguar’s 4.2-litre AJ V8.
Gardner Douglas Sports Cars
Located in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Gardner Douglas celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020. The pandemic certainly hasn’t put the brakes on its order book: as with AK’s Cobra replica, it will take you a couple of years to take delivery of a GD427. LS V8s are again the usual choice of power these days. Alongside the Cobra replicas, Gardner Douglas also makes a stunning Lola T70 Spyder replica that puts out 450bhp in stock LS3 V8 form.