An abomination for purists or just another way to experience the love of classics: Kitcars. Those were actually budget things. In England it was once very tax-efficient to sell 'unassembled cars'. That 'not assembled', it contained quite some space. By delivering the steering wheel separately and having it assembled by the customer himself, the tax on the car was calculated completely differently and much less tax had to be paid.
A successful trend
Of course, this trend was picked up and a tsunami of 'kitcars' emerged, the quality of which was in the spectrum between 'very good' and 'absolutely unsafe and bad' and where the self-motivation of the buyers sometimes had to rise to enormous heights. Legislation jumped sharply on that, and that made the overall quality much better, despite the fact that many products still retained a high craft component. And even now you often see poignant quality differences with classics like this.
It is not witchcraft
Nowadays, kitcar sets are still offered, whereby the undercarriages of VW and 2CV must be used. That is nice and easy to build on such a platform. And there are plenty of providers who can deliver all kinds of fun.
The easiest way with VW or 2CV
With this kind of kitcars, the one-third, one-third, one-third arrangement is the thing it's all about. One third is the chassis, one third is the engine, one third is the body. In order to get the case roughly registered, only one third may be changed. And that is the bodywork. This immediately means that kitcars based on shortened VW platforms have become an absolute 'no go'.
And that also means that a 'fairly recent' BMW Z3, of which only the 'appearance' has been 'replaced' by simply screwing the new looks on to the original mounting points (whereby the base Z3 retains its structural rigidity) can come out like a classic while driving like 'a new one'. (Plus that it has the reliability of a modern car.)
Nice, but pay attention to the administration
But after sufficient inquiries and orientation, building a kitcar can be a fitting tribute to the past, a fantastic project and even a fun investment. But that preliminary work is very important for obtaining the license plate. The bureaucratic jumble of changing rules often causes misunderstandings there. For example, the emission values of a block may be too high in the context of current regulations or constructions may have been used whereby the RDW requires the car to comply with all current regulations, including strength calculations and a possible crash test.
Of course it is also possible to buy a finished or used kitcar. There are a few well-known addresses in the Netherlands that not only deliver nice and / or good cars, but that can also ensure that such a copy is legally registered and MOT-proof.
Non VW and 2CV kitcars
This also applies to models that are not based on VW or 2CV, but that have a welded steel tubular frame or a monocoque. And nowadays you can make / buy a Lotus 7 clone with a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle block of almost 200 pk. But as a classic enthusiast you may wonder if that is what you want. Then we are much more charmed by the cars that Rob Janssens' BMW Powered Kitcars makes based on BMW Z3s.
Kitcars may not be The Real Thing, but they have their historical roots and rights. A Cobra or 250 GT are unreachable. But as a tribute to the icon, a kitcar can be fantastically nostalgic.
Thanks to Harm Boerma from Fury Sportscars from Roden and Rob Janssen from www.bmwpoweredkitcars.com