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>Project 2B - Robin Hood kit car: Get the Kit

Building a kit car - why put in all that effort to end up with a car which looks like it was built in a shed, drives like it was built in a shed and is worth considerably less than the time and effort put in. Good question, and one which we asked ourselves frequently. But the Kit car industry is growing and so we decided there must be something behind it so we decided we'd give it a go.

Now, we could have just gone out and got a well known, bolt up kit. But hey, where is the fun in that. No, we have decided to try the low cost approach and have opted for a Robin Hood Project 2B kit. Now, these aren't as well known as your Caterhams, Westfields, DAXs or Chesils. But they have a certain reputation within the kit car world. The car gets it name from the fact that the chassis is constructed from tubular steel (2B=tubey, get it). The company has a history of producing Locost style roadsters - to the initiated these are kitcars based around the Lotus 7 roadster concept.

The kit we bought was the very basic one, which currently retails for £1345.38 including VAT. Several upgrades are available, including Stainless panels and independent wishbone front suspension, but as our goal is a sub £2000 build budget we gave these a miss. So, having placed our order, all that remained was to travel up to the Robin Hood factory and collect the kit...

Collecting the Kit...
Robin Hood Engineering operate a simple delivery system - collect the kit on one of their designated collection days (around 6 per year) or forget it. This may seem a bit extreme, but it does keep their costs down. Their factory is in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire. It is easy enough to find given the map in the Robin Hood brochure, unless all the roads are closed like the day we went...so after a fry up in the local Co-Op we arrived at the factory around midday, and after handing over the balance of the £1345.38 purchase price (a £10 deposit is required with your order) we were presented with the kit...
Contents of the Kit...

 

The costs so far...
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the goal...
To find out more visit the Robin Hood Engineering website for independent information check out RHOCAR.org.uk
The chassis started rusting before we got home so we needed to paint it sharpish. We opted for Hammerite smooth as we'd used it with some success on bike frames. The frame needed to be cleaned with thinners first.
The Hammerite turns out to be a mixed blessing, it covers well but can't be overpainted for about three weeks without the paint bubbling up...it is also time consuming painting it by hand. It is also very easy to miss certain areas, but a lot of the chassis is on view, particularly in the cock-pit so it needs to be reasonably presentable.
What we learnt this time...  
When buying a kit car do your homework. A lot of the manufacturers advertise kits at rock-bottom prices, the problem is that you then have to buy loads of other bits which push the cost up to silly levels. The Robin Hood looks like it offers a good value kit and some innovative engineering allows you to re-use loads of bits from the donor...whether it is good value we will find out when it turns a wheel in anger (sometime in 2005 then...)