The next stage was a visit to the Kit Car show at Stoneleigh which was just coming up at the ideal time. I had no idea that there was a sort of season of kit car shows. I suspect that we'll go to quite a few over the summer.

The show helped us narrow the list down a lot. There's a large, literally, problem in that I have very long legs and just fitting in the cars was a bit of a challenge involving the removal of footwear and seats. Still, it was better than it could have been.

I came away from Stoneleigh mostly interested in two cars: the Westfield and the new Quantum Xtreme. The main reasons being the quality of service received on these stands (unlike, for example, Caterham and Robin Hood) and the fact that I thought I might be able to get my knees in.

I had also acquired more for my burgeoning literature collection, especially more understanding of this thing called SVA that has recently been invented. It looks to me a bit like a souped-up MOT test really and seems a perfectly reasonable thing to impose on kit-car builders.

Another Stoneleigh issue was the huge range of quality of cars. Some of the cars were exquisite, some looked like a bag of rusty nails hastily thrown together for the day. This was one of the reasons for being interested in Westfield, as the founder (Chris Smith I think) has said some sensible things about the levels of development that it is feasible for kit cars to get to. I have this theory that a sevenesque car is simple enough that it wouldn't have to look like a quality disaster.

I was also rather surprised at the interest shown in body kits, which appear to take a perfectly normal road car and ruin it by the addition of poorly designed and unattractive plastic to the outside. It always seems to be a giveaway that the interior still looks like the Skoda/Metro/Fiesta that was the original car.

The next step was to visit some factories, so we arranged to visit both Westfield and Quantum the next weekend. Luckily, they are about 10 minutes from each other.

In the meantime, as I am an information junkie, I decided to order a copy of the Westfield build manual. It arrived promptly and I got stuck in reading it.

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