During my time behind the wheel, like most drivers, I had a hankering for a couple of vehicles and had the opportunity to drive quite a few vehicles.
I have only driven one Ferrari and this was a 1972 registered Ferrari Dino 246 GT, which I was offered for £6k or £7k in 1980. Sadly that amount equated to 2 - 3 years salary at that time and we were saving for a house. Hind-sight again? One other car, I really liked was my friend Blair's, Caterham Super 7, which he kindly lent me for a day in 1990. This was something I could aim for in the years to come.
When I changed the Discovery for the Corsa in 2002 it was with the intention of having a small, fun to drive, economical car for three years or so till I retired from the police, then either getting something sensible like a second-hand BMW 320d / 330d or a Super Seven. However whilst keeping an eye on motoring issues in the internet I started to realise that if I set my sights a little bit lower (financially) I could acquire a "seven" style vehicle before I retired, rather than waiting to sell the day-to-day car once I no longer needed a sensible vehicle to use to/from work. So the hunt was on.
I am quite confident, from my previous vehicle modifications and maintenance, I could build a "kit car" but had no facility for this, nor did I have the spare time required. So it seemed a sensible solution would be to get hold of a ready-built "seven" and confine the engineering to tinkering and maintenance, freeing off what little time I would have to drive the machine.
Whilst I had always been reasonably knowledgeable about vehicles I was astonished to see what was available and to my regret I had not even heard of Robin Hood Engineering in Nottingham. Nevertheless the Robin Hood Owners Club & Register Web Site was most informative and I studiously followed the links to many owners own www sites where they outlined the building of their vehicles. A 10 year old Caterham for £15k or a one year old Hood for £5k... you can buy an awful lot of petrol (even at today's prices) for the £10k difference. I really like the new Caterhams and Westfields but at that time I had an older touring motorcycle, which has a 0 - 60 m.p.h. of sub 4 seconds and a top speed of just shy of 140 m.p.h. so I did not need a comparable "seven." But as my son remarked the Westfield XTR² would be "cool."
Anyway, Scotland has some of the best, uncongested non-motorway roads in some spectacular scenery... but we do not always have the weather. Consequently the majority of "Sevens" are found "down south" in the more populated areas. It was therefore a stroke of good fortune when my internet research came across a Robin Hood 2b only 35 miles from home. The builder/owner/seller, Andy T, was a very nice bloke to deal with via e-mail and telephone and Chris and I were invited to pop along and find out about the car... no sales pressure at all. This rapport continued and resulted in an extensive test drive, which brought on the grin factor I had associated with my MG days. From merely a tentative enquiry about a kit-car concept, seeking information without an intention to buy... I bought the Robin Hood 2b. The car was completed in 2002 and put through the Single Vehicle Approval test in Autumn 2002 so although the donor vehicle was an E-reg Sierra, the actual car did not appear on the road until November 2002 so it was really only a year old when I acquired it.
Chassis Body and fittings:
Front double wishbone suspension. Independent rear suspension with Spax coil-overs Stainless steel body with red fibreglass. Epoxy coated chassis. Wide arches and cycle wings (will take up to a 225 tyre). Fully fitted lockable boot. Both seats fully adjustable in tilt as well as fore and aft, four-point harnesses. Full weather gear – roof and side screens. New headlights with removable halogen bulbs and sidelights. 4 new tyres (Avon ZV3 195/65 HR 14) 1,120 miles ago.
2l Pinto fully rebuilt on build. 205 block with short sump. Flowed injection head with Kent fast road cam (FR32) fitted. Twin 40 Webber DCOE’s. Micra radiator fitted with thermostat electric fan cooling.
Since built it only covered about 1,500 miles in the dry by its builder and a further 1,885 miles by my son and I. The car had been tuned and tested on a rolling road at 133bhp at the rear wheels (documented).
The car was great fun to drive and an eye catching car, which was easy and inexpensive to maintain & insure.
I had been quite busy throughout my last year in the police and consequently between Mot's in October 2004 and Mot in October 2005 the Hood only covered 550 miles !!! I also wanted to spend a bit more time sailing and on my new bike, so after some thought I posted the car for sale on the Web and consequently it was bought by Thierry Magot who lives a short distance from St. Tropez in the south of France. I think the weather there will be better suited to the Hood
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