Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

Big things have happened; some good, some not so good.

I have finally moved in with my girlfriend and am now mostly settled. However this has brought a (not entirely unexpected) wave of sadness with it too.

The house doesn't have a garage or anywhere to park a vehicle off the road and unfortunately isn't in the nicest part of town (not the worst, but not the best either). I have rented a nearby garage for £80 per month and was hoping I would be able to fit my Dutton and bike in...alas not so and the bike takes priority here. Leaving the Dutton; a soft top, non-lockable, eye catching car at the side of the road is asking for trouble and would permanently worry me.

At the moment she is still being stored at my Grandads where it always was however once complete it would have nowhere to go. After much deliberation and arguing with myself I cannot justify the time and money that would be spent to restore her to then have nowhere to keep her and I can't afford a second garage.

Whilst I am in no rush to get rid of her I'm going to put some feelers out to see if anybody would be interested in her as a project. £600 is what I paid for her in the first place. Pretty much everything I know about it has been posted on the forum already but here's a quick recap;

The Specs

- Triumph 2L straight six from a Vitesse (engine numbers confirm)

- 4 speed gearbox with overdrive fitted (assumed also Triumph)

- Apparently has a Lotus Cortina rear axle although can't confirm

The Good

- Had engine running before briefly, sounds pretty good.

- Chassis (other than roll bar) seems to be in good condition

- All electrics (bar horn) seem to work but there is definitely a bad earth causing issues

- Original bodywork

- New battery

- Comes with a Vitesse workshop manual, parts catalogue and Haynes manual plus a load of assorted spares although I cannot guarantee the quality as they were mostly all kept outside

- Needs a fuel tank although getting a basic bespoke one made with generic fuel sender to be fitted

The Bad

- Needs new water pump

- Needs new seat belts

- Needs new brake cylinders

- Roll bar/suspension mounts are shot

- Master cylinders not in great condition but could probably be cleaned up

- Fibreglass mildly damaged on n/s rear wheel arch and could do with a general touch up

- Needs a respray

- Needs a fuel tank although getting a basic bespoke one made with generic fuel sender to be fitted

Let me know on thoughts or if anyone has any questions.

P.S. This is the second time I've written this post as I changed my mind half way through before. If there's no interest I may end up keeping her and slowly do her up hoping that an opportunity presents itself.

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I'm sorry to hear that you are going to have to give up your Phaeton. However, I'm pleased to hear that things have worked out for you with your partner and that is more important.

I should aim to sell your car in the spring because it'll be worth more then than in the run up to Christmas when nobody in their right mind buys a kit car (I bought my first one at about this time of year - says it all).

I would think that you probably got it at a good price - that straight six is a nice engine, even if it isn't powerful by modern standard, and the over-drive gearbox is another bit of luxury. There doesn't seem a lot wrong with it. If I didn't have two Duttons already then I would have liked yours but I really can't cope with another at the moment.

Yeah it's been a bittersweet move, things are going really well but unfortunately is leaving a few things behind, such is the march of time though.

I think that leaving it is definitely a good idea, hopefully will tinker with it and get the engine to a full running state to help persuade potential buyers.

James is right about the timing, early next year would be a better plan and without wishing to interfere I'd set the price a little higher unless you know the purchaser, just to discourage it from being broken.

That being said one of my regulars is looking to purchase a kit. He has all the prerequisites to give the car a good home (and I'll be able to keep an eye on him LOL) Have you got all the right paperwork Toby?

I have the full V5 in my name but no other paperwork was supplied with the car. What other paperwork should I have?

Full V5 is enough. Other paperwork such as old MOT's etc are nice to have if available. 

Running is a definite + point, driving / stopping would be 'stage 2'. with the final being MOT'd and cleaned.. With no workspace and winter set in I can see why you're in it. 

So I'm not going to let this project die here. My Grandad has said that the Dutton can stay at his indefinitely so I don't have to worry about a place to store it.

I have also decided that I really want to fully restore it as I was enjoying myself so much on the bits I had done before.

With that in mind I have just now ordered my first batch of parts for the and shall be continuing smaller bits while the light and weather is against us.

Watch this space! Q888 CGY Will be roadworthy by my hand!

Well done Toby, you won't regret it in the long run.

Great news. I think that you will appreciate it more than a new owner would because of the family history. More power to your elbow!

Glad to hear that your project will live on. I see you're looking for a fuel tank to fit. What has worked for me is a MK4 fiesta one with standard sender. I cut a hole in the bottom of the fuel tank tray and underslung it. It fits nicely, gives me a range of 250-300 mies and I now have a decent sized boot. I can take some pics if it interests you

Yes please that sounds very interesting.

Which fuel tank tray did you cut a hole in?

Here's the pictures, mine's a Phaeton S3. Basically I cut the bottom out of the recess for the fuel tank leaving enough space for a couple of bolts. 

The pictures are attached showing the tank with 2 stainless straps as extra security. Then there is a new false floor above the tank made from a sheet of Ali mounted on some angled supports. It's done 20,000 miles since I did it with no issues. Incidentally, I used the fiesta filling pipe with some samco filler hose to join the pipes back up so the breather still works as designed.

Thanks man, that will come in very handy when I get round to the fuel tank.


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