Frequently Asked Questions for Marlin 5EXi & Marlin Sportster
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What Donor car should I look for?
A. The 5EXi was designed around Rover 200 parts (200 ‘bubble’ style) although 98% of the parts your 5EXi requires are very similar from approx G/H reg cars right up to and inclusive of the Rover 25 and late MG’s.
However you can now also use the superb Honda Civic and with its high performing V-Tech 1600cc it’s fast becoming the donor of choice for both road and track.
A. The Sportster is arranged around the BMW 3 series, Sierra, Scorpio, Granada.
The Sportster can take a huge range of engine options from many manufacturers, including, 4 & 6 cylinder inline engines, to V6 and V8's.
NB: For more specific info on Donors please visit the relevant Marlin model web page where you will find comprehensive information under the 'Donor Option' heading.
A. By looking in the local Free Ads Yellow Pages, Exchange and Mart, Auto trader, local press or Ebay. These are all good sources as well as your local scrap dealer. Remember you can discount the condition of bodywork, trim, etc and just concentrate on the engine condition and the general mechanical state of the vehicle.
Marlin can also find you a donor, have it inspected by the DVLA, strip and steam clean all necessary parts then palletise them ready for collection/delivery.
A. In reality this must be the most frequently asked question of all and in fact the real answer has to be as long as it takes! There are so many factors which can affect this including the differing levels of skill, premises and the quality of the final product. Remember two important factors must be Planning and Costs.
However, typically the build time for a 5EXi will be around 80 hours & 150 hours for a Sportster, provided all the donor parts had been located, prepared and ready to fit. Remember though, the most important thing is to enjoy building your car and not to set your self impossible targets.
A. Its all about quality and standards: At the factory we don't cut corners - and neither should you! A completed 5EXi or Sportster can be built for as little as £8,000, but we would recommend budgeting slightly higher for a superior project. In fact most owners average between £9,000 and £11k for a very high quality - 'professionally' finished - sportscar, that anyone would be really proud to own.
Most money can be saved in two main areas – buying a good donor car at the right price and being prepared to do as much of the work yourself as possible. Our Cars have been carefully designed to be assembled using the contents of an average DIY persons home/garage toolkit, so there should be little extra expense in that area. Naturally if the builder can gain access to other tools - which will enable the job to be done more speedily - they should be used.
The concept of Marlin is one of superior quality sportscars at great value for money prices. Thus allowing enthusiasts the wonderful satisfaction of being able to create something very special and put the fun back into their motoring.
A. No, not at all. The price list has been laid out in such a way that you can build to various stages at a time, i.e rolling chassis, powered chassis, body fitment etc.
A. We operate a dedicated builders help line at the factory for direct contact with a skilled member of staff from 3.15 to 4.30 weekdays and 10am to 1pm Saturdays. Few problems are impossible to solve easily.
A. For the 5EXi there is a very unique roof with side panels and rear fold down window. The roof is water tight, very easy to erect and uses very little storage space when not in use.
A. For the Sportster there are basically two current choices: A unique tilt & slide windscreen with additional hood frame and roof, or a cleverly designed tonneau cover, popularly chosen with the aero screen option.
A. Yes, the 5EXi roll bar and screen frame assemblies are fabricated from ‘Blue Book’ specification CDS. This means that with the addition of 3 more balancing tubes the car can be entered into circuit race competition or other types of controlled sports.
A. Yes again, Marlin successfully competed with their own Sportster for over two years and there is a removable full roll cage assembly available, which is RAC approved.
A. The average human has grown considerable in both height and girth since the motorcar was first invented. But both the 5EXi & Sportster were designed to accommodate larger than average drivers up to about 6’ 6" with plenty of leg & elbowroom. However with the EXi beyond 6’ 5” / 15 stone space, will seem limited.
A. For the 5EXi there is reasonable storage space in the compartments on each side of the car, behind the seats and a small storage area under the bonnet.
A. The Sportster has a storage compartment behind the seats, which will store the hood and hood assembly and still leave enough room for an overnight bag. Plus there is a stainless steel luggage rack that fits over the spare wheel which will accommodate a large suitcase.
A. Very. Marlin has produced a CD manual with sets of pictures detailing the various stages of the build. The digital CD build manual will be sent to you upon receipt of your order. However, you can buy the manual before you place an order for £40 which is refundable as long as the kit order is placed within 4 weeks.
A. As well as the standard accessories listed in the module price lists, you will see that there are also additional optional extra’s listed that you can buy to add those finishing touches to your Marlin Sportscar. You can choose to either purchase everything in one go or buy as you go along. You will also see that we have suggested certain parts to buy at various stages of the build simply because we build all the time and KNOW just what is needed and when.
A. Our cars are special and need to be treated this way by insurance companies. Brokers we recommend manage to get extremely good deals and the average for the middle of London, fully comp, appears to be in the region of only £350. Normally approaching your own insurance company or broker is not a good idea, as they often do not know many specialist sportscars and in the past we have heard tell of horrific quotes of £750 upwards. However there are many good brokers and should you wish help to obtain a quote, we would be pleased to assist and put you in touch with a few.
A. All Marlin Sportscars and kits are built within SVA specification.
A. Yes. See the section on Factory Built Cars or ring the factory for more detail.
A. Ring Marlin and we can put you in touch with an owner in your area using our 'Network-M' system. Should you decide to buy a kit, this owner will then become your mentor offering advise (along with the factory) and when possible assistance. You also could contact the factory supported ‘Marlin Sports Cars Club’ run by Ken Robson email@example.com or The Marlin Owners Club which is one of the most active and successful clubs in the country with over 600 members.
A. Yes there are two: Recently the factory supported Marlin Racing club run by Ken Robson, - for more details please contact Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org, and also the long standing Marlin Owners Club which can be contacted via the membership secretary Tim Hawkesworth at email@example.com
A. With the 5EXi No, you can build your kit with the built in gelcoat colour finish therefore saving the extra painting costs. The gel coat gives a very good chip resistant finish – The ‘flashing’ lines can be lightly sanded and polished back to obtain a near perfect result: Not so very different from paint.
A. However, yes for the Sportster as the car is made up from a mixture of aluminium & glass fibre composite panels.
A. Yes, our cars are individually hand built by traditional craftsmen, so we can build left or right hand drive. Please contact the factory for more information.