IF you’re new to the idea of buying a car in component form and assembling it yourself, it might seem a big step.
You can find out lots more about component form Marlins at What is a kitcar?, and Self-build FAQs, but for a just a few reasons why you might want to build your own car, read on…
In fact, the self-build concept was born back in the Fifties, when ‘specials’ were built on the chassis of Saloon cars of the day, the most popular being the… Ford Popular.
In the Sixties and Seventies, the VW Beetle chassis became the underpinnings of choice (the beach buggies is still many car enthusiasts’ guilty love), followed by the self-contained engine/gearbox units found under the bonnet of rapidly rusting Minis.
As the use of Mini subframes would suggest, some of the more ambitious designers of what had become known as kit cars were also designing their own chassis and suspension components. One early example, Colin Chapman’s famous Lotus 7 design, which can trace its own roots back to the Fifties, is still around today, of course, in the shape of the Caterham (and the very similar shape of a legion of copies).
Marlin has been a major player in this alternative motor industry since the Seventies, and working from its base in Crediton, near Devon, since the early Nineties (see History for more background), launching first the Sportster, a modern take on the roadster, and then the 5EXi, a no-compromise, mid-engined sportscar for a new Millennium.
So why build it yourself – and why a Marlin?
Speak to hundreds of Marlin builders and you’ll get almost as many reasons for picking up the spanners, but they are all really different combinations of the following:
To save money…
Probably not the most popular reason, in fact, but certainly the easiest to understand – the bottom line is that it reduces the bottom line.
Just how much you save depends on how much work you want to take on, of course, but it is possible to get a 5EXi on the road for less than £10,000 – and you can spread the cost by buying components in stages, as and when you need them.
For the satisfaction…
The sheer enjoyment of building your own car is probably only known to those who have done it. A lot of people get friends or family involved (it’s a great project for father and son – or mother and daughter!). And the design of the Marlin components (laser-cut and pre-drilled for easy alignment) means it won’t take up garage space for ever. A 5EXi can be put on the road in less than 100 hours, for example, with minimal equipment or previous experience.
For a hassle-free build…
Marlins sold in component form come in a series of comprehensive packages including everything you need, from wiring looms and lights down to the last nut and bolt. And that all-important, step-by-small-step build manual!
Some self-assembly, or kitcar, projects will have you running around trying to source parts but again Marlin have made things simple and anything not supplied by Marlin comes from the same ‘donor’ vehicle as the engine/gearbox – a Honda or Rover for the 5EXi, (see donor parts).
And if you don’t want to source those parts yourself, we will provide them on a pallet for you to prepare or reconditioned / brand new.
Because help is at hand…
When you start a Marlin project, our Network-M will put you in touch with an owner in your area, who will then become your mentor, offering advice and even assistance.
And our own experts are on call, five days a week, on the Marlin Builders’ Hotline.
There are also two Marlin clubs, whose members will be happy to give help and advice – Marlin Owners Club, one of the most active and successful clubs in the country; and Marlin Sportscar Club, created in conjunction with the factory for owners who are interested in trackdays and motorsport.
Because it’s a Marlin…
Building a Marlin allows you to put your own very personal mark on a very special sports car.