They might not be quite as high-profile as they once were but Devon-based Marlin Sportscars is still very much in production and are currently busy with a buoyant order book.

Their current model range consists of two excellent models – the modern, mid-engined 5EXI and the Sportster. The former requires no donor and uses either Volkswagen Group 1.9T or Honda 2-litre VTEC units that suit the car really well. Marlin boss, Mark Matthews, and several customers are enthusiastic competitors in the well-regarded highly-regarded Castle Combe GT Series, highlighting the car’s sports potential.

Meanwhile, Marlin’s other model is one of my personal favourites, in the shape of the Sportster, a traditional roadster that meets Lotus Seven and displays elegance with vivid performance potential. It’s based on BMW E46 mechanicals and uses the lovely straight six engine found in 320, 325, 328, 330 and M3 (indeed, a drive in the company’s 343bhp M3-powered donor a decade ago refuses to leave my memory!) variants. In recent months they’ve also turned their attention to E39-generation (1995-2003) BMW 5-Series as a good donor vehicle and you can genuinely find excellent examples, ideal for using as a base for your Sportster from around £1500.

The Sportster can also comfortably accommodate bears of tall and/or large proportions and Mark Matthews estimates that a DIY self-build can easily be completed from around £12,000. As you’d expect, Marlin offer both cars in fully built form, with prices on application depending on specification.

We’ll have a feature on the long-established company (the marque is now 32-years old) in the May/June issue of tkc mag.


In the meantime, for more information contact 01363 773 772 or ENDS.