New manufacturer, TR Lane Motorsport run by Tim Lane has launched their new Lotus Seven-inspired sportscar called the Retro based on Mazda MX-5.

The company is located in Gloucestershire (on the same business estate as Formula 27 used to be on, in fact) and have for many years focused on fabrication work such as rollcages and catch tanks.

Tim previously built himself a Champion era Locost using Ford Escort Mk2 parts and from that moment decided that he’d like to manufacture his own vehicle, hence the Retro, which shares a few visual similarities with the Locost but under the skin is much altered, for example featuring a full monocoque rather than conventional spaceframe chassis, which is made from 1.5mm CR4 mild steel with the addition of a subframe type structure for the front end components.

There’s nothing completely unique about using a monocoque for an LSIS (Richard Stewart did it many years ago) but it remains quite unusual especially on budget-orientated cars such as this. Tim has yet to finalise prices fully but hopes to be able to launch the Retro with a kit price of £2000 inc VAT with a reasonable DIY build budget of circa £4500.

The Mazda MX-5 is rapidly becoming the donor of choice in the kitcar game and suitable Mk1 donors can be found for under £500 (1.6-litres usually) and the Retro accepts the donor’s rear subframe as is as well as engine and other running gear. Tim also told me that inline four bike engines can also be used, too.

TR Lane Motorsport aim to launch the Retro at the Exeter kit car show in October with an appearance at Autosport International in January also on the cards…

More from or 07790 723 629 ENDS.