Former commercial accountant, proprietor of a garage business and general car enthusiast, Mike Keoghan, who runs Warrington-based, Creative Sports Cars, is the new man behind the Dodge Viper-inspired Venom, devised by the late Keith Kirk and latterly available from Auto Speciali.

Mike acquired the project in 2011 and has been busy during the intervening period. Rather than warm-up the old project, he’s gone to town and designed a brand new tubular spaceframe chassis and most notably changed the donor from venerable Ford Granada to Jaguar S-Type (1999-2002) not a straightforward undertaking.

However, I think it’s an inspired move and is certainly the first kitcar to use the relatively un-loved Jag as a donor. Under the skin though it’s pure Jaguar, with high quality and robust mechanicals and ideal for use on the Venom S (note slight amendment to the name with ‘S’ suffix).

Jaguar S-type is the new donor for the Venom

The car, designed by Geoff Lawson, was available between 1999-2008, although for Venom S purposes you’ll be needing the first generation, ‘X200’ version (1999-2002) denoted by the ‘U’-shaped centre console. On the donor the front and rear suspension are mounted on subframe, whereas Mike has revised this and they are un-bolted and mounted to the fabricated Venom S frame.

Mike reckons that it’s the entry-level 2.7-litre V6 model is the one you want as that had a Getrag five-speed manual gearbox option, although it has to be said that the majority of the 14,610 S-Types still registered (add a couple of thou on SORN) will be autos.  The V6 was available in 2.7-litre (197bhp) and 3-litre (235bhp) and the latter responds well to tuning (about 280bhp potential). It also feature chain-driven cams.

Whereas the V8 was of 4.2-litre capacity and available in two strengths (294bhp and Easton supercharge equipped version producing 390bhp). If you choose carefully, you’ll find the ideal donor for your project and expect to pay between £750 to £1200 for your donor.

Mike currently offers the Venom GTC (Coupe) and Roadster (convertible), which share the same chassis with kit prices from £7500. On that basis, Mike estimates that a decent example can be DIY built from around £15,000, with items like paint being the big imponderable. It’s a big car remember and you’ll want to do it justice.

A very intriguing alternative version that Mike is currently working on is the GTE Fastback.

Interesting Fastback concept.

Mike will be making his show debut at Petrol & Pistons at Croft circuit within the ‘totalkitcar village’ on August 22. In the meantime, visit or call 01925 551 737 ENDS.