BIG news at the end of last week was that Westfield Sports Cars has purchased the Chesil Speedster project lock, stock and barrel.

Developed from Chris Boyle’s Street Beetle project it was purchased by Peter Bailey in 1991 and the name changed to ‘Chesil’ primarily due to the company’s location right on Dorset’s Chesil Beach on England’s Jurassic Coast.

Not many better places to go to take a test drive, that’s for sure.

Over the next 13-years or so Bailey developed the Chesil Speedster into one of the foremost kitcars in the UK definitely becoming the 356 replica that most aspired to. Basically, if someone saw a Speedster they automatically assumed ‘Chesil’.

I was at a classic event once and the bloke next to me with an original 356 was none too pleased when a bloke in a bobble hat and a duffel bag inadvertently sharing ‘sharing’ a cheese and pickle sandwich with all around him said: “I like your Chesil mate!”

Peter Bailey moved on in 2004 selling the operation to Angus McCubbin and Jerry Bailey who traded from the Dorset base until 2007 when they ceased operations. McCubbin remained involved when the company morphed into Tygan Motor Company shifting to a new factory in Beaminster. The company was run by Graham Lee.

Tygan moved away from kitcars and concentrated on fully built cars although they too ceased trading in 2008. Peter Bailey resurrected the Chesil marque in early 2009…

In total, there’s probably about 650 Chesils produced over the years. Westfield’s plans are to continue with Beetle-based cars and kits although at last weekend’s Silverstone Classic they also unveiled a new electric version – the Chesil E.

The plan is to continue to offer fully built Chesil and of course, kits and as soon as prices are announced we’ll bring you more information. In the meantime, prices for the Chesil E will start at around £58,000, fully built.

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