If I had to put up a list of kitcar industry greats from say the last 20-years, I’d include a chap called John Barlow in that list without doubt.

I’m told that he’s retired now but I’ll believe that when I see it. He first came to our notice as the ‘B’ of JBA Engineering co-developing the Falcon traditional roadster with his ex-Leyland Trucks mates, Ken Jones and Dave Ashley, before departing the scene.

He next turned up running the Royale Motor Company in 1990 and those ten years of activity with models such as Drophead, Sabre and Windsor, really put him on the kitcar map. John sold the Royale products in year 2000.

He then went back to doing a bit of property development for a few years before reappearing with the Vernati Motor Company, proving that a body conversion kit didn’t have to an exotic Italian replica and also showing he didn’t just design vintage looking vehicles.

After Veranti John started, ran and then sold on a succession of vintage vehicle companies such as Regent Motor Company such as Imperial Motor Company and he sold a great number of those kits.


Indeed, with Imperial, he hit on using the London TX taxi as a donor vehicle which worked a treat, with affordable donors and available at a pocket money price. Sure, the thing had probably done a massive amount of torturous mileage but mechanically cars don’t get any tougher than a London taxi.


Before retiring, John had also co-developed the brilliant Razor three-wheeler with Dave Chapman and then created another period vehicle in the shape of the Viscount, again based on TX taxi, which incidentally, comes with a Nissan engine.

The Viscount was acquired by a leading events company, Inchmere design of Banbury in October 2019 and they are continuing to supply the cars, mostly to corporate customers, while also renting them out for a variety of events work.

All the mechanical components are reconditioned or renewed as necessary, while the chassis is prepared, painted and rustproofed.

The body is GRP, which is bonded to a galvanised steel subframe. This assembly is then mounted to the taxi chassis using the original mounting points and the car is painted with a quality two-pack paint system.

Leather and vinyl are used for the seats and upholstery along with Wilton carpeting, while a new wiring loom is installed for electrical reliability

Both TX1 and later TX2 can be used for Viscount duty and they can be tailored to your exact purposes. Prices start at £40,800 inc VAT.

More information from Alastair Goodall on 01295 661 000 or www.imperialmotorco.co.uk or www.inchmere.co.uk ENDS.