My Locust Seven

The Locust is a Sevenesque type car not dissimilar to a Westfield or Caterham in looks. It differs from most kits as it is built using a wooden or MDF body tub.

Locust +

The original kit/plans concept was conceived because the shape of a Seven lent itself to this type of body tub construction. The criteria being that there were no compound curves in the main body. The body tub is a small simple tapering box with slab sides. Only the GRP nose cone and wings have compound curves. The body is skinned in aluminium which only has to curve in one plane for the rear panels and the bonnet.

The main components of the kit are a set of plans for the body tub and a chassis. The chassis can be either Ford or Triumph based. My chassis is for Ford components and is fitted with a combination of Ford Escort MkII and Ford Cortina Mk IV running gear. The details are as follows:

Rear Axle/Suspension Ford Escort Mk II, 4 Link trailing arms with panard rod, 
Sebac coil over shock absorbers.
Front Suspension/Steering Ford Cortina Mk IV wishbones, Discs, Hubs and shock absorbers. Ford Escort Springs and steering rack.

The table shows my running gear but over the years many variations and subtle changes in chassis design have taken place. There is an option for double front wishbones and coil over shocks.
Any engine that can be squeezed between the chassis rails can be fitted. The most popular is the Ford Kent/Xflow engine, but some of the engines I have seen fitted are:

  • Fiat/Lancia Twin Cam,
  • Hillman (Holbay 1725)
  • Triumph Spitfire
  • Ford V6, Pinto, DOHC I4, Zetec

My Locust currently sports a mildly tuned Ford Escort MkII 1300 Xflow engine with the associated gearbox. This year I will be fitting a modified 1300 GT engine (converted for unleaded) and 1600 sport gearbox. Dependant on which engine and carburettor are fitted various holes and bulges will have to be fitted to the bonnet. I have stuck with the 1300 Xflow as it is about 1" shorter than the 1600 block and fits under the bonnet without requiring any budges or holes for the carburettor.

The Locust is a plan built kit car, which means no two Locust cars are the same. Each builder will tackle the same area of the build in different ways using different components. For example my Locust's cooling system utilises a Skoda Estelle Radiator, Fan and Header Tank.