Dutton Classic Cars for Sale

The largest car kit manufacturer in the world, Dutton Cars was based in Worthing, Sussex from 1970 to 1989.

History of Dutton Cars

Tim Dutton founded Dutton Cars in 1970, following an apprenticeship making body shells for well-known cars. The first workshop was a small space where the first model, the P1, was built. In 1971, the company moved to a larger factory in Tangmere, Chichester. The Dutton Sierra that was introduced in 1979 became the most sold kit car in the ten-year period of manufacturing, largely because of publicity as a result of a legal case between Dutton Cars and the Ford Motor Company. In 1982, Dutton Cars moved back to Worthing, and by 1984 had a showroom in Worthing, four factories and 80 employees producing up to 1,000 kit cars per year.

Important Information about Dutton Cars

Although the Dutton Cars were designed to be kit cars, they were available fully built. The models available had a number of forms, including an estate car with an off-road appearance, a two-door saloon and a convertible. Kits that have not been assembled are now difficult to find; the majority of classic Dutton Cars currently available for sale are pre-assembled and largely in poor condition. If a kit car is found without assembly, parts from another car are required to ensure a working car after assembly. Components required include the engine, gearbox and other essential parts, and the most ideal donor car for this purpose is usually a Ford.

Classic models of Dutton Cars

The first model of Dutton Cars was the P1, quickly followed by the B-type in October 1971. The Dutton Malaga series was introduced in 1974, and in 1975 a combined version of the B-type and Malaga series was manufactured; this was named the Dutton Malaga B+.  Four of the Dutton Phaeton Series were produced from 1977 to 1989, which started out as a modification of the Malaga B+, with modifications to chassis, springs and bumpers over time.  A new model, the Dutton Sierra, was a completely different design to the B-series, and had a Ford Escort-based design. This was a four seat estate car. The only Dutton Sports Car with opening doors was the Dutton Legerra, which was manufactured between 1988 and 1989. The last series that was introduced was the Rico series, another four seat Ford Escort based saloon kit car with two doors. This came on the market in 1984, and was improved upon twice before the company dissolved in 1989. The designs were sold off to other companies in 1989, when Tim Dutton moved on to other car-based design and manufacturing processes.

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