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.
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. The most popular
chassis is for Ford components and most are fitted with a combination
of Ford Escort MkII and Ford Cortina Mk IV running gear. The origional
car used either Triumph or ford Cortina Front Suspension but over
the years many variations and subtle changes in chassis design have
taken place. There is an option from the manufacturer for double
front wishbones and coil over shocks. Any engine that can be squeezed
between the chassis rails can be fitted. The most popular are the
Ford Kent/Xflow engine. Depending on which engine and carburettor
are fitted various holes and bulges will have to be fitted to the
bonnet. As the Locust is a plan built kit car, it means no two Locust
cars are the same. Each builder will tackle the same area of the
build in different ways using different components.
The car was origionally conceived and manufactured by John Cowperthwaite.
It was marketed as the JC Locust by J.C. Auto Patterns. A
copy of the origional J.C. brochure can be viewed here.
The brochure included one of the first articles on the Locust.
The rights of manufacture passed to T&J Sportscars who also took
over the manufacture of the Midge (a traditionally styled roadster).
The later introduced a slightly larger version of the Locust based
on Cortina coponents called the Hornet. A
copy of the T&J Sportcars brocure can be viewed here.
The project then passed on to White Rose Vehicles - WRV. They developed
the original Locust into the current Locust ES and also introduced
a new model. The new SIII was designed with the SVA in mind and
uses the Ford Sierra as the donor vehicle. A
Copy of the WRV Web Information can be found here.
In April 2000 the Locust ES project was passed on to BWE Sportcars
who also distribute the Locust's big brother, the Hornet
a copy of the first road test can be found here. BWE also developed a childrens version, the baby of the family the Grasshopper.
BWE started modifying the Hornet and Locust chassis to utilise Ford
Sierra running gear but these never went into production.
Bev Evans of BWE passed away on Thursday 10th April 2014. BWE Sportscars is no longer trading.