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
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
The first locust to be built and registered
by Martin Butterworth and Nick Woodruff was
featured in the May 1987 copy of Kit Car magazine
copy of the article 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.