If you have ever fancied building your own sports car, then A Car Is Born was made for you. Over the course of this 3-hour DVD you will get to see all the highs and lows of assembling your own kit car as presenter Mark Evans builds a Pilgrim Sumo cobra replica from scratch.

In a recent review I read one guy saying that he wished it was an AK 427 rather than a Pilgrim Sumo as he had just bought one. But I feel he has totally missed the point: This DVD covers the process of building a kit car, and the skills are the same for any kit. It is not a replacement for the build manual. So, would I recommend this DVD even if you are building a completely different kit car? Absolutely yes!

Not only will it give you an in depth overview of what it takes to put a kit car on the road, it covers most of the tasks required to assemble ANY kit, not just cobra kit cars.

Here’s a blow by blow run down of what you’ll see on A Car Is Born:

The whole process starts with Mark Evans visiting the Great Western Kit Car Show down in Exeter where he meets up with Martin foster (editor of Kit Car magazine) to choose a suitable kit for his project.

After much deliberation, he eventually decides on a Pilgrim Sumo cobra replica.

Mark then looks for a suitable donor vehicle and eventually buys a rust bucket 2.0l Ford Sierra GLX MOT failure for £150.

He then starts to tear the donor apart, salvaging as many parts as possible before cleaning them up ready for installation later.

The Chassis

Next, Mark heads on down to the Pilgrim factory where he helps to weld his own chassis frame. Once back in his garage, he begins to prepare the chassis by sealing it and fitting the suspension and wheel mountings. After this, he fits the differential and rear axle, as well as the petrol tank, handbrake, pedals and steering rack. He bolt on the rear suspension arms from the sierra donor, but only after cutting off a bracket that gets in the way. After this he fits the brake servo and pedal assembly. Mark then has to open up a hole using a taper drill to accept the track rod end on the wheel mountings.

The car is starting to come together now and Mark works on the fluids. He installs the braking system including the flexible pipes as well as the more complicated copper pipework where he uses a brake pipe flarer to prepare the ends of the tube. This is followed by fitting the fuel pipes and finishes by installing the radiator, water pump and associated pipework.

The Engine

Mark wasn’t too impressed with his donor cars old 2litre power unit, so he spends a lump of his hard earned cash on a shiny Chevy V8. He fits the engine and gearbox to the car using an engine hoist before connecting the propshaft. After installing a number of hoses and fluid bottles he gets to work fitting the exhaust manifold and exhaust system. It’s at this stage that Mark fires up the mighty Chevy engine for the first time.


Once the wheels are bolted on, the car is ready to come off the axle stands so that the gelcoat body can be fitted. The shell is drilled, lined up and then fixed to the chassis. It’s really starting to look like a car now! Mark then needs to clean up the gelcoat body shell to remove the mould lines. After fitting the doors he cuts out the holes to accept various accessories such as the fuel filler cap, headlamps and windscreen. The car heads off to the spray booth to be treated to a gorgeous shiny coat of paint. Then Mark bolts all the chrome bits back on.

The Car Interior

Now it’s time to focus on the interior of the kit car, and Mark crafts a dashboard and wires it up. The carpets are fitted along with the interior door panels. Once the seats are fitted you can really get a feel for what the finished vehicle will be like.

It’s now just a matter of tying up all the loose ends, such as fitting the chrome grilles over the front cutouts as well as fitting the convertable roof to keep out the weather. After all this, Mark fires up the car and drives it out of the garage for the first time.

The IVA Test

Marks Pilgrim Sumo has come a long way since we first saw him at the kit car show. But in order to take it in the road, it needs to pass the IVA test.

Previously called the SVA, it is an inspection to check the safety of the vehicle prior to allowing it to be used on the road. We watch as the Sumo goes through the test. Once the car has passed, we see a proud kit car builder showing off his gorgeous looking Pilgrim Sumo cobra replica.


As I mentioned earlier, A Car Is Born is essential viewing for builders of any kitcar, not just cobra kit cars, and I guarantee you’ll find it as informative as it is entertaining on those wet, cold winter evenings when you’re not tinkering under the hood. Grab your copy now! (United Kingdom Only)