While cobra and Lotus Seven replicas dominate the market, the are still plenty of choices for those people mad enough to want an off road kit car. And if you’ve ever seen them driven you’ll know what I mean! These are sports cars taken to the extreme.
For many off-roaders, the initial inspiration was probably the box cars they built as a kid. The concept of many of the off road kits available today follows a similar theme.
That is, a basic cage that enables the builder to bolt on the most esential components such as the engine, wheels and so on. There isn’t usually much in the way of weather protection or other creature comforts.
However, it is this spartan approach that gives these dune buggies (or sand rails as they are commonly known) their biggest appeal. They are supremely light with a stiff chassis that keeps everything under controll as well as affording some protection should the vehicle overturn.
So slap in even the most placid of engines and the perfomance is incredible. Of course there is always some maniac who will slot in a high performance motorcycle engine for even more power!
A popular manufacturer in the UK is Blitzworld based in Stoke on Trent. They have developed a range of off road buggies to almost every occasion and budget, from kids buggies right up to fully road legal factory built vehicles. Their Joyrider kit is an excellent example of an off road kit car that is both affordable and fun.
If you live in the USA you have far more off-road space available, so it’s no surprise that there are a large number of off road kit manufacturers to choose from.
I must admit to liking the Berrien buggies range which seem to be very well constructed as well as a great way to get into offroading without requiring a bottomless wallet. Their kits start from just a few hundred dollars which put them at the affordable end of the market.
With a Berrien Buggy, you can purchase the auto parts you need, as you need them, because they don’t have them packaged in a kit. Every part is available separately to allow you to customize your car exactly the way you want for street or sand.
As you can see from the video below, when racing around on the sand you get an awful lot of fun for not a lot of money. An ideal way to introduce your kids to driving as long as you have the space.
Another option for serious off roaders is the rugged Dakar 4×4. Based on a Range rover, the Dakar is about as tough as they come and you will find yourself looking out through the window praying for more rain and snow to make your journey FUN!
These cars will handle virtually everything you throw at it, with most drivers reaching their limits well before the Dakar does.
In conclusion, buying and building a kit car for off road is a cheap and easy way to assemble your first vehicle and will give you a whole lot of enjoyment for a meagre cash outlay.