Going from a 197 RS to a Robin Hood. Good decision?

Going from a 197 RS to a Robin Hood. Good decision?

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Salvi139

Original Poster:

11 posts

16 months

Tuesday 14th March 2023
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LLantrisant said:
RH´s are the worst engineered kitcars....some models even dangerous!!!

it was a chaep approach to the kitcar world and unfortunaltey it attracted also "cheap" buyers. so most cars never came out right, as the huge engineering mistakes were never solved from those buyers.

never ever buy such a car...if you get it free of charge or the boot full of money...you may take it.

I daresay you're right, but the funny thing I find is that you can alway find quite a few Robin Hoods for sale at any given time, and some command prices in the higher end of 7 grand. Is it perhaps because maybe the older models are more well built, or that the cars you see for sale are factory built?

Scooobydont

399 posts

197 months

Wednesday 15th March 2023
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In a similar situation myself, I bought a Pinto Luego XT as I fancied trying this style of car, will see how it goes, lol, hopefully pick it up this weekend.


Equus

16,980 posts

104 months

Wednesday 15th March 2023
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Salvi139 said:
... the funny thing I find is that you can alway find quite a few Robin Hoods for sale at any given time, and some command prices in the higher end of 7 grand. Is it perhaps because maybe the older models are more well built, or that the cars you see for sale are factory built?
Sadly, there is an adequate supply of fools willing to be parted from their money: plenty of people don't know enough about the underlying engineering and simply see something that looks quite similar to a Caterham.

Salvi139

Original Poster:

11 posts

16 months

Wednesday 15th March 2023
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Equus said:
Sadly, there is an adequate supply of fools willing to be parted from their money: plenty of people don't know enough about the underlying engineering and simply see something that looks quite similar to a Caterham.
Ah, fair enough. Tbh as soon as I learnt that the chassis was also derived from the donor car I had my doubts



Salvi139

Original Poster:

11 posts

16 months

Wednesday 15th March 2023
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Scooobydont said:
In a similar situation myself, I bought a Pinto Luego XT as I fancied trying this style of car, will see how it goes, lol, hopefully pick it up this weekend.

Looks good, that seems to be a better option than a Hood from what I've seen. For starters it weighs around 200-300kg less

anonymous-user

57 months

Friday 17th March 2023
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Equus said:
Salvi139 said:
... the funny thing I find is that you can alway find quite a few Robin Hoods for sale at any given time, and some command prices in the higher end of 7 grand. Is it perhaps because maybe the older models are more well built, or that the cars you see for sale are factory built?
Sadly, there is an adequate supply of fools willing to be parted from their money: plenty of people don't know enough about the underlying engineering and simply see something that looks quite similar to a Caterham.
A few years ago my father got it into his head that he wanted to build a Kit Car. He ended up going on eBay and buying an early Robin Hood that was "90% finished". First warning sign, the seller offered to bring the car to my Father, I wasn't there at the time but I suspect he couldn't have got away quick enough after dumping it on the drive.

The car was far, far from 90% finished, it was literally a rolling chassis with an old 2.0 Pinto bolted into to. My Father then covered it with a Tarpaulin and then spent a few more years buying bits and pieces from it eBay and travelling hundreds of miles to collect them. In all this time he did not actually lay a spanner on the car.

About 3 years after purchase my mother finally got sick of it being on the drive, so it was up to me to list it on eBay. A dad and lad purchased it next, the son was training to be a mechanic so this was a project for them both to do.

A few years later it was on eBay again, looking a lot better than it did when my Father owned it, but still far from complete.

As others have said, these have the engines and running gear from an old sierra. My advice to you would be to stick with the Clio 197, I would imagine it is light years better than a Robin Hood with a wheezy old pinto and suspension from a (much heavier) sierra.

Just don't.

Salvi139

Original Poster:

11 posts

16 months

Friday 17th March 2023
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Joey Deacon said:
Equus said:
Salvi139 said:
... the funny thing I find is that you can alway find quite a few Robin Hoods for sale at any given time, and some command prices in the higher end of 7 grand. Is it perhaps because maybe the older models are more well built, or that the cars you see for sale are factory built?
Sadly, there is an adequate supply of fools willing to be parted from their money: plenty of people don't know enough about the underlying engineering and simply see something that looks quite similar to a Caterham.
A few years ago my father got it into his head that he wanted to build a Kit Car. He ended up going on eBay and buying an early Robin Hood that was "90% finished". First warning sign, the seller offered to bring the car to my Father, I wasn't there at the time but I suspect he couldn't have got away quick enough after dumping it on the drive.

The car was far, far from 90% finished, it was literally a rolling chassis with an old 2.0 Pinto bolted into to. My Father then covered it with a Tarpaulin and then spent a few more years buying bits and pieces from it eBay and travelling hundreds of miles to collect them. In all this time he did not actually lay a spanner on the car.

About 3 years after purchase my mother finally got sick of it being on the drive, so it was up to me to list it on eBay. A dad and lad purchased it next, the son was training to be a mechanic so this was a project for them both to do.

A few years later it was on eBay again, looking a lot better than it did when my Father owned it, but still far from complete.

As others have said, these have the engines and running gear from an old sierra. My advice to you would be to stick with the Clio 197, I would imagine it is light years better than a Robin Hood with a wheezy old pinto and suspension from a (much heavier) sierra.

Just don't.
The overall opinion it seems is to not go ahead with looking for a Robin Hood, I may not even bother test riding one tbh. I may just wait a bit and enjoy the 197 some more before looking for something like a locost perhaps or an old Westfield

Simon Jones

19 posts

138 months

Monday 27th March 2023
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Swapping a tin top for a kit car is a big move and you only want to do it if you will get a big gain around a track from a proper lightweight high power to weight car.

I have tracked and competed in several Westfields, my last one being a 270hp duratec. They are fantastic on a good day, even a wet summers day, but can be miserable out of season. I had an MX5 with roof and heater for all year round track days and had just as much fun in it, particularly in challenging conditions.

If you want the lightweight experience go for a properly designed track car. There is a Fisher Fury ZX9 on ebay which would take you to the next level ( I'm nothing to do with seller). If you don't get on with it you won't lose any money if you sell it on.

Hard-Drive

4,112 posts

232 months

Tuesday 28th March 2023
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I'm lucky enough to own a very well sorted Caterham R400, and I often get a bit miffed with the attitudes of some Caterham drivers who look down their noses at "Fakerhams". I take my R400 to a few local car shows and there's often a pair of S7's there with young enthusiastic owners, and I hold them in much higher esteem than a stanced/slammed Civic, as I think they "get" driving more and have gone for the 7 experience as best they can within their budget. When I was young I desperately wanted an RH S7, after all it was going to be monumentally more fun than the Mk1 Golf 1.1/Astra 1.2 pushrod/Cavalier 1.6 type stuff I was driving at the time.

However your Clio is a properly sorted car with great lineage, and quite possibly an appreciating modern classic. It's going to start every time, and just "work". You can throw it into a bend and know that Renault Sport spent millions of euros making sure it will come out the other side, and you'll have had some fun whilst doing it. The RH just isn't like that, it's a collection of various donor bits built by a bloke in a shed with their own take on lots of it, the ones I have seen have never been "sorted". Interestingly the weight quoted on some of their cars is over 50% more than what my Caterham weighs, and that's going to blunt the experience an awful lot.

Not sure what your intended use is but no matter how great the appeal of a 7 style car as a daily seems, the reality is very, very different. You really don't want to do it, keep the car for special, dry days and the track. But be prepared for your RS to have been a much better track car anyway!

I do find the some of the prices of RH's a bit of an eye opener too. For that kind of money you could get yourself a very, very nice Porsche Boxster, which will do daily duties, track duties, is an appreciating classic, will start every day, and you get a RWD mid engine flat six, absolutley sublime handling and a Porsche badge on the front.

Salvi139

Original Poster:

11 posts

16 months

Tuesday 28th March 2023
quotequote all
Hard-Drive said:
I'm lucky enough to own a very well sorted Caterham R400, and I often get a bit miffed with the attitudes of some Caterham drivers who look down their noses at "Fakerhams". I take my R400 to a few local car shows and there's often a pair of S7's there with young enthusiastic owners, and I hold them in much higher esteem than a stanced/slammed Civic, as I think they "get" driving more and have gone for the 7 experience as best they can within their budget. When I was young I desperately wanted an RH S7, after all it was going to be monumentally more fun than the Mk1 Golf 1.1/Astra 1.2 pushrod/Cavalier 1.6 type stuff I was driving at the time.

However your Clio is a properly sorted car with great lineage, and quite possibly an appreciating modern classic. It's going to start every time, and just "work". You can throw it into a bend and know that Renault Sport spent millions of euros making sure it will come out the other side, and you'll have had some fun whilst doing it. The RH just isn't like that, it's a collection of various donor bits built by a bloke in a shed with their own take on lots of it, the ones I have seen have never been "sorted". Interestingly the weight quoted on some of their cars is over 50% more than what my Caterham weighs, and that's going to blunt the experience an awful lot.

Not sure what your intended use is but no matter how great the appeal of a 7 style car as a daily seems, the reality is very, very different. You really don't want to do it, keep the car for special, dry days and the track. But be prepared for your RS to have been a much better track car anyway!

I do find the some of the prices of RH's a bit of an eye opener too. For that kind of money you could get yourself a very, very nice Porsche Boxster, which will do daily duties, track duties, is an appreciating classic, will start every day, and you get a RWD mid engine flat six, absolutley sublime handling and a Porsche badge on the front.
Thanks mate, yeah I was initially intending to get the RH for just a weekend car and a few trackdays, which is what my Clio is used for currently. But yeah it did occur to me that a Robin Hood with its Ford pinto engine and donor chassis wouldn't likely hold up to the Clio's performance, but then again it is a French hot hatch after all! And I'm still amazed that I brought my Clio for around 2 grand less than the average RH, they're ridiculously cheap for such a sorted car

BrokenSkunk

4,636 posts

253 months

Tuesday 28th March 2023
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A Robin Hood will deliver open top motoring and the look of a 7-esque car.

They are derided for being poor drivers cars and they have a history of questionable engineering. I seem to remember a aluminium "monocoque" for example, where flat sheets of ally were riveted together to form the tub. I vaugley remember my disbelief at seeing a photo of the diff mounted in a box of rivetted together ally sheet.

Consider anything from this century's kit car scene except RH or Banham.