HOME > LOT 196 - 2008 Westfield FW Widebody 2.0L Vauxhall

LOT 196 - 2008 Westfield FW Widebody 2.0L Vauxhall

LOT 196 - 2008 Westfield FW Widebody 2.0L Vauxhall

  • Ultimate Westfield ‘Feather Weight’ bodywork fitted from new
  • Refurbished by Westfield specialists Toybox in 2022
  • 183 bhp 16 Valve Vauxhall engine, bottom end rebuilt in 2020
  • Rolling Road set up by Northampton Motorsport 2023
  • Best of the best components fitted
  • One previous owner
  • 5,400 miles from new
  • 12 months MOT
  • Drives beautifully
  • Competitively reserved
  • Estimated at £12,000 to £17,000

Not Sold. Please contact us

ABOUT THIS CAR

“The ‘traditional’ Westfield gets a makeover. This one’s a bit rapid, too.” Evo, May 2006

When engineer and Lotus racer Chris Smith founded Westfield Sportscars in the early 1980s it was initially to service demand for copies of his self-built Lotus 11 replica. Smith was also a fan of the Lotus 7 (he competed in Berlinetta’s own Series 2 with some success in the mid-1960s) and given the original Lotus 11 was basically a 7 clothed in a pretty and infinitely more aerodynamic body, the temptation for Westfield to grab a piece of the 7 market was understandable. Given the selling prices of such machines were way more than the sum of their parts, profit margins looked enticing to say the least, especially when the labour involved in bolting those parts together was provided by the buyer. The fly in the ointment was Caterham Cars who bought the manufacturing rights to the 7 from Lotus in 1973. They had been producing and selling the traditional aluminium body styled ‘S3’ since then and having paid for that particularly tasty slice of the specialist car market pie, they were understandably not about to share it with anyone else. Smith and Caterham spent much of the rest of the 1980s fighting about design signatures and intellectual property before Caterham finally won the bout, if only on points. In reality, the ‘cease and desist order’ handed down to them by the courts could well have been a blessing in disguise for Westfield as their ‘Pre-litigation’ models were creatively restricted to being an exact copy of the Caterham which was itself as close to a Series 3 Lotus 7 as made no difference.

Instructed to distance themselves from the Caterham models both visually and technically, Westfield found themselves freed from the shackles of a thirty year old design so revised body styles as well as madcap V8 (not to mention insanely powerful motorcycle) engines became the order (book) of the day. Though the early ‘post-lit’ cars smacked of simply using fibreglass instead of aluminium, these quickly evolved with wider bodies and ever-more integrated wings. Broadly speaking the mainstay of the range was the SE and its myriad derivatives depending on which engine, gearbox, back axle, width of body and so on were selected; with so many options it really was bespoke tailoring but at TK Maxx prices.

The limited production carbon fibre bodied FW400 launched in 1999 hinted at the more mainstream FW range that was to come. FW for Feather Weight (if the company still existed, Coventry Climax’s lawyers might have been sharpening their pencils at this stage), this was a development of the SEi, in wide-body configuration offered with a range of engines from 1600 to 2 litre (or bigger if your engine guy and wallet could stretch), with Ford or Vauxhall being the most likely sources. A freer hand with regard to the FW’s body enabled a one-piece flip front to be used which not only simplified access but allowed more effective cooling ducts to be built into what was previously a separate nose cone. Aerodynamics, especially around the previously bluff rear end and a narrower front, were improved which also gave the car a more ‘pencil-like’ and styled appearance, as if it had actually been designed! At the time it was described as ‘neat and aggressive’. This more curvaceous shape, new lights that no longer looked like they had come off a trailer and an integrated square rear number plate further distanced the Westie from its roots, making it more its own car as opposed to a bit of a wannabe.

There was now clear blue water between the ‘few tubes, a three or four speed gearbox and a live axle’ chassis and running gear of its Lotus influences and a Westfield of this generation. A quick walk around and a peer underneath shows evidence of fifty plus years of development and a build quality closer to an Emira than a 7.    

Purchased as a new car in component form, this FW was assembled by its first owner and a helpful friend of his. Utilising an engine, gearbox and differential that had presumably seen service in more mundane (everything being relative of course) machinery, it was allocated its non-aging registration number via the local Oxford DVLA office on 17th June 2008. Photos on file show the build in progress and we have to say, it looks as though it was an enjoyable process, carried out with new components and a rebuilt (or at least well presented) drivetrain, in a comfortable workshop. At that stage the 2.0 litre, 16 Valve, twin overhead camshaft Vauxhall engine was sporting a pair of side draft twin choke carburettors, Webers if we had to guess.  

Documentation on file suggests the partnership continued with a Mr Christopher Mulhall listed as the owner while Mr Daniel Baines seems to have picked up the bills. Speaking of which, highlights of these include the fitting of a new head in March 2011 with just 996 miles on the odometer (£761.44, thank you Mr Baines), though it is unclear if this was a performance upgrade or not. At the other end of the 1st owner’s tenure (and the opposite end of the engine), a crankshaft refurbishment with new bearing shells was carried out in October 2020 for which Mr Baines dipped his hand into his pocket to the tune of £1,768.34.

By this time the Westfield’s mileage had crept up to just 1,888 suggesting the project had been more about the build process than driving the end result, especially given the FW was sold to Westfield gurus Toybox Specialist Cars just a couple of years later with barely any additional miles covered. Having found a buyer, the Westfield was put through the Toybox workshop and upgraded to his preferred slightly more extreme specification which is summarised below. Registered to its second owner on 22nd December 2022, the Westfield has since covered a further 3,492 miles as shown on the digital odometer (the upgrades having encompassed the fitting of a new dashboard and instruments); a decent level of use in under 18 months which, we make no effort to disguise, included a track day or two. Despite this spike in use, the FW has still only covered some 5,400 miles in total and this, plus its recent refurbishment including an essentially new interior, has ensured it remains in very nice condition indeed.

The components fitted to the FW are of the highest quality - it seems nothing from the “Essentials” range has made it onto the car. Carbon fibre front wings, rear wing protectors and dashboard reinforce the ‘FW’ ethos and further weight is saved (importantly, un-sprung to boot) with the use of 13″ Team Dynamics Motorsport wheels which are wrapped in a set of Toyo’s excellent R888 Proxes (205/60 R 13 front and rear), a firm favourite for lightweight high performance machinery. Disc brakes are fitted all round, vented at the front with ‘Hi Spec’ callipers. Apec pads are actuated via braided brake lines. The Factory wide-track suspension features adjustable dampers and spring seats while plastic wrapped steering arms and track-rod ends demonstrate excellent attention to detail. The independent rear end is a fully adjustable, twin wishbone set up with cast alloy rear uprights.

In the engine bay an oil cooler is paired with a Mocal remote oil filter and Nor-Mal aluminium catch tank while an aluminium finned radiator and SPAL fan keep engine temperatures under control. The 2.0L 16 valve Vauxhall engine is now running on an Omex ECU and throttle bodies with Ramair filters and it is topped with a lovely black crackle finish cam cover with a bit of bling in the form of a gold painted spark plug cover. Underneath, it sports an alloy sump and it is hooked up to a T9 five speed gearbox via an alloy bellhousing. A cable operated clutch, lightweight hi-torque starter and fuel pressure gauge feature, along with a lovely free flowing stainless steel 4 into 1 exhaust system which terminates in a carbon trimmed, side exit silencer.

The cockpit is lightweight basic with JK Composites lightweight seats, TRS four-point aircraft harness belts, a carbon fibre dashboard housing new Smiths instruments, 12 Volt USB socket and a Caged Lazer Engineering full MSA/FIA roll cage. A Racetech removable steering wheel stitched in red is a lovely thing and makes for easy access to the driver’s seat. For us, one of the biggest improvements over other Westfields (and indeed Caterhams and Lotus’) we have driven is the excellent floor mounted pedal box tucked into the roomy footwell. It is not only beautifully engineered but being adjustable, it can be tailored to your exact heal and toe requirements.

Further goodies from the Toybox toybox are a significant upgrade to the lighting system with LEDs front and rear which not only give the Westfield a contemporary look but make it far easier to see and be seen. A carbon fibre effect centre stripe with a rather cool ‘Westfield’ cut out and a flush fit fuel filler cap (easy for you to say) finish the car very nicely.

Toybox tend to use Northampton Motorsport for their engine needs and they dyno tested the Westfield on 8th and 9th December 2022 taking it up to 7,000 rpm and measuring a solid 180 bhp at 6,500. On 23rd January 2023 they then carried out some further tweaking to check a slight perceived flat spot and this yielded an improvement to 182.8 bhp, again at 6,500 rpm.

Having covered minimal miles since it was built, the Westfield remains in excellent condition and we recommend you spend a little time appraising this in the photo gallery (it is art after all) or better still we can arrange an appointment to view the car in the flesh.

A summary of some high (and low) points, all of which are shown in the photo gallery:

The nipped and tucked bodywork remains in excellent order with great paintwork. There is just one small area of light cracking on the driver’s side rear wing, more than likely caused when getting in or out of the car. The round and square tubed chassis is also in very good condition, the Factory black finish having no obvious chips or scratches aside from the low-slung U-shaped tube under the gearbox which has a scrape to it, probably courtesy of a ‘traffic calming’ road hump. The engine and ‘box are both fluid tight as is the differential housing though that is a little grubby. There is some very light surface rust to the driveshafts but the boots protecting their constant velocity joints are in good condition. The wishbones, be they the exposed fronts or more hidden rears, are in excellent, very clean condition. Indeed, most of the Westfield’s components look to be in ‘as new’ condition, not least the unmarked gloss black wheels.

Roomier than other 7s we have driven, the Westfield’s cockpit is also easier to access thanks in part to plenty of climbing frame roll cage tubes one can hang off as you thread your lower torso into the car, as well as that removable steering wheel. With the previous owner presumably being a fair bit taller than your correspondent, the seat was a little far back for us and were we lucky enough to drive the car regularly we would remount it further forward and perhaps remove the steering column extension. Speaking of regular use, the FW body has a lockable boot but to be frank, if you want to put a toothbrush in it, it would need to be part-worn.

With over 180 bhp at its disposal, road test figures suggest the Westfield could cover the benchmark 0-60 sprint in under five seconds and the vendor, who spends his weekends throwing a Dallara single seater up hills, was raving about the driving experience following a run on country roads back from an advisory-free MOT test pass; to be honest, the absence of bump-steer and so on went a little over our heads but we got the picture.

There is a good sized history file with the Westfield which includes photographs of the car both in build and completed plus numerous bills for engine work, electronic ignition and so on. Also present are some MOT certificates and both the original and current V5C registration documents. Printouts of the dynamometer runs from Northampton Motorsport in both tabular and graph forms are also included.

Though we love its fabulous, visceral specification and out there looks (something like Mad Max meets Meyers Beach Buggy), with all the parts required available off the shelf it would not be an expensive or complicated exercise to add a few creature comforts such as windscreen and (roll cage allowing) weather gear.

Always a chunk cheaper than a Caterham (we’d say two thirds the price, like for like), a Westfield is something of a bargain and given this low mileage, two owner example could be a deal cheaper than many others on the market, we recommend you give it careful consideration.

  • Registration Number: Q290 JUD
  • Chassis Number: SA9WS1W116X039130
  • Engine Number: C20XE14161985

COMMENTS

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BID OF £10,000.00 PLACED BY Leebuy

May 14th at 08 : 08 PM

BID OF £9,000.00 PLACED BY Chris245

May 14th at 08 : 04 PM

BID OF £8,000.00 PLACED BY Chris245

May 14th at 07 : 38 PM

BID OF £6,500.00 PLACED BY Leebuy

May 14th at 02 : 52 PM

BID OF £6,000.00 PLACED BY Chris245

May 12th at 08 : 29 AM

BID OF £1,500.00 PLACED BY Leebuy

May 08th at 10 : 18 AM

BID OF £1,300.00 PLACED BY Leebuy

May 08th at 10 : 17 AM

BID OF £1,000.00 PLACED BY Danpar123

May 07th at 08 : 18 PM