Used buying guide: Westfield SE

If you want adrenaline-rush immediacy and driver reward from £4000 up, head for a Westfield

“If you intend to get back to actual driving, purchase a Westfield.” Not our words, or without a doubt Westfield’s, however those of Westfield enthusiast and also workshop professional Mark Glasswell.

We ‘d agree, of course. We ‘d likewise state the same concerning Caterhams, which are extra expensive– your cash getting an aluminium instead of glassfibre body, a generally better finish, a more track-tuned set-up out of the box and a direct association with the original Lotus Seven.

Not that the Westfield is a poor relation, as many proprietors will certainly attest. In justness to Glasswell, he’s not fresh eyed about the autos, being just as passionate regarding Caterhams.

The staple Westfield is the SE. Early ones from the 1980s have a five-link, solid back axle from the Ford Escort. It fits track use. In the direction of the end of the years, the SEi arised with an independent set-up at the back including double wishbones and also an Escort differential in a Westfield real estate. It’s much better matched to roadway use. Supposed wide-body versions of both kinds (they’re additionally much longer) showed up in around 1990. The following year, the slim body was dropped.

Next off came SEiGHT variations powered by a Wanderer V8. The first autos had a Companion diff however it was considered as well weak for the torque and was changed by one from the Sierra. Although the SEiGHT is little bit nose heavy in corners, the 3.9 V8 is a grunty thing that can power the vehicle around a track on a whisper of throttle. Broaching torque, there are diesel-powered Westfields, as well.

Back to gas, and early engines included Ford Kents, Pintos as well as CVHs, in addition to extremely screamy Fiat twin-cams. They were adhered to by Rover K-series as well as Vauxhall Red Top twin-cam units, Toyota 1.6 and Honda S2000 engines, and also Ford Zetec as well as Sigma units. Ford Ecoboost engines are preferred today. As for transmissions, early Westfields are most likely to have the four-speed Escort ‘rocket’ transmission and also later ones the Kind 9 ‘box from the Sierra or its follower, the MT75.

The series of engines as well as ‘boxes makes browsing the globe of Westfield far from straightforward. More of the cars are home-built from packages, as well, whereas Caterhams tend to be gotten entire, so there are substantial distinctions in construct quality.

For example, one leading proprietors’ online forum attributes pictures of crudely built Westfields, their rear wheels not centralised in the arcs– an usual fault. A near-perfect relationship of wheels to body, thoroughly routed pipelines, an adoringly cut inside, well- lubricated suspension, an upgraded air conditioning system and also a photographic document of the vehicle’s setting up are the trademarks of a well-built Westie. Unless you can place your hand through one, do not worry unduly over panel spaces, particularly on early automobiles.

If you get on the big side however charmed by a narrow-bodied SE, you could discover a modification of seat frees a few extra priceless centimetres. It would certainly be a pity to be separated from a Westie by so small a margin.

A specialist’s sight – Mark Glasswell, owner, MKG Automotive

” I desired a Lotus Seven when I was 17 and after that, when I knew I could not manage one, a Caterham. When I understood I couldn’t pay for one of them either, I got a Westfield in package type. That was in 1990 when I was 18 and I still have it. It’s a narrow-body SEi powered by a 2.0-litre Ford Pinto engine that is flawlessly adequate for such a lightweight automobile. I ‘d still have a Caterham. I love the entire concept and also do not understand the competition in between Caterham and also Westfield proprietors, but the Westfield is what I can manage and what I’ve come to be an expert in. Being a lot more pricey, Caterhams are of a better however a Westfield gives you the very same buzz. You venture out after a drive as well as think: ‘I’ve just endured something truly unique.'”.