Rocket kit car, Ford Focus based, designed for a 1.6 Focus power plant with 115 bhp. The low cost alternative to the Ariel Atom.
It was back in 2001 when I became inspired to develop an exoskeleton kit car, I have Harley Davidson to thank for their pre-launch promotional material describing their forthcoming V-Rod as “having the engineering on show in a minimalist design concept. The chassis being a prominent feature of style, a statement, not something painted black and hidden beneath the tank”.
I was the first to import a V-Rod to the UK and I still love it to this day, (which is lucky as all I had seen prior to parting with money was a picture), although I prefer driving kit cars of course, that’s the right answer!
By the end of 2006 MEV had developed and been building a prototype exoskeletal car, and in 2007 it became clear that this was going to be a runaway success, by the end of 2009 had supplied around 150 kits.
The name Rocket came about as I had finished a few laps on our test track in a prototype and shouted “it goes like a Rocket”.
Strangely despite us using the name Rocket since 2006 the Light Car Company managed to slip in a registration for the trade mark Rocket in 2008 but are powerless to stop us using it due to our historical use.
We carried out one off modifications to some kits including the introduction of building with alternative power plants such as Honda, ST170’s, Volvo 5 pot and even a C-Max diesel which had so much torque it started to tear the rear wishbone mounts off!
Another one off was for Smarts-R-Us Ltd in Nottingham and was named Zonta, featuring a Smart car engine, they offered it as a kit but it did not take off. Our desire to develop other kits meant we had to shed some of our work load and so we sold a licence to Smarts-R-Us Ltd to be manufacturer the Rocket, they ran into financial difficulties, ceased trading and then formed Road Track Race Ltd (RTR Ltd), MEV agreed to transfer the Rocket manufacturing licence. They ceased trading early 2015.