What donor car should I use?
Mk3 CABRIO - (BMW Based)
BMW 3-Series Saloon, Touring, Cabriolet, (E30 model, 1983-93 approx.) 320, 323,
Other models such as 318 and M3 may also be suitable.
Mk2 CABRIO - (Ford Based)
Sierra saloon, 2 wheel drive, 1.8L to 2.8L petrol.
For more specific info on Donors and other options, please visit the
relevant Javelin model web page. There you will find comprehensive
information under the 'General
How do I find a donor car?
By looking in the local Free Ads Yellow Pages, Exchange and Mart, Autotrader
(also try Autotrader online), or local press are good sources as well as your local scrap
Javelin will also find you a donor, strip all necessary parts then palletise them ready for collection/delivery. Remember you can discount the condition of bodywork, trim, etc, (except when negotiating your purchase price!) and concentrate on engine condition, and the general mechanical state of the vehicle.
What is the build time?
Typically the build time can be around 250 hours for a Cabrio. In reality this must be the most frequently asked question of all and in fact the real answer has to be
as long as it takes! There are so many factors which can affect this. Yes, it could be completed in this time provided all the donor parts had been located, prepared and ready to fit. The differing levels of skill, premises and the quality of the final result all play a part. The two most important factors must be
Planning and Costs. Remember though the most important thing is to enjoy building the car and not to set yourself impossible targets.
How much will it cost?
The real cost of a build rests with the builder - and to what standard he wants to achieve. The
Cabrio provides the great satisfaction of creating something special, and puts the fun back into motoring.
The Cabrio has been carefully designed to be assembled using the contents of a basic tool kit and power drill; naturally if the builder has access to other tools which will enable the job to be done more speedily, they should be used.
Similarly, a person who is determined to do everything themselves, including the preparation, painting and trim will know the local Hire Shop can rent the proper professional equipment at reasonable rates. This route of building
will keep you under £7,500 for a nicely finished car. However, most owners average between £7k and £10k for a really professionally finished job.
Must I buy all the parts to build my Cabrio at the
No, it is not necessary to buy all the parts at one time,
but most initial orders include, most of the major components to build to the
rolling chassis stage, as listed in the Cabrio Build Modules.
Do I need to paint my Cabrio ?
Yes, the car is made up from a mixture of aluminium & glass fibre
However it is possible to pass the SVA test and register it for the road in its
Is there any weather
equipment with the Cabrio ?
Yes, there is a well fitting hood and frame.
Is there any luggage
space and how big is
The Cabrio has been designed to accommodate
people up to about 6’ 6" with plenty of leg & elbowroom. There
is a lockable boot, which will store the hood bag and still leave enough room for an overnight
bag, as well as space behind the seats.
How easy is the Cabrio build manual to follow?
Javelin has a full Cabrio build manual on CD-ROM which contains detailed
descriptions, drawings and photos of the complete build process.
What about parts and accessories?
As well as the standard accessories listed on the kit order forms, we have a
"Finishing Touches" list. Showing vehicle spares, electrical parts, brightwork, wheels, etc - everything you need to finish the job. You can choose either to purchase everything in one go or buy as you go along. We can organise "stage packages" of parts.
Javelin can offer this service simply because we build all the time and KNOW just what is needed.
Can you supply ready built or part built kits?
Yes. Simply ask for more details.
Do you provide a delivery service?
Yes, we can delivery your kit to you with full goods in transit insurance for only £1.60 a mile one way.
What about registration and SVA ?
With the new SVA regulations now in place you can rest assured that providing you follow the
simple guidelines put down by the DVLA and follow the instructions in our detailed build manual, you will have no problems registering your car. You will be able have an age related plate (the same age as your donor car) if you keep the original donor registration document and inform the DVLA of your intention of changing the details on the document to that of your
Are these cars difficult or expensive to insure
No, there are various specialist car insurance companies that offer very competitive
rates, especially if mileage is restricted. Most companies will insure an owner for between £100 & £250 full comp.
Javelin can supply a large selection of company names and telephone numbers for
you to try.
I'd like to talk to other owners who have built one of your kits, How do I go about it?
Ring Javelin and we will put you in touch. You also could contact The Marlin Owners Club which is one of the most active and successful clubs in the country with over 600 members.