ALMAC OVER­VIEW

New Zealand Classic Car - - KITS AND PIECES -

Un­like all other niche car builders, Almac has al­ways been more than a one-car man­u­fac­turer. De­spite what can be best de­scribed as a gen­er­ally scep­ti­cal New Zealand pub­lic, this small cot­tage busi­ness has re­peat­edly tried to di­ver­sify from run-of-the mill repli­cas and of­fers its own unique in­ter­pre­ta­tion of car func­tion and form. What fol­lows is a short run­down of the cars by Almac since its first Co­bra replica. More de­tailed in­for­ma­tion can be found on its web­site, almac.co.nz.

427SC (1982–PRE­SENT)

The mighty Co­bra is still in pro­duc­tion, and is one of New Zealand’s big­gest-sell­ing kit cars. Re­cently, Almac con­sid­ered tak­ing it off the mar­ket, but or­ders keep trick­ling in. Over 300 have been pro­duced to date.

TC (1986–1988)

This was the first at­tempt to pro­duce a ve­hi­cle that was uniquely an Almac. It’s a much sim­pler car, with a fi­bre­glass grille sur­round. In to­tal, 26 were pro­duced.

TG (1989–1991)

An up-to-date re­vi­sion and all-round im­prove­ment on the TC, with 16 pro­duced.

SABRE (SE­RIES 1) (1994–2001)

This was the first to­tally new de­sign to come out of the fac­tory, with the ma­jor­ity of parts from the read­ily avail­able Ford Cortina. One of them is owned by me. Most cars were fit­ted with Rover V8s, and it could have been New Zealand’s ver­sion of TVR. Nine were pro­duced.

CLUBSPRINT (2002–2008)

With the fail­ure of the Sabre, Almac re­turned to the safety of build­ing repli­cas of proven cars such as the ev­er­last­ing Se­ries 3 Lo­tus, and 7. Six cars were pro­duced.

SABRE (SE­RIES 2) (2004–2010)

Alex knew that the Sabre was a great car, but be­lieved that the Se­ries 1 lacked cred­i­bil­ity due to its Cortina donor, so he moved the car up­mar­ket with a much stiffer chas­sis, Jaguar run­ning gear, and a Lexus V8. Only five were pro­duced.

CLUBSPRINT XL (2008–PRE­SENT)

By 2007, Almac had re­al­ized that the Clubsprint’s Es­cort donor was be­com­ing a col­lectable car and prices were go­ing up, so it was com­pletely re­designed to take MX-5 com­po­nen­try. To fit the wider MX-5 track, all the di­men­sions were in­creased pro­por­tion­ally to keep the clas­sic 7 style, and the con­se­quently in­creased cabin room made the car far more user-friendly. Twenty-five have been pro­duced so far.

ELEC­TRIC CAR (2012)

Work be­gan on an all-new elec­tric com­muter car, in­tended to be of­fered only in turnkey form. With its small foot­print, it could eas­ily nip in and out of traf­fic, squeeze it­self into small car parks, and de­liver peo­ple or pack­ages for only a small per­cent­age of the cost of a petrol car. De­vel­op­ment was well on the way when changes in gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion made the car eco­nom­i­cally un­vi­able.

SABRE (SE­RIES 3) (2018?)

The com­pany is still keen to build a car that is uniquely Almac, and work is well on the way with the de­vel­op­ment of a to­tally new and mod­ern petrol-engine sports car. Like the elec­tric car, it will only be sold in turnkey form as a brand-new car.

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