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The first production cars were built in 1986, and some 30 or so produced in 1987, ’88 and 89, giving a total of around 106 Mk 1’s. Quite a number of these were LHD and exported, to Germany in particular. There were small changes and improvements introduced with almost every production batch, and of course the individual requirements of potential owners could be incorporated into their car.

(For those who don’t know, the VTA ENGINE has a twin cam alloy head on a Crossflow block, with some other special castings.  Produced for some years prior to the birth of Evante it was used in Formula Atlantic racing and wherever a 1600 twin cam was eligible. The output of 100Bhp per litre, for a two valve engine was, at the time, “state of the art”. In the Evante it was produced with 140 and 160 Bhp outputs).

In 1990 onwards, the need for change became apparent, and the company investigated various engine options, such as the Vauxhall 2 ltr, and later, and more successfully the Ford Zetec. The later Ford gearbox needed a wider chassis, which meant changes throughout.  The company ownership had changed more than once around this time, and the new owners designed and produced a few Mk 1A cars, then two or three Mk2’s, which had a revised body shape. I have found that if you like the Mk1, you won’t like the Mk2, and vice versa.

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