Naylor Hutson Car Reviews and Road Tests

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Naylor Hutson Car Company

The Naylor TF 1700 was a British sports car built in the 1980s by Naylor Cars, Ltd., located in Shipley, West Yorkshire BD17, England. First shown to the public in 1984, it was the brainchild of Alastair Naylor and was developed together with Alan Staniforth. The two-seater steel roadster bodywork was an unusually faithful replica of the celebrated MG TF. As with the MG TF, the TF 1700 had a front engine and rear-wheel drive. The Naylor was also uncommonly well-equipped (and pricy), with Connolly leather interior and real spoked wheels. Its price in 1985 was £13,950, only forty pounds less than the considerably more powerful Morgan Plus 8 Injection. Like the Morgan, the Naylor had a chassis constructed from ash wood.

Alistair Naylor had been working on MG restoration part-time in the 1970s, when his fame attracted engineer Allan Staniforth, already a successful author/constructor with such achievements as the Mini-based Terrapin sprint cars, and the suspension-designing "string computer" to his credit. Staniforth's stories about Naylor restorations - one story of six Naylor-restored MGs owned by US airmen at a Yorkshire airbase, and another about a father who bought his daughter a rebuilt TF for a 21st birthday investment - brought Naylor the threat of the sack from his full-time employer. Given the choice between staying at work, or giving up T-series restoration, Naylor quit his job.

In 1979, with the restoration business going nicely, Naylor and Staniforth got together, and, using Staniforth's meticulous design and fabrication talents, they had a replica TF prototype completed during 1980. By the time the car was announced in 1984, three prototypes had been built, and two of them virtually demolished (at $75,000-$95,000 cost) in certification crash-testing. The company had well-organised financial backing, and a management staff of five.

Most of the TF 1700's mechanicals came straight from the Morris Marina/Morris Ital, including the 1.7 litre SOHC O-series engine with 77 hp (57 kW) and the four-speed manual transmission. The rear axle was the Marina's live unit with coil springs. The front suspension was independent, with coil sprung MacPherson struts, and a rack-and-pinion steering. Top speed was 94 mph (151 km/h). The TF 1700 came with a warranty from the Austin Rover Group. Naylor moved to a new factory in April 1985, after which production was ramped up. Naylor worked steadily to improve the car and to make its handling characteristics close to those of the original, depending on Lotus' chassis expertise. About 100 cars were built by Naylor until the company went bankrupt in 1986, in some part due to the company's not being able to shake the kit car image.

This was in spite of Margaret Thatcher allowing herself to be photographed driving a Naylor in front of 10 Downing Street, part of an effort to inspire small British manufacturers. The car in question had licence plate D414HYG and was the 100th TF 1700 built. The Naylor venture helped establish the pattern of cooperation between Austin Rover and the British Motor Industry Heritage which led to the production of the RV8. The project, factory and all, was passed into the hands of the Mahcon group in 1986. They created the Hutson Motor Company and sold the car as the Hutson TF 1700. About 61 more cars were built by them. A small number of kit car versions were also sold, under the name Mahcon.
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Naylor Hutson TF 1700

Naylor Hutson TF 1700

1984 - 1986
Production of the original MG TF from MG's Abingdon works ceased in 1955, but such was the aura that surrounded that car that a Yorkshire based car builder, Naylor, created a TF replica in the 1980s so faithful to the original that you could have (almost) been forgiven for thinking it was the real thing. The main concessions extended to a more modern engine, plus some chassis modifications and modern-day safety requirements. More>>
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