Brian Worboy's "Road Rat"

Builder: Brian Worboys

Year Started: 1992

Year Finished: 1999



Engine: Aircooled VW, 1600cc, Mid mounted

Length: 2860mm

Width: 1580mm

Height: 1200mm

Weelbase: 2100mm

Track: 1375mm, Front and Rear

Brakes: Front Disc, Rear Drums

Seating: 2

Kerb Weight: 585kg


Brian designed and built this car with the following objectives in mind:

  • to build as much of the car himself as possible
  • to keep everything as simple as possible
  • to not build a car that could more conveniently just be bought in a shop.
  • to finish up with something with character, good amusement value and a degree of competence in some motor-sport areas
  • to be not too concerned with power and speed (this has been done before)
  • to keep costs down

The car uses mechanical components mostly from various models of aircooled VW, but includes steering and electrical components from the Toyota Starlet. The engine is mid-mounted and the VW "IRS" (not the swing axle) rear suspension is used through a tricky extension of the VW trailing arms to get round the mid mounted motor. Brian has a nostalgic affection for the old VW, but acknowledges that if building a similar vehicle again, it would make much more sense to go with a modern FWD or 4WD car as the primary donor vehicle.

The crownwheel is swapped to the other side of the diff to obtain four forward gears in the mid engined orientation. The chassis is triangulated out of mostly 25x25 RHS which gives a strong stiff chassis weighing 120kg including suspension subframes. The sides of the body are foam-filled and clad inside and out with aluminium sheet. All other body panels are in fibreglass or aluminium and fasten to the chassis with screws and captive nuts, so the vehicle can be quickly stripped of body parts for any maintenance. The rear compartment has enough boot space to hold a spare wheel, toolbox, and a small amount of luggage.

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