The V8 Stealth Beetle (an update)

This car was designed by Jean Fourie in South Africa. Basically, they take a Beetle body and put in on a new chassis, complete with an Audi engine and transaxle.

I have enquired as what the status of this car was in the UK and contacted the European distributor.

I have had a reply from this gentleman who says that he has never imported a car into the UK. It seems that what he has done is to get the car TUV tested in Germany, before passing onto the owner.

For a car costing around £60,000, I would have thought that it would be road registered straightaway but you will need to get it IVA tested (lots of money and no guarantee that it will pass) and to pay both VAT and import tax BEFORE  you can even get it road registered; you are talking around another £20,000 to £30,000. That makes the car very expensive and I would rather buy a Porsche Cayman for that money.

If you want to go the “cheap” way, you will have the added cost of building and modifying the Beetle body, then buy the kit, with import duty and VAT, and only then to get it IVA tested. If and I say if you pass, only then can you get it road registered. It would probably have an awful “Q” number plate.

Smoke and mirrors me thinks?

Sad because the concept is excellent

Whether Jean Fourie likes it or not, in terms of the motor laws, it IS  a kit car

In the words of Jean Fourie “we CANNOT guarantee that it will pass in your country”

Following my post, I have heard back from Jean Fourie and, in the interest of balance, you will find his response just below. I have also included my reply and (hopefully) some constructive suggestions.

Re: Smoke and mirrors?
You replied on Mon 03/08/2020 14:55
Jean Fourie -3 L Engineering and Design <REDACTED>
Mon 03/08/2020 08:59
To:

  •  You
Cc:

  •  Doug Foulkes;
  •  Claus Christeinicke
Good day David
Hope you are good your side of the world. This side, the COVID is hitting us hard, and we are currently the 5th worst hit, when it comes to daily infections.
As for your post: I must say, I was very disappointed when reading it, and also somewhat confused……
You head it ‘smoke and mirrors’…..  the obscuring or embellishing of the truth of a situation with misleading or irrelevant information
May I respond:
  • We have 22 episodes on Youtube, explaining and showing precisely what we are doing, in every detail.
  • We have a website explaining who we are and what we sell.
  • We have a Facebook page, showing all comments, good or bad.
  • You are welcome to Google Jean Fourie + GT40+ CAVGT and find out EVERYTHING about me, and my history.
  • You email Claus in Germany , asking about registration, and he explains that even though the first car into Germany did pass EURO 3 certification, he can not guarantee what will happen into the UK.
  • I explain in our videos, that we have no control over your country and SVA. ( by the way, I have many of GT40’s running in UK, all passed the SVA )
  • Yes, I hate the term kit car, but then every single car on this planet is a kit car. There are no other way of building a car, but from a kit or box of bits.
  • We are a small volume production, if anything.
  • All the FACTS are open to anybody who dares ask, or who wants to know more.
My question to you therefor is: Where are the smokes and mirrors ? Where are we ‘obscuring or embellishing the truth’, such that you need print what you did?
Why, if you have the ability to put pen to paper, and influence those around you by your words, don’t you write about a man’s dream, to try his very best in building something special, here on the very tip of Darkest Africa, with next to nothing to his disposal? Where I fight every day in an effort to survive.
We are a team on three good guys. We are not just building beetles, but also build vehicles for the USA. We build container homes, we do work to race cars. The list goes one.
Do me one favour David. Dont write what isn’t true. That hurts me, and my guys.
Think about that.
Regards
Jean Fourie
and my reply
Re: Fwd: Smoke and mirrors?
David Hender
Mon 03/08/2020 14:55
To:

  •  Jean Fourie -3 L Engineering and Design
Dear Jean,
Thank you for your email and I appreciate your comments.
I must clarify something if I may. I was, in no way, denigrating the V8 Stealth Beetle, which is a wonderful concept and beautifully engineered; it is a credit to your skill and expertise.
I am not talking about the component form cars now as I am only talking about fully built and roadworthy vehicles. Anyone who builds a car, such as yours, will have to go through the IVA test.
I have built a kit car in the past, way back in my 20s and know how stressful the SVA test, as it was then, can be.
Your car is very complex and I know my own limitations, especially with a complex engine and electrics, as well as the emissions issue.
Claus did explain that the fully built car that went to Germany was specifically set up to comply with the TUV regulations. Regulations differ around the world, I accept that but if someone, such as myself, was going to spend a great deal of money in having a “turnkey” car prepared, I would expect it to be fully compliant and for the importer to actually have the car tested before handover.
It is this subject that I had an issue with as it was not clear.
I am well aware that for low volume producers of cars, such as yourself, the various “IVA type” regulations are a restriction to market entry. I have absolutely no doubt that the car is immensely strong and very safe but it can be the least little thing that can fall fowl of the IVA test, even something as mundane as the type of steering wheel and, of course, the dreaded emissions and noise test; the latter being ridiculous in my view as just about every motorbike on the road makes far more noise than even the nosiest of cars.
There are people, far less “clued up” as I am, who would think that they could just have a car built, have it brought into the UK and just drive it but we both know that is not the case.
What is needed, in my humble opinion, is a clarification of the rules. Maybe your website needs to be enhanced to cover the pitfalls of bringing a Stealth Beetle to the UK (and other countries), including import tax, VAT, car duty and the various testing procedures before you can get the car registered for the road, together with the respective costs. Perhaps, when that is done, you can do a short video explaining the various procedures, as importing a car into any country is a legal minefield.
My mantra is one of balance and fairness. I will therefore be updating my post to include your reply and this email.
As an aside, I think it is a shame that you have moved away from the original concept of having mainly just VAG components but agreeing to install large US engine blocks; fine for the CAV 40 but not for your Stealth Beetle; market forces can be a very influential beast.
With kind regards
David

Published by David Hender (copyright owner- all rights reserved)

If you want to know me, you first need to understand where I have been and where I am going

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