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  Cavallo Estivo

 

The Estivo was launched in 1983 at the Earls Court Motor show, and was the brain child of Colin Robertson and marketed by his Rotherham based Cavallo Cars operation. Unlike some of the other kits, for example the Magenta it offered a hard top that folded away to become an open top. Perhaps best of all it retained four seater capability.


The Estivo used styling from the front of the Fiat X1/9 and the rear of the Escort Cabriolet. Put them together, and you have yourself a whole new car ready to roll into production.


Motoring magazines at the time slated the performance of the Estivo. But in the advertising literature Cavallo advised that you could use any A series transverse engines, and best performance would be from the 1272cc GT engines and the "latest" A+ power units as fitted to the Metro and MG Metro.

Other planned models using Allegro/Maxi 1500 engines and 1750 engines and the Ford Escort 1300/1600 never took off.

There were 5 different types of Cavallo Estivo available:

 

110
130
130+
130s
130x (Subject to availability)

 

To get started you needed to take the following parts from your "dead" 11/1300:

 

Complete engine/gearbox/clutch.
Front subframe.
Drive shafts, wishbones (lower), tie roads, wheel hubs (f & r), brakes (f & r).
Pedal assembly complete with master cylinders.
Accelerator cable.
Choke cable.
Heater unit including hoses.
Battery.
Wiring loom.
Windscreen washers.
Horn.
Headlamps and relays.
Exhaust system.
Interior mirror.
Front seats (to be modified).
Front seat belts.
Interior door handles/window winder handles.
Door locks.
Speedo cable.
Brakes and clutch (if in good condition!).
Petrol pipes (if in good condition!).
Heater vents and trunking.
Rear trailing arms (to be exchanged for modified units).
Steering rack & track rod ends.
Flexible brake hoses.
Alternator/generator/starter motor/all electrical ancillaries.
Front upper wishbone (to exchange for modified units).

 

Not only did you need to supply parts from your "dead" 11/1300 you also had to find the following from other vehicles:

 

Allegro wheels/tyres or Alloy wheels.
Allegro speedo drive unit from gearbox.
Bench rear seat foams and trim.
Sound insulation.
Capri Mk1 petrol tank (or Cavallo GRP tank).
Carpeting.
Trim to doors, panels, dashboard and roof panel.
Allegro 3 speedo and tachometer.
Allegro 1300 radiator.
Allegro 1300 cooling fan.
Metro dashboard switches.
Spring damper units.
Metro L front light/indicator units.
Allegro steering column/controls.
Steering wheel.
Door seals.

 

The Estivo was either available in kit form for "home building" or if you were prepared to wait and pay the price Cavallo could do all the hard work for you and build the car, and deliver.

 

Prices

 

Model

Ex Factory

Car tax

VAT

Total

110

4,305.00

n/a

645.75

4,950.75

130

4,550.00

n/a

682.50

5,232.50

130s

4,750.00

n/a

712.50

5,462.50

130+

4,815.00

401.25

782.44

5,998.69

130x

5,215.00

434.58

847.44

6,497.02

Delivery (UK)

100.00

-

15.00

115.00

Delivery (NI)

-

-

-

P.O.A

 

The Cavallo Estivo wasn't really a cheap kit car. However, a very modern looking car would be yours if you were prepared to pay the price. As with the ranger Cavallo offered a range of accessories to enhance the look of your new car.

The Cavallo Estivo was scrapped only two years after it's launch, in 1985. Sources suggest this is due to poor sales.


The Estivo - How a kit car should be. Modern, sleek lines, but based around the 1100/1300 running gear.


Escort rear end, and the Fiat X1/9 styling can be clearly seen.



With thanks to Steve Hole of Totalkitcar for allowing me to use some of the information from his website to write this article.

 

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