Navajo

 

The Navajo was built between 1984 and mid 1985 by Alan Langridge at his work shop adjacent to the Goodwood race track. There were only ever approximately 12 kits built.

The Duke of Richmond was a big backer of the project, and worked with Alan Langridge to get the Navajo off paper and on to the road. During the design process Alan asked himself the following questions about the competition:

What sort of engineering standards are adhered to in the manufacture of the kit?

What does the customer get in the basic kit and what are the "optional extras"?

What does it all cost?

How easy is it to build?

What is a realistic building time?

Does it handle properly and have adequate power?

How do other people view the car?

Is it practical, everyday transport or a summer fun car?

Is it a product that enhances the reputation of the kit car industry?

The Duke of Richmond takes a Navajo for a spin around the Goodwood racing circuit. He commented "I could have a lot of fun around the estate with this car".

The Navajo was based on the 1100/1300 mechanics, but with Alan being used to building racing cars, he couldn't stand the handling that Hydrolastic suspension gave, so it was replaced with coil shock absorbers.

The body chassis unit is of monocoque construction, consisting of sheet Zintec (Zinc plated steel), folded and shot, and MIG welded to form a very rigid structure. At 18 gauge, the Zintec is about twice as thick as that used in conventional production cars and being zinc coated, it is corrosion resistant. The surface of Zintec is also said to be self healing if it suffers minor damage.

So, what's required to turn your "rusty" 1100/1300 into the new Navajo? You'll need the following: wiring, front lights, instruments, and windscreen wipers, engine and gearbox, front subframe, pedal assembly, steering column, heater, rear hubs and suspension arms, front seats and wheels. Everything else you needed was supplied with the "basic" kit.

Navajo shows how much it resembles the Mini Moke.

Despite the Navajo's good looks there were downsides. The kit car was open to the elements, the passengers are very close to the wide sills, and there is very little hip support given from the seats. All points which leave the occupants vulnerable in an accident.

In November 1984 a Kitcars & Specials Magazine reporter summed up the Navajo in this way "I have to admit that it is very difficult to find any fault at all with the Navajo. The engineering standards are first class, the car is fun and safe to drive and the build up should not be a problem for the novice."

The basic Navajo kit

All steel monocoque body chassis unit (ready to spray)

GRP bonnet with hinges and catches

Windscreen and rubber surround

Four shock absorbers

Two front & two rear springs

Two rear lights (including fog lamps and wiring)

Number plate light and reflectors

Two handbrake cables

Complete set of metal brake pipes

Two quarter lights (already fitted)

All mountings, braces, adaptors, brackets, fixings, spacers and nuts and bolts etc

So you know what you got in your kit, but what did it all cost? And what accessories were available?

Prices & Accessories

Part/Accessory

Price

Basic Kit (as above)

795.00

Two-pack acrylic paint finish

165.00

Full weather equipment

175.00

Roll-over hoop

45.00

Full weather equipment and roll over hoop

195.00

Bumpers front and rear

55.00

Special steel wheels (5j x 12) set of 5

99.00

Special wheels each

22.50

Corbeau hi-back seats (including runners) each

48.00

Where are they now?

It is not known, precisely, how many kits have survived. Alan Langridge moved to South Africa in the late 1980's. The prototype was owned for many years by a next door neighbour, Eugene Griessel until it was scrapped. Eugene supplied us with this photo of the prototype parked up at Goodwood.

The Navajo out on the Goodwood circuit.

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