YKC Engineering bought the rights to the Marlin Roadster in 1992. This was developed over the next few years until they produced the Mille Miglia, a kit car in the classic British roadster style, with a number of variants.
The Julietta was one of those variants, featuring a full windscreen (instead of the twin aero screens of other variants), a well-appointed cabin and the proven, reliable running gear from Ford’s Sierra.
This particular Julietta was first registered in June 2004. Since then, it has had 4 subsequent owners, all based in the UK, and has covered less than 5,000 miles. In fact, since November 2017, the car has only done just over 1,000 miles.
It’s a rare car too – while official records are tricky to find, it seems that there are only 5 on the road in the UK.
As well as the current V5, MOT records for the last few years are present, confirming the car’s remarkably low mileage. Also present is the original sales booklet from YKC.
Most intriguingly of all, however, is the build manual that comes with the car. The original builder/owner kept a meticulous record of the build and a large folder of instructions, detailed diagrams and original hand-written notes comes with the car. We reckon there’s enough there for you to strip the car to its component pieces and rebuild it from the ground up, should you so desire.
While the car does not come with a service history – it hasn’t actually covered enough miles to require a full service yet – the current owner put the car in for a pre-sale service and full check with Erik Weaver Motorsport on 5th July 2021 (invoices for the work included in the paperwork).
While many kit cars have a bare-bones interior made from glue and hardboard, the Julietta features a beautifully appointed cabin. Knurled metal knobs and chunky, retro-styled switchgear abound, with a beautifully patterned metal dashboard fascia, black carpets and leather trim. A traditional 3-spoke, wood-rimmed steering wheel, metal shifter, metal handbrake, and traditional tuck & roll seats complete the look. Everything is in very good condition and works well, with little wear evident on the seats.
Another great feature of the Julietta is the fully adjustable seating and steering column. According to the current keeper, this means that even a driver of 6’3” can comfortably drive the car - something you couldn’t say about the vast majority of classic roadsters.
The cabin has some minor marks on the switchgear/dials, but otherwise is in excellent condition; it certainly stands heads-and-shoulders above the usual kit car fare.
Styling may be subjective, but we think the Julietta’s bodywork has a lovely flow and style to it. Externally the car is in very good condition. The chromework looks great, as does the folding top, side curtains, hood cover and full tonneau that come with it. The rear of the car features a chromed luggage rack and full-size spare wheel, another handy feature for that weekend away in the countryside. Underneath the car appears solid, with no issues we could see, and it did of course had a recent MOT test in 31st March 2021 with no advisories.
The paintwork is a lovely bright red that really suits the car, and is in very good condition, with only a few minor age-related marks and swirls. A decent polish and wax would soon restore it to as-new condition.
At some point, aftermarket BK Racing 17” multi-piece alloys have been fitted. These are in reasonably good condition, but would benefit from a light restoration. The tyres are 205/40 ZR17 Toyo Proxes and are all with plenty of tread depth left.
This Julietta features the tried-and-tested 2-litre Ford Pinto engine pushing 100bhp to the rear wheels. Mated to the Ford Sierra transmission manual 5-speed, it offers a reliable, easy to work on drivetrain, with parts readily available if needed.
In this car, all of the mechanical elements look to be in very good condition. The car fires up on the first turn and sounds smooth and throaty on running. The owner assures us that the car also drives very well, with smooth power delivery and no issues with the gearshift, brakes or suspension.
The classic British roadster has never really gone out of fashion. Many of us would love to have one tucked away in the corner of the garage, ready for a quick blast on a sunny day. But, of course, not everyone can afford a Morgan, or an MGA. Or maybe you want something with the classic British roadster styling and feel, but that also has a bit of modern comfort and reliability.
That’s where the Julietta really wins out. Kit cars, when they’re built properly, are a fantastic ownership proposition - giving you all the joy and experience of a classic sports car, but without the massive financial outlay of buying an original production car, or the headache of sourcing rare-as-hen’s-teeth parts.
On top of that, we think it’s a fabulous looking thing, all swooping arches and sinuous bodywork, with a beautifully appointed interior, liberally fitted out in high-grade leather and knurled metal. It has the looks, but it also has the comfort and practicality. The rear luggage rack, full windscreen, folding roof with side curtains and full tonneau (that can be half-unzipped, if you’re flying solo) really do make this a practical weekend car. You’d have no problem at all going away for a weekend in the Julietta, whatever the delightfully unpredictable British weather may throw your way.
Or maybe you just want a car to enjoy blasting around in on a weekend, soaking up the sun with the roof down, as the rorty, side-exit exhaust bounces its ballad off the hedgerows. Well, the Julietta has you covered there too. With 100bhp going to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual box with a short shift, this offers a taste of real, old-school interactive driving. A manual shift, a naturally-aspirated four-pot and an unassisted, RWD chassis; it’s the sort of vehicle that simply isn’t made anymore. And a kerbweight of just c.750Kg means the Julietta has an eminently respectable power-to-weight ratio of more than 140bhp per tonne - that’s a quick car in the Caterham/Westfield mould.
It’s affordable, reliable, great-looking and fast. So what on earth are you waiting for?
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