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  Javan R1

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Introduced in:2006
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 07, 2006
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn no other country do low volume manufacturers flourish like in Great Britain, but the ever stricter safety and emission regulations make it increasingly difficult. Late in 2001, Strathcarron fell victim to the changes in the Single Vehicle Approval regulations. Almost five years later, it was revealed that all was not lost for the quirky two-seater design. Javan Smith, successful manufacturer of 1:8 models, had purchased the car's production moulds and toolings from the liquidators and in complete secrecy started constructing his first 1:1 model.

To get an idea of what he was up against, he bought a completed Strathcarron and quickly realised there were several big flaws that needed major work to rectify. His intention of continuing production was halted and instead the focus was on solving all the issues. Four years later, there is little under the body that reminds of the motorcycle engined Strathcarron. The Javan R1 unveiled in August 2006 is a Strathcarron in shape only.

One of the first things to go was the motorcycle engine. It was replaced by the car-derived two litre Honda V-TEC engine that produces a neat 220 bhp. The four cylinder engine is installed midships in an "aerospace designed and manufactured" aluminium monocoque, which should provide sufficient rigidity and light weight. And light it is, weighing in at a mere 670 kg. Combined with the 220 horses this greatly contributes to the Javan's sub 4 seconds 0-60 mph and sub 10 seconds 0-100 mph times.

Throughout the (re-)design process, the engineers kept in mind that the Javan has to suit as many markets as possible to be a success. As a result, the R1 is available as a left and right hand drive from the get-go. Livered in striking dark green and orange (BRM) colours, the first example is seen above.

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