"I drive a Corry Cultra" is probably not as impressive to the general public as it is to a small group of Davrian enthusiasts.
And unless you're a Davrian enthusiast, I guess none of this will make much sense.
Davrian was a kit manufacturer who made small sports cars. Founded by structural engineer Adrian Evans and ex-Ferrari engineer and Formula One driver Mike Parkes, the cars were lightweight coupes designed to use engines from the Hillman Imp, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen Beetle, or Ford Fiesta. Depending on your selection, your Davrian could be rear-engined or mid-engined.
But before both kit car manufacturing and amateur racing became sophisticated enough to realize that they'd go rather well together—a group of low cost engineers and stylists adapting their designs for racing—many kit car makers tried to attract enthusiasts…with varying degrees of modest success.
Davrian had been noodling away for years, perfecting their design, and in 1980 launched the Dragon—a mid-engined sports car that arrived fully built. By 1983, the operation was bust. What to do with a well-developed small sports car?
Irish racing driver Will Corry bought the rights to the car and moved production to Ireland, founding the Corry Car Company. No doubt impressed by its design and lured by the potential of a purpose-built machine, at the time Corry was an up-and-coming rally star who ran a fearsome MG Metro 6R4 Group B rally car.
But for smaller championship events and the privateers who competed in them, it was expensive to convert a road car into a race or rally-ready one—so why not use a kit car? Often designed for a number of different engines, the DIY racer could pick a bunch of parts up off the shelf to assemble their creation.
Designed for on or off-road competition use, the Cultra was also sold in limited numbers for the road. Restyled by Tony Stevens, former Rootes Group designer who was responsible for the Hillman Hunter, the Cultra had awkward-looking (but very 80s) square headlights and a rear that was so (presumably) forgettable that nobody bothered to take pictures of it.
Only a few were sold over its short run. When the company failed, its production line returned to the original Davrian factory in order to launch a new car company…Darrian. With the merits of racing a garage-built car finally proven through competition, the small company still makes race cars to this day.
I'll leave you with the text from the Cultra brochure:
The new Corry 'Cultra' is our answer to spiralling costs in motor sport. The 'Cultra' is an off-the-shelf competition car, built specifically for rallying and racing.
The clubman and national competitor is under serious pressure due to the extreme cost of running competitive equipment. On the other hand, especially in rallying, the alternative of a front wheel drive 'Eurobox' is not attractive. With the 'Cultra' we have changed all that. The 'Cultra' is a car full of character and appearance, attractive to sponsors because of its presence and potential, affordable because the buyer determines the level of specification and therefore purchase and maintenance costs, secure in the knowledge that the full specification is built in, from the 'clubman' upwards. You decide your competition level and choose your specification accordingly, knowing you can upgrade when desired.
Take a lightweight strong monocoque in the latest composite materials, a mid-engined layout with competition brakes and suspension (both adjustable), high ratio steering, and full specification finish right down to the electrics and you have the clubman car.
Keep costs down by utilizing Ford engine and gearbox units, readily available components in all other areas and a lightweight layout to minimize tyre wear and maintenance. Specify a comprehensive list of optional equipment and you have a car which can be upgraded to full national contender specification.
The Corry Car Co. will supply a complete car less engine and gearbox in pure clubman trim at a price comparable to many manufacturer's competition body shell. In fullest specification the Corry 'Cultra' can provide the chassis equipment of the highly priced top line works car.
The unique styling is modern, aggressive, and beautiful. In short all the presence and drama of the supercars at an affordable price.
Be competitive, be noticed, be in a 'Cultra'!