family business was founded in 1969 by Anthony Taylor, and was later
joined by wife Carolyn and son Richard.
Carolyn what it's like playing with cars alongside the boys...
How did you get interested in cars?
"I've always been interested in motor racing. I originally worked on
a newspaper and Anthony had his own garage and then a hundred years
later I am as much part of that garage as he is! I do not like new,
shiny, all designed on the same computer programme cars - nothing
new appeals, well apart from maybe a Jag 220!"
What makes a kit car a kit car?
"It is basically a big boy's jigsaw. Strip an old rusty Jaguar
saloon using pretty much all parts except shell and glass, and make
it into a lovely new sports car, with a new galvanised chassis, plus
fibreglass bodyshell (hence no rust)."
How long does it take to make one?
"How long is a piece of string? Quickest is probably six weeks and
longest 15 years and continuing! We like to suggest to guys that
they just look at it as a leisure project. Forget work, go and play
in the garage!"
you race them?
"Not personally! Though I did a two lap Sprint at the Donnington
Race Track. Since I beat a Porsche and a Cobra, and some others, all
male driven, I felt I had acquitted myself well. The main reason I
did this was because some guys would come on the Exhibition Stands,
and say the Aristocat was a big, big car - so if I can drive it on
the track, what is wrong with you guys on the road! My husband races
our prototype Aristocat - still in race trim - quite regularly."
What's the most expensive car you've ever made?
"We build few cars - they mainly go out in kit form. One of the
replica McLarens went out at £25k."
Which car that you make is the most popular?
"The Aristocat still keeps us busy; probably because the XK Jaguar
it replicates has the most classic lines in UK motoring heritage."
Anybody famous ever bought one?
"The infamous Judge Pickles who opened the BBC 9 o'clock News
driving his Aristocat across the Yorkshire Moors, when he had made a
controversial decision. He used to go to Court regularly in his Old
English White car with aero screens, leather helmet and goggles!
Everyone always assumed he drove an original XK. Also one of Mikhail
Gorbachev's right hand men. He came to visit in the Russian
Ambassador's car. That was at the time of close USSR contact in Mrs.
Thatcher's days. We did subsequently export a couple of cars to
What's your all-time favourite car?
"Apart from the XK Jaguars (of course!) Aston Martin DB4. James Bond
drove a silver one."
Highlight of your career?
"Sir Stirling Moss, the icon of British Motor Racing, joining us for
champagne and celebration cake at our 20th Anniversary Party for
drivers and builders, and presenting the Concours Awards."
And finally, has Jeremy Clarkson ever driven one of your cars and
if he did did he say anything nice?
"No not yet - but at least he would fit into an Aristocat - they're