After our last Committee Meeting in October. I travelled down to Devon, to visit Jon Malone, who produces the Malone Skunk kit car. Some of you
may have seen the very favourable report in the august 2000 edition of Kit Car magazine.
The demonstrator that Jon took me out in around the local Devon lanes (and which I later got to drive) has a 4-cylinder 900cc Yamaha engine
housed in a purpose built chassis. Drive is sent to the single rear wheel. Larger Suzuki and Kawasaki engines can be used, although the power
from the Yamaha unit was more than adequate. Phenomenal in fact!
Given that you sit very close to the ground and in the open air (we were wearing crash helmets on that day due to the drizzly conditions). I have to admit to not being in anything that moves along tarmac as fast as the Skunk. That includes my friends 2.21 Hondo Prelude! But speed wasn't the only ace card the Skunk had up its sleeve. The road holding was outstanding. At one point Jon approached a right hand bend way faster than I thought possible, and yet the Skunk glided round the corner almost effortlessly, and with no signs what so ever of wheel spin or drift.
After I took over the wheel, the paddle gear change soon became second nature (changing up with the right, and down with the left) and added to the race car experience! One thing that took a bit of getting used to was the pedals. Taken from a single-seater (Formula Ford, if I remember) they were very light, although after a while you soon adjusted to them. Although being a very revy engine (as are most 4-cylinder motorbikes), there was also a surprising amount of torque, which certainly helped me
getting used to it!
After a cup of tea back at Jon's house and workshop, I drove Jon down to the local petrol station in my Lomax. To say there were differences would be an understatement. Having three-wheels was about the only similarity! One thing which did surprise me was the amount of room inside
the 'cockpit'. The Lomax looks bigger on the outside, until you get two people in it, whereas the Skunk looks a lot smaller and yet had plenty of room to spare between the driver and passenger.
To sum it up, all I can say is that my wish list just keeps getting longer