In our humble opinion a true Café Roadster needs to have a few key ingredients. It’s not written in stone, but to misquote England’s favourite pub landlord you need to have a few rules; too many and you’re in Germany, too few, France. So we have gone for three simple ones. A Café Roadster should ideally:
- Be based on a classic British open-topped sports car designed in the 50s or 60s, just as the original café racer motorbikes were. Ideal base cars could include various MGs, Austin Healeys, Triumph TRs, Sunbeam Alpines, historic kit cars, Lotus 7 derivatives and even the evergreen Morgans.
- Be mildly tuned to at least crack ‘the ton’. The ubiquitous Midgets and Spitfires of the 60s barely passed 90mph in standard trim. Major modifications should be in period. Improved handling and a lowered stance is encouraged. The original café racers, in a kind of Rock n Roll version of the MotorPunk Sprint Series, would challenge each other to get their bikes to a distant waymarker, and back, before a 7” single could finish playing on the jukebox. Similarly, we think pepped-up Café Roadsters should be able to twice lap Blyton Park within Professor Elemental’s three minute classic Fighting Trousers
- Have added lightness and a pared down look. Bumperless, detrimmed bodywork in subtle race-inspired paint jobs is considered de rigueur. No extraneous adornments are encouraged but they should be road legal; sports cars are for driving, not detailing.