The Phaeton was a kitcar made by Dutton between 1978 and 1989.
The Dutton Phaeton started with the Series 1 in 1978 and went through 4 production series to end with the Series 4 (or S4). The Phaeton started out using a crude ladder chassis using Triumph front suspension and Ford rear.
Along with most of the Dutton range the clincher for most people was the price. Dutton kits were cheap and easy to assemble. The glassfibre work wasn't the best but it worked and you got what you paid for.
Series 1 (1977–1981)
The S1 Phaeton had a slightly modified chassis with the same mechanical parts from the Malaga. The body work revised from the Malaga B+ with full width boot lid and bonnet has lost the small ridges. The Series 1 Phaeton was basically an updated Duttom Malaga B+.
Series 2 (1980–1982)
The Series 2 was the same as the S1 but the rear suspension now used Ford Cortina leaf springs. As a result the rear hangers protruded through the bodywork and were often covered with GRP over riders.
Series 3 (1981–1986)
The Series 3 now used a new chassis designed to use all Ford Escort MkI or II components. The front suspension used a cut down Escort strut mated to a Dutton top wishbone with a Maxi balljoint. Initially using Hillman Imp front spring/damper unit which was replaced with a variety of coil over damper units. The S3 also featured completely revised bodywork. Seats were separate items (previously formed the rear bulkhead) with space behind them. Part way production, Dutton stopped using the Bedford CF rear lights, which were replaced with rectangular units.
Series 4 (1986–1989)
The S4 Phaeton was seen as a good progression of the model with a new chassis and all Ford Escort running gear which enabled a 5 link setup and much improved handling. Body styling changes made for an improved overall look although it was still flimsy. Tim Dutton ended his kit car empire in 1989 but the Phaeton found a new home in Eagle Cars who carried on Phaeton production but called it the P25.
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