The following story was published in a 1994 newsletter from The British
Automobile Club of South West Virginia. The author is Mark Hancock.
The following is a true, if somewhat abbreviated, account of the origin of the now very successful Westfield sports car. The idea for Westfield came about in an almost fairytale-like way. At this point, however, I must digress a little and outline the background of my co-conspirator, Chris Smith.
Chris, a long time friend and business associate from the West Midlands of England was, and still is, a voracious Vintage Racing maniac. He was very successful with numerous European and British Racing Championships to his credit. He was also a pretty decent Vintage Motor Trader. Chris has owned and raced everything from D-type Jaguars to numerous Lotus formula and sports racing cars. It was with this strong love and understanding of Historic Lotus' that the Westfield tale hangs.
In march of 1982 I was on one of my many buying trips to England searching for vintage and classic cars for fun and profit, mostly profit. If memory serves me correctly I had already purchased an Elva Courier, Turner Roadster, Mini Cooper S, Cortina Crayford Drophead, formula Ford, and a Standard Pennant Saloon. I was looking for one more vehicle for myself, an MG-TC.
Chris informed me that he knew of a pretty decent TC that belonged to a friend of his in Manchester. Having made my way from London to Chris' home, Westfield House, (AHA!) in Stourbridge I noticed the mangled space-frame of a Lotus 11 lying in the side garden. I paid little attention to the remains of this Lotus at the time and we jumped into the Cooper S and took off for Manchester. While driving through the English countryside I made a curious observation. Having always wanted a Lotus 11 modified for the street, I asked Chris if it would be feasible to restore the space frame in his garden. My idea would be to rebody this classic and power it with a BMC engine and drive line.
Chris laughed and said that it would be easier to build a Lotus 11 replica from scratch. Alright, I said, let's form a company to build these replicas in England, and I will sell them in America.
We continued on with the trip which culminated with my purchasing a nice 1948 TC. Arrangements were made to have the MG delivered to Chris' house. Later that week I went back to Stourbridge to gather all the vehicles I had purchased to send them on to Southampton for shipment to the US.
The subject of the Lotus 11 replica came up again and we decided to really give it a go. I had
not been back home very long when I received photos of the prototype, by now called a Westfield
11. It was decided to name the vehicle after Chris Smith's old house, and as there was a
Westfield Bend, at Brands Hatch it somehow seemed appropriate. By the way, thinking of a decent
name for an automobile is easier said than done!