Identify your Dutton

It is not uncommon for a new Dutton owner to wonder exactly what it is they have bought, so hopefully this section will give you a little insight into the hulk of fibreglass currently sitting on your drive.

There is a basic description of the mechanical components used plus any significant bodywork changes, along with the years of production for each model. On later sports models there was an option of 5 link suspension. The engines that could be fitted are not covered since the range is too great, but basically it's a case of if it fits then put it in, and if it doesn't fit then make it fit. The range of chassis numbers is also included. For the full details on chassis numbers, click here.

You might also find the galleries useful, with photos of a range of Duttons for each model.

The first Dutton was built in 1969 and called the Mantis. This has recently been restored, not as a Dutton but as the donor vehicle - a Lotus 11.

Model (click on images to enlarge) About the model Years of manufacture & chassis number range
P1 Spaceframe chassis using Sprite or Midget mechanical parts. GRP wings, nose and rear remainder aluminium.


Only a few built in 1970/71


B Type

Triumph Herald/Spitfire front and rear suspension. GRP except aluminium sides, floor and footwells. Bedford CF rear lights, sidelights in wings. Indicators on side of nosecone. From Jan '73 option of Ford Anglia van rear axle with 4 link arrangement and Lotus 7 rear coil spring/shock absorber unit. This became standard in late '73. 1971 - 1974
B Plus (B+)   Triumph Herald / Spitfire front suspension. Ford Cortina MkI or II rear axle with 4 link arrangement and Lotus 7 rear coil spring/shock absorber unit, later replaced with Hillman Imp front units. GRP except for aluminium sides. Side lights now in headlights, indicators now on moulded mountings. Spare wheel carrier in front of radiator. Bonnet slightly incompatible with scuttle (due to height) and two small bulges at right angles to centre bulge (so Ford 3 litre radiator fits). 1974 - 1977
Malaga Chassis as B Plus. Bonnet as B Plus but with integrally moulded cycle wings and circular headlights. Distinctive rear end with flowing arches and box shaped boot.


1974 - 1977
Malaga B+ Body work option using front from Malaga and rear end from B+. B+ Malaga was also a possibility but very few existed. 1975 - 1977
Phaeton Series 1 Chassis modified slightly with the same mechanical parts. Body work revised from Malaga B+ with full width boot lid and bonnet has lost the small ridges. 1977 - 1981

Chassis numbers: 701-2363

Phaeton Series 2 As Phaeton S1 but rear suspension now uses Cortina leaf springs. As a result the rear hangers protrude through the bodywork and are often covered with GRP over riders. 1981 - 1982

Chassis numbers: 762-4434

Phaeton Series 3 A new chassis designed to use all Ford Escort MkI or II components. The front suspension uses a cut down Escort strut mated to a Dutton top wishbone with a Maxi balljoint. Initially using Imp front spring/damper unit which was replaced with a variety of coil over damper units. Completely revised bodywork. Seats are separate items (previously formed the rear bulkhead) with space behind them. Part way through finally stopped using the Bedford CF rear lights, which were replaced with rectangular items. 1982 - 1986

Chassis numbers: 1717-5835

Phaeton Series 4 Chassis as Phaeton S3 but with revised bodywork. Bumpers are incorporated into main bodywork which is slightly wider at base of screen. Bonnet has two vents on top side and heater intake protrudes through bonnet, also front fog lights moulded into spoiler. 1986 - 1989

Chassis numbers: 5540 - 6227

B Plus Series 2 As Phaeton S4 but with revised bodywork using long flowing wings. 1989

Chasis numbers: 6051 - 6066

Melos Same chassis as Phaeton S3 but using different bodywork. 2+2 seater (although those in the back must be very small). 1982 - 1989

Chassis numbers: 2327 - 6321

Legerra Revised Phaeton S4 / Melos chassis with convertible bodywork and conventional opening doors. 1988 - 1989

Chassis numbers: 6008 - 6335

Sierra Series 1 Ladder chassis using Ford Escort MkI or II mechanical components. Uses MkI screen and 2 door version doors. The first Dutton 4 seater. Top surface of bonnet is flat. 1980 - 1984

Chassis numbers: 1360 - 4040

Sierra Series 2 Same chassis, bodyshell improved being double skinned in places with inner wing panels. Bonnet had wide ridge down the centre rather than being flat. Later Series 2 had the footwells dropped each side of the main chassis rail to give more space at the pedals which resulted in two small footwells. Sierra S1s and S2s used the Bedford CF rear lights as fitted to the Dutton Sports cars 1984 - 1986

Chassis numbers: 3244 - 5766

Sierra Series 3 Same chassis, but with new body work moulds. Return edges on wheel arches and option of round or Escort Mk3 front headlights, used Escort Mk3 van rear lights. In Jan 1988, the chassis rail was dropped under the footwell to allow for a conventional footwell and the front seats were positioned on a raised moulding. 1986 - 1989

Chassis numbers: 5185 - 6251

Sierra Drop Head Same chassis but with revised bodywork with either a soft top or hard top which came with GRP doors.

Also available was a Sierra pick up, an open bodied truck incorporating a drop down tailgate, a Sierra chassis/cab unit, and a Sierra panel van with GRP panels in place of the normal rear windows.

1983 - 1989

6251 - last Sierra Drophead

Rico 4 seater - although not much space in the rear - saloon, using modified Sierra chassis. Early versions had DeLorean front headlights, later replaced by Escort Mk3 lights. 1984 - 1989

Chassis numbers: 5058 - 6109

Rico Shuttle Used modified Sierra chassis with fully trimmed GRP bodyshell and Escort Mk3 lights. 1986 - 1989

Chassis numbers: 5058 - 6109

Beneto Used modified Sierra chassis with fully trimmed GRP bodyshell. Front doors are from 2 door Escort MkII. 1989

Chassis numbers: 6207 - 6279

Cantera Modified Malaga/B+ chassis with coupe bodywork. Only 6 were ever built and the club knows of 4 in existence. 1976 - 1977
 Updated Nov 2014