This page contains an overview of the company history, for more details on the cars they produced see UVA – The Cars
UVA (Unique Vehicle and Accessory Company) stopped trading in 1991. Rumours have surfaced in the past of UVA vehicles returning to production but to date none have come to fruition.
The company was started in 1981 by Alan Arnold, initially selling the imported Manta Montage. In addition to this UVA were European representatives for Bugpack and sold a range of their Beetle tuning equipment.
By 1985 UVA had launched the UVA Shogan. This was a strange looking beetle van conversion. UVA initially aimed to use another manufacturers design (Van-detta) and Europeanise it before taking moulds for production but the build quality was deemed so bad that they started from scratch.
By late 1985 UVA had a larger spread of designs available. The Fugitive was available in many forms both 2 and 4 seater. The Fugitive 3 series aimed more at racing than off-roading was available. The Manta Montage had now been developed by UVA into the UVA M6GTR.
By 1990 UVA seem to have been relying mainly on the Fugitive 2 and 4 series cars as well as the series 3 F33 Can-am.
From the horse’s mouth
In November 2010 Alan Arnold contacted us and offered to provide a much fuller history of the company and his involvement in it.
There’s a lot of detail here and it’s been spread across 3 pages :
The following information was sent to me in May 2001 by an ex-employee of UVA :
The UVA company was founded in 1982 by Alan Arnold and run from his house near Newbury, Berks before moving to brand new premises on a local industrial estate in 1983. When I joined in early 1983 the company consisted of just three people – Alan, his business partner Terry, and a chap called Paul. Before starting UVA Alan had been in charge of marketing for a local brake products company call CBS and had created several publicity vehicles – a V8 Bedford CF and also a Hustler kit car (chassis No. 1).
I think I can shed some light on the origins of the Fugitive. If you look in a Bugpack catalogue circa 1983 you will see that there is a VW sand-rail kit with more than a passing resemblance to the UVA Fugitive. UVA imported these in some quantity starting 1983. Dave of Kingfisher Customs was one of UVA’s best customers – not only for Fugitives but all UVA products. After I left the company I think the Fugitive frames and body panels were sourced locally.
The only product to start with was the Montage kit car that, while superb, was far too upmarket for the British kit car scene of the time, it cost over £6000 when most kits cost around £600. The Bugpack VW parts range came next and to start with proved a real winner, especially the catalogues that cost UVA nothing and were sold for £2.50 – £3.00 each!
The last time I visited UVA was in the early nineties. Alan had gone and the company had moved down the road from Newbury to Whitchurch. It was being run by Terry. I later bumped into Alan in Newbury – he was selling vending machines!