Mike O'Sullivan the MK26B designer and owner of Supermarine Aircraft, grew up around Spitfires and Mustangs. His uncle had 50 acres of war surplus stock on his cattle ranch in Australia. Mike wanted a Spitfire but realized very quickly that he could not operate one on his own, so went about designing an aircraft that he could and take a friend, yes all the MK26B were designed with two seats!
Mike also worked out the cost of producing a full scale aircraft would make it all but impossible for the very wealthy few to own, a conservative estimate for the airframe kit alone would be around the million pound mark, then there was the engine!
There are less and less Merlins around and the engineering expertise to look after these thoroughbreds is almost as rare. The cost of running them is frightening, a staggering gallon of AvGas a minute!
At 90% the MK26B is manageable, more affordable and with a modern power plant more reliable. The kit has been designed for non aerospace people to construct and using detailed manuals and support from the Supermarine factory is reasonably straightforward. But at over £200K and a minimum of 1100hours required to construct is still a hefty commitment for an individual.