Interesting read an firmly places the 'birth' of the MkIII in 1987 so it was in production for 11 years, (1987 -1998), Mine is a 1995 but as a cancelled order I paid £1600, delivered inc vat. but I didn't receive the door cards, A post trim or interior roof lining. (still need the 'A' post trims, before I go to the bother of make them.
That means the MkI was from 1981 to 1984 when Dutton made the MkII and before selling it to Budd in 1985 who developed the MkIII between then and 1987.
As the Ford and VW models share the same footprint there is a degree of interchangeability possible and of course that means a Nova could be put on an Eagle chassis with a front engine but it would need to be a boxer to avoid the bonnet bulge issue or a custom bonnet.