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Thread: Newbie here with LOTS of questions

  1. #1
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    Newbie here with LOTS of questions

    I'm a newbie, so please treat me as such.
    I have aspirations of building a car. I have a criteria and I'm not sure if there is a kit equipped with what I'm looking for.

    - I am looking for a supercar kit to build. Style examples include the DDR Motorsport SP4/SP8, Factory-Five GTM, Racecar Replicas Superlite Coupe & Nemesis and the Ultima GTR. Something original design, no Ferrari or Lambo replicas. A Formula / Le Mans car like the Pugeot 908 would be ideal.

    - I am not interested in using any donor parts. I am not interested in scraping away years of rust and cutting off brittle bolts. I don't want to spend thousands of dollars building a car with used parts like a Corvette engine with 90,000 miles on it.

    - I am a professional auto dealership technician and have mechanical experience only. I have never done body work, metal fab or ever welded. My ideal kitcar would be a completely bolt-on kit.

    So my question is, AM I CRAZY? Does a kit out there really exist? Is there a kit that has all the parts, nuts and bolts included? Is there something with an instruction manual? Have any of you completed multiple builds and have an idea of what these would cost?

    Thanks! -Jason
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ArashB's Avatar
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    I doubt that design meets legal laws with the bumper being so different... its just that Ive never hear of anything like that on the road.

  3. #3
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    The closest thing to meet your requirements would be the GTM or one of Fran's creations at RCR. You can buy a crate motor and a transmission from someone like CMS and you won't have to do any disassembly. Fran offers his suspension so you won't have to get any from a donor or if you go with the GTM you can have the salvage yard do all of the hard work of taking the parts off and cleaning. It just depends on your budget and how much you are willing to do and how much you are willing to pay to have done.

  4. #4
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    I can't believe with all the kit car manufacturers out there that there aren't more companies that give you every last bolt and an instruction manual. Are bodies like the Pugeot 908 all hand made. I would assume something that races Le Mans would be mostly carbon fiber. Someone should come out with a completely fiberglass body to sit on a tube frame and make it a kit- like a 1/8 model that you would construct but it would be full size.

    There are a lot of classic car part manufacturer's out there. I'm sure you can call up YearOne and order a 72 Beetle door, hood, bumper, etc. I wonder if there is a classic car parts company that has every last bolt and body panel to construct a car from scratch.

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    While it does sound very ideal to have such a company as you described, even if one were to exist, for the money that kind of kit would command, it would be prohibitive for most people to afford one. You would just be better off to buy a used sports car or modify an existing one.

    I see the "kit car" industry as no different from that of the hot rod industry. It's one in the same, just one group wants their dream car to be a custom built domestic muscle car (or T-bucket, roadster) and the other group builds their dream car and gives it the identity of a custom exotic. I don't really see how you could embark on building anything without facing the task of having to source some of the components yourself. That is part of the enjoyment of building a car.

    As far as the skills are concerned, don't back yourself into a corner and undermine your own abilities. If you are an ace mechanic, that's great; you're already several steps ahead of most car builders. But, there are many, many people who have learned how to weld, how to paint, how to do upholstery or how to do many other things while building their own car. (If you want a perfect example of this, google Ken Imhoff.)

    I haven't yet built a car, but one day I will. My trade is in sales and business management. However, over the last 20 years I've become quite a mechanic. Instead of saying, "Well, I'm just a business professional, I don't do transmission or engine work", I've rolled my sleeves up and learned how to do it for myself. I also quickly learned how to weld and do metal fabrication, fiberglass construction and even painting.

    You know what the most important thing is that I learned? That none of those things are really very difficult to do at all. They just take initiative and confidence. Everything else is just prep work.

  6. #6
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    I have been active in the kit car business for about 25 years and no one has ever offered a "kit" with everything in it. Even the Cobra kits will require you to source donor parts. That is just how kit cars are sold and built. The original kit cars that used a VW pan required you to find a suitable Bug to base the build on. The Cobras will require you to source the drivetrain and often most of the suspension. Even the kits like the Jag replica that Classic Motors used to offer as the "Duke" required the builder to source most of the drivetrain parts although everything else was provided in the kit.

  7. #7
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    I know that parts like a long block engine, transmission and differential would have to come from manufacturers like Ford or Chevrolet. I probably would trust an engine built by a major manufacturer anyway. If I were to build a kit though, using a 40 year old VW floor pan is not ideal for me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWolk217 View Post
    I know that parts like a long block engine, transmission and differential would have to come from manufacturers like Ford or Chevrolet. I probably would trust an engine built by a major manufacturer anyway. If I were to build a kit though, using a 40 year old VW floor pan is not ideal for me.
    I agree. I would do a tube frame over a Fiero or VW rebody any day. I'm not knocking anyone who goes that route, but I'd rather have a fresh chassis designed specifically for my car than have to chop up a vehicle that one day I fear we are gonna wish there were more around in their original state.

    I am a fan of Fieros, and even though I've seen some absolutely fantastic conversions using them, it does make me concerned that one day they may all be gone. I can't remember the last time I saw a Fiero on the road around here. I would love to have one in original condition now.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 88.5countach's Avatar
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    I think the closest you'll come is an Ultima, everything comes in the kit except the engine that they spec the supplier on to insure fitment. I was really close to pulling the trigger. Lots of info on the web and I noticed a dealer in Canada has basically done what you were thinking. It's currently for sale for $100,000. Think this price would be a tuff sell even for a professionally built car. For the lower end the only fit I can see coming is Factory Fives 818 project. They don't supply all the parts but with most of there projects they will spec. the part number for the new parts you'll need. As for the build manuals, Ultima and Factory Five have figured this out. The manuals are excellent, if you've put a model together you'll be good with these manuals, they show everything.

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