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Thread: New to kit cars. A couple of questions

  1. #1
    Junior Member razer's Avatar
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    New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    Got the bug to buy and customize a car recently, and have some interest in kit cars because I really want my car to be unique. If I buy a regular Supra or RX-7 though, I'll probably modify the body and take off the badging so it's not apparent what it is, a little different from kit cars where you take something and make it look like something else.

    Anyway, how close to the original do some of these kits turn out? Can you fool even owners of the 'real' cars? How do you spot a well done kit? Is the fiberglass body the giveaway?

    Just curious because I'm thinking about going this route. But if they are obvious replicas, I'd rather make a custom, unique car then.

    Also, do people ever give you grief, like saying, "Nice Fiero" as they pass your F55 replica? What about when they ask to see the engine?

    Lastly, what about performance? I care more about performance than looks, well, about half and half to be fair. Do most of you guys soup these things up? If not, isn't it a little weird to have a Ferrari body and Fiero engine.

    Oh, one last thing. What about handling? Do these things handle well? Would it be better with a MR-2 donor car or is the Fiero the defacto kit car?

    Thanks for answers. I have a lot of catching up to do on this whole kit car hobby. Looks interesting to say the least.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BondoBob's Avatar
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    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    razer,welcome to the forum.you asked a lot of questions,but let me start with you get out of it,what you put into it.meaning,if you have the disire to build something spical,and have the skill,do it.the limitations are only within.How cost efictive do you want it to be.what needs to be subbed out.how much time do you want to spend.whats your goal,speed,looks,handling,comphert,reliability,all or some of the above.only you can answer those questions.Im sure that other members of this fourm ,and myself would be happy to answer any of your spisifc questions.P.S. I am the best speller here,so feel free to ask me how to spell something

  3. #3
    kitcarnut
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    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    you know, today even if you own a real car, people will ask is it a Kit ?
    on other hand most people did not see a real Lambo or Ferrari close, but everybody is firking critic!
    so if you are afraid that someone will pop up the Kit question... stay with your custom .

  4. #4
    Junior Member razer's Avatar
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    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    I'm basically going for a nice handling sports car with 400 -460 hp, preferably NA but a twin turbo or supercharger wouldn't bother me.

    I initially wanted an 3rd gen RX-7 to soup up, but the rotary isn't reliable enough for me at that kind of HP for a daily driver vehicle, so I thought about an RX-7 with a V8. That's still a possibility bu pretty hard to do right from what I read. Or there is the Supra, though I don't really want to spend $15K just to get the car.

    Anyway, that's what I'm looking for. A sleek, light, well-balanced sports car that isn't something you see everyday. Handling is a must. Lots of power - kill the vettes and supras - but also beautiful.

    So, any answers to my questions?

  5. #5

    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    first of all, donors.
    fieros can get 160hp NA (v6) without much work.
    toyota mr2 mk1 (up to 89) 130hp (all mr2s are v4)
    mr2 mk2 NA (91 to 96) 180hp
    mr2 mk2 turbo 250hp
    mr2 mk2 with quite a bit of tuning can get 450hp, which is
    about the limit on the trans

    there are a few well tuned mr2s and some with engine swaps:
    mk1 with twin turbo 360hp
    mk1 with northstar engine 400hp
    mk2 twin turbo 450 to 500hp
    mk1 GM v6 SC 350hp

    that should get you in the right direction.
    an mk2 turbo will set you back around $5k, and $4k for one with
    bad body and interior (which is always good when you will rip
    it apart)
    an mk1 will set you back about $600 to $900.
    also the mk1 is really light and turns very well, but it's sensitive
    to weight changes (in performance).

    someone else pick this up from here.
    Professional 3D, web, graphic, architectural, interior, and CAM design at affoardable prices.<br />Any questions: voicemail/fax (323)281-0583<br />sales @ rt-network.com

  6. #6
    Junior Member razer's Avatar
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    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    Cool. Figured MR2 or Fiero would be the donor car. Just preferred MR2's because I've driven both and though the MR2 handled better.

    If I decided to try a replica of a Ferrari F355 or Lamborghini (prefer the Ferraris over Lambos), how realistic could I make it? I have no experience with kit cars so I'm clueless. Can you guys spot kits off the bat or can even you be fooled? Or is even discussing that with kit enthusiasts taboo?

    I was thinking of using a donor car and puting a LS1 or LS6 engine in it, assuming I can make it fit. Anyone try something like this? That's my engine of choice, or perhaps a Supra TT engine. Also, how do some of these sporty looking kits handle? Is the handling compromised? Sorry for so many questions but I'm new at this and immensely curious.



  7. #7

    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    the Ultima kit car has been proven at 210mph
    a gt40 replica recently did 190mph

    kit cars are just "specially constructed cars"
    they're all different depending on how they're built.
    if you were to use a tweaked LS1 and use a custom tube
    chassis, the car could preform as well as a real ferrari or lambo
    ...ok probably not a diablo :P

    besides, when would you ever go 200mph?
    unless you own an abandonned airport, you wont be able to
    do it safely at all.
    kit cars are not tested so its up to you :P
    Professional 3D, web, graphic, architectural, interior, and CAM design at affoardable prices.<br />Any questions: voicemail/fax (323)281-0583<br />sales @ rt-network.com

  8. #8
    Junior Member razer's Avatar
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    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    Cool. I probably would go with a custom chassis.

    OK, now for the replica cars. How close do some of these builders get. To be honest, I've probably been up close to maybe 5 Lambos and 10 Ferraris in my life, so I might not be able to tell which is which, but what about a car person. How close can these things get? I ask this not to ruffel feathers, but I see all kinds of Lambo badges and Ferrari badges, so I assume the point to is get it as close as possible.

    Where are the tell tale signs? The backend? Someone clicking on the car to see if it's metal vs. fiberglass?

    If you can get these things so close you can't tell, I'd be mighty temped to give a F355 a try, but to soup it up to my likeing so it would actually beat an F355, assuming it's possible. I know I can build a fast engine, but not sure how the geometry will be after you stretch the car and put the motor in.

    Thanks for the answers.

  9. #9

    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    SOME kit designs are very good. Some are not. Just do your research and compare the kits with the real cars to find their differences. You talked about Ferraris being a good choice. I know that almost all 355's are easily distinguished from the kit versions when you see the door open. You can still see the fiero door with a new skin stuck to it. Most people don't care, but it is different looking than the real thing. You could cut and chop and reposition and weld adapters to the door to make it look as real as possible. I don't know of anyone that HAS done it, but I know it's possible. That's the thing... If the real car looks THIS way... the kit version CAN look that way too... it just might require more modifying than any person is willing to do. Pick your favorite kit and I'm sure we can tell you what the differences are that make it stand out as a kit, and maybe give you some hints as to what to do to make it look closer to the original.

    Ken

  10. #10
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    Re:New to kit cars. A couple of questions

    this kit on the mr2 is the most correct as it was moulded of the real 355..www.355kits.com or www.mirrorfinishuk.net

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