Building a Kit car / Replica
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  1. #1
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    Building a Kit car / Replica

    Has anyone ever been part of a kit car build? How was the experience? Are you happy the way things turned out? If willing to share what was the total cost of the project?

    I’ve always wanted to build one of the three.

    57 Speedster Flared


    300SL GullWing


    Shelby Cobra

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  3. #2
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    57 Speedster Flared

  4. #3
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    300SL GullWing My all time fav mercedes... Ops, i know the thread is not about asking which of these is my favorite (i like them all) but if I built one (if i only could) it would prob be the merc..

  5. #4
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    HermanH is building an AC Cobra 427 replica, using a kit for the body. He's using a 5.0 from a Mustang as the engine though, and he's really making it beefy. Search for his posts in the Anything Auto forum and you can read and see a lot about his build. He's an amazing guy.

    Other than that, any one of those kit cars would rock

  6. #5
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    57 Speedster w/o the flares. Although it'd probably be more realistic to build and maintain the Cobra, with its extensive use of Ford drivetrain and suspension components.

  7. #6
    Carlos Spicyweiner
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    Beck 550 Spyder!


  8. #7
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    A kit car build is not for the faint of heart. No many people have the skills of a mechanic/plumber/electrician/machinist. But then again, there are kits at all skill levels.

    Much depends upon many many factors

    1) Budget - actually, forget this term. You use it "AFTER" you've built the thing and then you can tell your buddies what to budget for THEIR builds! But you get the idea: how much do you think you will spend on the project PLUS tools

    2) ROOM: do you have at least a car port? Preferrably a garage. I have a 2 port garage but the logistics proved I don't have the room when one car is parked inside so I spent about $730 in building a platform and vinyl shed to house everything that clutterd up one side of the garage that I now have dedicated to the project. Even then, some stuff ends up at my desk.

    3) Tools; no matter what, you'll need basic handtools and wrenches plus a number of not-so-basic tools depending upon the level of the build. In some instances, you may find the need for air tools which is a whole set of issues on its' own.

    4) Automobile Basics - this is a tricky one but let me give it a try: do you know how an engine works? Know how a suspension system works? Know how a transmission works? Know how basic wiring works on a car? The cars you listed above are about as primative as they come. The wiring harness on a 60's car probably only has 10 fuses and two relays at most while today's cars have nearly 3 dozen inside the passenger compartment alone, along with about a dozen relays if not more. The difference for example, between my Cobra build and the original concept of a 91' Mustang donor is something like 40 lbs. of wire that could be removed! The engine and suspension are also very basic. Not much to really learn but you will be surprised at just how much stuff has evolved in say a Passat's suspension and engine over a simple flat-4 Porsche/VW engine. In my build, such things as O2 sensors, knock sensors, evap systems, EFI, etc. just simply don't exists (if staying carburated/period correct.) These cars give you a glimpse into an era I grew up in.

    5) Time: how much time do you believe you'll have to invest in the project? How quickly do you want it built? For some, after the fact, they realized it might of been easier or better off buying an "almost ready to run" kit; that level of kit simply asks you put on your own wheel/tires, engine, tranny, battery, paint job and the necessary liquids to make it run. You might be surprised on how close it comes to what you built but w/o learning some French.

    6) Are you into full restoration or "resto-mod"? This dictates a bit of the costs and who you should go to for an authentic kit if that's what you're after. Resto-mods, something I'm more into, means it doesn't have to be exact! Someone here in Puerto Rico that owns a B5, has a 550 spyder but out back it has a turbo charged Porsche engine and it can probably kick some serious ass on that island! Also, it means you can save a little money here and there (why use a Porsche engine when a VW bug will do???) I could of went EFI and reaped the benefits of drivability in all elevations and climates and some have done this on a Cobra. Not authentic but hell, it's got power and is reliable (as far as Fords go.).

    There's a lot more stuff but hope this gives you some food for thought. Enough of my disjointed ramblings!!!! Enjoy whatever it is you choose.

  9. #8
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    oh, last thing: I am on track for a $35k -40k build.

  10. #9
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    Remember to budget in the time posting pics for the pesky ClubB5 folk (myself included) who want to see EVERY step of the way.

  11. #10
    Lisa Simpson
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    Ja. Herman is right on the nose.

    Compare his project to mine - a restoration (with mild upgrading) of a 1982 Rabbit Convertible. I have a $10K budget, but may go over by about $2K depending on the amount of bodywork I have to farm out.

    It requires an entire garage bay and then some storage for spare body panels, motor bits, etc. Be prepared.

    One thing holds, and I know Herman will agree 100% - it is a very personally rewarding experience. 8)

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HermanH
    oh, last thing: I am on track for a $35k -40k build.
    :shock: wow...

    The spyder is cool, too...I didn't know they had these in kits.

  13. #12
    Carlos Spicyweiner
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    Cool thing about the Spyder is it has a tube frame copied off the original but stretched a few inches. It's only about 1200 lbs so a mild cammed 1641 VW engine with dual baby Webers will make it go 0-60 in the 6 second range.

    I recall some old road tests on it and it was pulling close to a 1G on the skidpad on 195/65/15 P6's!

    These are much more then the Speedster kits though, since you are basically getting a replica of the original with a fiberglass body. Opposed to a shortened VW Type 1 Belly Pan.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postman
    Cool thing about the Spyder is it has a tube frame copied off the original but stretched a few inches. It's only about 1200 lbs s.....
    Now that is my kind of car. I will need to check that out a little more. Oh, by the way, my wife thanks you.

    Returning to original thread.....now.

  15. #14
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    I like the old Ferrari!


  16. #15
    Carlos Spicyweiner
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    Beck also makes the Lister!





    our 1700 lb. road rocket/asphalt kicker Beck Lister. If you're looking for a certified Cobra thrasher, here it is. It's closely based upon the (GM/Chevy) racing machine of the early 1960s that could eat the Cobra for lunch.
    Sorry Herman!

    Here are so more shots of the Spyder.....I'm about to talk myself into one if I keep this up.








  17. #16
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    It's ok. At Run-N-Gun, the Beck Listers were kicking the Cobra's ass. But personally, I don't really care; the Cobra's look better in my eye than the Lister; besides, there are other kit's that would probably give the Lister a run for their money just as well. The Locost 7 (Lotus 7 replicas') I believe are on par on weight. Give the Focus SVT engine a turbo and then you're talking a closer match.

    At this level, it's all about what you like rather than 1/4 mile, 1G lateral or whatever measuring stick you decide to measure.

    If the Cobra was not my project, the line would of included a Mustang FB imitating a GT350, a 550 Spyder like the one above (but totally different motor than the V8), even thought about a Triumph TR6.

    My basic parameter for my project was it had to be an open-air car. AFter driving a Cabriolet one day, I finally knew what type of car I wanted. Once I decided that, I then had to determine if it was going to seat 2 or 4. Bah, I'm turning 50 in 2008, and set in my ways - 2 passenger max!

    After that, I looked at a bunch of kits. But something like the Cobra, Spyder, old Ferrari's, Lister, all had the 'volumptous' lines that simply grabbed my attention. Cars these days simply are too 2-dimensional IMO. Funny how you look at a Spyder and then the Boxster and it's easy to see why I like both, as well as the BMW Z3 (but not necessarily the Z4), and even the RX-8 or the S2000.

    I would of considered the Gullwing but see my first parameter. Never liked the Lambo kits, Willy's style rods are cool to look at but not my style.

    When my Cobra is done, I know I won't kick a Z06's ass nor a Z8 or any number of super cars, (as well as the LIster) But given how few you will ever see (well, maybe in LA you'll see a lot of them), a Cobra will give me a grin that'll stay for the rest of my life and that's what it's all about. And like other follower's of certain kits, the comraderie is unparalleled when compared to say POC or BMW clubs.

  18. #17
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    HH: I am trying to ignore your posts as best I can....troublemaker :wink: I fight the urge constantly for a project, and I am glad I don't have space right now. That's an OK excuse, right? Right?

    As for the Spyder: I did a little research and as you can see, I don't think it's light weight is worth the trade-off in overall size:



  19. #18
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    LOL! that's kinda neat!

  20. #19
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    Hey guys thanks for all the great info. I certainly don’t have that much room right now (or the budget) but one day… I’ll have my very own kit car! 8)

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