Odd question from my uncle. Kit Kar??

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
8,259
Likes
125
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#2
My uncle is a bit on the easy money side. So if he is asking this question, it's probably not a joke and they want me to help.

So question is, without it being a porch, can it be a triumpgh or spitfire type deal. Those were easy assemblies. Do they still make those?
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
5,950
Likes
59
Points
48
#4
I gotta ask... why consider anything besides a Porsche if that is what your cousin wants? Isn't that the whole point of those kit cars, to get something you specifically want, but isn't otherwise reasonably available?

Be wary here, ask a lot of questions. Make sure your cousin understands that kit cars are often "on-going projects", no matter how much they cost. Make sure he is looking for one for the right reasons. You sure don't want to recommend something, then have him become disappointed. Help, but shy away from taking any responsibility for making this decision.
 

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
8,259
Likes
125
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#5
Help, but shy away from taking any responsibility for making this decision.
Yup, second that.

You made two other valid points. Is he building this for him, or for his dad?

That is a family issue I am more than willing to steer clear of.

The other is, "are you in for the long haul?" (no matter what!!):eek::confused:
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
5,950
Likes
59
Points
48
#6
I also gotta ask... how close do you live to where this is going to be built?
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
1,464
Likes
15
Points
38
Location
Nothern California
#7
All the ones I have seen and driven are WAY to much work and never turn out to be a good running, steering, etc. car.

If you have to ask about them, then I suggest you have no idea about how difficult and expensive they can be. They are for the serious hobby builder. Then when they are finished they sell it because they know now bad a car it is.

Just my $.02.
 

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
8,259
Likes
125
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#8
Well, like I said, my uncle is on the $$ side of things. As for difficulty, I know it can be daunting for a begginer.

I had the experience of a kit car a long time ago. It was a client who used to bring his bugatti/vw kit car in for engine maintenance and other odd things. That little car was a blast to ride just for the looks you got on the street corner. That is about the extent of my experience with kit cars. To say the least, besides being a head turner, it was not very fun to drive in the "wow" factor of an easy car to drive.

@Bill, I am about 250km's from the proposed build location. So going to help them once in a while would be a hefty round trip.

On the father son side of projects, I must say they do have a technical ability that surprised me when I saw the replica schooner they built together. If I remember correctly, a 50" replica of the famous bluenose. I know this is a far cry to a running replica of a car, but the degree of difficulty for a model like the schooner would have left me scared to attempt such an expensive build. I think the price of the model was somewhere over 2-3grand. I would gladly take on a kit car over that schooner build.

In any event, I have given them a few options of what I think is a feasible build considering money does not seem to be the deciding factor. Here is an example of links I have have sent them and I give my thoughts about them.

https://www.factoryfive.com/

The 289 usrrs kit starts at 22grand. Where as the MK4 base roadster starts at 13$. That being said, if they opt for that one, I will need to find a donor ford mustang. I think the kit calls for a 1987-2004 gt stang. Harder to find a original 289, but the 302 should fit just fine.

Anyways, as Jackc mentioned, probably most of these things get sold on the cheap cuz they do in fact probably drive like shyte. But I think for my cousin and uncle, it is more of a bonding thing. My uncle just bought his first high end mercedes. He is a psychologist and a coroner to boot. So I think he just finished paying off his university debts at the age of 60ish. :eek:

Because before that, he was driving a lexus and before that, a camry.

Ok, nuff on this one for now. Since I know next to nothing on kit cars, I do bebleive my experience in this trade is considerable and I would have no problems helping them if they come on a snag, but do I really want to drive 500klics a day to help? My gut says no. But the family guy in me says to do so. But my experience in life has usually taught me to trust my gut before emotions.
 

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
8,259
Likes
125
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#9
As an after thought. I have proposed to them, that if in fact they decide to go ahead. I am willing to take on the engine, tranny and rear end. Those things I can do for them at a place of convenience for me. They of course would foot the bill for transportation. I wouldn't want them buying tooling for that when they have no idea how to rebuild an engine. That is probably best left to me.

My boss would be more than willing to have a project power-train lying around. I just rebuilt a 5.4l at the shop. Those engines are hard to come by as they all fail in the CVT dept and timing chain dept. Finding those engines up here is getting harder day by day. Rebuilding them seems to be the better option since more often than not, the pick-up truck in which it is, is usually in pristine condition. My boss didn't have a tech like me before. So he is embracing the fact that I am good at that sort of stuff. That way I don't have to work on the heavy truck side of rebuilding rear ends all day and arcing leaf springs and the thing I hate most, f'ing king pins.
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
5,950
Likes
59
Points
48
#10
As to the quality of "kits", they can come out quite good. Aircraft kits have been quite successful, but that is because the guy going up in one is automatically committed to doing a decent job if he wants to live.

My perception is that the chassis (engine/trans/suspension/brakes) is fairly easy to get right if you don't try to go cheap on things. It is the "fit and finish" items, like paint/seats/dash/convertible top/body panel fit/etc. that often come out unsatisfactory. If they have the patience to get those details correct, and will spend to have a pro shop do the ones they can't reasonably do (like paint), then things could come out fine. Maybe you could help them put together a hole rolling chassis and then back away? Also, it should be noted that many of the cars that are available as kits were pretty impractical for daily-driving even when new. Things like NVH, sound-system, A/C were not really a consideration for the original AC Cobras. Even my '69 Corvette rode very rough when brand-new. That's not to say you can't make a kit that looks like something cool, but drives like a modern car, but it is probably tougher to do, as you will be modifying the kit, adding to the effort and unknowns.

I think the key issue here is "commitment". Are they willing to stick with the project until completion, both in regards to labor and $? And, of course, how do they define "completion"?
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
3,342
Likes
42
Points
48
Location
Kentucky
#12
I planned to build a kit car in the late seventies, but after collecting a frame and drivetrain, I decided the fiberglass body was WAY more expensive than I could afford. So, I found a steel body with the same wheelbase, and put all that together. Here are some pics of the kit I DIDN'T buy.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
3,342
Likes
42
Points
48
Location
Kentucky
#13
289 V-8, auto trans, rear axle came out of one of these. Had to shorten driveshaft. Used dashboard, seats, transmission tunnel part of floorpan and floor mounted shift lever.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
3,342
Likes
42
Points
48
Location
Kentucky
#14
Frame and front suspension came out of one of these. Had to rebuild kingpins. Watched my friend weld extra steel at rear frame for V-8 power. Learned about "welding flashburn".