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Old 12-12-2009, 11:45 PM
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Who makes the best Kit Car?

Hello All,

Lately I have been toying with the idea of building a kit car.

After reading all the negative press about Street Beasts I have decided against dealing with them.

But who are the good kit car companies? Which kit car companies have a good reputation?

I am looking to build the standard '32, '33 Ford and '41 Willy's. These cars have been copied so many times surely someone has got the kit down right?

Comments?

Dean

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Old 12-13-2009, 10:54 AM
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I have not personally built a Willys or 33 but when it comes to a deuce now days it depends on how deep your pockets are.

Brookville and one or two others are making steel reproductions that are out of this world when it comes to quality and there are several glass manufacturers building very good quality stuff. That said your best bet for a deuce, in my opinion anyway, is to pick and choose. All quality bodies are built to fit on a stock deuce frame and there are a several good deuce frame manufacturers out there so you can pretty much shop for what you feel is the best quality for your budget.

I'm on a tight budget and have been collecting my parts for almost 15 years which means my route to a finished car is a bit less traveled than most. I purchased new bare frame rails and built my own frame. I am using a Pete & Jakes suspension system and the whole thing supports a relatively good quality glass body. The manufacturer is no longer in business since his shop burned down but back when I purchased my body he was making some pretty good quality reasonably priced bodies. Even though most of the stuff is from different manufacturers everything pretty much bolted together once the frame was done. I also build my own engines and do all the rest of the work myself so those tasks that aren't inherently part of a "kit" I have designed and built myself.

If budget isn't an issue and if you don't want to pick and choose your major parts from the myriad of different manufacturers out there then Brookville would be my recommendation. I've been to their facility and I've seen how they do things and believe me they put out a quality product.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:22 AM
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Welcome to the site, I really don't know who makes the best kit but sure someone will be able to help you out.

Cole
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:27 PM
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Street Beasts

So just for my own personal satifaction I e-mailed Street Beasts to see what kind of deal they might have on multiple kit cars. I realize Street Beasts and Hotrodders.com have had thier battles but I wanted to see for myself. I live in Florida and just a few hours from them.

Anyway, I e-mailed them and expected a proffesional e-mail back with an intoduction, pricing and a possible break-down on pricing for multiple cars. I got a phone call with a message. Then another and another and another and another and another. All week end the guy calls me. The guy called me Sunday night at 10pm. Today, Monday he has called me about four times! ***?

At first I did not call the guy back because I was just plain to busy. Then I felt sorry for him, then annoyed but now I'm pissed. And no I have not returned his call or answered any of his calls. Now I wouldn't care if he was giving the cars away!

Funny thing is I called CMC (now Street Beasts) about 20 years ago because I curious for a price on a '34 coupe. They called and called and called me for like five years afterwards!

Anyway, that was my experience with them this past week. All I wanted was a friggin quote on multiple cars, not a STALKER!

Dean
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:48 PM
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What you are experiencing is just one of Streetslime's high pressure sales tactics. It hasn't changed since CMC simply because you have the same owner, same management, and the same sales staff.

About the only thing you can do now is answer his call and tell them in no uncertain terms not to call you again. I doubt that will work but you can try.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:38 AM
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Back to the question. I have just finished my Willys to the point of being a great driver. It's headed for the paint shop in a couple weeks.

You need to sit down and really lay out what you expect from a so called kit car. Each mfg has what it calls a kit. You can go from just a body kit and a bare frame to a complete roller that you "only" have to install you motor and trans.
Then the fun begins. Wiring, fuel lines, seats, interior, paint, wheels and tires, sound system if you want it, wipers, mirrors, door handles, head lights, grill, tail lights, fender installation, latches, insulation, AC if you want, glass, weather stripping.................. it goes on and on. You will quickly find that the drain on the pocket book can outstrip your income easily.

Expect to start at about $ 30k less paint and interior if you are handy with tools and have a well equipped shop. You are going to spend more if you have to have welding and machine work done.

I have done everything on my car myself but paint and interior. Until you have done it, it is hard to imagine all the systems that go into building a car.

I'd plan on about 2000 hours depending on how complete of car you get and how good you are at getting things done. This is roughly a year 8 hours a day 5 days a week. Mine has taken 6 years. 3 of it in storage due to moves. I have a spreadsheet on hours that is frightening.

I use endless Excel spreadsheets to plan things, SolidWorks to design things, cell phone, debit card and sometimes I have to put everything on hold while I work a bit to build up the bank account.

It's huge undertaking to build a car. Lots of fun, disappointing at times, frustrating a lot of times and a massive user of time.

The day you turn the key and it starts right up makes up for it all. The satisfaction that you did it all yourself is just great. I find it is just incredible to take the car out and just drive around with no particular place to go. I went down to the shop yesterday and started it up just to see how it would run at 10 deg outside. There was 10 inches of snow on the ground and salt everywhere or I would have taken it for a spin.

One final thing, keep every receipt you ever get for parts etc. make sure they have dates where and who you purchased from and phone number. You will probably need this for the title depending on your state. It took me 8 months to get my state license. Spend some time looking this up.

Join a local streetrod club and ask endless questions.

Last edited by bentwings; 12-15-2009 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:24 AM
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Two companies that have a good reputation are Factory Five and Speedway motors. Not to say that they have the car that you want..but then I can deal with that for myself...Either one has some good product and if ou are building a streetrod you will probably wind up with at least some parts from Speedway..The factory five cars are more modern and may fit your needs a bit better but the speedway cars have been built successfully by many people,,

There are some others out there such as Brookville but you need some deep pockets to build a Brookville..

Just my take

Sam
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:33 AM
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Should I use an existing frame or fabricated?

Guys,

Thanks for the advice so far.

My original intent was to see if I could purchase multiple kits (about five), thus save money and build them on a pseudo assembly line in my shop. Then sell them at a profit. OK, I can hear the laughter!

After poking around a bit I noticed a kit that was designed to sit on an existing frame like a S-10 P/U truck or a S-10 Blazer. Years ago when I was originally interested in kit cars the popular kit was the Lamborghini Countach kits; one sat on a stock Fiero frame, the other sat on a stretched Fiero frame.

My question now is what is the popular opinion concerning frames? Use an existing frame or fabricate one from scratch?

Dean
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:19 AM
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hahahahah.

Now getting real.

Pick a body and try to get a frame from the body builder if possible. Bare frame to a roller. At least the frame will fit the body without a lot of rework. Building a custom frame yourself is pretty tough to make it right the first time.

A&Crods.com makes some good stuff. I have one and have seen a number of other ones. Very high quality and craftsmanship.

There are a number of good chassis builders that can send you down the right path if you select a standard type body.
Willys, 32, 33-34 Ford.

Try to attend a few of the big meets where these guys are showing. It's worth every dollar you spend on the trip. You need lots of information.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:45 AM
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The term "kit car" is quite deceiving, as there is absolutely nothing "kit" about any of these cars. You will have to modify almost everything you buy for the car so it will fit. I wish you luck in your endeavor of building four or five of these and selling them for a profit. You will be on a very steep up hill climb with almost everything working against you. I worked on my 34 for over five years non stop, almost every day after work, every weekend and only stopped to pay some attention to my wife now and then. I do not wish to tell you how much $$$$ I have invested in my car. I will never ever be able to sell it even for the monetary value, let alone the labor I have in it. I am not trying to dissuade you from building one of these, but in the same breath I feel you have some serious illusions about what it takes to build one. Take a browse though the link at the bottom of my sig for a sampling of some of what is involved, also look at my photo gallery.

As stated in the above post, go to a lot of shows and ask thousands of questions. First one should be "did you build it", if not move on. Most if not all builders will talk your ear off about their build.

Vince
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:20 AM
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My personal experience

Ihave investigated and visited Spirt Industries of Mountain Home ,Ark... they are real down to earth abd low presure sales and easy to deal with on model-a and 27-t packages ...that my 2 cents...thumbbuster
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:41 AM
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there are 'kit' cars but then there are also fiberglass hotrods.. you'll find Porsche 356 speedster replica's that ride on VW tubs, Cobra's that use Mustangs as donor cars.. but I don't think theres any way to ' turn a buck ' because most of those kit companies are barely hanging on and work in low volume... many of the companies have went defunct in the last few years
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:12 AM
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I have never built a car but i do own a 41 Willys by Outlaw that was first built in 1993 in New York, then it went to California,now i have it in Washington. The car was driven around in gel coat with a blown big block for the first six or seven years, then redone by a pro shop with a BBC crate motor before it went to California where i purchased it one year ago last September. The point is the car has 18,000 mi on it and the body and the chassis are in perfect condition. I have met a lot of local Willys guys since i have had this car and i have never heard a bad word about Outlaw,i have had occasion to deal with them for a radiator change i did and some ??? about the history of the car.Those people couldn,t have been more accommodating. Any how i recommend you go to there web site outlawrods.com.

RED WILLYS
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:02 PM
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I have a 41 willys body by Dennis Taylor (which is the same as a Outlaw performance body) I would have to say it's one of the best body's I have ever seen.. I like the way the whole kit is built.. Very Solid built car.. If I ever buy another one it would be from Outlaw..
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:34 PM
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This isn't intended to be any sort of endorsement for Factory Five, but they were very good, at least AFA the sales end of things goes.

I was mainly interested in a Cobra, the sales rep was very knowledgeable- almost as though he'd built one himself. They answered all my questions and provided me w/VERY nice, slick advertisement material (inc. a DVD)- not any indication of their product's quality, mind you- but the info pack wasn't a slip-shod thrown together pile of crap. And we all realize where the cost of the advertising ultimately comes from, right? lol

Be that as it may, from their SITE:

"Factory Five on Speed Channel FFR Episode of "Two Guys Garage" Re-Airs This Week

If you missed the Factory Five episode on Two Guys Garage, it is being re-aired in the coming week. Check out the Speed Channel on:

Wednesday, December 23 at 3 P.M. EST (I just missed it while typing this! )

and

Saturday, January 2 at 10:30 A.M. EST

The Factory Five episode has been one of the most popular episodes to air on Two Guys Garage. Host Kevin Byrd visits the FFR facility and cruises to Plymouth, MA with 40+ FFR customers and cars."
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