Tag: Kit Cars

By on September 17, 2016

N2A Camaro 789 SS

It wasn’t for kit cars, the Pontiac Fiero would have never realized its dream of becoming a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and we’d be just fine with that.

That product, born of the heady 1980s, seems tame compared to N2A Motors’ latest offering. The U.S. coachbuilder has taken three classic American designs and melded them, Island of Dr. Moreau-style, into the 789 SS.

It’s a questionable way of hiding a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2016

delorean-erstbesitz-mr-delorean-baujahr-1982-1

For the “Back To The Future” fan keen on winning the parking lot at the next confab, DeLorean announced this week that it’ll make “new” cars again in Texas.

Thanks to a change in the small volume manufacturing law, DeLorean Motor Company said it could build around 300 new cars from parts it purchased when the original DeLorean went under.

The Texas outfit said they’ll bin the puny Renault-Volvo V-6 that made 130 horsepower in favor of a crate engine sourced from somewhere that’ll make 300 to 400 horsepower. Electronics, brakes and other drivetrain goodies will be similarly updated on the car, according to Jalopnik. (Read More…)

By on January 25, 2016

06 - 1972 Gazelle Kit Car in Colorado junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Trying to track down the history of all the varieties of fiberglass-bodied kit cars intended to look something like the Mercedes-Benz SSK will drive you crazy in a hurry because so many companies building these cars popped up in the 1970s and 1980s. You could build an “SSK” based on hardware from a Chevy Chevette, a Ford Pinto, or a VW Type 1 Beetle. Many did. Because Classic Motor Carriages and Fiberfab and Tiffany Motor Cars all called their versions “Gazelle” (trying to parse the relationships between those companies is like deciphering the wiring in a Porsche 928), this has become the generic term for these cars.

Anyway, here is an early variety of Gazelle, built on a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle pan, that I found in a Denver yard a few weeks ago. (Read More…)

By on June 12, 2015

Factory Five Mk4 Roadster

Has the thought of assembling a replica vehicle put you off of buying one? Thanks to Congress, you may soon be able to buy a factory-direct turnkey model.

(Read More…)

By on September 13, 2014

Untitled We recently looked at the Volkswagen Type 181, known as the Thing in the United States, along with a couple of World War II era variants on the VW Type I Beetle, the Kubelwagen and Schwimmwagen. By 1960, the Volkswagen company was selling three vehicles that were very similar mechanically, the Beetle (and the Karmann built Cabriolet), the Karmann Ghia and the Type II Transporter/Bus. The folks in Wolfsburg weren’t the only ones who realized that the sturdy platform chassis, suspension and drivetrain could make the basis for an interesting vehicle. First EMPI and then Bruce Meyers made what became known as dune buggies, open fiberglass bodies *mounted on shortened VW chassis. EMPI and Meyers were successful enough that they spawned many imitators, including Volkswagen. The Type 181 was VW’s attempt to capitalize on the dune buggy craze. Off-road enthusiasts were paying attention too, which is how we got kit cars.

(Read More…)

By on May 17, 2012

Perhaps inspired by my recent TTAC fiction piece The little death, I was idly shopping for 360 Modenas on eBay this morning when I came across this little gem. Obviously, it’s not a real 360… but it’s not THAT bad, right?

(Read More…)

By on November 18, 2011

The Mastretta MXT is not very well-known outside of Top Gear buffs who recall Jeremy Clarkson giving the MXT an incredibly hard time for its Mexican heritage. Of course we all know Jeremy is a shock jock more than a motor head these days, so his opinion aside the MXT slots in right behind the Doking as one the more interesting cars on display in Los Angeles. The MXT is the first sports car designed and built-in Mexico, but rather than trying to dethrone Corvette or Mustang, Mastretta is going for the niche market of small, light kit cars. Yes, kit cars. At least north of the border…

(Read More…)

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