What is your favorite oddball kit car?

Colin
By Colin Wood
Aug 24, 2021 | DIY, kit car

Photography Credit: Tom Suddard

Most kit cars offer a simple concept, at least on paper: Buy this kit, and you can build the car of your dreams from scratch.

From there, the sky is the limit. Three wheels? Sure. Make it look like an airplane? Why not? Want your modern sports car look like a much older version? We can work something out.

Of course, some of these ideas might sound half-baked, but that doesn’t mean we love these oddballs any less. When it comes to kit cars, there are no wrong dreams–some just seem more refined than others.

So, what are some of your favorites?

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Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/23/21 8:53 a.m.

Bill Thomas Cheetah. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/23/21 8:56 a.m.

What's that? You wish your fourth-gen Camaro looked more like a Bel-Air?

Easyrods has you covered with its Belaro kit:

I can't explain it, but there's just something about this kit that makes me smile.

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
8/23/21 9:33 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

It certainly looks better than the 4th gen came from factory.

Thank you for putting me on to this, I was looking at 3rd gen Camaros because I want a mullet mobile but 4th gens are more prevalent and cheaper. This kit will help the looks department quite a bit. 

I'd love to see a Catfish-maro with this kit run in a CAM class.

My favorite kits have to be: 

Superlite SLC - 2nd road test - YouTube

Superlite SL-C. Supercar looks for new 'vette money (though the C8 may change this opinion because it is quite literally supercar looks for new 'vette money).

Type 65 Coupe-R - Factory Five Racing

The Factory Five Daytona Coupe replica (with wing, of course). Affordable way to get into a racing classic.

And I'm unsure if this counts but: 

TrakHamr – Four Wheel Conversion for the Polaris Slingshot

4 wheel Slingshot

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/23/21 9:40 a.m.

The original Fiberfab had some pretty good ones in the looks department, like this Avenger GT:

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
8/23/21 9:51 a.m.

Thunder ranch riot. This is one I actually built. At least I think it is. Not a lot of gen 1 riots in silver with those wheels so likely my old car. 
 

I want it back. If you have one for sale I will take it. 

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/23/21 10:18 a.m.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/23/21 10:36 a.m.
hunter47 said:

In reply to Colin Wood :

It certainly looks better than the 4th gen came from factory.

Really?  My hideous 4th gen gets more love from my neighbors than just about anything I've brought home recently.

iansane
iansane HalfDork
8/23/21 10:43 a.m.

I started modding cars with a thirdgen firebird so the Evoluzione kit always sparked things for me.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/23/21 12:18 p.m.

Meyers Manx

meyers

Bradley GT

No Reserve: Bradley GT

Every Fiero-based kit car. Yes even the Enzo one. I love the idea of showing up to a car show with one of these bad boys and parking in the exotics section.

Least favorite: those tacky Gazelle Mercedes kits. 

Mercedes-Benz Gazelle SSK

strawman
strawman GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/23/21 1:42 p.m.

Definition of "kit" needs to be nailed down, since I tend to look at most interesting cars as a kit car. My current fleet is an amalgamation of several cars: 1973 Porsche 914 with 302 whp Subaru engine & modded Suby transaxle, a 1985 BMW 524td getting an M54B30/5sp manual swap (on the lift right now!), and we recently swapped a Tiburon 2.7L V6 into our 2005 Hyundai Elantra 24 Hrs. of Lemons car. The latter finished the grueling/hot race at T-Hill in late-May. My buddy's 2003 BMW 325it wagon is in my yard awaiting a M54B30/manual swap, too. Living and swapping in CA can be tricky, but I've become quite familiar with Bureau of Air Resources referees over the years. 

I've sold two recent swapped cars to fund subsequent ones (S52 swap into 1996 BMW 318ti, and a juiced AHU tdi & 5sp manual into 1993 VW Eurovan Westy), and really wished I still had the Sidekick-swapped Suzuki Samurai rock-crawler that I built in the 1990s, the GTI-swapped 1981 VW Vanagon Westy (ex-diesel, built for Burning Man in 2000), and the now crazy $$$ Suby-swapped 1986 VW Vanagon Syncro Westy that I sold for $9k (!!!) in 2006.

Of course, I had a wheel-standing Meyers Manx clone that I built and drove to high school in San Francisco in the early 1980s -- prolly the only "true" kit car I've owned, and obviously the least practical one, too.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
8/23/21 2:12 p.m.

Deserter GS  (essentially a mid-engined Manx), very capable car:

Early Deserter GS set up for racing | Dune buggy, Vw dune buggy, Beach buggy

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/23/21 2:16 p.m.

Some of these I do not consider oddball.

And wow is that Fiero ugly.

Trent
Trent PowerDork
8/23/21 2:22 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

Every Fiero-based kit car. Yes even the Enzo one. I love the idea of showing up to a car show with one of these bad boys and parking in the exotics section.

That car did just that 2 years ago in Monterey. It was at the Quail. Everybody understood the joke but I don't think anyone thought it was particularly funny. I can't imagine paying a near $1000 entrance fee to have it go over so poorly.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/23/21 2:25 p.m.

I've always been partial to the Fisher/Sylva Phoenix/Fury (the company has sold a few times) which is a gorgeous body on a Clubman/Lotus Seven-like tubular chassis. Options included live axle or Sierra-derived IRS, and folks typically installed British Ford four cylinders, Fiat twincams, Toyota 4A-GE, and the like. I'm not sure they are "oddball" in the UK, but never seen one Stateside. Definitely scratches some of that Lotus 11/Lola Mk1/Elva/Ginetta itch for a lot cheaper.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
8/23/21 2:39 p.m.

In reply to ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) :

I like this one.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/23/21 2:43 p.m.

Another vote for the original Meyers Manx dune buggy.

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
8/23/21 2:48 p.m.

In reply to noddaz :

I agree that I gave some rather pedestrian options compared to the others. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/23/21 3:20 p.m.

 

 

First and always in my heart will be the Meyers Manx, but I've been thinking a lot about the Factory Five 35 Pickup lately, because it actually kind of makes a lot of sense to me. I could probably justify building one of these.

 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/23/21 3:33 p.m.

I still hold onto the slim hope the Abarth SP1000 kit will happen someday.... 

Otherwise, I still casually want for one of the somewhat-kinda-close Countach kit cars you see from time to time. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/23/21 3:42 p.m.

Mini Marcos

 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/23/21 3:56 p.m.

Beck 550 Spyder!

jmc14
jmc14 HalfDork
8/23/21 5:47 p.m.

I've been fascinated with Kit Cars since I was in High School.  That was in the early 70's.  I love building cars. The first kit car that I built was a Beck Lister.  That was in the late 90's.  Since then I've built a number of cars.  Mostly scratch built.  Here are some of my cars. 

I love the looks of the SP1000.  At one time I owned the molds but the car is so small that I would never fit in it. Because of that I sold them. 

The mini Corvette car pictured in the thread is on a VW bug platform.  One of those bodies is on Albany, NY craigslist for sale right now.  

This is my Cheetah inspired build.  It's my favorite car.  I drive it a lot!  I'm working on a coupe version of this one now.

I built an aluminum tub to which C5 vette cradles bolt to.  lS6 power.  T56 trans to the C5 diff which was converted to take a driveshaft. This and the Tbucket inspired body are interchangabe.  

I only have Ruby and my Cheetah in my possession now.  I'm not rich and can't afford to keep all of my builds. :(

 

Having fun

johndej
johndej Dork
8/23/21 6:06 p.m.

K1 Attack because you can use a 4th gen Accord as your donor.

Also Stirling because of the top of course.

05CAR
05CAR New Reader
8/23/21 7:17 p.m.

How can i post a pic in here?

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/23/21 7:37 p.m.

Well this is kinda tricky. Generally my favorite kits aren't the oddball ones. But the brubaker Box is pretty cool, and really, anyone who is willing to be seen in public in something like this: 

 

earns a grudging respect in my book.

GM > MG
GM > MG New Reader
8/23/21 7:42 p.m.
hunter47
hunter47 Reader
8/23/21 7:56 p.m.

You know what? 
Vaydor G35. I said it.

Vaydor G35 specs and price (turnkey)

 

And a somewhat tame one compared to some of the other oddballs, but I think it's still unique, the LB STR:

LB Specialist Cars - Formerly ListerBell Automotive | Home of the STR

GeddesB
GeddesB New Reader
8/23/21 8:13 p.m.
noddaz said:

And wow is that Fiero ugly.

 

I'd like to make a motion to have that picture removed. 

 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
8/23/21 8:49 p.m.

Someone already said Cheetah and Factory5, so I gotta get a little weird.

The John Q. Reily stuff. I am always amazed at not only his intelligence, but also how he could come up with lofty designs but somehow do them so inexpensively.

 

 

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
8/23/21 10:11 p.m.

The Piontek Sportech. Elon Musk said Tesla wouldn't exist without it. I picked up the Kit Car magazine in the early 90's with the yellow original.... powered by a literbike originally.

 

Piontek Sportech

I'm a huge 550 spyder fan also. And Steve Graber's La Bala. And Locosts's's. 

 

But there is one that needs to be built that hasn't yet. It's the Indy Roadster based on locost chassis.  WHY NOT!! I have no skills nor the money nor any ambition required to make this thing real, but it is gorgeous and needs someone to produce bodies at least.

What's Right With This Picture? Indy Roadster Se7en by Zolland Design - The Truth About Cars

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
8/23/21 10:28 p.m.

These abominations:

They're my favourite because they're such a good indicator of the personality of the owner.

I can avoid having awkward, painful conversations with "car people" by staying well clear of these Car Shaped Objects.

The only things missing from the picture are the crybaby doll, beach boys music on loop and granny in her poodle skirt, remembering a time that never was.

billstewartx
billstewartx New Reader
8/24/21 6:38 a.m.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/24/21 7:09 a.m.
ShawnG said:

These abominations:

They're my favourite because they're such a good indicator of the personality of the owner.

I can avoid having awkward, painful conversations with "car people" by staying well clear of these Car Shaped Objects.

The only things missing from the picture are the crybaby doll, beach boys music on loop and granny in her poodle skirt, remembering a time that never was.

Now I have a sudden urge to find one of those, replace the stock drivetrain with a supercharged Coyote and a 6 speed, and see if I can do anything to make it handle. Just because who would ever suspect such a thing?

Also, just realized that the picture in my previous post appears to be a completed version of the car in the opening picture for the article.

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera Dork
8/24/21 7:30 a.m.

Probe 16 aka Durango 95

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/24/21 8:10 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Growing up in Southwest Florida, you pretty much described every single "car show" in the area I went to.

Today, I affectionately call those types of car outings as "Winga-Dinga" car shows–so named for the frequent use of winga-dinga music from the '50s and '60s.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
8/24/21 8:49 a.m.

In reply to Apis Mellifera :

Thanks, always wondered what that car was.

olpro
olpro Reader
8/24/21 10:21 a.m.

 My RCR Superlite Razor

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
8/24/21 10:36 a.m.

In reply to ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) :

That's a really nice looking car I think.

Snrub
Snrub Dork
8/24/21 11:23 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

Bradley GT

No Reserve: Bradley GT

A guy on my street has a yellow one. For some reason I've never talked to him about it.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/24/21 11:33 a.m.

In reply to olpro :

I love the speaker panel! Although headrests might be the best bet for these cars. What have you got in it, a K24?

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/24/21 11:56 a.m.

In reply to 05CAR :

Scroll down the bottom and look for the box that says, "Your comment" and then click on the landscape icon roughly halfway across the top bar. That will open up a dialogue box which will default to a tab labeled "Image info" where you can paste in the URL of an image on another website you want to link. The other tab in this dialogue box is labeled "Upload"  and if you click on the upload tab, you can then upload a picture from your machine.

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
8/24/21 11:58 a.m.

Meyers Tow'd

The ACVW mechanic I worked for had a really clean Tow'd and a beat-to-hell Tow'dster. Really fun little buggy.

lrrs
lrrs HalfDork
8/24/21 7:43 p.m.

Not my favorite, but the one I own. 

Chased a manta mirage with w Buick turbo v6 in my area for 3 owners and 2 years before seeing it sold on eBay back in 2012 or so. Still want one, but one with the stang 2 front end, not the beetle works. 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
8/24/21 8:15 p.m.
Snrub said:
maschinenbau said:

Bradley GT

A guy on my street has a yellow one. For some reason I've never talked to him about it.

It's safer that way.

VW kit car guys are weird.

Like, weirder than ACVW guys weird.

MattGent
MattGent Reader
8/24/21 8:36 p.m.

In reply to ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) :

Yes please. The Fury with the cut-down roadster windscreen has been my favorite for a long time. There is one with a liter bike engine and air shifter running around south FL. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/24/21 9:13 p.m.

Beetle-based Cobras. 

lrrs
lrrs HalfDork
8/25/21 6:28 a.m.
ShawnG said:
Snrub said:
maschinenbau said:

Bradley GT

A guy on my street has a yellow one. For some reason I've never talked to him about it.

It's safer that way.

VW kit car guys are weird.

Like, weirder than ACVW guys weird.

I dont think I am weird, and I think the acvw guys may back me up. They don't seem to like the fact I don't want to do 1000 mile oil changes and do want my car to have real, non rusty smelling heat, accelerate and steer. 

Gaunt596
Gaunt596 Reader
8/25/21 6:48 a.m.

Those bradly GT cars, have always seemed to me like a missed opportunity  to make a closed cockpit version of formula Vee

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/25/21 8:02 a.m.
Gaunt596 said:

Those bradly GT cars, have always seemed to me like a missed opportunity  to make a closed cockpit version of formula Vee

The Deserter GT is pretty close - except not fully closed cockpit.

olpro
olpro Reader
8/25/21 9:41 a.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

The engine is from a salvage 2002 Acura
RSX S-type with 65k miles. In stock form it
produced 200 hp and is mated to a manual
6-speed trans. In its current configuration, with
some unnecessary items removed (PS pump, AC
compressor), an INJEN short ram intake and a
more efficient exhaust system, it puts out about
220hp - on a vehicle that weighs about 1700 lbs.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/25/21 10:42 a.m.

In reply to olpro :

That's great. Maybe next time I'm in SD I can talk you into giving me a look. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/25/21 10:43 a.m.

 

 

A guy I went to high school built a few of these back in the late eighties. They were really well done, but he could not make the business end of things work out so the company folded. Its a shame because they were much better than the kits usually were back then. I think he built about five of them and he used to daily drive a red one. Its a Fiero. Apparently no better photos exist. 

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
8/25/21 11:17 a.m.

Obviously I am prejudiced, but I only like the ones that look like real cars, not someone glued together bits and pieces of whatever came to hand.  I resurrected/restored this Fiberfab Jamaican  14 years ago.  https://www.rhodoworld.com/Jamaican.html

 

fanfoy
fanfoy SuperDork
8/25/21 1:03 p.m.

If we really want to go oddball, I have to say Blackjack Avion:

It's a 2CV based three-wheeler. 

Protodad
Protodad New Reader
8/25/21 1:52 p.m.

Any of Palatovs stuff (https://www.palatov.com/cars/)

 

who doesn't love tiny Hartley powered track toys?  His street stuff is pretty cool too. Here's the D2 which is fun sized and LS powered. 
 

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/25/21 2:04 p.m.

In reply to Protodad :

Palatov's working on a $500k supercar. Big leagues. I hope he's successful. I've followed the guy since his first public build. 

GM > MG
GM > MG New Reader
8/26/21 9:12 p.m.

Here's one on FB Marketplace:

Bradley GT

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/27/21 7:40 a.m.
fanfoy said:

If we really want to go oddball, I have to say Blackjack Avion:

It's a 2CV based three-wheeler. 

This may take the honor of being a rare kit car that is not any weirder than its donor car.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
8/27/21 11:21 a.m.

forgot the one that I really want to build but just don;t have the time. 

 

Indycycle. I really love this idea. 

 

indycycle s1

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
8/27/21 8:28 p.m.
iansane said:

I started modding cars with a thirdgen firebird so the Evoluzione kit always sparked things for me.

And boom! this passed me


when it was coming up behind me I thought it was a MK4 Supra or an FTO; then I realized what it was since I had just read this thread. If this is the one I'm thinking of it's been for sale on CL off and on for the last couple years for $18k

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
8/28/21 12:52 p.m.

I like the 2CV kits too. And I'd be interested in an Ariel Atom if it had a street-like body (Maybe a Berkeley lookalike?)

In the mean time, a Westfield Megabusa might be entertaining....

But with 'only' 200 bhp, the urge to swap in a turbo Ecotec with double that would be hard to resist!

Chesterfield
Chesterfield Reader
8/28/21 7:28 p.m.

When I think about odd kit cars, the rodster comes to mind.

It is based on the first gen s10/s15.

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