Invader GT letter

I just got this nice letter and photo set, which I’m reproducing here verbatim —

Enjoyed your blog very much. Every once in awhile I’ll google Invader GT and see what pops up. Usually not much, but this time your blog came up. So if I may bore you…

In 1974 I ordered a Invader GT kit. The body design was the full rake (which I felt looked better than the later design change that took the rake out of the windshield.) Back then it cost me $400.00 for shipping from California to Illinois and I the kit cost somewhere around $900.00. Picked up a used running 1969 VW for $600.00 and sold the body for $400.00. The whole project came to about $3000.00. Finished the project in 1976, my wife to be bought herself a new 1977 Firebird 350 cu.in. with T-top for $7000.00, hmmm maybe something doesn’t add up here, oh well too late, water under the bridge.

Should -a, could-a, would-a. The doors, Should-a pitched the clear top sections and molded in the bottom sections. You roasted your butt off driving around with full doors on in the summer time. And the car just didn’t look right with the doors off. You had the option to cut and drop the pan area where the seats went so you could have a little more head room. I chose not to go that route (should-a). Never put wipers or defroster system into the kit because even then I knew it was a fair weather car.

Finished the car out with a rebuilt VW engine, American Slots, rocker panels were 18 gauge steel, tail lights came from the GMC truck department, side market lights where from a 1974 New Yorker, fender mirrors from some custom catalog as to the gas filler lid. Key type hood pins from J.C Whitney. For the doors and to hold them shut I used on the inside spring loaded hood latches you found on CJ jeeps back then. Paint was candy apple red with a silver metallic base coat from the “House of Colors”. I don’t think I put over a 1000 miles on the car before I sold to some guy from Strawberry Point Iowa.

If I had it to do over again, I would of bought a dune buggy body for half the cost and time and spent more time with the wind in my face and enjoying the country side. There was also at the time another kit offered which I almost went with I think was called “Vandura”? You cut off the vw body just behind the doors and added on the kit that made it into a panel truck. You could keep the vw front fenders and hood section or replace it with a fiberglass section that made it look like a 1940 Ford. I almost bit on that one. Don’t get me wrong, I think the kit was a nice design for the time and sure cost a lot less than a Sterling. It was just a time in my life and thought thats what I wanted, maybe it was Corvette envy I don’t know. I couldn’t afford one of those so I went for what I could. Today if I was into the do it yourself car thing, I’d go with a bare bones “Rat Rod”. See ones taste does change with age. Again, great blog

-Ben

11 Responses

  1. Rich says:

    Those sliding window sections would have worked pretty good.It’s a damn nice looking car .

  2. Rich says:

    Those sliding window sections would have worked pretty good.It’s a damn nice looking car .

  3. schmitty says:

    Great story. Thanks for sharing. I think your Invader has way more character than a dune buggy or “vandetta”.

    Schmitty

  4. Ben says:

    Thanks Rich, Schmitty for your comments. The fact of the matter is I think my mood changed during the building of the car. I think that happens more often than you think, specially if the build goes on longer than you planned. Anyway it was fun at the time. Glad to see Invaders are still out there. Thanks to this blog.
    -ben

  5. Rich says:

    Ben here is a good question . How tall was it? Looks shorter than my trike and thats 42 inch.

    Rich

  6. Ben says:

    Hey Rich, sorry for the delay with reply. Well……. the one photo with my mom standing next the car. She is about 5’4″ give or take so from the photo I’m guessing in the 42″-44″ range. I did drive it under a parked semi trailer being unloaded once, just for kicks to see how the truck driver would react.

  7. Ben says:

    another thought Rich, when i was looking to build something with the VW chassis there were several “VW trike kits out on the market in the mid 70’s that I gave serious thought about. What kind of trike do you have?

  8. Rich says:

    Building a Tri-Magnum from plans . My build is here on the blog. It’s been a fun project loads of bondo and body work like carving it from a bar of soap. The reverse trike idea seems to be more stable than the normal 1+2 setup. There is an Aztec GT waiting for it’s turn in the shed too.

    I never thought that foam fiberglass sandwich construction could be as strong as this seems to be. It’s light so the Kawasaki LTD 1000j should move it down the road nice.

  9. Rich says:

    Your Mom and I are the same height thats why I like small cars . I don’t have head room issues in most of them . Dad’s buddy had a laser 917 c body back in the day. He avoided an accident by going under a trailer in that thing.

    It’s been over 90 here so it’s too hot to sling bondo it cures in like 5 minutes lol. Once things cool off the body work will continue on the Tri-magnum.

  10. They are trying to make Mr. Kaylor get rid of this car in this picture. The government also robbed him of ever getting any patents and are now using Agenda 21 to take his 160 acre land in the Santa Cruz mountains which this car and many of his other electric vehicle inventions are stored. If any one is interested in helping in anyway contact Roy Kaylor or Occupy SF. This man also helped put the voyager satellite in space. He started building electric car engines because he was allergic to solvents because of chemical exposures done by the government. Please help save The Kaylor Micro Basin Wildlife & Wilderness Preserve!!!!!!!

    • Donnie says:

      So the government is robbing him just like he robbed Dave Loring of Loring Design? What goes around comes around I guess. Poor Mr. Kaylor. If you personally know Mr Kaylor tell him to get in touch with us. I am putting a story together on Mr Loring and there is some interesting stuff that Mr Loring has brought to my attention.

      Also I just looked and after my breakfast value meal I have about $1.62 in change. If he does not want the government to take the car/molds I will purchase it/them with the change I had left. Let him know I can get them out of his hair by next week.

      Thanks

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