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