Lightning TS Corvette Replica 11


As used car prices come down, sometimes kit cars cost more than the car they emulate… For example, you can buy a beat-up Lamborghini Countach for close to the same price as a top-of-the-line replica (which arguably is a better car, but that’s an entirely different and more complex argument). But a rare British kit car called the Lightning TS really takes the cake.

The Lightning TS, of which half a dozen exist, is a “copy” of a seventies Corvette, built on Cortina running gear with a 2L Pinto engine. It captures some of the lines, but none of the muscular charm of a real Corvette. There’s one right now on eBay (#270351775187, and also here) in Scotland with a buy-it now price of £3,500 (ie. $5,000 US). Stateside you can buy a functioning used Corvette for less than that (I understand they may be more rare in Scotland), and if you want something Corvette-like but small, you can also get a charming Opel GT for the same price. Sorry, I don’t know what sort of fool would buy this Lightning TS.

I feel dirty now… I hate to say anything bad about kit cars.


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11 thoughts on “Lightning TS Corvette Replica

  • Mark Ernest

    When I toured the british isles back in 1978 I was ASTOUNDED at the prices used American muscle cars for over there. If I could have found a partner in the UK we could have started a business importing & selling cars as the premium they were selling for was MUCH more than the cost of shipping.

    I can even see the benefit of the weenie engine considering that the cost of gasoline in England is usually 4x here or greater.

    But with all that said, an underpowered ‘corvette’ really does seem like a silly idea. I’m not suprised the company disapeared with few cars sold.

  • Tony

    There is a special place in hell reserved for those who step over that imaginary line the rest don’t dare cross.
    It’s reserved for those who really go too far, people that put hydrogen in airships, call their creations indestructible or unsinkable.

    Dude, don’t ya know you just don’t put a Ford motor in anything that is or resembles a Chevy…….it’s just wrong

  • Bats

    About 15 years back a friend of mine “World famous fiberglass mike” built from scratch a C4 Corvette convertable body to fit the VW pan, before you freak or laugh the idea was to give people over on the coast like Daytona where renting dune buggies is a huge business something cooler looking to blast the dunes with, The car was popular in that Kit car magazine did a story about it, called it the ZR Bug
    I guess the one car Mike had was the only one he built, I lost contact with him about 6 years ago when he was going to pull molds off my Motion Mako Shark stuff, I was not surprized when I found this link

    http://fiberglassmike.com/

    Nothing on it works, I guess I will call him he was a cool dude and could do magic with fiberglass

  • micha

    the buy-it now price WAS £3,500…the new auction, is without reserve price and i pressume that it will not hit the 2000,-pound. (as long as the seller does not manipulate the bids…)

    its so often found in UK that cars are advertized overpriced. when you contact the sellers and ask for a reduction or offer them a lower price they always decline and finally sell the car even cheaper.

  • Dangerous

    I visited the owner of the Lightning TS in Paisley Scotland on the intentions of buying the car.
    To you all…. you should visit and not complain.The british company which produced these cars along time ago and are forgotten about except from examples like this that is story in its self.
    A beautiful car with a great noise and drives like most kit cars
    it’s an attention seaker..people can’t help admiring it not laughing at it.
    I am 6ft 2 inches tall and the only reason i didn’t part with money is as with a lot of kit cars the wet gear while on stopped me sitting up right.
    the engine is a 2 litre Ford Pinto reliable and tune able.
    and to add to this a bigger engine can easily be put in its place. I intended to modernise it with a tuned zetec with twin 40’s and add a five speed gear box…
    It will not sound like a Corvette Stingray 1974 7.5l but sound better, faster and will not cost the earth to run (£1.00 a litre)

    The car 1s registed as a 1972 Lightning TS not ford
    Someone should buy this just to say they have it..
    One of the last in roadworthy condition…
    The Lightning TS was on Ebay for bid over £1500.00
    and is only selling due to a new love ( an American Car which changes into a Robot called Bumble Bee )Camaro the man has taste..

  • Dangerous

    I visited the owner of the Lightning TS in Paisley Scotland on the intentions of buying the car.
    To you all…. you should visit and not complain.The british company which produced these cars along time ago and are forgotten about except from examples like this that is story in its self.
    A beautiful car with a great noise and drives like most kit cars
    it’s an attention seaker..people can’t help admiring it not laughing at it.
    I am 6ft 2 inches tall and the only reason i didn’t part with money is as with a lot of kit cars the wet gear while on stopped me sitting up right.
    the engine is a 2 litre Ford Pinto reliable and tune able.
    and to add to this a bigger engine can easily be put in its place. I intended to modernise it with a tuned zetec with twin 40’s and add a five speed gear box…
    It will not sound like a Corvette Stingray 1974 7.5l but sound better, faster and will not cost the earth to run (£1.00 a litre)

    The car 1s registed as a 1972 Lightning TS not ford
    Someone should buy this just to say they have it..
    One of the last in roadworthy condition…
    The Lightning TS was on Ebay for bid over £1500.00
    and is only selling due to a new love ( an American Car which changes into a Robot called Bumble Bee )Camaro the man has taste..

  • Dangerous

    I can confirm the car is now mine. It will remain in Scotland for now and I still intend to make the car a bit more modern as the engine goes. I have some contacts in the garage trade and have some free time.. It is free to tax and cheap to insure… so in that it will be my hobby for the future. the next time it comes up for sale it will not have a tired old 2.0l. I would remind you it is rare. with most kit cars look like real cars like the lotus 7..How many times and by how many different companys and diy… They mostly are from Ford donors…

    At least the Lightning TS will not have the same copycat theme..
    Good to be different.:-)

  • Dangerous2

    I can confirm the car is now mine. It will remain in Scotland for now and I still intend to make the car a bit more modern as the engine goes. I have some contacts in the garage trade and have some free time.. It is free to tax and cheap to insure… so in that it will be my hobby for the future. the next time it comes up for sale it will not have a tired old 2.0l. I would remind you it is rare. with most kit cars look like real cars like the lotus 7..How many times and by how many different companys and diy… They mostly are from Ford donors…

    At least the Lightning TS will not have the same copycat theme..
    Good to be different.:-)

  • Badger

    I’m actually the relatively proud owner of one of these. It’s obviously a later version as the body shell is nearly identical to a late model c3 corvette, and has the t-top roof. It was meant to use cortina running gear and a cologne 3.2 litre v6 power plant.
    However as I recieved it it had been bodged up very badly so it’s now getting a space frame replacement to the ladder chassis, custom designed double wishbone suspension all round and a 4l toyota v8 engine. I’ve got a couple of other plans for it too, but progress is slow atm.

    • Dangerous

      Badger … where are your pictures?… i have evidence this is the last road registered legal one … even if i search the web …this is the last…..

      show me what you have .. thanks

      • Donnie

        You to realize you are commenting on a post that is over 2 years old. I personally do not know anything about the cars, but my taste would have me say it is ugly.