Riot VW Kit Car

Well here is a car you do not everyday. The Riot was designed and sold by Thunder Ranch. It was a buggy like car designed to utilize a VW Bug Chassis or even a tube chassis. It was a great looking car if you ask me and for the day was very stylish. The Thunder Ranch Riot was featured in countless magazines and was even used in the TV Series Baywatch in an episode where it was given as a gift, stolen and recovered.

Some years ago Thunder Ranch stopped production of the Riot and the Molds and Tooling were sold to a person named Nathan Wratislaw. I was able to find his website and contacted him some time ago to inquire about them. He told me he did still own the molds and tooling and it was one of his  “Investments”.  Im not really sure what that meant due to the fact that in order to make money on said investment you would have to sell the cars.  He said they are sold in turnkey only, but after much digging I was never able to find a turnkey car built by Nathan Wratislaw or his companies.Turnkey prices seem to be from $20,000-$30,000 if you can get one from them.

It is hard to tell but his youtube channel is full of old car reviews, and he appears to be a car dealer. His website also sells cereal marshmallows,  supplements, and is just all over the place.  Just a quick bit of info on the Riot. Who knows, maybe he has sold dozens of turnkeys and I just cant find them. I can say that it would be almost impossible for people to find info about it.

Anyway there is a Riot on Craigslist right now. It is not completed and in primer black.This is what the ad says…

71′ Volkswagen Riot kit car , $6500 , OBO, body is much newer. Runs good, has new windshield and upholstery with carpets never installed.Car has been driven for about 6 miles with no problems. Many new parts, is registered but on non-op. Car has never been painted. Car was under construction but not finished.ALSO available is a new rebuilt Freeway flyer Transmission not included

My experience says the car is worth it if you are looking for something really unique and want to finish it it and drive it. If you think you can buy it for $6500, finish it, and sell it for $20,000 you are in for a surprise. It wont happen. Cool car but not $20,000 cool.The few I have seen pop up over the years have a hard time getting in the $10,000 range.

The Riot Kit Car is one of VW kits that I think would do well if it was on a tube chassis with a good little 4cyl turbo in the rear. It still looks great. Just needs some marketing to get it going. Would you buy one of these if they were reasonably priced and could be completed at a low cost?

Get it here if you want it http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/5312860987.html

6 Responses

  1. Cameron Milander says:

    Looks pretty good, but is it reasonably possible to obtain a replacement windshield?

  2. Randy Didway says:

    Always thought that was one of the best kits ever made!

  3. Marie Staton says:

    Where can you buy a windshield

    • Donnie says:

      As far as I know you cannot. I know who has the molds and such but he seems to think he is sitting on a goldmine but has no interest in selling kits. Turnkey only and he does not seem to want to be in the Parts business.

  4. eric rhinehart says:

    I talked to to the lady how runs the storage lot . She said they have a bunch of windshields but the are way back in the storage. There is nobody to give her a hand with the fork lift to get them out. She said maybe in a year or two they might get them out. She was a vary nice lady by the way.
    I have the baywatch riot that was used on the show

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