Seltzer Automotive Kit Cars

For those of you who where into kit cars in the late 70s to early 80s or have seen the magazines of the day you may remember the Willow kit cars by Seltzer Automotive. If I had to describe it I would say it had a “Can-Am” type look but appeared shorter. In a time when the kit car industry was still dominated by VW based kits the Willow Kit Car was a rocket ship ready to fly.

I recently got in contact with Eric Seltzer. The man behind the Willow Kit Car. Eric is now retired and living in Nevada, but he was kind enough to share with us a few photos and a bit of info about how the willow came to be. I am going to just copy his email here….

Thanks for letting me know about your website! I’m 72-years old, a retired business owner and mechanical engineer. I raced Formula-B and Formula-Ford race cars in SCCA road racing in the early ’70’s in Southern California. I thought I could build a better kit car than the usual VW based kits, so I designed a car with a transverse mid-engine using a 2.0L OHC Ford Pinto engine mated to a Ford Fiesta transaxle. I named it the Willow in recognition of the Willow Springs Race Track which always favored good handling cars over pure horsepower.

There is too much to cover here, attached find some photos and a PDF of our first brochure for your archives. I sold the project in 1983 to Fred Schrameck of Hayward, CA, S&S Race Group.

Eric Seltzer
Sparks, NV 89436

It it such a cool thing to be able to hear from guys like Eric who where innovative in a time where Classic Motor Carriages, Fiberfab, and Bradley dominated the kit car industry. They built kit cars for people who wanted a hold on to your seat experience and not just a cool looking car.

Here is the info Eric sent me along with his email. Please comment below

3 Responses

  1. Rick says:

    Cool story. One of those cars that ‘could have been’ if the market were right. Almost a Manta right up to the nose, where the design lost cohesion. Still… molds might be around somewhere!

    • Donnie says:

      Hey Rick,

      I reached out to Eric again to see if he had anymore info. He sold the project in 83 to S&S Automotive. This is one of those projects that I would love to have.

  2. Joe Foreman says:

    I would like know what happened to the yellow willow that is in a lot of the photos. There is also a red and black willow in some photos as well. I also never got the assembly manual I paid for all those years ago.

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