The Future of Kit Cars

4 Responses

  1. Joe Case says:

    I’ve always had an eye for the the things (I owned 8 vw cars/trucks); have been able to get close up looks at some of the high end stuff (Beck, Factory 5, etc.) and I think that ultimately it’s the build quality that haunts the early kit cars. There have to be guys w/ shops that can and do a total build and rescue some of the dinasours. I think one of those would be great to have and could hold it’s value w/ the best of them. If Fast N Loud, Foose, or one of those sort of garages did a couple of them there’d probably be a bump in interest for them.

  2. Kevin Bednarsky says:

    I think the main problem with them is a changing demographic. In my opinion they appeal to a man of a certain age, that grew up looking at the ads in magazines back in the ’70s and ’80s and had their imaginations stoked. These men now have their time and money tied up in homes and familes which hinders the purchase and completion of such a project. Especially when you have to sell it to your wife. It’s one thing to pitch the Mustang convertible you both have always wanted. “What’s an Aquila?”, she says. And by the time you find a suitable picture on an internet search, she’s off on something else. Then there’s the cost and availabilty of the donor cars. Many of the cars that these are based on are no longer cheap or readily available. Old, beat up, good running air-cooled Beetles aren’t $200.00 anymore. So that adds to the total cost of the project. Even the later Fiero based kits are questionable. Just try to find a Fiero these days. Then there’s having to deal with the hassle of missing or non-include pieces that you will have to fab or source. All in all, it takes a unique individual to pony up big bucks for an old kit car.

  3. BigRedRivi says:

    I would have loved to have some captions to go with those photos (never saw a 70’s Camero kit) and perhaps some more photos. Yes kits were some very cool cars like was it the Fiero Ferrari 250GTO??? Alas Ferrari put a stop to that one. Oh well

  4. ferd says:

    I agree with the previous posters, and would like to add that the old kits don’t perform up to the standards that people (especially younger generations) have come to expect. The kits are typically noisy and vibrate and lack the creature comforts and entertainment devices that have been available in new cars for years. Particularly if the kit is based on an old VW Beetle – you end up with a car that is not as nice as a used Honda or Toyota in the same price range.

    Yes you might get over $5000 for a kit car that most people would initially consider paying $2500 for, but you’ll probably have to invest way more than $5000 in upgrades and labor to get there. You might get there by installing a unique drivetrain, such as a battery electric system (since that’s starting to interest the public now). But my experience (working with some folks who have been electrifying old kit cars) indicates that it’s pretty hard to find buyers at the prices you need to get after doing that.

    There is one other niche you might consider – people who want to work on their own cars but find current cars too complicated or needed tools too expensive. Most kit cars are pretty basic since they’re built on relatively simple cars. But still to double the going price your car would have to be pretty nice.

    I’m not sure that there’s much of a collector niche out there. Most of these kits were not extremely popular or lusted after even in their heydays, so there may not be many potential buyers waiting until the day they can get the funds. But if you’ve got one with really good lines and a power / handling package that lives up to those lines then it should eventually gain value. Just hope that you can afford to keep that car nice until that value finally hits your target price.

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