The Future of Kit Cars
Hey Everyone. As I sit here I cant help but wonder what the future of kit cars is. Especially the ones I grew up seeing in magazines. Some of these cars are 40+ years old, and to us old guys they are still some of the coolest cars out there. But to the younger generation they are odd, ugly, and nothing special. Where did the kit car industry go wrong? Was it just a changing in the times, or a general lack of interest in building something yourself? Sure there are a few companies out there that survived and are turning a pretty hefty profit but most are long gone.
I also recently got to thinking about value. As most of you know the older VW kit cars can be had very little money, but give you years of enjoyment. But why are they so cheap? I have been tracking several sales over some time of popular kit cars and the results are interesting to say the least. Because I was just writing about this on a facebook post I will use the results for the Bradley GT kit car.
I have tracked about 30 or so sales over a period of time . This is just a very crude calculation . It does not take into account if the kit car was a project or a driver, the engine, if it had all the glass (side and rear window in the case of the GT) and so on. Of the 30 cars I came up with an average of sell price of $1600 . I also tracked another handful via our www.fiberclassics.org website . This was a “What did you pay” question. That came up with an average purchase price of $1040 . I know these are not end all numbers but it does give you some insight on what the future of kit cars is.
All of this shows what I have said for many years. There is just not a very big market for these sort of cars, and they are not all that valuable. This may also explain why we see time and time again someone purchasing molds to “Insert Vintage kit car here ” and is going into production, only to have them fall off the radar or post the molds for sale for some ridiculous amount of money.
I get that some of these cars can and do sell for good money but you have to look at the venue. People who are Bradley GT fans seem to point to a single car that was sold several years ago at Barrett Jackson for $9350.00. They forget that Barrett Jackson is full of people with more money than brains. The car iteself was stored for 41 years in a climate controlled warehouse and was so clean you could eat off it. Chances are this car was not being purchased to drive around town daily.
So what do you think the Future of kit cars is? Do you think vintage kit cars can rebound? If they can how do you think we as enthusiasts cant increase value? I have heard a lot of ways from “Not selling them so cheap” to Build Quality. But how do you get a car that the market wants to pay $2500 for sell for $5000 or more?
I would love to see your comment and suggestions below.