Want a World-Class Supercar? Build It Yourself!
A supercar, hypercar, or eye-catching performance car is a lifetime goal for many enthusiasts. However, the only thing more ridiculous than an incredible dream car is the price tag associated with it, sometimes six or seven figures. Fret not; there’s hope for fans who want something special. You can build or buy a kit car or replica to scratch your Ford GT40 or classic Ferrari itch.
Are kit cars expensive?
Kit cars are much more affordable than the supercars they’re based on. For instance, the average price of a replica or continuation Ford GT40 is around $156,956, whereas some legitimate models fetch millions of dollars at auction.
Moreover, kit cars can pack unorthodox engine and transmission options without compromising a collector’s car. For instance, a replica Ferrari can pack a reliable, affordable LS1 V8 from a C5 Chevrolet Corvette instead of a pricey V12.
Are kit cars road legal?
Replica supercar and kit car owners can get their vehicles registered and titled with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Only then is a ground-up build road legal.
Unfortunately, registering a custom car build can be a lengthy process. Dirt Legal says getting a kit car titled and tagged took four months for one owner. Moreover, thorough documentation and a safe vehicle could make the process much quicker.
Can you build a supercar kit yourself?
While a supercar kit might not have the pedigree of a real Ferrari or another premium model, it’s certainly a cheaper way to get into a flashy, fun vehicle. Better yet, you can buy kits to turn existing vehicles into replicas or build one from scratch. For instance, Road & Track says an enthusiast built his own Ford GT40 replica for around $25,000.
The most common way to put a super lookalike in your driveway is to get a donor car and transform it using body, drivetrain, and suspension components. For instance, a DF Goblin open-wheel car uses a Chevrolet Cobalt, and an Exomotive Exocet uses a Mazda MX-5 Miata, per Slash Gear. Take care, though; supercar body kits on existing vehicles seldom make convincing facsimiles.
What are some popular supercar kits?
Some popular kits include the classic Ferrari 308, a vehicle that gained fame from the 1980s TV show Magnum, P.I. Fans can purchase a kit to transform a donor car like a Pontiac Fiero into the famed Ferrari models, like the larger-than-life Testarossa or 308.
Some determined owners have even transformed the Fiero into a replica of an iconic Lamborghini Miura.
Are kit cars safe to drive?
While kit cars can be street-legal, it doesn’t mean every ground-up build is safe. Any builder wanting to drive a kit car with a frame should inspect it for structural issues. Moreover, unless drivers get their vehicle from a builder or use an intact donor vehicle, many kits won’t have safety features like airbags.