I know I have written about kit cars before, but I have been thinking about them again. Ok, I have been thinking of a lot of things about cars, but this is one of them. The reason I have been thinking of them, is the writing I have been doing about handling and handling upgrades.
The kit cars I have been thinking about are the Factory Five ones, their roadster, which is a replica of the Shelby Cobra, and the 33 Hot Rod which is like a 30’s Ford with a modern chassis and suspension.
The reason thinking about handling makes me think of these cars, is they do handle great. A combination of modern suspension design and light weight combine to make them handle great. They both have an estimated weight of less than 2,200 pounds, so there isn’t a lot of mass to get to turn. Ever wonder why race cars don’t weigh as much as a semi? Because the more weight a vehicle has, the more effort it takes to get it to change direction or speed.
According to Factory Five’s web site, the roadster with a 325 HP small block Ford will go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and run the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds at 113 MPH. That is pretty impressive for only 325 HP. That is what light weight gets you. Plus handling that will rival any sports car you can think of, at least if they live up to their reputation. I am assuming they do, since that is how they got the reputation in the first place.
Imagine how much work and money you would have to put into a muscle car to get it to match one of the kit cars. Sure, the quarter mile times are no problem, it is the handling that is the trick. It can be done, but not as easily.
But I think the main reason I would want to build a kit car, is to start with a pile of parts that got delivered, and some parts I pulled off a donor car, and build it myself.
I think it would be fun, and a great learning experience. And it would be an adventure, it just sounds exciting to me. Maybe that is why my wife gives me funny looks from time to time(Ok most of the time…) Plus you could say “I built it myself” and have the pride of having done that.
The other plus would be the ability to re-arrange your insides on corners, it would be great fun at an autocross event.
Maybe after I get my muscle car… And even if not, it is something fun to dream about.