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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just wondering what you guys thought about these kit cars by Factory Five - not sure if there's unforeseen things that I'm not aware of or if they're just not worth it. Looks like I'll have to drop $20k for the kit and another $15-20k for the engine, rear end, transmission and paint? Not counting all the tools I'll need. Plus I'm wondering that if I don't have mechanical skills, will that really mess stuff up, or is there enough videos and instructions to be able to build it?

I built this arcade cabinet, but I'm more on the IT side of things, which might help? idk, just looking for honest answers and opinions... Thanks!

I really enjoyed building the cabinet and thought it might be fun to build a kit car - it'll take me a few years to save up though!
 

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From watching T.V. auctions like Barrett and Mecum, the Factory 5 builds seem to get more money compared to others (Shelby Cobra kits anyway). I think they have a good following out there.
 

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Certainly look pretty neat, but unless you have a burning passion to build a car and take 2 years to do it, just buy one already done. Plenty around for sale
 

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The thing about kit cars, is yes, you can build them as they direct you to and get a mediocre result... But, if you are willing to take the time to work over the panels and materials they give you, you can end up with an awesome build with a personal touch.

Take the GTM for example. The way the door windows meet up to the frame is not great. You can build up the b pillar to match much better and look 1000% more oem.

(I have read through probably 25 build threads and learned along the way)
 

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Plus I'm wondering that if I don't have mechanical skills, will that really mess stuff up, or is there enough videos and instructions to be able to build it?
I'm going to be brutally honest with you. Yes, unless you have worked on at least a few cars and have experience and tools, this is not for you to attempt.

Ever swap an engine? Change a transmission? How bout a rear end? If all no, go ahead and forget about this one.

As said above, just buy one that someone else already built.
 

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I would vote "No" as well. Try helping a friend to:
-- put in a water pump,
--pull a gas tank to install a fuel pump,
-- or change out a transmission.

This will give you some of the needed skills and allow you to taste what cher-in-fer. But without mechanical, electrical or auto body skills, which have taken most of us decades to learn, you'll end up like so many others with a partially finished car for sale and wishing you'd never tried this. One exception: if dad encourages you to do this and promises to help you with it. Situations like that might just work out fine. Otherwise, if you can sleep at night without one of these in your garage, do it. Keep in mind that this project will take you far more time than what others tell you. It will cost you far more than you originally thought, especially if you get in over your head and have to hire somebody to handle some of the hard stuff. It will render your garage useless for anything else for a very long time, and it will surely sell for less than what you put into it. And it's very likely that you'll get REALLY frustrated with it and not finish it. These things are hard enough for the pros: as you said, a seasoned mechanic you are not.
 

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Keep in mind that this project will take you far more time than what others tell you. It will cost you far more than you originally thought, especially if you get in over your head and have to hire somebody to handle some of the hard stuff. It will render your garage useless for anything else for a very long time, and it will surely sell for less than what you put into it. And it's very likely that you'll get REALLY frustrated with it and not finish it. These things are hard enough for the pros: as you said, a seasoned mechanic you are not.
I agree. You better seriously consider this before you spend a lot of money and, perhaps, get over your head.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's what I figured, and thanks for all the info! I didn't know it would take two years on top of the 10 years it would take for me to save up as well. Maybe I'll save up the money and put it towards a bad ass "bucket list" car.

I thought that since FactoryFive had that 3-day build school that it would help but yeah, I don't have any way to put in the engine and I'd probably need an extra set of hands as well.

Thanks again for all the info and insight! I was definitely romanticizing the kit car and needed some reality haha!
 

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A good rule of thumb for project cars is to figure out what you think it will cost and how long it will take and double it to get realistic answers.
 

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A good rule of thumb for project cars is to figure out what you think it will cost and how long it will take and double it to get realistic answers.
DAMN! With that much money involved I could get a good restomod with a new crate engine!
 

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A good rule of thumb for project cars is to figure out what you think it will cost and how long it will take and double it to get realistic answers.
Thats a real good rule.. People who build the GTM kit can drop 80-120k to finish it completely... Budget conscious people can do it for 75k nickel and diming everything... but the length of the build goes up by doing so
 

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You can buy a nice secondhand Cobra kit car with a killer engine for around 35,000 or a cheap one with a 302 for 25,000. They guys will have put 50 or 60 into them and worked out all the problems.
 

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I have built a kit car before, just a nice, simple Bradley GT. My Boss tried to build a Cobra, it is still not finished and probably will not be any time soon. Plan on EVERYTHING taking longer and costing alot more than you originally thought. That, by the way doesn't count all the unforeseen problems that will pop up. My Boss chose a company the looked like they had a better product than Factory 5 but had alot of manufacturing problems (like thermostat housings being welded 90 degrees off and differential mounts being machined 15 degrees off etc.) that just kept eating time and will power. eventually, the company went belly up. I forget the name of it. Right now he has a 95% complete chassis and a body but not a car. Good luck. Or, as the old knight in the Indiana Jones movie said "You must choose wisely."
 

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I have built a kit car before, just a nice, simple Bradley GT. My Boss tried to build a Cobra, it is still not finished and probably will not be any time soon. Plan on EVERYTHING taking longer and costing alot more than you originally thought. That, by the way doesn't count all the unforeseen problems that will pop up. My Boss chose a company the looked like they had a better product than Factory 5 but had alot of manufacturing problems (like thermostat housings being welded 90 degrees off and differential mounts being machined 15 degrees off etc.) that just kept eating time and will power. eventually, the company went belly up. I forget the name of it. Right now he has a 95% complete chassis and a body but not a car. Good luck. Or, as the old knight in the Indiana Jones movie said "You must choose wisely."
I like your GT, I bet it was a fun project. To me, that would be the allure of venturing in to a kit car. The satisfaction of building it. A question for you, how do you get a kit car registered for public roads?
 

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Registering your kitcar will vary WILDLY state by state. In VW based cars, the VIN is on the floorpan. This part never changes. I bought the GT body half buried in a field in Yreka, I bought it for 200 and a rusted dead chassis for 100 to push the body around on. 20 months later, it was ready to be mounted. I bought a accident damaged 69 Beetle, got it fixed and inspected and drove it for 3 months then just switched the bodies. So, technically it is still a 69 VW Beetle.

The thing only weighed 1600 pounds. Only 600 on the front axle. It could be quite an adventure to drive.
 

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While I have not built a kit car I have strongly considered a Factory Five project. Having studied Factory Fives literature, talked with folks who have built them, inspected completed builds it is my opinion that the Factory Five offerings are igh quality and as close to "bolt it together" as it gets. With that said, a great deal of experience is required to recognize when something is incorrect in the kit as well as resolve the the problems you will encounter while "making it yours". IMO a Factory Five project is not for someone with the experience and tools you described.

With that said, my biggest problem with Factory Five is they do not have options for MOPAR engine and transmission mounts. In my case this means I would be cutting apart a complete new chassis to retrofit it for MOPAR running gear. Who knows what else would need to be modified as well.
 
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