Top 10 Kit Cars
Are you looking for something a bit more unique? Or maybe you love to tinker and have the desire and time to build something? If the kit car bug has already bitten you, or you're thinking of taking the plunge, don't do anything else until you've looked at all of the cars below. These are the best of the best in the kit car world. Some of them, in fact, are amongst the best in the world, rivaling Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
10 Best Kit Cars
- Ultima GTR720
- Factory Five Racing-Type 65 Daytona
- Race Car Replicas-SL-C
- Factory Five Racing-GTM
- Race Car Replicas-917
- Caterham-Super 7 R400
- Parallel Designs-Torero
- Factory Five Racing-MK4 Roadster
- Factory Five Racing-'33 Hot Rod
10. Factory Five Racing-'33 Hot Rod
There aren't enough modern spec hot rods around, and this one is not only stunning, but it's also easy to build and a good value for the money! What more could you want?
How about suspension and chassis taken from Factory Five's Challenge car? A proven race winner with years of R&D, it utilises Ford V8 engines, the 289/302 block, the slightly larger 351, and the more modern 4.6l 4V block from the Mustang.
So what do you need on top of the $20,000 asking price? Not much really. Of course, you need the engine, transmission, and rear end. There are plenty of brand new or second-hand options on that. You need original Ford headers, but not the rest of the exhaust. You need wheels and tyres, but there are so many options as this car uses the Mustang bolt pattern. Next is paint, which, once again, is totally up to you! Last, you need a fuel pump and battery. All in all, you could build one up for $25,000 upwards.
9. Factory Five Racing-MK4 Roadster
The replica AC Cobra is one of the most popular kit cars produced all over the world. And by looking at the Factory Five version, you can see why. It really is one of the most beautiful cars of all time!
But why go for the Factory Five kit over another company? Well, how about over 10 years of building and developing experience? Or, the fact that it has its own race series? I think the fact they have over 6,000 happy customers should clinch it for you, but if not, how about the $20,000 kit price?
It's the same story with the MK4 Roadster as with the hot rod above: All you need is an engine (Ford 289/302, 351, or 4.6l 4V V8), transmission, rear end, paint, wheels, tyres, batter, and fuel pump. All in all, this is a great little bit of kit for the money, and it's backed up by professional service, outstanding quality, and a great price! As with the '33 Hot Rod, expect to pay upwards of $25,000 for a completed car.
8. Parallel Designs-Torero
How about some Italian passion in your life? This Lamborghini Diablo replica is not only well-made and perfect, but Lamborghini's (recently retired) legendary test driver Valentino Balboni also gave it the thumbs up, as well as Lamborghini themselves!
OK, it might not use a Lamborghini V12, but it does let you fit a BMW V12! The early 5.0l from the late '80s can be picked up cheaply and tuned up nicely to 400bhp+, and that will be enough for most! You'll still need to source your gearbox, but most of the other components to complete this car are available from Parallel Designs, including at 6.0 VT and GT bodies. For a basic car using the Rover V8, expect to pay £25,000 and up and probably another £2000 for the V12 (with better gearbox, brakes and some engine mods.)
7. Caterham-Super 7 R400
Caterham is known around the world for their Lotus 7 replica. In fact, it's not really a replica. It's more of a continuation of the original design. It has, of course, been upgraded and developed over the years, and this, the R400 Superlight is the best of the build-it-yourself kits.
It's a complete road/track animal: light-weight (515kgs) front engined and rear-wheel drive. Anyone who's ever driven one will tell you how much fun these cars are! The kit also comes as a complete package, with engine and all! The R400 comes complete with a 2l Ford Duratec engine developing 210bhp, thanks to Cosworth hitting it with the power stick. That's 420bhp/tonne. The bad part in all this is the £31,000 asking price, but to be honest with you, they are worth every penny. If you can't afford this one, the classic kit starts at just £13,300 and that still has an engine, although only a 105bhp 1.4 Rover K series engine. Still, 200bhp/tonne is a great place to start with a Caterham.
6. Race Car Replicas-917
The Porsche 917 is one of the most amazing race cars. It's all WIN! This particular kit comes from the awesome guys over at Race Car Replicas, who produce a range of classic race cars all to a high standard and a great price.
This particular kit comes with everything you need except engine, transmission, and paint. It's designed around a small block Chevy engine, although a large number of engines can be squeezed in there. How about the 5.4l V8 from a Porsche 928 GTS? Coming with 345bhp, this thing will fly, and that's before you start tweaking the engine. 500bhp is attainable!
The complete kit comes in at $44,000, and you get pretty much everything for that. The best bit about this kit is the chassis: It's a semi-aluminum monocoque! Stiffer, lighter, and easier to build. What more could you want? Expect to build one up for about $55,000 and up, depending on your specs.
No kit car site would without the amazing Ford GT40 replica the CAV GT. It's simply amazing. Almost a perfect replica—both chassis and shell—this is probably the closest you'll ever come to seeing a GT40, let alone driving one.
You can buy this in multiple stages, from a base kit up to fully built, and the prices range. Most people recommend having about $100,000 to build a decent one, although it can get more expensive if you want 500bhp and really good breaks. No matter what you prefer, or can get cheap, you have to put a Ford engine in the back. It's just wrong not to!
4. Factory Five Racing-GTM
How does a 200mph kit car sound? Well, from many a manufacturer, it would sound scary! But from Factory Five, it just sounds awesome!
Utilising the Chevy platform (Corvette C5 1997-2004), this car needs a few more parts to complete than the other Factory Five kits. If you're on a budget, you can buy a donor car. If you have a large pile of cash under your bed, how about completely new and upgraded parts and a stock Chevy LS&, or even the beast that is the Corvette ZR-1 638bhp LS9 engine?
The GTM starts at $20,000, but if you want to build something ridiculously quick like the 200mph cars some have built, expect to pay $75,000+. Also, you should seriously consider some Brembo or AP Racing carbon brakes.
3. Race Car Replicas-SL-C
The SL-C is another car hailing from Race Car Replicas, only this time from their Superlite Cars division. These guys are building original cars as well as awesome replicas.
As with its Race Car Replica sibling, this one is a near-complete kit. All you need to add is engine, transmission, and battery. Once again, it comes in at $44,000. Engine choice is once again varied, although they recommend either a Chevy LS engine or a twin turbo Lexus V8 set-up. You can pick these up cheap. The all-aluminum construction and standard forged internals make this a great engine if you fancy 1000bhp... FAST!
This is a stunning car, especially for a relatively small manufacturer price. It's fast, handles well, is super fun to drive, and is very rare. You could build a basic one up for $55,000 but if you want something to compete with the fastest in the world, look to spend $80,000+.
2. Factory Five Racing-Type 65 Daytona
There aren't many cars that are more beautiful than the AC Cobra, but this is one of them. Based on the super rare, race-spec-only 1964/1965 Shelby Daytona, this is a stunning kit for those wanting something a little special and rare. They only ever built six originals, so there aren't too many floating about.
Using the same chassis and suspension as the MK4 Roadster, this one not only adds a roof but probably the sweetest rear on any car ever made! It was the result of some serious aero work done to beat Ferrari. Sadly the car never went anywhere, because the year after, Ford not only moved Shelby across to the GT40 program but sunk their race budget into beating Ferrari on European soil.
The price for this stunning kit? How about $21,000! Only $1,000 more than the MK4 Roadster, which you'll find is a bargain. Again, you'll need a Ford engine, transmission, rear end, paint, wheels, tyres, battery, and fuel pump, so expect to pay $26,000 and up. Although if you are going to buy one, why not spend a little extra and build a 302 Boss Mustang engine? It would work so well in this!
1. Ultima GTR720
The UltimaGTR720 isn't just fast; it's one of the fastest cars in the world! How does 0-100-0 mph in 9.4 seconds sound? Well, that time is a couple of SECONDS faster than a Ferrari Enzo! If that's not good enough for you, how about it being a sub 10 second 1/4 mile drag car!
It's not too badly priced, either. The basic kit starts at £16,000, but you will, of course, need to spend a lot more to get those kind of figures. Some people say you should invest about £60,000 in a new Ultima, and like the Factory Five Racing GTM, carbon brakes would be a nice addition.
The video below goes some way to show just how fast this car is around corners too. Almost a full 5 SECONDS faster than the Koenigsegg CCX (although Top Gear keeps refusing to put it round themselves). Definitely worth watching just to hear the noise and witness the best kit car in the world doing its thing.
Some Final Thoughts
The above cars represent only a small portion of the kit cars and replicas that are available to buy these days. These are however amongst the best and not just because of the car they are, but the amount of time, energy, thought and money that's spent on developing them. They are truly amazing cars and in comparison to other cars in the same price band, so much better value!
Oh, and of course, the best bit, you get to build it yourself! If that's not something you've done before, fear not, most of these cars can be built relatively easily, and there is plenty of help out there on forums. The Factory five forums are very very impressive, so are the GT40 ones.
If You Could Build One, Which Would You Build?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.