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.
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.
James on August 06, 2020:
CAV is one of the worst GT40 replicas!!!
Skipper68 on April 21, 2020:
Are there RHD MK IV kits?
Aurora on February 23, 2020:
Hi you’ve got some factory five kits on your recommendations for kit cars - is it true that there is now a UK supplier called tech autos? Really like the look of them
Cisco on February 01, 2020:
What I'm asking has nothing to do with all these kit cars that are so awesome.
Just wondering if you do kits for fiat 131 Abarth I don't know we're to find them.
Knyte on December 27, 2019:
A lot of Factory Five, but no love for the 818?
It takes a boring F/Awd Subaru Impreza donor car, and turns it into a MR Sports Monster!
K. Hamm on December 05, 2019:
In the late 50's my cousins and myself built a 32 roadster and put a Olds
J2 engine in it. It was a lot of fun. But all good things end, like my cousin said "then you had to go and enlist in the Navy." I had 2 good and complete careers. Now that I'm senior citizen, I think me, my son and son-in-law might build some more. At least it sounds like a good Idea??
Ken malley on November 26, 2019:
Looking for fiero kit parts
FuelJunkie33 on October 09, 2019:
I would build either two:
-SLC Le Mans with BMW v12 for the engine
-RCR 917 with porsche 6 cylinder
darrin jones on August 21, 2019:
i'd like to build a 65 cobra Daytona coupe with a 429 scj.or a440hemi
Bob Pegram on August 18, 2019:
I'd like to build an Austin Healy 3000 replica on my 1990 camry. I don't even know if it would fit.
Patrick on July 25, 2019:
I would want to build something between an slc and gtm with trunk space under the front bonnet.
John on July 04, 2019:
Does anyone in the US make a Morgan three wheeler style kit car?
Patrick on February 13, 2019:
How does someone go about getting help putting one of these cars togethers? So awesome.
DustinNeiM on January 10, 2019:
Ok say i wanna find a kit car to start building, where would i go to actually look in to building?
Aldino Car Company on August 25, 2018:
Aldino KO has been around for nearly 30 years , recently named one of the top 10 fastest kit cars of all time! 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds 0 to 100 in 6.1 seconds.
fr on March 01, 2018:
WheelScene from U.S.A. on August 29, 2017:
Very cool! Some of these I did not know existed! Thanks for sharing the pricing too!
DogCow on July 09, 2017:
Looks almost like the real thing.
Jack Payne on March 17, 2017:
There is a new Super car That is made by Superlite Cars (Fran Hall) Has a Ford GT-R that is based on the Robinson Racing GT40 that is not only a race car but a SEXY BEAST! It has a large gas tank down the center of the car which is the safest place to have one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2LIcWktSdE&t=...
Chandler from US on October 07, 2015:
Ultima GTR720 - what else can you dream of? hmmm
aminbahgat on April 07, 2015:
very good article, it's a pitty to not have a bigger garage.
kymbo on February 06, 2015:
where can we buy this kit from in Australia and what is in the kit ??? I need more info and might be interested in the hot rod 33 coupe
Muebles de jardin from madrid on May 08, 2014:
very good article, it's a pitty to not have a bigger garage.
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on October 03, 2013:
I'm drooling right now! Wish I could have them all. :)
Romeos Quill from Lincolnshire, England on August 03, 2013:
Great article man - '33 Hot Rod is a beauty.
All the best,
Anthony on March 13, 2013:
Nice MK4 Roadster...Check out this 1965 Cobra Roadster here http://www.otherpeoplesstuff.com/detail-1965-cobra...
Lanzo baker on July 25, 2012:
The GTM is a piece of shite. Nothing fits and everything has to be modified. Might as well start from scratch and build yourself a whole car it would be easier. What a heap. Can't wait to get it out of my shop. I was going to do a 33 but now seeing what FF let's out of their hands I'm not going to bother. You shouldn't either.
issabendeck1 on April 08, 2012:
great cars as long as they use chevy engines that's all i care about and for the car i would pic the ultima or the gtm and for the kitt cars no problem if the company waranties the chasssy or the quality of the body parts.
Pokerseiten Vergleich on April 03, 2012:
Using the same chassis and suspension to the MK4 Roadster, this not only adds a roof, but probably the sweetest rear on any car ever made.
Kent Clarke from Aventura FL on March 28, 2012:
Great post. Wouldn't mind all in my garage :)
Bob on March 26, 2012:
This is my 2nd FFR roadster. Love it. Everything on it new and tight? Air, hot stereo, 18 in wheels, hard top with 408 stroked. Scarey and of course always for sale ...
Kevin Patrick on March 06, 2012:
Another great kit car based on a Miata drivetrain - the MEV Exocet: www.exomotive.com
Jackdell on February 24, 2012:
Engine and Transmission World: Owner, Engine and Transmission World in the Automotive industry (Greater Milwaukee Area
gasitup on February 22, 2012:
Jim,these cars are for people with mechanical aptitude and outside the box thinking.mechanically speaking these autos all use commonly found equipment body wise they're almost all fiberglass or aluminum.if it breaks,fix it.
jay on February 17, 2012:
i want all of the cars
Jim on February 12, 2012:
At least some of these companies have been around for awhile. The list of defunct kit car replica companies is pretty large. Then, what do you do for parts?
Richard Atcheson on January 02, 2012:
I don't want to feel every crack in the road. RCR coupe looked like solid suspension and theroad GTR looked to have some rubber joints. Tube frames are older. but they don't stess crack.
issabendeck1 on August 29, 2011:
for sure ultima coz its a car made for the best performance ever Chevy small block + g50 gear box Porche iquals BEST CHOICE
WHoArtNow (author) from Leicester, UK on July 29, 2011:
@ Heavenly Android - There are a number of places to check out.
Is good for browsing kits and chatting on the forums. UK Site
Another good site with kits from around the world.
A great forum for customs and kits. Some great advice and friendly nature.
Heavenly Android on July 28, 2011:
I would like one, but wouldn't know where to begin
metaxeirismena aytokinhta on July 13, 2011:
this are great cars,I wish i could have one.I'm planning to personalize my metaxeirismena aytokinhta to look it good.Inspired with kit cars..LOVE it
Hugh Williamson from Northeast USA on January 08, 2011:
I learned a lot from reading this. Great Hub!