Thursday, May 28, 2020

But How a Kit Car?

Yesterday, I posted a little bit about why I decided to build a kit car. Today, I want to talk a little about how I got to today, waiting for the truck to come and drop off the kit.

I've wanted to build a kit car for years. About ten years ago, I made up my mind that I would build a Factory Five Type 65 Coupe. At that time, I figured it would cost about $35,000 to do the build. I actually got plugged into the local car community a little bit, and met a few people who had built and were building kit cars. There are a surprising number just in my area, and all of them very friendly and helpful.

But I never got the budget together to build that car, so that project never took off.

But 2020 was going to be the year that I retired and replaced one of two vehicles - either my current daily (an Acura RSX-S) or the beater pickup (Chevy C250 longbed). I couldn't find a good solution, so I eventually came back to the idea of building my own.

And I have to admit that I was helped along in that decision by my uncle. He finished building an airplane a few years ago, and he's been looking for the next project. For about the last year, we've been chatting idly about what he might like to build next, and he was pretty settled on the 818. I helped him replace an extremely decrepit garage door, and there was discussion then about driving an 818 into the garage at some point.

Then, at Thanksgiving, I realized I had decided to do it. I had asked my wife, "What if, instead of buying a car in 2020, I built one?" and the reaction had been cautiously positive. The 818 had the bonkers I was looking for, and there was already budget allocated for a car in 2020. So I suggested to my uncle that we both should build cars this year.

Here's a thing about my uncle. He will absolutely devour any and all info he can find about a topic, researching it to the end. But once he decides, he decides. Less than two weeks after Thanksgiving dinner, we were on a road trip to buy his donor, and less than a week after that, I had bought one, too (although it took a little while to get the delivery handled).

And in February, we ordered kits. There has been a delay in production due to the current contagion, but it now looks like tomorrow is the day it all arrives. I've used the intervening time to tear down the donor - I'll post about that later.

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