5 Awesome Replica Kit Cars That Make the Dream of Owning a Legendary Classic Possible

hace 3 semanas, 2 días - 21 mayo 2024, autoevolution
5 Awesome Replica Kit Cars That Make the Dream of Owning a Legendary Classic Possible
If you're a DIY enthusiast whose biggest dream is to own an iconic classic car, these five replicas can turn your dream into reality for far less money than an original example.

Kit cars have been around for decades, with the iconic Lotus Seven - which later morphed into the Caterham Seven - being the most famous example.

While they are, in most cases, cheaper than similar (or identical) factory-built models, kit cars require tools and the right amount of engineering expertise to be completed.

For some enthusiasts, building their dream cars themselves is the ultimate experience, so while the process is not necessarily easy, it's unquestionably rewarding.

These days, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of high-quality kits available. Some use existing drivetrains but have a bespoke body and chassis design, while others are incredibly accurate replicas of iconic models.

In this article, we're going to explore the latter category, mainly five automotive legends that, in original, factory-built form, demand eye-watering amounts to own but can be reasonably affordable in kit car form.

Factory Five Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe

The mythical Shelby Daytona Coupe was designed and built by Caroll Shelby and his Venice crew in 1964 with the sole purpose of dethroning the Ferrari 250 GTO in the endurance racing GT class.

It is currently one of the most desirable racing cars in the world and one of the six examples ever built, demanding well over the $7 million mark.

However, Wareham, Massachusetts-based Factory Five Racing gives fans of this iconic car the opportunity to own and build the next best thing for a fraction of the money.

Called Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe, the replica kit car is marketed as both an exact replica and an evolution of the original Daytona Coupe that's "faster, stronger, more reliable, handles better, and is more comfortable."

Factory Five offers two versions of the kit. The base package, priced at $17,990 includes a bespoke tube frame complete with basic suspension components, a fully-equipped body (which requires paint) and most of the accesories you need.

To complete it, the company recommends using a 1987-1993 Fox-body Mustang GT donor car from which you'll need the powertrain, brakes, shocks, and several other components.

For $22,990, the complete package includes all the goodies from the base package, plus Koni adjustable shocks and several additional parts. This version is compatible with the fifth-gen Mustang and requires an engine, transmission, rear end, as well as your choice of wheels, and tires to complete.

Taking all that into consideration, you can have a stunning Daytona Coupe replica packing some modern V8 muscle for less than $40,000 - or maybe less, if you have a donor car in your backyard.

RCR 40 MKI and MKII

The next entry on our list is based on another racing legend developed with help from the great Carroll Shelby.

The GT40 was conceived to end Ferrari's dominance at Le Mans, and it did just that by winning the famous endurance race four times in a row.

Like the Daytona Coupe, a genuine GT40 is rare and obscenely expensive, but if you want to own one and build it yourself, Race Car Replicas offers some of the best kits available on the market.

Based in Michigan, the American company offers MKI and MKII kits that can be built as road-legal daily drivers or full-blown track weapons.

Regardless of the GT40 version you choose, the kit is offered in three distinct packages that include an aluminum chassis and complete body, plus many other components.

The Base package costs $31,000, followed by the $45,000 Deluxe and the $54,000 Deluxe Plus.

For all three versions of the kit, you'll need to source an engine, a compatible transaxle transmission, and a custom "bundle of snakes" exhaust, the last of which can be ordered separately from RCR.

To complete the GT40 replica, you'll probably need close to $80,000, but that's still far less than an original example, and you'll end up with a more powerful car built using modern materials.

RCR D-Type

Built in 1954, the Jaguar D-Type is another Le Mans legend. It won the famous race held in France three times in a row (1955, 1956, and 1957), and today, it's considered one of the most beautiful race cars ever created.

The value for a surviving factory-built example currently reaches breathtaking sums, with the most recent D-Type that went under the hammer at a public auction fetching a whopping $21,780,000.

For the D-Type enthusiasts that don't have that kind of money laying around, Race Car Replicas offers an impressively-accurate kit that starts at $40,500.

It includes a faithfully recreated body and a monocoque chassis complete with subframes, suspension, and braking system components.

As with the GT40 kit, you'll have to source an engine and transmission. The company states that the D-Type replica is designed to accept the original-style XK series of inline-sixes found in most Jaguar production cars built from 1954 to 1986. The engines are easy to source, especially in the UK, where they are extremely cheap.

Factory Five MK4 Roadster

In more ways than one, the Cobra helped propel Carroll Shelby and his crew to engineering superstar status.

Based on the UK-built AC Ace, the Cobra received Ford powertrains and comprehensive tuning in the US, where it became a sports car legend on both the street and the track.

Genuine Cobras or even official continuation series built by the modern-day Shelby American are extremely sought-after and, thus, very expensive, but, luckily, there are a huge number of cheaper replicas out there for Cobra enthusiasts with a limited budget.

One of the most impressive replicas is the MK4 Roadster kit car developed by Factory Five.

Like the Daytona Replica we explored earlier, the MK4 Roadster Roadster kit is based on the Cobra's original blueprints, combined with comprehensive improvements and modern materials.

It comes in either the base, $14,990 version or the complete $20,990 package that includes aditional components. In both cases, you get the custom chassis, complete body and a huge list of aditional components.

This kit is also designed to accept 1987-1993 Fox-body Mustang GT powertrains, but other V8s can be fitted.

LB Specialist Cars STR

One of Marcello Gandini's most famous creations, the Lancia Stratos, was launched in 1973 as a road-legal WRC homologation special. With its futuristic design, it became a sensation, and it's currently one of the most iconic Italian cars of all time.

Powered by a mid-mounted Ferrari Dino V6, the Stratos won the WRC three times in a row, from 1976 to 1978.

Today, surviving examples in good shape are prized collector's items valued well above the $500,000 mark.

However, there's an impressively accurate replica kit car available for much less.

Built by the UK-based LB Specialist Cars, the STR kit designed on the exact specifications of the original model starts at just under $40,000 and includes a semi-monocoque chassis with a fully integrated roll-cage, a complete suspension system, breaks, and steering components.

The company offers a wide range of options that can increase the price exponentially, but the complete replica will undoubtedly be cheaper than a genuine example.

Like all other replicas on this list, the kit comes without an powertrain, so it's up to you to source one. According to the manufacturer, the most popular choices include engines like the Alfa Romeo Busso V6 or the Toyota 2GR-FE V6.

Enthusiasts with bigger budgets have even opted for a Ferrari V8.

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