Readers Rides

Can A Kit Car Be A Classic?

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By Mark Weisseg

Yes, it’s a kit car and yes it’s a classic but not for us. Nope, nobody will ever convince me that a neat looking car on a VW frame is cool.

I drove one years ago and it happened to be a MGA. Better known as mine garaged again. Same with the MGB and so on. It had a big grille, those two little doors an interesting gauge package. Fire the engine up and I heard the sound of a VW bug. Certain cars can be detected blindfolded.
A starter from a Chrysler car of the 60s to the end of the 80’s is one example. The VW bug was another. You just knew what is was from any distance and when my friend invited me to drive his MG for the day I jumped at the chance.
Sunny skies, no top, and that beautiful British green body. All good as I stated, until I turned the key.
I realized I was driving a heavier car than the Bug with the same poor engine. I could not wait to return that car that evening.
He asked me my advice whether he should keep it or sell it and I was shocked he bought it in the first place. I advised him to sell it and ironically he did soon after.

These older kit cars came in all kinds of styles.
Remember the Rolls Royce VW? Another weird set up and few were sold. They were niche cars then.
The dune buggy was a massive hit back in the day all set up again on the VW bug. I had a guy who worked with me that had one. I rode with him one day and as bad as that was he let me drive it a day later. What an awful car. This fiberglass body was open to all the elements including other cars. I felt if I were to get hit by anything larger than a shopping cart my death would follow quickly. No doors, just hop right over the body. A little steering wheel, a gas pedal that looked like a foot, and wires dangling for a cheap stereo that you had to play loud to hear over the screaming VW engine. What a disaster of a car and my thoughts have not changed except for one item.

Today, as I mentioned in a previous article one can buy a body today such as a 66 Mustang or a 47- 3 Chevy 3100 series truck and so on.
This is designed so if you want to have that Mustang of old and cannot find or afford one, this offers an alternative. Also, classic muscle car rebuilders are buying these bodies in numbers so that they have a perfect body for the restoration process. It’s a great idea and sales prove it.
I looked at them at SEMA in 2014 and fell in love with the idea. No more crummy, cheap kit car that gets passed around from sucker to sucker.
Buy a body for a 69 Chevelle straight from a source and save a ton of time fixing rust or someone else’s poor workmanship. I am looking forward to SEMA in 2016 to see the next generation of these great ideas.

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