If you look around the kit car scene for even a short time, you will see a whole host of seemingly affordable kit cars ready for you to put together and drive away.
However, on closer inspection it is apparent that finding an affordable kit car that is simple to assemble and with all the parts included is actually harder than you would think.
See, the simple rule when it comes to most things, and especially true with kit cars, is that the less work you want to do, the more it’s going to cost you. Naturally this means that the opposite is also usually true: the more work you are willing to do, the lower the cost. While this seems obvious, it also extends to the parts you buy: be willing to remove and clean them yourself and save the money for better quality essentials down the line.
Low Cost Kit Cars
One of the most popular ways to start your kit car ‘career’ is with one of the ultra low cost, mass produced kits such as the Robin Hood Seven replica, a well established and hugely popular Lotus Seven clone. The kits are produced on a production line principle and the factory holds delivery days when the kits can be collected.
This style of car also spawns a very active owners club as the more experienced builders give valuable tips and advice to the newer members. If you are willing to do a lot of the work yourself, then this could be a very affordable way to put your first kit car on the road. and need I say it…immensely satisfying. just take a look at the Owners Club turnout the next time you visit a kit car show.
Single Donor Kits – Make the best use of your budget
The more quality parts you can salvage from your donor vehicle and actually use on your kit, the cheaper the finished car will be. Shop around for kit cars that use a single donor, rather than some of the top end kits that rely almost entirely on bespoke parts.
When you look around for a donor vehicle, grab one that has as many functioning usable parts as possible, so that you waste very little of your donor car.
If the donor was damaged, you will still need to source the parts that are missing for your kit and that adds more to the final on the road cost of your car.
Watch Your Budget
Another way to reduce the overall cost of a finished kit car project is to reduce the amount of ‘shiny bits’ you bolt on.
Fancy finishing touches such as chrome bars or specialist wheels can add a substantial amount to the final bill, while adding little to the functionality of the vehicle.
Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that you sacrifice style and good looks just for the sake of a few pennies, but the money could often be better spent on up-rated brakes, suspension or even towards a more powerful engine.
Build Your Own Sports Car
Possibly the cheapest way to get a car on the road is to follow the excellent Build Your Own sports Car manual, which details how to put together a viable road going sports car for a fraction of what you could spend on some kits.
Even if you eventually decide to go for a kit, the skills outlined in the manual will prove invaluable as you get your car ready for the road. The book is available from Amazon both from the USA and from the UK.