These kit cars will only bring joy to your petrolhead heart

We get it. Sports cars are expensive and don’t even get us started on out-and-out track cars. But nothing’s stopping you from building your own car and on top of that, there are quite a few companies that offer build kits than can be turned into either your next weekend racer or your sporty daily driver. Let’s check them out.

Exomotive Exocet

Exomotive’s Exocet range is a neat way of getting your hands on a kit car. It’s split into three tiers - Base ($6,900), Sport ($7,499), and Race ($8,299). And get this: Exomotive uses Mazda Miata NA or NB chassis as donor cars which get composite body panels available in 188 colors, laser-cut protection covers for the gearbox and floor, as well as a wide range of parts such as rivets, flare nuts, self-tapping screws, and P-clips that let you focus on building instead of looking for parts.

Factory Five MK4 Roadster

The MK4 Roadster is Factory Five’s most popular product. It replicates the legendary Shelby Cobra and just as the Exocet chassis, it can be had in three flavors:

  • MK4 Roadster - street use
  • MK4 289 USRRC Roadster - a gentleman’s racer, if you wish
  • MK4 Challenge - track and drag racing-focused variant

Factory Five can send you either the base kit ($12,990) or the complete kit ($19,990). The base kit uses bits and bobs from 1987-2004 Ford Mustang GTs: 5.0-liter or 4.6-liter V-8s as well as a Ford 8.8-inch rear end.

MEV Replicar

MEV (aka Mills Extreme Vehicles) is a Gloucestershire, U.K.-based kit car company that builds the Replicar, a neat classic kit car inspired by the 1959 Aston Martin DBR1.

The donor car for the Replicar is, like in Exomotive’s case, the Miata MX-5 (1.6- or 1.8-liter Mk1 or Mk2 MX-5s, to be more precise). What’s more, MEV says that you don’t need to be a pro welder or a pro builder for that matter, because the firm leaves the engine and gearbox intact and instead work on the body kit. On top of that, MEV will let you keep the discarded pieces of the donor car, which you can sell to keep your build project’s price down.

Here’s what the Replicar (£20,000, roughly $32,000) kit contains:

  • bespoke chassis
  • alloy floor
  • fiberglass body panels, doors, hood, and trunk cover
  • P-clips
  • rivets and bolts
  • edge trim

LB Specialist Cars STR

Formerly known as ListerBell Automotive, LB Specialist Cars are best known for their STR. What’s the STR, you ask? Basically a kit car replica of the legendary Lancia Stratos. Engine-wise, it can be had with a 2.5-liter, 3.0-liter, or 3.2-liter Alfa Romeo Busso V-6 with 190 horsepower or a 3.5-liter supercharged Toyota V-6 cranking out in excess of 350 horsepower. Obviously, everything is build with heavy-duty resistance and high performance in mind, but the build doesn’t come cheap as you could end up paying as much as £69,000 ($87,000) for the kit car.

Ultima Sports RS

The Ultima RS is road legal and it looks like a Group C Le Mans racer because it’s inspired by one. Power-wise, you can have your Ultima RS with a Chevy LT V-8 crate engine: 480-horsepower LT1, 650-horsepower LT4, or 800-horsepower supercharged LT5. The latter offers tuning possibilities that can see the output rising to 1,200 horsepower. Naturally, the body kit is all about downforce and aero performance, as well as efficient cooling - just like in a race car - and the gearbox is a Porsche-sourced six-speed manual transaxle for 0-60 mph sprints ticked in 2.3 seconds. A top-end Ultima RS will leave you without $120,000, but with a toned-down engine, the sticker can be brought a tad lower.

Tornado TSC GT40

Can’t afford the original Ford GT40? Tornado Sports Cars has the right medicine for your craving. The company has been producing the TSC GT40 since 1989, so it’s been ’in production’ for 31 years now. You can pick one of the three engine options:

  • Ford 302 V-8
  • Ford Coyote V-8
  • Rover V-8

that mate to either a five-speed or a six-speed gearbox. The chassis, too, can be made to suit your preference:

  • tubular spaceframe
  • aluminum monocoque
  • carbon monocoque

Tornado says the TSC GT40 can reach top speeds of 165 mph, so that’s pretty impressive. Price-wise, the spaceframe versions starts at £8,000 ($10,000), the aluminum monocoque will set you back at least £17,000 ($21,000), while the carbon monocoque tops the price list, coming in at £27,000 ($34,000).

Speedway Motors Tribute T-Bucket

Speedway Motors offers a wide range of hotrod-shaped kit cars. The most affordable one you’ll find on their website is the Tribute T-Bucket. It’s not only a neat example of old-school looks, but also a driver’s (kit) car. The 106-inch wheelbase promises neat ride and handling and the fiberglass body provides the lightness you want to really enjoy the car to the limit. Engine options include a flathead Ford V-8 or a Chevy small-block V-8. Price: $20,000.

Bauer Catfish

The base price of the Bauer Catfish is $14,000. On top of that, you can add accessories from a long list, so the build price can end up at well north of $25,000. For this money you get the underpinnings of a Mazda MX-5 donor car, which help keep the Catfish’s weight at just 1,500 pounds (680 kilos). Plus, the sleek speedster body kit is a joy to watch, so you’re basically killing two birds with one stone - the design and the performance. Speaking of performance, you can fit a Ford V-8 inside the engine bay, just like you can fit a Chevy LS, or a SR20DET, and even a 3S-GTE.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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