Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thor - VW Kit Car

I really don't like kit cars. Some, like the kits that turn Fieros into "Ferraris", are ridiculous... The owner / builder spends lots of time and money and winds up with... a Fiero. OK, it's now a Fiero that may impress a drunken 21 year old girl at a dance club, but it's still a Fiero. No amount of body work is going to change that.

This kit car, though, kind of caught my eye. It, like so many kit cars of the 50s and 60s, is based on a Volkswagen.

This is not a VW kit trying to be a Porsche (as so many VW kits were). It's not a kit trying to be some sort of futuristic sports car (a la the Bradley GT). I'm not sure what it's trying to be, but it somehow, almost, works.

The nose of this car looks really good. There are British and Italian influences to it. The back end also looks good and the exhaust pipes coming out of the rear valance is a pretty cool and unique touch. The car has t-tops. What lets this car down is the completely flat, upright windshield. I don't know a lot about body work, but it seems to me that if you repositioned it with a bit of a rake to it, it wouldn't look quite as bad.

This car needs to be finished. Really, it needs someone to start over. The car has no floors, no gauges, and, what the seller believes to be a 1950s VW engine. The car is rough, but appears to be complete.

Picture this car painted red or white with a couple of stripes down the middle. It wouldn't be too bad looking. Drop in a modified VW engine (or, if you want to go crazy, a Porsche engine), a nice set of seats and a complete set of gauges and you might have something here. It won't impress the 21 year old girl at the club, but you'll turn the heads of a few car geeks.

Located in Plymouth, IN, click here to see the eBay listing.


greyintheusa said...

I agree with your general semtiment on kit cars, but I'll admit that there are a few replicas that I actually would love to own, because I like the cars so much but the cost and rarity makes owning and using them impractical:
A 550 Spyder replica, a good one.
A Jag C-Type replica (or D or XKSS), a la this site:
A Peel P50 replica!

Richard said...

I'd like to add any good AC Cobra or Lotus 7 kits as the ones I have seen are usually better than the originals. Also, Ultima GTR as its the performance bargain of the decade.

I am in the same boat when it does comes to all other kits, the big question is why? There is a guy driving around in something barely resembling a Testarossa where I live, really, all that time and money for something that barely resembles a Ferrari? Even my wife, who is no car expert, said that it didn't quite look right before I mention a thing. He did try and sell it, $30k if I remember, I wasn't running for my check book.

Never been a fan of kits on VW running gear, apart from the Puma, that was an excellent looking car. I nearly purchased one once, only needed a few small things, mostly exterior cosmetic, but decided against it until I found out that replacing its cracked windscreen would set me back $1500! Ouch!

Just A Car Geek said...

Hoov - I couldn't open the Jag link you sent me.
I agree that some of the 550 Spyder replicas are pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree that the Fiero-based kitcars are sad & pathetic. *However*, I am much more pleased with the V8 conversions for them. It seems that when GM dipped into the parts bin to stitch together the original Frankenstein called "Fiero" to stagger off into the world,(the steering and front suspension came mostly from the Chevette, the driveline from the enemic J-car line) they somehow included a bellhousing that readily mates up to the small-block Chevy. I think it took about...8 minutes? before someone realized that this was a nifty sleeper begging to be brought to life. The good kits include chassis reinforcements, stiffer springs, bigger brakes etc. For me, I would just have to leave the 2M4 decals on it and maybe even add some scuff marks to the plastic body. No wing, no fancy rims, just bags of tarmac-toasting torque and a rear-facing digital camera to catch all the fish-faces being made by the kids in their TLs/Eclipses/Supra. That is a kit worth bolting on.

Just A Car Geek said...

Hey Richard - I had to think about your statement for a bit. I don't look at the Cobra and Lotus 7 replicas as kit cars, even though I know they are.

Essentially, with those types of cars you're actually building a car as they have unique frames.

The kit cars that bug me are, like I mentioned, the Fiero Ferraris, and the other cars that are really nothing more than mundane cars with fancy body panels on them.

I just can't help but think that if you have the talent it takes to build a fake Ferrari, you probably have enough talent to restore or rebuild a "real car". Probably not a Ferrari, but there are plenty of M3s, XJ-S', S4s, etc., that could be brought back to pristine condition for less money and less work than it takes to build a fake Ferrari or Lambo.

Alden - I almost wrote a post a few weeks ago about a V8 Fiero. Unfortunately, the Craigslist listing was taken down by the seller about 2 hours after I spotted it. I agree they're pretty cool cars, especially when the body is left stock.


Gio said...

this kit is pretty cool.. besides the 90 degree windshield it kicks ass.. if anybody can get me the name of that kit.. or a name i could look up would u please email me at i would really appreciate it.. i just fell in love with that car

Anonymous said...

well a name besides THOR.. like something else to look for