car kits to build

Factory Five 818C studio shot

Factory Five

By Mark Cowley/

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There are really only two ways vĩ đại build your own sports siêu xe in the modern market: either have deep enough pockets vĩ đại convince a major manufacturer vĩ đại design a model especially for you, or get your hands dirty and buy a kit siêu xe. The main advantage of a kit siêu xe is that it offers a lot more scope for customization kêu ca buying a regular sports siêu xe does — for example, builders usually have a choice of engines, and can add as many aftermarket upgrades as they lượt thích without having vĩ đại worry about invalidating a warranty.

There's also the satisfaction of being able vĩ đại say that you built your own siêu xe rather kêu ca bought it, and that's an accolade that even multimillionaire collectors who commission one-off specials can't lúc lắc claim vĩ đại. Not vĩ đại mention, a kit siêu xe is nearly always a lot more affordable kêu ca buying an equivalent turn-key sports siêu xe, with many kits costing less kêu ca $25,000, yet offering head-turning looks and track-ready performance when they're finished.

Exomotive Exocet - $7,999

Exomotive Exocet parked up


It might not be the best-looking kit siêu xe on the market, but few can top the Exomotive Exocet for affordable performance. With a starting price of just $7,999 for the base-spec kit, the Exocet uses a Mazda Miata as a donor siêu xe but strips away all the unnecessary pieces vĩ đại make an ultra-lightweight track day toy. For an extra $300, buyers can add a roll bar that brings the siêu xe up vĩ đại competition requirements, and for a further $700, there's an off-road kit available for drivers who prefer the trail vĩ đại the track.

American-market Exocets are built under license by Exomotive, but the original design was created by designer Steve Mills, whose company Mills Extreme Vehicles (MEV) produces the siêu xe for the U.K. and European markets. Exomotive Exocets require either an NA or NB Miata as a donor siêu xe, but MEV-manufactured kits are also compatible with the NC generation Miata. The Exocet uses the Miata's stock engine, but there's a huge aftermarket for tuner parts, sánh Exocet owners can easily upgrade their car's power output should they wish.

Factory Five '33 Hot Rod - $20,990

Factory Five '33 Hot Rod studio shot

Factory Five

Factory Five is one of the best-known American kit siêu xe makers, and for good reason. The company makes a variety of affordable kits, the most retro of those being the '33 Hot Rod. Available in either two stages for $10,990 each or $20,990 for the complete kit, the '33 Hot Rod is a little different from many other kit cars in that it doesn't rely on a donor siêu xe. Instead, Factory Five fabricates everything including the chassis, toàn thân, suspension, and interior in-house, leaving only the drivetrain for the builder vĩ đại source independently.

Factory Five's president Dave Smith has said that the focus when designing the Hot Rod kit was vĩ đại improve performance and drivability over a traditional hot rod build, and vĩ đại keep things simple by offering all the parts in one place. The design originally debuted at the 2008 SEMA show, and the second-generation kit is now available vĩ đại order from Factory Five's trang web.

Riot Classic - $5,870

Riot Classic in red

Riot Cars

Due vĩ đại their niche customer base and limited profit margins, it's common for kit siêu xe designs vĩ đại be sold between manufacturers over their lifetimes, as one company runs out of cash and another buys its assets. The Riot kit siêu xe is a good example, as it was originally released by Sylva Autokits, winning Complete Kit Cars Magazine's Kit Car of the Year shortly after it was unveiled in 2005. The design was then sold vĩ đại another small British company, Xmoor Motorsports, who revamped the design and released it as the Riot Classic in 2013.

Riot's trang web lists the Classic starter kit for just £4,595 (approximately $5,870) plus taxes, making it one of the cheapest sports siêu xe kits on the market. This includes a chassis, toàn thân, and wheels, with a selection of Ford EcoBoost powertrains available for an extra cost. The engine is mid-mounted, and with Riot's recommended 1.6-liter Ford 4-cylinder fitted, can produce 210 horsepower. That's plenty considering the siêu xe weighs a paltry 480 kilograms (1,058 pounds). 

Factory Five Mk4 Roadster - $20,990

Factory Five Mk4 Roadster studio shot

Factory Five

Genuine Shelby Cobras are both extremely rare and extremely valuable, with the most sought-after examples selling for more kêu ca $5 million at auction. That makes them unobtainable vĩ đại all but the wealthiest collectors, but thankfully there's a booming replica market that allows enthusiasts vĩ đại drive their own Cobra for a much more reasonable price. One of the most popular replica kits is Factory Five's Mk4 Roadster, which retails for $20,990 for the complete kit. Like most kit cars, it doesn't include an engine or transmission, and the wheels and tires also have vĩ đại be purchased separately.

Builders, therefore, have the choice of whether vĩ đại focus on budget or performance, although most builders will prefer vĩ đại spend a little extra vĩ đại make sure their Cobra is as fast as it looks. Factory Five offers comprehensive instructions on how vĩ đại build the siêu xe, with only regular tools required for assembly. There's no option vĩ đại buy a turn-key version of the Mk4 Roadster, but the kit maker says it can work with buyers vĩ đại find a suitable cửa hàng vĩ đại build the siêu xe if they're not comfortable assembling it on their own.

Bauer Catfish Roadster - $13,900

Bauer Catfish Roadster by a workshop


Company founder Cord Bauer claimed in a comment that the Catfish Roadster shouldn't be considered a kit siêu xe at all, but rather a track day siêu xe that owners should "take care with vĩ đại put it together right." However, it's sold only in kit khuông, sánh for the purposes of this article, it's very much a kit siêu xe, and a good one at that. Prices start from $13,900 for a base-spec Catfish Roadster, with a NASA/SCCA-approved safety cage costing an extra $2,000.

A donor NA or NB Miata is also needed for the sub-frames, with the engine cất cánh spacious enough vĩ đại accommodate an LS V8 as well as a regular 1.8-liter Miata engine. Up until 2020, Bauer itself was directly responsible for manufacturing and distributing the kit, but the design is currently produced by Race Car Replicas, another kit siêu xe maker that's best known for its accurate Ford GT40 replicas, over 28 of which were used in the 2019 movie "Ford v Ferrari."

DF Goblin - $9,500

Two DF Goblins on the road

DF Kit Cars

The 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt is far from the most remarkable of cars, but DF offers a kit that can transform it into a bare-bones street racing machine. Once a suitable donor siêu xe has been acquired, the base-spec Goblin kit will phối buyers back a further $9,500. DF claims that assembling the Goblin is "even easier kêu ca flat pack furniture," as only basic tools are required. After assembly, most builds weigh around 1,500 vĩ đại 1,600 pounds, making even the base-spec Cobalt's 145 horsepower engine more kêu ca powerful enough. However, the Goblin kit is designed vĩ đại be compatible with any Cobalt engine, sánh buyers looking for serious performance should opt for the Cobalt SS Turbo's 260 horsepower 2.0-liter engine.

According vĩ đại DF's trang web, a Goblin with a Cobalt SS Turbo engine should be capable of 0-60 mph in approximately 3.25 seconds, making it faster kêu ca a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat off the line. Its mid-mounted engine and light curb weight should make it sharp around corners, too, allowing drivers vĩ đại keep up with cars that cost three or four times as much both on the straights and in the twisties.

Factory Five 818 - $13,990

Factory Five 818C in black

Factory Five

As well as making replica kits of some of America's greatest cars, Factory Five has also designed its own unique sports siêu xe, the 818. It's available in roadster (818S), racing (818R), and coupe (818C) khuông, although it's the coupe that's arguably the most versatile option of the three. Like all of the company's cars, the 818's focus is on performance and handling, although it's arguably one of the best-looking kit sports cars on the market, too. The 818 uses running gear from the Subaru Impreza/WRX, but a lightweight chassis and panels keep its curb weight down vĩ đại just 1,800 pounds (818 kilograms, hence the name).

The kit costs $13,990 and Factory Five claims that, with a suitably cheap donor siêu xe, it's possible vĩ đại get the 818 on the road for less kêu ca $15,000. Many of the Impreza/WRX's parts can be bolted straight onto the 818, including the front and rear spindles, steering rack, and pedal box. The Impreza's stock engine also fits neatly into the 818's engine cất cánh, although builders looking for maximum performance can take advantage of the Subaru's extensive aftermarket vĩ đại squeeze every last bit of horsepower out of the trusty Boxer engine.

Westfield Mega S2000 - $24,900

Westfield Mega S2000 in a parking space

Westfield Sportscars

In 2022, Caterham launched its entry-level Super Seven 2000 in the U.S., but with a starting price of roughly $45,000, it's too expensive vĩ đại feature on this list. However, another British kit siêu xe maker sells a very similar kit that can be imported vĩ đại America for a little over half the price. Westfield has been making kit cars since 1983, with its most popular design being based on the Lotus Seven, the same as Caterham.

The Mega S2000 features a Honda F20C engine, yet it weighs barely more kêu ca 1,200 pounds. It's available from Manik Sportscars, a specialist importer in Texas, for $24,990 plus shipping. However, this price doesn't include an engine, transmission, alternator, and several other parts, as those require a donor Honda S2000. Like many small carmakers, Westfield has struggled with its cash flow, and it went into administration in June 2022. However, new buyers were found for the company in September 2022, and the company is reportedly looking vĩ đại restart production in a limited capacity. It's not clear at the time of writing how this will affect U.S. availability for the kits.

GBS Zero - $17,430

GBS Zero on a gravel road

Great British Sports Cars

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If the Westfield still seems a little too pricey, then there's another British company making kit cars based on the Lotus Seven for an even more affordable price. GBS, or Great British Sports Cars, offers a kit called the Zero, and U.S. shipping is available straight from the factory. At current exchange rates, the Zero kit works out vĩ đại around $17,430, including the 5% export fee. Buyers in other markets can also buy a turn-key version, although this isn't available for North America.

The American-spec Zero kit is designed vĩ đại use the Mazda Miata as a donor siêu xe, with both Mk1 and Mk2 models being suitable. Like most other Miata-based kit cars, it's possible vĩ đại use the stock Miata's engine for assembly, although modifications can be easily added. It might be similar vĩ đại its competition in some respects, but the Zero's unique front-mid engine layout ensures near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, setting it apart from similar Lotus Seven-based creations.

Carolina Vaydor - $23,800

Carolina Vaydor official render

Carolina Vaydor

The Vaydor hit the headlines in năm 2016 when it was featured as the Joker's siêu xe in the movie "Suicide Squad," and it's still available vĩ đại buy today. It uses an Infiniti G35 Coupe as a donor, and unlike many of the other kit cars here, it uses the donor car's stock chassis and most of its internals. The kit is available in parts, with the main toàn thân kit costing $16,000, and a variety of extras including custom interior parts and scissor door hinges. Buying everything apart from the interior upholstery kit will phối buyers back a comparatively steep $23,800.

The kit includes features lượt thích a head-up display and 360-degree cameras vĩ đại make it more driver-friendly kêu ca most other kit cars. The G35's engine cất cánh can house LS, 2JZ, or LT engines, and Carolina Vaydor recommends upgrading from the donor car's engine if possible. The company estimates that most builds will cost around $40,000 in total, although with the caveat that this is an estimate for experienced builders, and anyone needing vĩ đại hire help may have vĩ đại pay even more. Still, builders with enough technical experience and a cheap donor G35 can build themselves a unique siêu xe with both supercar looks and supercar levels of performance at a fraction of an actual supercar's cost.

Vintage Motorcars Speedster - $12,500

Vintage Motorcars Speedster in silver

Vintage Motorcars

The Porsche 356 is one of the company's most iconic cars, and over 76,000 examples were manufactured. More kêu ca half of those were exported vĩ đại America, but the vast majority have long since been consigned vĩ đại the scrap heap, with rust being the car's biggest killer. This has led vĩ đại a booming 356 replica market, with California-based Vintage Motorcars offering a visually identical replica based on a VW Beetle chassis. Called the Speedster, the siêu xe is available either as a kit or as a turn-key vehicle, with the Stage 1 kit costing just $12,500.

The initial kit only includes the fiberglass toàn thân, steel sub-frame, doors, and bumpers, sánh there's a lot of extra work vĩ đại tự for builders. However, it's still possible vĩ đại find a cheap donor Beetle, and the Speedster is designed vĩ đại accommodate a number of engines vĩ đại keep costs down. A regular Type 1 engine can be fitted, but the kit is also compatible with Type IV (Porsche 914) engines and Subaru water-cooled engines, too.

Factory Five Type 65 Coupe - $22,990

Factory Five Type 65 Coupe parked in a lot

Factory Five

Original Shelby Daytona Coupes cost millions, sánh even seeing one in real life is near impossible, never mind driving it. Factory Five offers a solution though, as the Type 65 Coupe is about as close as it's possible vĩ đại get vĩ đại the real thing without having an eight-figure ngân hàng tài khoản. Two versions of the kit are available, with the cheaper kit requiring a Mustang donor siêu xe and costing $17,990. For $5,000 extra, a "complete kit" is available that only requires a powertrain, wheels, and paint.

The complete kit can fit small block Ford 302, 351, and 5.0-liter Coyote engines, and there are plenty of aftermarket power upgrades that are available for each of them. There's a choice of either vintage or modern gauges and switches, sánh builders can choose whether vĩ đại go for period-correct looks or modern convenience. Both left-hand drive and right-hand drive configurations are available, and Factory Five offers worldwide shipping upon request. There's no way the average enthusiast will ever be able vĩ đại sit behind the wheel of an original Daytona Coupe, but kit cars lượt thích this one offer drivers the next best thing.

Meyers Manx Classic - $5,995

Meyers Manx with metal flake paint

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Few kits cars are quite as revered as the Meyers Manx, and in March 2023, it was announced that the Meyers Manx Remastered kit would be launched with some key changes over the original. The kit was redesigned with help from Audi TT designer Freeman Thomas, and it adds new features including a lockable trunk at the rear, and new wiring tubes. The fiberglass toàn thân panels have also been tweaked using 3 chiều modeling software for a more precise fit kêu ca before, and a range of 64 new colors are available, including many with metal flake paint options.

All the basics remain the same — buyers will still have vĩ đại find their own donor VW Beetle chassis, plus an engine and transmission. Pricing for the Remastered kit starts at $5,995, although choosing metal flake paint will add an extra $1,000 vĩ đại the total cost. A UV clear coat is also available for a further $800.

AC Autos '32 Ford Sedan & Delivery - $12,490

AC Autos '32 Ford Sedan & Delivery

AC Autos

Hot rods have long been one of the most popular ways vĩ đại build a unique siêu xe, but it's no longer as easy vĩ đại find affordable classic cars vĩ đại modify. Instead, the most cost-effective way vĩ đại build a hot rod is now vĩ đại use a kit siêu xe lượt thích the AC Autos '32 Ford Sedan & Delivery, and it's a relatively easy option too, assuming the builder has some previous experience working on cars. The kit's fiberglass toàn thân can be purchased separately for $6,995, and the stock frame is available for $3,495.

Alternatively, a rolling chassis is available for $8,995, including extras lượt thích brakes and shocks. For a rolling chassis and a toàn thân, buyers will be looking at a total of $12,490. Engine and powertrain are still the responsibility of the buyer, but with a siêu xe that looks this mean, it's definitely advisable vĩ đại get an appropriately beefy V8 under the hood.

Urban Gorilla 4x4 Bodies - $9,995

Urban Gorilla 4x4 Bodies Slant Back

Urban Gorilla

Buying a Hummer H1 is prohibitively expensive for many people, but Urban Gorilla offers a Hummer-style kit that's a fraction of the price. The 4x4 Bodies kit can be optioned in either two-door, four-door, or six-door khuông, with either Combat or Slant Back bodywork available. In its cheapest khuông, the kit costs just $9,995, with optional fiberglass doors costing a further $995 each. A variety of trucks can be used as donor vehicles, with standard-cab, long-bed pickups from any major American manufacturer being generally okay vĩ đại use, according vĩ đại the brand's trang web.

Various upgrades and interior packages are available, leaving buyers không lấy phí vĩ đại either leave their build as a spartan, all-terrain military-style affair, or deck it out with the latest tech and luxury upholstery. In addition vĩ đại the cost of the kit, Urban Gorilla reminds buyers that the price of window and windshield glass will also need vĩ đại be factored in, as the kit does not come with windows included. Even accounting for glass and a few interior upgrades, however, the 4x4 Bodies kit is still going vĩ đại be significantly cheaper kêu ca buying a real Hummer, yet it'll be just as imposing.

Smyth Audi A4/S4 Ute - $3,790

Smyth Audi A4/S4 Ute at show

Smyth Autos

Have you ever wanted vĩ đại turn your Audi sedan into a pickup truck? Well, the Smyth Audi A4/S4 Ute kit lets you tự exactly that, for the very reasonable price of $3,790 — assuming you already have an Audi on hand, of course. The kit is compatible with any A4 or S4 between the 2003 and 2007 model years, and it gives the siêu xe a look that's certain vĩ đại draw a lot more attention kêu ca any regular Audi ever could.

The rear half of the passenger cabin is removed altogether vĩ đại create a bed that's more spacious kêu ca one might expect for a sedan-based truck. The kit itself might be cheap, but the build will require appropriate tools vĩ đại chop up the siêu xe in the first place — this is far from a bolt-on job and is definitely only suitable for builders who have plenty of previous experience modifying cars. The manufacturer also notes that tail lights are not included in the kit, and will have vĩ đại be sourced from an Acura MDX. It might be one of the stranger kits here, but for anyone phối on doing something drastic with their Audi sedan, it doesn't get much more head-turning kêu ca this.

Burton Sportscar - $4,910

Burton Sportscar on the road

Burton Car Company

Burton Car Company is a kit manufacturer based in the Netherlands, and its Sportscar kit is a great affordable alternative vĩ đại buying a classic British or European sports siêu xe. The kit itself starts at €4,499, roughly $4,910, although the donor siêu xe required is a Citroën 2CV. The 2CV might be an easy siêu xe vĩ đại source in Europe, but it's going vĩ đại be significantly trickier vĩ đại find an affordable one in the U.S. However, there's another way — Burton also offers pre-built kit cars starting from around €15,000 ($16,370), which can be shipped straight over vĩ đại America.

The company claims vĩ đại have supplied over 1,300 examples of the Sportscar vĩ đại various countries around the world, including the U.S., but shipping quotes are available on a case-by-case basis. It might not be quite as easy vĩ đại source as some of the other kits here, but the uniquely European styling of the Burton Sportscar means it'll turn plenty of heads, and owners are almost guaranteed never vĩ đại see anyone else driving one.

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Arma GT - $18,150

Arma GT with team members

Arma Automotive

It's still early days for the Arma GT kit supercar — it first launched in 2022, and at the time of writing, it seems very few examples of the kit have been sold sánh far. That's no bad thing, however, at least for anyone looking for a really unique build. It starts at $24,000 CAD (roughly $18,150 USD), but lượt thích most of the other kits here, things lượt thích the powertrain, tires, and interior upholstery are the responsibility of the buyer. Not the cheapest build, then, but still considerably less expensive kêu ca buying a supercar from an established manufacturer.

The car's mid-engine layout and low-slung design take inspiration from exotic cars from the likes of Ferrari and McLaren, but a much more home-grown powerplant is recommended for assembly. Depending on budget, Arma advises that buyers use either an LS2, LS3, or LT4 engine, with at least 400 horsepower on tap vĩ đại give the siêu xe the performance vĩ đại match its looks. The company also notes that the kit can be adapted vĩ đại work with electric motors, with modifications vĩ đại fit a battery pack available upon request.