Caterham or Factory Five? Your Guide To Kit Cars
If you’re looking for your next dream car, then you might be wondering what model to go for. With so many varying styles, speeds, and specifications, where do you start? The thing is, if you’ve got the time and some space, then it might be worth building your own car. Yes, you just read that right! There are several kit cars out there to choose from, and you’ll be able to really have created a masterpiece just for you.
First of all, the main attraction is the cost. Kit cars will cost considerably less to build than a manufactured one. The second attraction is that you can choose the things you want added, and the color, for example. It is certainly a labor of love, though, so you do have to want to do it and spend the time to make it the best. If you feel like you’re not very good at that kind of thing, then you might not want to spend the time doing it. As a kit car, after all, is only going to be as good as the person that built it.
As has been said, the cost is the main attraction. You could build yourself something that gives a nod to the classic Aston Martin that reminds you of your childhood or teen years watching classic Bond Movies. You could put together something like a classic Cobra, that wouldn’t look out of place at Le Mans. So for most mere mortals, getting a snazzy one of a kind car like this is only going to be achieved through choosing a kit car. If this sounds like the thing of dreams for you, then here are some points to note.
Know What Exactly You Are Buying
There are several kit cars out there to buy, all with varying degrees of skill required. A Caterham car, for instance, is a complete car that comes ready to put together in a kit. For that, you will just need to add the ‘liquids’ like oil, fuel, and water. Most other kit cars will be a little more complicated and not as straightforward, needing you to do pretty much everything; from fitting the best oil filters to wiring up the breaks. That is all fine as long as you know what you’re getting yourself in for. So do your research and choose the kit that will be best for you and our skill set.
Plan Your Deadline
You might have a race that you want the car to be ready for or another car event. But even with all of the best will in the world, there may be some things that go wrong with it all. Even after being built you’ll need to have the car registered and get a license if you want it to be on the road. That whole process can take quite a while in itself. So be generous with your timeline and allow yourself plenty of time to do it all in. Where you can, plan out what you will be doing each week, though. Having a rough plan will help you to stay on track as much as possible.
Prepare Your Garage
In most cases, the garage is where you are going to set up shop and get your work done. But you won’t want to spend time in there if it is cold, damp, and dark. So before you even get started, it can be a good idea to think about your garage or workspace. Can you wire in some electrics to get a heater in there, as well as a music system, for example? Could it do with a tidy and a lick of paint to clear off the cobwebs? These are quick and small things that will make spending hours on end in there much more bearable. You don’t want to resent having to build the car because you have to go to a cold garage to do so.
Having the Right Tools
If you plan to build a car, then most people will imagine that you have a tool set and have built a fair few things in the past before. However, everyone has to start somewhere. If this is going to be your first major project, then think about the tools that you’ll need for the job. Good tools last a lifetime, though, so they are certainly worth investing in. It can save your blood, sweat, and tears, quite literally, as well as mean things can be fixed quite easily on the car in the future. So get quality tools, and they will stand you in good stead.
Seek Help For the IVA
The IVA, or individual vehicle approval, isn’t a particularly fun process to go through. So where possible, it might be a good idea to get a professional manufacturer to prepare the finished car for that. You could go back to the manufacturer of the kit car, like Caterham, for instance, or just look elsewhere for guidance. Getting this part of the building process wrong could prove to be quite costly, which isn’t what you want when you were trying to be more frugal in the first place. If you choose to do this, then all of your memories of the car will be of a good and enjoyable build and not the stress of trying to get your car to pass the IVA.
Use a Sharpie
When you’re tightening up nuts and bolts all over the place, it isn’t a good idea to tighten them all up at first. Some parts might connect to others and need to be a little more loose. So having a sharpie to mark on what has or hasn’t been tightened is a really good idea for your safety. You don’t want to forget about anything that hasn’t been tightened or torqued up. So make a note of it on the car itself, or on a separate note.
Has the thought of a kit car ever appealed to you before?