Why a kit car? Surely there’s something better I could have done with this money …
Yeah, I guess there’s probably a million other things that I could have done with the money, and each maybe (likely) a better investment than something like a race car that can be made street legal.
In my normal day job I spend a fair amount of time planning and defining a product to be made by a massive team of vendors and groups within my company. At the end of the day we create one of the coolest, most badass machines on the planet. But – I didn’t really “make” it, and that’s a thought I’ve returned to more than once over the last few years. I help orchestrate the complex machinery required to make a product but it’s been quite a few years since I’ve worked on a project where I could say “yeah, I MADE that”.
OK, maybe that’s not literally what I’ll be doing by building a kit car since a good majority of the hard work is already done. The design is complete, much of the fabrication is already finished, and much of what’s left is final assembly and some french polishing. For those who’ve heard my stories on French polishing, this one’s for you – given the scope of what I’m doing (building a car), I figured I would be OK with just doing the assembly and fine tuning part. I think at the end of the day I’ll still get that sense of accomplishment and be able to say “yeah, I BUILT that”, close enough …
Why the Superlite SLC?
I had actually had my heart set on building a Factory Five cobra replica for a number of years. I’m not much of an open top kind of guy but prices seemed reasonable and the project scope seemed like something I could do. After joining my most recent company I quickly discovered that I had zero time outside of work for any kind of a project – so any thoughts of a kit car were put on hold.
Fast forward several years and I find myself in a position where my discretionary time is going to increase dramatically. What better way to fill this time than to knock out a few personal projects? Major home remodel – check. Kit car? Why not?! So back to the FF cobra; I’m fortunate enough that I was able to find a few more nickels and see what else was out there. I spent a fair amount of time reading up on the FF GTM; while I liked the styling of the car the issues with that kit just seemed too numerous for me to feel I could tackle confidently. The areas where the project was in most need of expertise was the area that I had the last knowledge in, and the area in which I had the least desire to learn – namely bodywork. Looking at the design more closely, I wasn’t in love with the idea of donor parts nor the tube frame chassis.
I thought about the Ultima for some time but the UK based manufacturer meant support might be difficult. The design also seemed to be a bit long in the tooth. A very cool car but it just didn’t come together for me.
I enjoy watching YouTube and drooling over all the supercars that I’ll never own. Then I came across this video 7 Supercars you never knew existed (ffwd to 4:19). SLC enthusiasts will recognize Allan’s work immediately. These cars resonated with me and there was something about the design that really caught my eye. I loved the styling and the more I researched about the car, the more I felt this was the right project for me.
Locally designed and manufactured in the US. Ground-up engineered, no donor parts for the suspension (of key importance to me), and an aluminum monocoque chassis. Carbon fiber, lots of carbon fiber. DAMN.
Many days and weeks of obsessing and dreaming and rationalizing and a very understanding wife led me to giving Superlite a call just to see how busy they were. Turns out they were really busy. Knowing that I would have this period of available free time coming up, and with the nudging of a friend (you know who you are), I decided to pull the trigger and get in line in hopes that the car would be available just before my Life would take a major turn. I needed a few projects to keep myself busy!
Not sure if it was some odd cosmic coincidence but timing couldn’t have worked any better. The day my car was to be picked up would also turn out to be my last day at work and just one day before moving my family to a new home.
My other project? A full renovation of our new home.
There should be plenty of time to work on the SLC between demo and reno.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m doing. If anyone sees that I’m doing something stupid, please let me know!