For most of us, “do it yourself” in an automotive context means pumping gas, cleaning the windshield, maybe even checking tire pressure, for some driving enthusiasts, it means building your own car.
Many of us bought and built model car kits as youngsters, but a company based in Wareham, near Boston, will sell you kits so you can build a real car, one you can drive on the road or the racetrack.
Factory Five Racing’s latest offering is the 818S. That’s 818 as in the vehicle’s target weight in kilograms (or 1,800 in pounds) and S as in Street.
For $9,900 you get:
■a tubular steel space frame chassis with roll hoop, side-impact protection, front and rear crumple zones and aluminum chassis panels;
■complete composite bodywork — nose, front fenders, hood, doors and door liners, rear quarter panels, tail and trunk lid;
■pre-fit inner panels to form the cockpit, floors, rear bulk head, engine bay and splash guards;
■front and rear suspension (with Koni shocks) and steering gear;
■cooling system adapter kit;
■head and tail lamps, license-place light, windshield and badges;
■interior trim, including carpeting, door panels, seat adapter braces, dash, center console, shifter assembly and e-brake adapter;
If you think you need more than an assembly manual for such a project, Factory Five Racing hosts “build schools” to help teach customers the techniques needed for turning a kit into a car. And you don’t have to go to Boston to attend such a class; they’re offered at Mott Community College’s M-TEC Center in Howell.
The 818S — there’s also an 818R as in Racing version — was designed around the power train and other components from the 2000-07 Subaru Impreza and high-performance Impreza WRX.
In addition to what comes in the kit, you’ll need an engine, transmission, steering rack and column, brakes, wheels, tires, door hinges and inside handles, mirrors, fuel tank and lines, radiator, gauges and seats from an Impreza or WRX, or from an aftermarket supplier if you want to go that route.
The Factory Five Racing website (www.factoryfive.com) not only provides kit ordering information, but it even provides a list of what you can discard (or sell as used spare parts) if you have or buy a Subaru donor car for your project — for example, all window glass, front struts and springs, spare tire, etc.).
Factory Five Racing was established in 1995 and has become the world’s largest manufacturer of component car kits, including Shelby Cobra-style roadsters and Daytona coupes, a 1933-style hot rod, and others.