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Dave Loring’s Kit Cars10 Comment

Frog Pickup, Loring Mantis, Mantis Aegean, Mantis GT, Mantis GT Pickup, Mantis Habau | Sun, 21 Dec 2008 Posted by :

Note: I’m in Mexico until the New Year, but keep on emailing me your cars to snowrail@gmail.com and I’ll post them on my return!

Schmitty who owns the Mantis Aegean a few entries back sent in this set of amazing brochures from early kit car designer Dave Loring, whose designs are said to have been ripped off by the Invader GT and the Kellison Shark. I especially love the cab that he designed for the Aegeon — I hope someone modifies their Invader to include something like that!

Leo’s Manta Mirage0 Comment

Manta Mirage | Sun, 21 Dec 2008 Posted by :

Leo in New York is working on this Manta Mirage project… Seriously, I don’t think there’s a meaner looking car out there than the Mirage. Even half-assembled it looks amazing from all angles.

100mpg Methane-Engined Invader GT?0 Comment

Invader GT | Sun, 21 Dec 2008 Posted by :

Dan in Burbank, CA went to his mechanic and saw this Invader GT out front. He asked if it was for sale and for how much, and they replied, “if you can tow it out of here, it’s yours free of charge!” The shop didn’t even know what it was, but after a bit of investigating Dan discovered it was a circa-1974 Invader GT. No engine or transmission came with it, so Dan found those for $325 on Craigslist (a 36hp ’57 engine and a ’72 transmission).

His hope is to build the car to get 100mpg, possibly with a methane engine — he figures the aerodynamic lightweight body plus the tiny engine should give him a good start.

Fiero-Based Avenger0 Comment

Avenger, Fiero Bodykits | Mon, 15 Dec 2008 Posted by :

Andy (atowtruck@yahoo.com) in Seattle is selling this interesting Avenger project for an asking price of $2,000. He’s grafted the normally VW-based Avenger body onto a Fiero chassis — a great project for the ambitious builder.

The rear fin is off a ’93 Eagle Talon by the way.

Porsche 911 Powered Kelmark GT0 Comment

Kelmark | Mon, 15 Dec 2008 Posted by :

A lot of the time people with VW-based kit cars will make the claim that they have a “Porsche driveline”… After a bit of prodding you discover that they’re actually just exploiting the shared VW/Porsche lineage and have nothing more than the normal 1600cc Beetle engine… Joel (joel.leer@sbcglobal.net) in Long Beach, CA recently sent me some shots of his Kelmark project that’s running a genuine Porsche 911 engine and transmission — check it out!

Yellow Manta Mirage5 Comment

eBay, For Sale, Manta Mirage | Mon, 15 Dec 2008 Posted by :

There’s a great looking yellow Manta Mirage up for sale on eBay (#130276088113) in Davenport, Florida with opening bid of $10,000. From the description it sounds like this is the long version (both a short cab and long cab version existed — the latter was required for taller owners). The seller writes,

It will comfortably sit two large adults. It was originally set-up for a driver that was over 6 feet tall. There is plenty of leg room in both the driver’s and passenger’s side compartments. It can cruise equally well on the highway or in city traffic. The engine is a well-built 350 cu. in. Chevy V-8 small block. It has a Holley 4-barrel carb, and a Mallory electronic ignition. It has always been exceptionally well-tuned. It has a 4-speed manual transmission and an electric pump to lubricate the gears at higher speeds. The transmission was completely refurbished by Jones Racing during the car’s restoration. The transmission also has a separate cooler. The cooling system utilizes a big, aluminum Griffin radiator and electric fan so that you can drive this car in the hottest conditions. The suspension is upper and lower A-arms in front with adjustable coil-over shocks with upper and lower control arms for easy camber adjustment. The gauges are new. The tires are 245/50/14 in front and 295/50/15 in the rear. They are in perfect condition with less than 1,000 miles on them. These tires are a perfect balance for both the street and road racing courses. The body was originally painted red in a gel-coat finish. During restoration, we elected to change the color to chromium yellow. There is no chipping, webbing, or paint-over on the body. The original headlights and headlight cans were removed. The headlights were remounted in the front air dam for stylistic purposes. The car includes a removable soft top. However, this top is not appropriate for driving purposes. It is more of a protective soft top when washing or transporting the car. I suppose you could drive with the soft-top in place, but I would not recommend it. All of the lights, turn-signals, and electronics work. During restoration, we installed a AM/FM/CD player with speakers that was not on the original car. The car has a windshield wiper base, however, we removed the wiper for stylistic purposes.

The car was just listed so as I write this there are still almost ten days left in the auction.

Mantis Ageon / Targa15 Comment

Invader GT, Mantis Aegean, Trike, Trivette | Thu, 04 Dec 2008 Posted by :

A while back I posted about a car that I ID’d as an Invader, even though the Craigslist seller was identifying it as a “Mantis”, a car I’d never heard of. Extremely lucky bastard Jason “Schmitty” Milsom managed to pick up this striking vehicle for the scant price of $2,000 and I am very, very jealous of his acquisition. He writes,

It turns out it is a Mantis Ageon or Targa after all. I just bought a “Mantis” Brochure on eBay (although I haven’t received it yet). It looks like the Kaylor Invader is actually a Mantis that they renamed Invader GT-5 for some reason. The title for my car says it’s a 1975 which is before Kaylor was building cars. It’s not running and has lots of problems. Since purchase I have installed a different engine (a dual port dual carb 1600 that was in an original 1944 Kubelwagen), installed a new steering column, did minimal electrics to make it legally driveable (lights, etc), installed pedals, cables, and so on, and just recently put the louvered cover (from a 240Z) over the big hole in the back. The car is only 37 1/2″ tall and an absolute blast to drive.

Have I mentioned how jealous I am? This is one of the most striking of the aggressive seventies exotic designs out there, and a very special car. Speaking of special cars, you may also notice a Trivette trike in the second photo!

[Note: I initially misspelled -- this is a "Mantis Aegean Coupe".]

 

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