Articles | Wed, 03 May 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
Why is it that the North American kitcar market is dominated by Cobras, Ferarris, and Lamborghinis? Sure, they’re pretty cars, but are they really what kitcars should be?
If you read a kitcar magazine from the early 80’s or older, you’ll still see plenty of replicas, but the market wasn’t dominated by any specific design, and there were also plenty of original creations. Yes, it meant that there were a lot of ugly cars, but there were also plenty of exotics that held their own when put up against any design house from Italy.
A production car, even an exotic is deisng to meet market needs — the company needs to turn around a lot of dollars to break even. A kit on the other hand was usually built around the whims of the indivual designer. They built it for themselves at a minimal cost and made it available to others as a hobby. With a small number of exceptions, kitcars has never been a high-profit industry.
The question is: do you want to own a car that will always be a low-budget copy of a real supercar, that snooty people will always laugh at you for owning? Wouldn’t you rather own an original design, a rare supercar design that you know is far more unique, and far more exotic than any Countach will ever be? I for one vote for the originals. Kitcars let designers express themselves with cars that would never make it to market in any other way. They allow the public to buy a custom built one-of-a-kind supercar at a reasonable price. Can a Cobra do this?
Most replicas are highly inaccurate when put next to the real thing. Do you really want to be in a situation where you sink $30,000 to finish your car and then get made fun of by every kid that knows what the real thing is? Wouldn’t you rather have a car that no one else in your state has ever even seen?
Judging by the feedback that this webpage gets, there is a market for original designs, but unfortunately the few companies selling them are selling 20 year old designs. Why are there no new ones?
(Originally posted in 1998)