Chassis | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
I’m not sure if A&E (owned originally by my friend Eric Martin) still exists as a company (it’s been a long time), but I wanted to share some old photos of projects he’s worked on. Here’s one he built for a customer that was putting it under a Riot.
When I last talked to him he also had a very nice custom chassis that was designed to fit under pretty much any VW-based kit car without much effort:
Eric, if you’re still around, please send me an email and update me on your latest work!
Kelmark | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
I just got this letter about a while Kelmark built around a Corvair tranny and a 350 V8… So you can bet it’s nice and fast, and the Kelmark is one of the better build kits out there.
Perfect body with paint to match; (Metallic white). Beautiful all the way around, this is the car you’ve always wanted, but just couldn’t afford till now. (sell what you have and BUY this now). A great attention getter and a blast to drive. 350 Chevy V8 Engine with dual exhaust, makes this baby a rocket on wheels. Appears to have been built probably within the past few years or sooner due to the condition. I grabbed this at a donation charity sale, so I don’t know a lot of the specs, or the history, only what I know personally and what my mechanic has told me. If you know these cars, then you probably know more than me as to the actual technical stuff. Interior is great with 2 roll up windows (which is rare for kit cars). Dash is excellent as is the console. Seats are from a Porsche 914. Blaupunkt Cassette stereo with 10 CD changer in the trunk (this was my stereo that I had in a 280 Z, working great, but I have not connected it yet. All exterior lights, brake lights, and dash lights all work. Wipers and fan blower work. NO ac or heater installed. None of the gauges are working (probably not hooked up). Red button on left of dash is a custom horn. Racer style GT steering wheel. I don’t know the year of the body, maybe 84. Body is almost flawless, with a few slight scratches. I do have the front plate. Registration is 2004 so some back DMV fees are due. I did not list a VIN#, but will have it posted. I had a compression test done, and will list the results tomorrow. This has a 4 speed tranny with a Hurst shifter, but I don’t know what kind of transmission it is. According to Mid-Engineering, INC. probably a CHEVY CORVAIR Transaxle. They also make a tubular chasis for these kAll gears shift well and the reverse is to the left and up (if that helps). Looks like a Holly Performance Carburator (either new or rebuilt) with 2 barrel double throw, (according to my mechanic) Performance Coil and intake. Chrome valve covers and air cleaner cover. Kelmark Engineering was founded in 1969. The purpose was the high-performance-oriented building of high-powered VW and Corvair mid-engine performance packages. The company progressed along these lines until 1972, when the idea of developing a separate body to be used with thes mid-engined packages was developed. Thus the first “Kelmark” was created. At first the body was just a very rough shell, as were most of the kit cars on the market at that time. As the industry grew, products improved. In 1975, Kelmark roll-up windows were added, an innovation for the industry.
NOTE: Here are the compression test readings; Cylinder 1: 105, 2: 120, 3: 110, 4: 125, 5: 85, 6: 110, 7: 120, 8: 125. I have not changed the oil in it or anything, but sparks were changed. So I don’t know if the readings will be higher if car is driven more.
ALSO: Vehicle was running hot, my mechanic believes that it’s the coolant not circulating properly. He did not, however, change the waterpump. He did bypass the radiator fans to run continuosly, but still running hot. It’s not the head gasket, and water is not mixing with the oil.
TIRES: Front tires are 14″ size 60, rear tires are 15″ size 50.
$9,500 or best offerSOLD
Interested? Here’s some pictures:
Kelmark | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
My online friend Hassiem Hawkins from Glenns Falls N.Y. just picked himself up a pretty “new” Kelmark! Check out his new baby, congratulations!
FIA Coupe, One-offs | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
Long, long ago I received the following email and pictures from Joe Korkin. I was very excited about it at the time, because this was one of my favorite cars (and continues to be).
Basically I have always been a Chaparral fan, and have wanted a 2D for quite some time. Unfortunately, no builders that I know of have attempted such a project. So I decided to build one myself . . . from scratch.
The bodywork shown in the accompanying jpeg photos represents a substantial investment in time, money and energy. Working from vintage photographs, film, and scarce technical specifications, I painstakingly built a solid model using CAD software. A plug and mold were subsequently constructed, yielding the prototype.
Note that no windshield appears in the photos; as this too represents a somewhat costly investment, and is partially contingent on the level of interest generated by my advertisements. If all goes well – and I expect it will – the DOT glass will be forthcoming.
I decided not to provide a chassis for the simple reason that there are so many component/material/configuration options available to the home builder, it would be unlikely that I could produce one with “universal” appeal. I will however freely share -assuming you’re interested – the chassis design that I am working on for my personal 2D. This is a hybrid space frame that will utilize stock Corvette suspension components wherever possible. The powerplant/trans will probably be a small block/ZF.
At this point in time I plan to produce a limited number of body sets in order to partially offset the substantial design/development costs that I indicated earlier.
The prototype is currently located at the fabrication shop in Albany, NY. It is available for inspection on any weekday from 9AM to 5PM.
So thats it. I hope this tickles your fancy . . . after 2+ years of work I’m still as excited as the day I started this project.
Sadly, the project ended at that point. I don’t know if Joe ran out of money or if he was threatened by Chapparal (since they did later re-release something very sililar as a limited edition “official” retro Can-Am racer). It’s very unfortunate given the obvious effort invested.
Oh, and please don’t call or write Joe about it, the project is dead. If anything changes, I’ll post that here.
Update! (June 2006): The project has been bought out! Click the “FIA Coupe” section to get the latest information!
Mini Marcos | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
One of my favorite little “ugly duckling” kits is the Mini Marcos. This car was all over Toronto a few years back in the Dufferin and College area, but I haven’t seen it in ages. But before it went back to who knows where, I managed to snap a few photos of it parked in the rain. Unweildly as it is, it’s really one of the cutest little cars on the road.
The Mini Marcos was designed by Jem Marsh, and about 1,200 of them were made in various forms from 1965 through 1993. Very few exist in Canada so it was a surprise to see.
Lamborghini Countach | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
This car, owned by Lars Hildingsson, is in my opinion a pretty poor example of a replica given that it looks looks basically a children’s drawing of a real Lamborghini. I mean, they didn’t even bother to do the traditional scissor doors! I hate to say it, but it was cars like this that gave kits a bad reputation.
I mean, if you’re going to go to the effort of designing a car from scratch (as this is obviously not a splashed car), do something truly original… Nobody likes a cheap copy. Anyway, a few more photos of this monstrosity (sorry Lars):
Lars did write to describe what he knew of the car:
“The car is a ‘simplified’ replica of a Lamborghini Countach based on a Volkswagen 1500. The engine is an unmodified 1500 engine. Perhaps I will replace it with a tuned engine soon. I don’t know anything about the coachwork on this car (who manufactured it, where it comes from) so I would appreciate if someone could tell me who made it.”
“It has black leather interior, with black and red leather seats and black carpeting. It has a homemade aluminum dashboard, with all the necessary gauges.”
“When I bought the car it was about 40% completed, and I have spent more than 6 months putting it together. In the beginning there was some kind of electrical system in it, but I didn’t like the way it looked so I tore it out and made a new one from scratch.”
“The engine consisted mostly of a pile of dirt when I recived it, but with help from my father I managed to make it run again. It is coupled to a VW 4-speed gearbox.”
“The current windshield is the second windshield I have bought, because this summer, when I was driving around looking at some swedish girls, the locks for the hatch over the luggagecompartment ceased to work, and the hatch flew up and smashed the windshield. Oops…”
“The wheels are Whitespoke-wheels with VW bolt pattern. The tires are Kelly Supercharger 225/60-14 in front, and 275/50-14 rear.”
“The suspension is standard VW-suspension exept that it is, somehow, made very stiff. Due to that, the body-roll is minimal, and together with the wide wheels, the light weight (870 kg; 1920 lbs) and the low center of gravity the cars roadholding is quite impressive.”
“I have a big rear wing for the car, and I have had it attached for a while, but I had to remove it again because the swedish police didn’t like it.”
Aztec II, FiberFab | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
Long before FiberFab’s hit cars like the Avenger, there was the Aztec GT, and the car that would become the namesake of the Aztec 7 (due, they say, to its quality construction). It’s also probably one of the first kits to have gullwing doors.
Eric Martin, who runs (or ran; I’m not sure if the company still exists) the chassis manufacturer A&E — on whose custom chassis this originally VW kit is built — built up an aerokit for his Aztec GT, making it look far more produced and modern. It was done using urethane foam covered in fiberglass mat and cloth. I believe this was one of the first cars, if not the first car, that I ever posted to the site.
Manta Montage, My cars | Tue, 18 Apr 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
I’ve decided to restart PriceOfHisToys. It was one of the original and biggest kit car web sites on the internet, and when my other projects took off, I basically shut it down. Well, I have a bit more time these days, so watch this space for a combination of images and information from our archives as well as new cars.