Top 5 Worst Kit Cars
For the 99% of gearheads out there, ownership of an exotic car is way out there in dreamland, along with the possibility of dating Scarlet Johansson. We can only watch as celebrities and athletes tool around in their Ferrari 458s and Aston Martins. Even more agonizing is watching some wealthy Arab tycoon make off with yet another Ferrari Enzo, to be stored out of sight for the next 20 years. This is where kit cars come in. Most of them are affordable for us mere mortals, and what could be better than cruising around in something that actually resembles a Bugatti? Even better, all that’s required is a donor car (such as a Pontiac Fiero or a first-gen Toyota MR2) and a body kit, plus some little accessories such as badges. What could go wrong? As it turns out, plenty. Here are some of the more outrageous examples. The Civigatti:
This kit car really does a tremendous job at showing the difference between a mid 90s Japanese compact and a cutting-edge supercar. It’s an awkward marriage further accentuated by the ramshackle fiberglass body parts that look ready to fall off at any moment. “WILL FIT EXACTLY IN YOU CAR”, claims the seller. For $4,500? I’ll pass.
The Fauxarri Part I:
This replica does indeed look like a Ferrari F430, but it makes me recoil in horror. The gaping cracks in the bodywork, the mismatched tires, and the fake matte black paint job make it a laughable effort. Someone also scribbled “F430” on the rearview mirrors in the faint hope that people realize it’s the real thing. Underneath the pseudo-Ferrari look is a Peugeot 406. Unlike most replicas, which are based on Fieros or MR2s, this car has proper scale. That’s the only positive attribute I can think of for this replica. Source: Ferrari Life forums
The Fauxarri Part II:
The Ferrari Enzo has seen its fair share of copycatters over the years, but none of them can rival this example for sheer polarity. Decals and fake chrome abound on this Fiero-based knockoff, making it look like the car equivalent of a teenager with severe acne. The interior isn’t much better, with cheap yellow plastic everywhere and a DVD screen awkwardly attached to the center stack. The car appeared on Ebay in 2008 with a starting price of $10,500.
The Rev Angel:
We’re not sure why the owner chose to call this Lamborghini replica the Rev Angel. There’s certainly nothing angelic about a ’94 Camaro Z28 with a hilarious fake Lambo front end and massively oversized airboxes grafted onto the side panels. If you thought that was bad enough, take a look at the rear end. Cardboard cutouts are slapped over the tail lights in a half-assed attempt to resemble an Aventador’s rear end. Overall the car has this extremely awkward shape, as if it can’t decide between being a Geo Prism or a runaway from the set of Battlestar Galactica. It hit Ebay with an opening bid price of $3,875. Source: Jalopnik
Ford Pinto Pangra:
Huntingdon Ford, located in Arcadia, California, was doing a booming business selling Pintos in the early 1970s. Their sales manager had the bright idea to build a high-performance version of the Ford Pinto. Dubbed the Pangra, it was sold either as a kit or an assembled vehicle from the dealership. Visual improvements included a Ferrari-esque front clip, pop-up headlights and aftermarket wheels. Mechanically, the Pangra had an improved suspension and the mill was upgraded to around 285 horsepower, which was a big improvement over the stock Pinto’s 85. The car was expensive, retailing for around $4,600 (as comparison, a Porsche 914 started at $5,300). No sales figures exist, but the car was phased out around 1974. Today only around 5 complete examples still survive.
Throwing some nice parts at the Pinto failed to mask its true identity as a lemon. In retrospect, it’s easy to see why the Pangra was such a failure. Trying to turn the Pinto into some sort of exotic was futile, as nobody was going to pay Porsche money for a tweaked compact. Still, despite its impracticality, the Pangra remains a fascinating footnote in the history of the Ford Pinto. Source: HowStuffWorks