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Donor car

While hanging out and drinking beer with my old car buddies this weekend we were discussing a project car. The question we’re kicking around concerns a donor car for a kit car project . . . with a twist. We’re considering a base frame (motor, transmission, everything) for a kit car which could have the body switched off easily . . . same base but two different kit car bodies. The buddies are actual mechanics, auto body techs, and shadetrees like myself. Any ideas? Rocketman

ford mustangs are a common donor car for kit cars. check that out. people like the IRS on the newer vehicles, so get a newer donor. you can use the motor, drivetrain, and often times you want a rear wheel drive for your fun kit car

I would suggest looking for an unfinished kit car project that someone has started and is mostly complete. Many people just get tired of working every weekend on one or need the garage space back as these can require a lot of room.

I don’t think anybody makes a kit car for body-on-frame vehicles. The exception would be Volkswagen beetles - the old ones - where you could swap different bodies on and off. Would be a major pain, though, as they tend to integrate the steering and dash and wiring into the body. You could re-engineer it for plug-and-play if you wanted it bad enough. Tough to find a decent VW floorpan plus parts are getting harder to come by.

These bits used to be cheap enough to just buy 2 old bugs and build 2 cars. Why would you want to swap bodies? Meyers Manx Dune buggy for summer and a hardtop of some sort for winter?

The question of why two bodies is easily answered with this formula.
Time+beer+buddies=strange ideas

Old VW Beetles was all I could think of. Mustangs? Front suspensions, maybe engines, that’s about it.

Actually, kit cars is a thriving industry, particularly popular in England.

Lots of replica Cobras on purpose-built frames, MG-TCs and Porsches on VW Bug chassis, Italian cars on Fieros, etc. But hard to come up with a ‘swappable’ body…

You would need to find a kit car company that makes a chassis and has different body styles available. FACTORYFIVE is one company, I don’t know if there are others. Contact them and see if any of their different cars can interchange bodies.

Unless it doesn’t seem like such a good idea when you sober up:)

I stumbled on a nice site that lists kit car companies in the U.S. and what style of kits they sell.

With a community project like this. I’d say the first steps would be:

  1. Make sure everyone is fully on board with doing it.

  2. Have a clear understanding about shared money and how it’s going to be handled.

Something like this is going to get a bit pricy and it only takes a small misunderstanding here and there before someone, or everyone, is at someone’s throat over who didn’t chip in or why there’s a few grand missing out of the kitty.

A communal project would not be my cup of tea. The sitting around and beer drinking sounds fine though… :smiley:

Any thoughts on a small pickup truck frame? Rocketman

older style Cherokee?

You mean REALLY old Cherokee…the XJ was unit body.

Yeah, I do.
Years back I drove by an early 1900s truck (“C” bodied) sitting in a field. My '89 Toyota pickup was still in good shape, and I thought how cool it would be to put an old “C” cab & bed on my pickup frame. Like so many other of my pipe dreams, I never pursued the idea, but I always liked it.

As regards a community project, I’d love the idea with one caveat: one member has to be willing to finance it in its entirety and own it in its totality after the project is complete, and all final decisions would be made by the owner. I’d love the fun of participating, but can see where shared financial responsibility could easily take all the fun out of it.

I’m the $$$ man as it will be my vehicle(s) when done. I supply the warm garage, the tools, the beer, and pizza once a week. I buy all parts and materials. Anything extraordinary (work) I’ll pay my buds for. Rocketman

I think it would be practical to use a chassis that the “kit” is designed to fit.

I have a 75 ford supercab with a dependable strong 360 and good frame and drive train that could be had…

…nah, just kidding. i plan on needing a hearse one day, so i d better keep it…

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The kits are porsche bodies but we want american running gear. Rocketman