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Old 22nd September 2011, 02:18
9519sam 9519sam is offline
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Default Whats a kit car really like

I've been looking at the GT500 Shelby kit on eBay and its something I've always wanted but don't know what to expect the finished result to be like with the fibre glass body, I'd have most of the work done professionally but...

What's a fibre glass car going to be like to drive?

will it be obvious its not a metal car?

also how safe is a fibre glass car

and how does a fibre glass car weather with age compared to sheet metal?

Many thanks

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Old 4th October 2011, 06:33
chrislandy chrislandy is offline
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Hi, A lot of your questions would be answered if you went to a kit car show and had a poke around. Generally the quality of fibreglass varies depending on the skill of the workman doing the layup and the technique used. Some kits use the gelcoat (the outer bit that you see) as the finished layer, this then depends on the quality of the mould, materials and the above. Other kits supply the panels with a primer gelcoat so you can take it to a proper bodyshop and get it painted.

quick answers to your questions where not answered above:
1) most kits have a steel chassis so like a production car it depends on the stiffness of this and it depends on what suspension geo they have used.
2) as 1, most have a steel chassis. My car has steel plates fixed within the door to provide an amount of side impact protection.
3) the chassis may rot as with a production car but the panels will not.

Just be aware that all kits are not the same and inspect any purchase prior to handing over the cash
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Old 5th November 2011, 23:14
Pete - Kit Car Zone Pete - Kit Car Zone is offline
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Hi Sam

Good questions. To be honest I'd suggest taking a look at the car to see what sort of conditions it's in. Probably a good idea to try and see some other fibreglass based cars as well if you're in the market for one, see what you think... perhaps find a club meet / event near you to go along to??

From general experience though...

What's a fibre glass car going to be like to drive? - Depends on the car beneath... although fibreglass is pretty lightweight so should be lighter and therefore a bit nippier than a metal bodied equivalent. As for handling etc it depends on the car itself.

Will it be obvious its not a metal car? - Depends on the finish and whose looking at it (i.e. if they know what they're looking at).

How safe is a fibre glass car? - Fibreglas cars pass the SVA / IVA all the time so they're not inherently dangerous. Although it's definitely worth noting that during an impact fibreglass will splinter and shatter rather than dent... so you'd be relying on the strength of the kit's chassis above all else (and replacing / repairing damaged panels rather than just beating out dents!).

How does a fibre glass car weather with age compared to sheet metal? - Again it depends on the finish. Fibreglass can be known to fade and blemish with age, specially in areas of regular flex or movement (bonnet panels etc), but don't forget that you'd also experience degradation with a sheet metal finish. As above thought, if things do go wrong then you'll end up patching up or replacing fibreglass sheets rather than beating panels.

It all depends on what you like. Personally, a fibreglass body wouldn't put me of a kit in general. The only time it would is if it really didn't suit the kit itself.

Hope that helps!


Last edited by JG; 7th November 2011 at 21:27.. Reason: No signatures especially advertising ones.
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